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The 12 best old school pubs on the Gold Coast

The best kind of pub.

The Wallaby Hotel (image supplied)

There are very few things better in this life than an icy cold schooner (or wine if you must) at a pub that still looks like it did when it was built.

Think all wood everything, fireplaces, that smell that seeps into the carpet and can never be removed, walls vibrating with epic stories, huge pub feeds and good times always.

In honour of this, we’ve put together a list of all the old school pubs on the Gold Coast so you can dressed up in absolutely anything you please and head in for a pub meal the size of your head.

Bearded Dragon Hotel
Tamborine’s favourite pub in the paddock offers an all day casual dining menu until late, chefs blackboard specials, burgers, steaks, snacks, coffees and of course, alcoholic beverages. There’s live music on weekends and always plenty of smiling faces to meet.
Where: 2-22 Tamborine Mountain Road, Mt Tamborine

The Wallaby Hotel
Established in 1883, The Wallaby Hotel is renowned as a place for cold beer, live rock, warm smiles and lasting memories. Recently The Wallaby was lovingly refurbished to stand proudly once more within the Mudgeeraba community. It’s much-loved Gold Coast and the food is always delicious. Head in for a guaranteed good time.
Where: 45 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba

Merimac Tavern
The Merrimac Tavern is pretty much always packed with revellers and that’s because you can do all your favourite things there – eat, drink and be merry. On Friday’s it’s parmy and trivia night so gather the crew and get down there for a laugh.
Where: Gooding Drive, Merrimac 

Fox & Hounds
Transported all the way from Royal Tunbridge Wells. The Fox & Hounds is the only pub in Australia that is truly British from the ales to the cuisine. There are MANY a British ale to be sampled and delights (maybe) like Haggis which yes, is Scottish but must be mentioned. If you’re after something different in an old-school pub setting, look no further.
Where: 7 Elevation Drive, Wongawallan

Cecil Hotel (image supplied)

Woodchoppers BBQ Smoke & Grill
Family owned since 1995, Woodchoppers Inn recently opened its new BBQ SMOKE & GRILL restaurant. They take the techniques and skills that make the North American BBQ world famous and infuse classic Australian flavours to create a distinctly local BBQ experience. From seafood to poultry, vegetables to game and meats a plenty, the art of BBQ opens up a world of dishes just waiting to hit the table. It’s all very good, we know because we sampled the lot.
Where: 64 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba

D’arcy Arms
An old school Irish pub to be sure. The D’arcy Arms is an institution, you’ll feel like you’re a world away, but right at home. The bar features a county Ireland feel including the historic first Guinness keg brewed in Queensland, tapped at the D’arcy Arms opening on 8th August 1988. There’s always live music on offer and plenty of Irish eats to fill your belly. After a pint or two of Guinness that is.
Where: 2923 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise

Cecil Hotel
Offering up a great atmosphere to meet up for meal, drink or just a quiet chat and found in the heart of Southport, The Cecil Hotel is the place to be. The art deco hotel first built in 1907 shows all the live sporting action, host parties for big events and always draw a crowd looking for a fun time. Their woodfired pizza is the goods too.
Where: 42 Nerang Street, Southport

Eagle Heights Hotel
Eagle Heights Hotel offers a relaxed, family friendly atmosphere boasting arguably the very best view of the Gold Coast from the spacious Beer Garden. The Bistro serves up tasty eats and there’s live music on Sunday’s to have a bop too. Do yourself a favour and head up to Eagle Heights Hotel, don’t forget your camera. Fun fact… it was originally built by none other than Mel Gibson.
Where: 1683 Tamborine-Oxenford Road, Mt Tamborine

D'arcy Arms (image supplied)

Canungra Hotel
An absolute stunner, you won’t miss the Canungra Hotel if you’re passing through. Sit outside on the deck and watch the world go by while sinking a few schooners, downing a tasty dish and listening to live entertainment from the bar (Friday nights). There’s raffles on Sundays and you can even stay the night should you “accidentally” have a few too many.
Where: 18 Kidston Street, Canungra

Jacobs Well Bayside Tavern
They call it ‘the best little pub in the canefields’ and it’s easy to see why. They’ve got epic pizzas, eats like Smoked Brisket Burgers and a Fat Ass Chicken Parmi and of course, all the sips you could want to go along with them. Fancy desserts too.
Where: 1170 Pimpama-Jacobs Well Road, Jacobs Well

Oxenford Tavern
Oxenford’s authentic Tavern and Bistro offers great food at great value. There’s pub meals and all of the sports on TV, found within a spacious venue complete with polished wooden floors and a huge outdoor deck. We’re big fans of the Loaded Schnitty Burger for obvious reasons.
Where: 179 Old Pacific Highway, Oxenford

Advancetown Hotel
Looking for good, old fashioned country hospitality? The Advancetown Hotel is your Hinterland destination for delicious food, entertainment for the whole family and first-class everything. Enjoy live music each Sunday afternoon and join in the fun every Friday night when the team host the best in local karaoke talent. There’s a children’s play area and undercover outdoor dining allow you to enjoy the atmosphere while the kids have some fun. It’s win-win.
Where: 402 Nerang-Murwillumbah Road, Advancetown

Words by Kirra Smith

Canungra Hotel (image supplied)

Paradise Country

Idyllic, country-style cafe opens in leafy Bonogin

The Hunted Cafe counter (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Everybody loves the feeling of a big, warm hug right? Now more than ever. Well Gold Coasters, that’s exactly the feeling you’re going to get when setting foot inside Bonogin newbie The Hunted Cafe.

If you’ve not yet had the pleasure of venturing out to the Bonogin area, you’re in for quite a treat (more than one treat actually).

It’s quiet, leafy and probably the most relaxing place on the entire Gold Coast. So beautiful in fact that, like us, you feel the need to head straight home afterwards, pack up your things and move there.

The Hunted Cafe outdoor seating (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Particularly because as mentioned, The Hunted Cafe opened there recently and it’s perfectly at home amongst the laidback, country vibes in a stunning garden setting and with wooden accents throughout. A big open window looks out onto the road and the bush beyond.

Out to the side there’s a garden area with tables under the trees and a big grassy spot for the little ones to run around.

Owners Emma and Kane Mutkins plan to have some nighttime events down the track too, think live music and something along the lines of pizza or slow cooked brisket to eat.

Heaven.

Smashed Avo, The Hunted Cafe (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Now though, the menu is of the brunch variety and includes homestyle dishes everyone will love.

Think Sweet Corn and Zucchini Fritters, Chilli Scrambled Eggs and Buttermilk Waffles.

If you’re after more of a lunchtime dish, there’s Poppy’s Burger, which is Emma’s Dad’s recipe, Seasonal Soup and a Pulled Pork Sandwich to name a few goodies.

To drink, there’s beloved Social Espresso Coffee plus Milkshakes, Smoothies and Super Smoothies in Açai and Pina Colada flavour – because Emma’s Mum loves Pina Coladas and same.

Sweet Corn + Zucchini Fritter, The Hunted Cafe (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Takeaway-wise there’s wraps plus Fuel Bakehouse Cruffins and Doughnuts and Emma’s own Brownies and Caramel Slice.

Kane makes the sourdough crumpets and how good is a cafe the whole family is involved in?

The Hunted Cafe is also a corner store, so you can grab milk and bread while you’re there.

There’s also locally made candles by Tara McDonald and dried flowers by Mother and Daughter team Magnolia Lane.

The Hunted Cafe interior (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

It’s just delightful all round honestly. Oh and it’s called The Hunted Cafe because you have to hunt to find it, what a treat. 

If you’re in the mood for some relaxed brunch time away from the hustle of the city with bulk community vibes and delicious eats, The Hunted Cafe is your new favourite spot. Ours too.

Seeya there for some fresh air.

LOCATION: 555 Bonogin Rd, Bonogin
HOURS: Monday to Friday 6.30am to 6pm (kitchen closes at 2.30pm), Saturday and Sunday 7am to 3pm

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

The Hunted Cafe coffee (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

11 reasons locals love Mudgeeraba

Pangaat Indian Restaurant & Bar, Mudgeeraba (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Cocktails at Pangaat Indian Restaurant & Bar, Mudgeeraba (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

Locals love Mudgeeraba and clearly, we do too. It’s easy to get swept up in the allure of our iconic coastline, but when was the last time you popped into this hinterland haven? No seriously, it’s a little over 15 minutes from Burleigh (we don’t want to hear you say it’s too far) so you can escape the hustle of the beachside burbs and take our word for it when we say it’s got some of the best eats the Gold Coast has to offer. Big claim, we know, but we stand by it.

We’ve taken the task of finding the best feeds in Mudgeeraba very seriously so you can just pop in and live like a local for the day. So, book a table and pretend you’ve gone bush for a little while, it’s the next best thing to an actual holiday.

Anekawa (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Anekawa (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Anekawa Japanese
This has got to be one of the Gold Coast’s best-kept secrets, nestled in the heart of Mudgeeraba’s Village, Anekawa shines a whole new light on traditional Japanese food. Created by chef Koki Anekawa (ex Rick Shores), the menu is a glorious celebration of ethically sourced Australian produce and traditional Japanese fair that we don’t so often see, set to the backdrop of one of the most intimate restaurant spaces we’ve dined in. The menu is ever changing based on the seasonality of produce and availability of specialty seafood, so you know that what they’re dishing up is fresh AF.
Where: Corner of Swan Lane & Railway Street, Mudgeeraba

The Wine Barrel, Mudgeeraba (image supplied)
The Wine Barrel, Mudgeeraba (image supplied)

The Wine Barrel
An institution among locals, there’s good reason why The Wine Barrel has stood the test of time, serving up some of the best tapas and wine (obviously) going around. The menu is loaded with an epic variety of food from Asian-inspired dishes to classic tacos. Our must-try’s? We can’t go past the pork belly, chilli caramel, coriander and mint to start, followed with the organic black mussels with Napoli, cream and nudja for a serious flavour bomb.
Where: 59 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba

Pangaat Indian Restaurant & Bar, Mudgeeraba (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Pangaat Indian Restaurant & Bar, Mudgeeraba (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

Pangaat Indian Restaurant & Bar
We know it might not be fair, but we low key judge a suburb’s foodie scene by their best Indian restaurant, so it’s fair to say Mudgeeraba is serving up the goods. Pangaat Indian Restaurant & Bar is not only one of our favourite Indian spots in the hinterland, but the whole of the Gold Coast. Think of the aromatic spices and bold flavours that come with authentic Indian food, they’ve got everything covered from hearty curries and succulent tandoori specialities that will keep you coming back.
Where: 3/59 Railway St, Mudgeeraba

Bon Appetea
Tucked away in the most beautiful old Queenslander, Bon Appetea brings that English whimsy charm to Mudgeeraba – made even better with the beautiful hinterland back drop. You can pop in for your favourite high tea whether it’s for breakfast, brunch or lunch with luxe options too if you’re feeling a little bit fancy. In case you needed more mo-tea-vation to book in high tea with your favourites, the iconic basque cheesecake is one of our favourite sweet treats on the menu. Heading there in winter? You’ll want to snag a spot fireside while you get cosy, sit and sip on your hot beverage of choice.
Where: 7 Johns Road, Mudgeeraba

Lenny Pizzeria & Bar, Mudgeeraba (image supplied)
Lenny Pizzeria & Bar, Mudgeeraba (image supplied)

Lenny Pizzeria
By now you’ve surely heard all the buzz about Lenny Pizzeria, the woodfired pizza hotspot has been buzzing since their iconic entrance to the Mudgeeraba dining scene. Think next level flavour combinations – we’re looking at you, Chill Kale and Fancy 4 Cheese – you’ll definitely want a pizza this. Perch up under the stars with your nearest and dearest and treat yourself to your favourite drop while you carb load.
Where: Shop 5/58 Railway St, Mudgeeraba 

Mudjira Village Eatery
Now it would be plain old rude of us to miss out on Mudgeeraba’s best breakfast spot. Embrace the laidback vibes of the hinterland at Mudjira Village Eatery, it’s got the country charm you expect from one of the town’s best eats and a full menu of epic eats. We’re all about the maple pecan French toast – try it and thank us later.
Where: 3 Swan Lane, Mudgeeraba

Various meals from Junior's Deli, Mudgeeraba (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Various meals from Junior's Deli, Mudgeeraba (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Junior’s Deli
For a taste of New York in the heart of Mudgeeraba you don’t need to look any further than Junior’s Deli. With all the classic deli sandwiches, hearty soups and freshly baked pastries these guys have nailed the casual dining vibe. If you’re more about the grab and go life Junior’s have you sorted, you can even take home some of their signature house made pickles to up your sandwich game and get a taste of the deli at home.
Where: 2/51 Railway St, Mudgeeraba

The Wallaby Hotel
One of the Gold Coast’s oldest pubs, The Wallaby has been serving up cold brews and great food since 1883. If you’re looking for the ultimate pint and parmy combo then you’ve come to the right place. They’ve got all the pub classics you know and love to kick those hunger pains, if you want to get a little adventurous then get around the Native Australian Wallaby Shanks – guaranteed to become your new go-to.
Where 43 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba

Whisky Lounge Mudgeeraba (image supplied)
Whisky Lounge Mudgeeraba (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Whisky Lounge
Whisky aficionados will feel right at home at the Whisky Lounge, but don’t stress if you’re a newbie – the legends behind the bar will find you the perfect drop to start your whisky lover journey. It doesn’t matter if your palate prefers a smoky scotch or a smooth bourbon, they’ve got pretty much everything so you can pour, savour and enjoy the flavour. Not into dark spirits? Stress less and don’t whisk yourself away, there’s a delish cocktail menu to keep you busy all night long.
Where: Shop 2A/58 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba

The Sensory Boutique
In need of some retail therapy? The Sensory Boutique have the most aesthetically pleasing collection of goodies that have been perfectly curated so you can pick up home décor, scents, jewellery and more. If you’re looking for a fresh fit the team have hand selected pieces just for you. If buying brand-new is so last season for you, in the name of circular fashion, there’s a selection of pre-loved clothing and accessories (chic of course) that you can give a new life.
Where: Shop 24, Franklin Square, 60 Railway St, Mudgeeraba

Margarita, Panchos (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Margarita, Panchos (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Panchos
Spice up your dining experience at Panchos, this Mexican spot knows what’s up when it comes to good food, good margs and good entertainment – the holy trinity of good vibes. The colourful fit out feels like you’ve stepped straight off the streets of Mexico into an authentic taqueria with the Latin American influence coming from all ends. Did we mention on Thursday’s you can snag a burrito and beer for $25 too? You’re losing money not getting amongst it #girlmath.
Where: 581 Gold Coast Springbrook Rd, Mudgeeraba

Words by Jacqueline Bojanowski.

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