It’s been an exciting few months on the Gold Coast, we’ve emerged from hibernation (and let’s keep it that way hey), had some absolutely magical winter days and seen plenty of new venue openings. What a time.
In honour of that, here’s everything that has opened recently across the Coast so you can tick them off the list quick smart.
Bonnie’s Industrial Café
First cab off the rank after iso times was Bonnie’s Industrial Café in Ashmore. Bonnie and her team are serving up absolutely epic stacked burgers, 14-hour slow cooked meats, fresh salads and coffee to go. It’s café food, made amazing. Get involved.
Where: 2/26 Expo Court, Ashmore
The Coast’s favourite multi-venue space, The Collective Palm Beach gained an exciting newbie in the form of Greek eatery Mazi. It’s traditional food with a modern twist including dishes like Saganaki with honey soaked raisins and Sage and Garlic Charcoal Baked Half Shell Scallops. There are also large share plates with all the amazing meats. Prepare to bust your pants.
Where: The Collective, 1128 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
The Lucky Squire
The latest in the James Squire family is our very own version, found in Broadbeach at Oracle and boasting two whole storeys of beer-soaked good times. The north-facing beer garden is the best spot for an arvo of drinks in the sunshine and you can taste the entire range while also devouring exceptional pub-style eats. Bring on summer at The Lucky Squire.
Where: 3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
There are very few things better than a local distillery of any kind, particularly one creating a beautiful batch made up of local botanicals. Which is exactly what’s happening at Varsity’s new gin distillery Wildflower Gin. Not only that goodness, you can also book yourself into a gin making workshop so brew up your own tasty concoction. SO fun.
Where: 486 Scottsdale Road, Varsity Lakes
A stunning space in Burleigh Heads was recreated to open as a stunning new brunch venue known as Common Ground. It’s the work of two local hospo legends Euan and Bella Lovell, part owners of Broady’s Fig + Frankies and their partner Matt Tranter and it’s very, very good. The menu is made up of beautiful plated eats, all with a little something special. You’re going to want to try it all, trust us.
Where: 2/2 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads
Le Bon Choix
Sweet dreams are made of Pacific Fair’s new treat haven, Le Bon Choix. The newbie is filled with colourful French-renaissance-style sweets and savouries and they are all perfectly prepared by hand. Think delights like eclairs, chocolate tarts, lemon meringues, danishes and the pièce de résistance, pain au chocolats. Try them all.
Where: Level 1 next to David Jones, Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Broadbeach
Whisky Lounge Mudgeeraba
If there was one thing the Gold Coast needed, it was a dedicated whisky lounge and now we have one. Whisky Lounge can be found within the leafy surrounds of yep, Mudgeeraba and it’s a lovely little spot to sample over 100 varieties of whisky (maybe not in the one night) from across the world. It’s cosy and the crew are a very knowledgeable bunch. Big fans.
Where: Shop 2A, 58 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba
South-East Asian bar and eatery Miss Mee opened in Nobby Beach with all the neon lights and Bubble Tea cocktails. It’s the work of the crew at Justin Lane and with a rooftop bar and downstairs dining room, there’s plenty of colour-filled spots to hang out. To eat, there are of course many a South-East Asian delight including classics like Nasi Goreng, Pad Thai, Massaman Beef, Green Curry and Whole Deep Fried Fish to name a few. Try it for yourself.
Where: 2235 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
Another distillery, this time of the vodka variety opened in Southport recently and they’re creating some quality sips you absolutely must try. It’s the work of a passionate family who have put a lot of love into creating the perfect varieties of vodka including a rye, wheat and aged vodka. All tried, tested and adored by us. You can grab bottles to go or sit in with a cheese platter for the ultimate in relaxation.
Where: Unit 7/55 Bailey Crescent, Southport
El Camino Cantina
Frozen margaritas, all of the colour and tasty Mexi eats, what more could you want? Nothing, same. You can get all that and more at Robina’s new El Camino Cantina. The menu is packed with delights like wings served with blue-cheese mayo (three levels of heat available), nachos covered in melted cheese, fresh chargrilled fajitas and eight types of tacos, so all the best things. Pop in for a good time.
Where: The Promenade, Robina Town Centre, Robina
Baked goods are life. Particularly those by the team at Burleigh Baker who have made the lives of Gold Coast locals better for many years. Everything from the very best pies, sourdough in so many amazing flavours (hello olive), custard tarts and the very best of croissants can be found at Burleigh Baker. They opened a new venue at Paradise Point recently and it’s every bit as good as the first. Right near the water too. Perfection.
Where: 6 Bruce Avenue, Paradise Point
Southern newbie Jordy’s is serving up some of the very best pizza around, not to mention delightful share plates and Heven-yah gelato for dessert. The menu is packed with fresh, comfort-style food and absolutely everything is sourced from the surrounding Northern Rivers area, Tweed Heads to Byron Bay so you know it’s of the highest quality. Well worth a little drive.
Where: The Commons, 480 Casuarina Way, Casuarina
Welcome to Surfers Paradise’ new jungle experience in the form of a nightclub called Lost Kingdom. Featuring lush greenery and bamboo throughout, you’ll be taken on a sprawling journey through the jungle before finding the final destination, which is of course, the bar and dancefloor. There’s lots of jungle-themed drinks to sip on too, like the Island Boat with 10 singular shots on board, along with a Treasure Chest cocktail. Good times.
Where: 15 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Trio can be found inside Glow on Energy Circuit and it’s a beautiful, welcoming space decked out in lots of bright white. To eat, there’s brunch delights like Açai Bowls and crowd favourites Avocado Toast (with marinated feta, housemade dukkah and lemon oil thank you very much) and Bacon and Egg Rolls, plus a Chicken Ranch Salad if you want something a little lighter. At lunchtime, there are some absolutely stacked burgers including a Korean Fried Chicken Burger that might change your life.
Where: 10 Energy Circuit, Robina
A sleek new space that’s both a barber and a barista in one, it’s a new Tugun spot you’re going to want to try ASAP. Brit and Josh have created a sweet community hub where you can pop in for a Moonshine brew and then get yourself a little trim (dudes only). There are baked goods by the team at Fuel Bakehouse too so it’s pretty much the best time you can have.
Where: 2B/417 Golden Four Drive, Tugun
The Coast’s cult cupcakery opened a new store in Nerang and it instantly became one of the most popular spots around. For good reason too. Kylie is creating absolute masterpieces when it comes to cupcakes including flavours like The Unicorn, complete with edible glitter, Nerds, Turkish Delight and Lemon with Elderflower Buttercream. Yep. There’s also an incredible Unicorn Shake you’re going to want to sample. And take many Insta snaps of.
Where: 6 Lavelle Street, Nerang
D Point 10
The donut kings are absolutely taking over the Gold Coast and with good reason, they’re making some absolutely incredible flavours of donut. Think Gaytime, Oreo, Red Velvet and their latest creation, Caramilk. There’s minis and regular sized donuts and they’re all absolutely amazing. Get one of each just to be sure.
Where: A2/201 Varsity Parade, Varsity Lakes
The Backyard Cafe
The latest of the bunch is The Backyard Cafe, by the team behind Bine Beer Bar, Hideaway Kitchen and Bar and a few other venues you know and love. The newbie can be found at the site where The Yard once lived and it’s going to be both a cafe and a restaurant with pop up food trucks with lots of good old fashioned family and community vibes. Stay tuned for more details as we get them but rest assured, this is going to be a good one.
Where: 17 Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
We the people of the Gold Coast are very much community-loving people. We’re all about supporting each other and having a very good time while we do it. Which is why it’s the very best news when a sweet, new space opens up and particularly one that creates their very own brand of gin.
Yes, Gold Coasters we have a new gin distillery on our hands and they are bottling up a very smooth, flavoursome drop indeed. It’s called Wildflower Gin, it can be found on Scottsdale Drive in Varsity Lakes and you’re likely to be visiting there quite a lot from now on.
Wildflower Gin is the work of James Greig and a team of passionate distillers who have over the past few years managed to create what they’ve deemed ‘Burleigh in a bottle’, a gin filled with locally grown botanicals including cardamom, lemon myrtle and coriander plus a little drop of honey from James’ own Burleigh backyard.
It’s a very easy drinking drop, a little bit floral and paired perfectly with either tonic (ask the team which is best) or solo over ice (tried and tested).
The brand came about as a hobby for James, who is quite the multi-passionate local business owner. He began with a very small Still to see if he could make it work and of course, he could.
Now the space boasts Walter, a beautiful copper Still that initially had the job of pumping out an unimaginable amount of hand sanitizer because Wildflower launched right at the beginning of lockdown time. Which may have seemed unlucky but actually allowed James and the team to both help the local community with something we desperately needed (REMEMBER) and make a few new friends along the way.
All of whom are now die-hard fans of Wildflower Signature Gin and for good reason.
At the moment, the space is mostly a cellar door affair so you can pop in, pick up a bottle and head on home again. If you’d prefer to stay a little longer and you probably will, you can book in for a make-your-own-gin class where the team will take you through the exact steps of making your own personal bottle of gin in a tiny little still and with an array of botanicals to choose from. You can book in for a class on the website right now.
What a time to be alive.
Either way, you’re going to want to sample Wildflowers’ initial offering ASAP and keep an eye out for upcoming limited edition releases in the future.
See, supporting local businesses and having a good time, we’re all about it.
LOCATION: 486 Scottsdale Rd, Varsity Lakes
HOURS: 2.30pm to 5pm weekdays and 11am to 6pm Saturday
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
Have you ever tasted something so good you’d be willing to line up for hours just to make it yours? If so, you’ll understand just how mouth-watering said thing must be and if not, read on.
Kylie’s Cupcakery began as a humble, at-home cupcake business within which the lady of the moment Kylie would create custom cupcake and regular cake orders for weddings, birthdays, Christmas, Easter and the like. But the thing is Gold Coasters, these cakes and cupcakes weren’t your usual run of the mill variety.
Nope, they were the kind that would be ordered in their hundreds every single day until the demand got so big that Kylie had to move into a standalone space and that friends, is the point of today’s tale.
The new space can be found on Lavelle Street in Nerang and if you’re not sure where that is, you can simply drive around until you see a huge line of people standing underneath a big pink sign. Every single day Kylie’s is open without fail.
Why? Because Kylie’s cupcakes are something very special. Not only are they absolutely beautiful to look at (and take Insta snaps of), they taste like sugary little clouds of goodness that you could eat five of before you even blinked.
Flavours change all the time but Kylie posts on socials to let you know what will be on offer that day. Not that it really matters, they’re all so, so tasty and you should absolutely buy one of each (at least).
So what flavours are we talking exactly? Well, how does Lemon with Elderflower Buttercream sound? Yep. Chocolate Banana Sunday maybe. Caramel Popcorn, Unicorn (complete with edible glitter), Chocolate Mocha with Merlo coffee, the list is endless and Kylie says she comes with up with ten new flavours a day that she doesn’t even have time to create.
There’s also a Unicorn Shake that is more a work of art than anything else.
While you’re there, you can grab yourself a coffee and sit outside in the sunshine to devour your cupcakes, or take them home to sample slowly (they last up to a week in the fridge).
As you’d imagine, Kylie has won countless awards for her creations and never fear, if you miss out on the goods, she’s planning on opening a second space sometime in the future. In Palmy would be great thanks Kylie.
What are you waiting for?
Head in for a sugar high of the very best kind.
LOCATION: 6 Lavelle St, Nerang
HOURS: Open from 10am Wednesday to Friday, 9am Saturday and 7am Sunday
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
It’s all fun and games in Nobby’s right now as the much-loved beachside suburb welcomes long-awaited, new South-East Asian bar and eatery Miss Mee.
Particularly since we are now allowed to frolic in bars (at a safe distance of course), which means rooftops get their literal time in the sun again.
If you ventured past lately, you’ll no doubt have noticed the changes taking place inside the double storey building where our beloved Hellenika once lived.
Well, the newbie (by the crew at Justin Lane) is now open and we’ve got all the details.
The now iconic space is a centrepiece in Nobby’s, eye-catching and loved amongst locals.
Now Miss Mee has moved in, spiced up the decor and more good times are sure to roll.
Entering from the street you’ll be greeted by a glowing, pink neon sign featuring the lady herself.
Off to your left is the downstairs bar and dining area and to the right, a set of alluring neon pink stairs that you know can only lead to fun (and sure to be the backdrop for many an Insta-snap).
The downstairs area is lowlit, featuring neon lights snaking across the ceiling, a cosy pink and white corner with walls that will keep you entertained for days and a huge, stocked bar for all your sipping needs.
Up those pink stairs though is of course the rooftop bar, decked out in black and white gloss tiles, white high tables, a corner area that can be booked for private events with it’s own neon lit bar and a vintage tuk tuk overseeing it all.
The entire space is absolutely packed with colour, quirky neon lights that add plenty of character and absolutely somewhere you’re going to want to spend some time.
To eat, there are of course many a South-East Asian delight including classics like Nasi Goreng, Pad Thai, Massaman Beef, Green Curry and Whole Deep Fried Fish to name a few.
There are also small plates like Bao, Sticky Chicken wings, Satay Chicken Skewers and Salt and Pepper Squid if you’re keen to try a few.
Banquet options mean you only have to choose from five or eight courses for $49 or $69 per person and there’s a vegan choice too.
To drink, there’s an array of Asian-inspired cocktails to sip including a Smoking Singapore Sling, Miss Mee’s Bubble Tea which is a booze-infused version of the beloved drink and a Spicy Lychee Margarita (among many others).
The wine list is extensive and there are both tap and bottled beers if you’re in the market for a frothy (which you are, because it’s been awhile).
If you’re in need of a colour-infused experience that also includes tasty eats and a unique beverage or two, you’re in luck. Your new mate Miss Mee has you covered.
Pop in this weekend for a long-awaited rooftop jaunt with the crew.
LOCATION: 2235 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
HOURS: Wednesday and Thursday 5pm until late, Friday to Sunday 12pm until late
Words and photos by Kirra Smith