Generic filters
Filter by Suburb
Select all
Main Beach
Mermaid Beach
Nobby's Beach
North Burleigh
Palm Beach
Surfers Paradise
Water Fun

Jump on your Vespa and scoot to Varsity Lakes

Say Ciao Bella to Oscar Italia.

Margarita Pizza & Pasta Gambari, Oscar Italia (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Margarita Pizza & Pasta Gambari, Oscar Italia (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

One of the keys words that emerged from 2020 was pivot. A lot of things changed for many people; a great deal of us had to adapt to a somewhat different life to the one we had known before. Married couple Lisa and Sean owned and operated a successful security firm for over a decade employing over two hundred people. Within a short period, they had no choice but to close the business.

However, this closure wasn’t the end for the pair. Based in Varsity Lakes, they were asked if they knew anyone who would take over an old café space. So, with a little imagination and, of course, a love for food, they decided Varsity Lakes was missing a top-notch Italian eatery, and they would be the ones to make it happen.

And voila, you have yourself the newly open Oscar Italia!

Oscar Italia (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Oscar Italia (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

From the outside, you’ll find the space nestled at the base of a leafy and modern apartment complex in the heart of Varsity. With plenty of seating options outside, you can enjoy the afternoon sun and eat Italian food the way it was meant to be — al fresco. Inside, the space is split into a few different areas with a smaller tucked away room closer to the kitchen (the spot to smell and feel the magic happening) or window seating leading round into a quieter lounge-style area. Here you’ll come across low-down sofas and a bookcase providing a place for you to enjoy your post pasta comatose with coffee in hand whilst the little ones do some colouring in.

The highlight, though, has to be a couple of swinging wooden chairs, which we are told have already seen much attention — the perfect spot to sip a drink whilst your takeaway order is being prepared for you.

White Chocolate Panna Cotta, Oscar Italia (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
White Chocolate Panna Cotta, Oscar Italia (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

The venue aims to bring locals out of their homes in the area and into a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy some home-style Italian cooking with no stress. Their Head Chef has worked alongside the likes of Jamie Oliver, so when it comes to a menu packed with flavour, you know Oscar Italia no doubt has the goods. Start your meal off with flavoursome staples like their Calamari Fritti with shaved fennel and rocket salad or Nonna’s Meatballs slow-cooked in Arrabbiata sauce. For mains, you can take your pick of one of their ten handmade pasta dishes, or a tasty list of stone-baked pizzas, kindly split into red and white base lists for you.  — Brilliant. Oh, and for those of you who like to add toppings or have a special dietary requirement, you will be well looked after.

Naturally, no amount of gorgeous food like this is complete without great drinks. Expect a drinks list with an adequate collection of Australian and international beers, whilst the wine list mixes some standout Italian and Australian made drops, and there’s plenty of soft drinks and milkshakes for those not drinking — or simply not old enough!

Oscar Italia, exterior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Oscar Italia, exterior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

The venue will soon open for breakfast and will seriously gear themselves towards express business lunches; ideal for those nearby who want a tasty lunch to break up their workday — but unfortunately can’t graze and sip wine through the afternoon!

And if one enterprise wasn’t enough, the pair have also set about creating a new space just opposite Oscar Italia, and although it is still under construction, we were fortunate enough to have a walkthrough. As a spoiler, it is promising to be a wine bar with a difference and based on an old school English manor house with lashings of leather sofas and old-style fittings — watch this space!

With Oscar Italia, it looks like the eating and drinking out scene in Varsity Lakes just stepped up a notch — bon appétit!

Where: 190 Varsity Parade, Varsity Lakes
Hours: Wed-Thurs: 12pm-9pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-9.30pm, Sun 12pm-5pm

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Oscar Italia, interior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Oscar Italia, interior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

17 epic Gold Coast pizza places

Franc Jrs, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Franc Jrs, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

A food that needs zero introduction – pizza is Italy’s gift to the world that just keeps on giving (to our happiness levels and waistlines, mainly). From office parties to cozy date nights, this god-tier culinary creation is the celebratory cornerstone of gatherings everywhere. We can think of no occasion that isn’t improved by the addition of this beloved Italian staple…. and if there is, we don’t wanna know about it.

A dish steeped in tradition; pizza is divisive as it is delicious. Team crispy, or team chewy and chonky, deep dish style?  Then there’s the question of the toppings – to olive, or not to olive? – and don’t even get us started on pineapple!

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

Heck, even trying to narrow down which of our fine establishments serve the best slice is a controversial endeavour. Which is why we’ve compiled this trusty guide to all the most legit GC pizza joints in whom pizza-loving locals eternally crust.

Here are 17 of the best, from North to South, so you can dig in without delay (okay maybe just a little delay, molten hot cheese is no joking matter).

Mozza Mozza, Southport (image supplied)
Mozza Mozza, Southport (image supplied)

Mozza Mozza
We mean, you only need to cop a look at the whopper wood-fired oven sitting pride of place to know these guys mean business. Mozza Mozza sure knows how to sling a mean Margherita… and Capricciosa and Diavola and… yeah, you catch our drift (they also throw the best discotheque-themed, spritz-studded bottomless brunch going, but we digress…)

Offering a playful, family style vibe, Mozza Mozza dishes up insanely good Italian feasts with a side of groovy disco beats on the daily. Local hospo legend Dave Galvin has again bestowed unto northern Gold Coasters absolute gem of a spot where good vibes and even better slice is a given. Get down on a Thursday for the ‘Pizza Party’ to end all pizza parties.
Our pick: Hawaiiana (fight us)
Where: Located inside Southport Sharks, Cnr. Olsen & Musgrave Ave, Southport

Woodfired Pizzas, La Calabrese on Ocean, Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Woodfired Pizzas, La Calabrese on Ocean, Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

La Calabrese at Ocean
Situated right next to the pristine beach, La Calabrese at Ocean is all about traditional Italian ingredients with a modern twist. The pizzas in particular are food-gasmic, and if you don’t concur then soz but #weir-dough. Anything but your average pizza, a process called ‘biga’ is used to make the dough and honestly, the ‘yeast’ we can do is divulge why this technique is so special. How about a Fior di latte, fontina, porcini mushrooms, prosciutto di parma, truffle oil? Drool.
Our pick: Marylou
Where: Where: Level 1, 84 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Surfers Pizza & Kebab
Late night just pizza hits differentand you haven’t lived until you’ve hit up this Orchid Ave icon for a dirty kebab and/or giant slab of pizza at stupid o-clock after a night of boozing and boogying. With fresh and authentic pizzas, kebabs, snack packs and more, if you’ve got a hankering for something carby, cheesy or saucy, SPK will hook you up with the greatest midnight snack you’ll ever have. Also open in Arundel, the hours may be slightly different, but the pizza quality is the same!
Our pick: Pepperoni Pizza
Where: 24 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise & Corner of Napper Road & Daintree Drive, Arundel

A classic Margherita, Gemelli Italian (image supplied)
A classic Margherita, Gemelli Italian (image supplied)

If you haven’t been to Gemelli Broadbeach (or one of its sibling restaurants), are you even an actual Gold Coaster? Cooking up real Italian food made with love, their traditional methods combined with modern flair mean all the meals are a ten-outta-ten. With a cosy yet cool rustic vibe, there are always bums on seats and the atmosphere is lit. If you’re craving the kind of handcrafted Italian eats Nonna would approve of, this place is the whole package.
Our pick: Salina Pizza
Where: Mantra Broadbeach on the Park, 2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach

Cucina Vivo (image supplied)
Cucina Vivo (image supplied)

Cucina Vivo
If simple Italian flavours done exceptionally well toot your horn, then make a date with The Star Gold Coast’s Cucina Vivo. Chef Fabio has gained quite the cult following, affectionately known as the best Pizzaiolo Chef outside of Italy. This man is the master of the woodfire oven, and the ever-popular venue’s secret weapon. Once you’re suitably wined and dined (aka, beyond satisfaction) – buy your digestive system some time to work its way through that carb coma by swinging by the never-ending assortment of fun things The Star has going down. Date night sorted!
Our pick: Fabio’s Pizza
Where: The Star Gold Coast, 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach

Luna’s Pizza & Wine, Broadbeach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Luna’s Pizza & Wine, Broadbeach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Luna’s Pizza & Wine
If you’re in or around Broadbeach and craving authentic, woodfired goods, Luna’s Pizza & Wine is where it’s at. The postcode-sharing little sib of Sofia’s, Luna’s is the more laid-back of owner Henry Hunt’s Euro-inspired venue super duo. This alfresco vibing gem offers cute and cosy mall-front dining, so you can perch up and watch the world go by as you tuck in to top notch Italian eats. Italian-born Head Chef and Pizzaiolo, Mattia Bianchi, has been in the biz for 20 years, so what he doesn’t know about pizza isn’t worth knowing, if you ask us.
Our pick: Capricciosa Pizza
Where: Oasis Shopping Centre, Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach

Local pizza slinger Matteo’s describes itself as a slice of paradise in Clear Island Waters, and we’re inclined to agree. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, think crisped-to-perfection circular specialties like heirloom tomato studded Prosciutto Pizzas served alongside Salsiccia E Zucca made with pumpkin, Italian sausage, crispy sage (and multiple types of cheese, obviously). Legit as they come, the fresh pasta and pizzas are handcrafted daily following old family recipes, before the latter is tossed in the woodfire oven. Mouth = watering.
Our pick: Orcamado Pizza
Where: 60 Santa Cruz Boulevard, Shop 6-8, Clear Island Waters

Goccia Italian Pizzeria, Mermaid Beach (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)
Goccia Italian Pizzeria, Mermaid Beach (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)

When it comes to insanely good pizza, you can always crust in Goccia to deliver the goods. Created by two bona fide northern Italians; think classic Italian pizzeria – and if that doesn’t tell you everything you know, 500+ google reviews and a 4.9 average rating sure as slice should. A charming neighbourhood gem tucked away inside Mermaid Beach Village, Goccia is the go-to for many a pizza lover across GC… if you can manage to get a table, that is. Order literally anything from the menu and you’ll be happy as Larry, just remember to leave room for the tiramisu #Non-negotiable.
Our pick: Papalina Pizza
Where: 1A/2375 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Franc Jrs, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Franc Jrs, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

Franc Jnrs Famous Pizzeria
Now doling out double the deliciousness, we’ve been on cloud nine ever since this cult fave cloned itself a little farther up the Coast. Amassing a horde of adoring pizza fans that would happily follow them to the ends of the earth to get their Franc Jnrs fix, their Detroit style Sicilian slice is famous among pizza-lovers across the GC. Luckily for us, we now only need go as far as Nobby’s or Cooly to get our hands on that signature, crispy-edged pie. Unapologetically old school, Francs feels just like your traditional 90’s pizzeria, only way cooler.
Our pick: White Boy Rick (that sesame crust lives in our dreams)
Where: 2/102 Griffith Street, Coolangatta & Shop 2/32 Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach

Diavola Pizza, Crispy Italian Bar, Burleigh Heads (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Diavola Pizza, Crispy Italian Bar, Burleigh Heads (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Crispy Italian Bar
Here’s a factoid for you – in Italy, the term “bar” stands for more of a watering-hole-meets-cafe hybrid; combining coffee, cocktails, sweet snacks like pastries and quintessential savoury Italian fare… so basically, all the best things. Unintentional micro geography lesson aside; this concept is exactly what owner Riccardo ‘Ricky’ Proserpio set about recreating at Crispy – and now you know this place is awesome for several reasons, including (but not limited to) a top-tier traditional pizza selection. Such as the perennial fave, Margherita, which also comes in 1/2 metre size. You won’t be disappointed.
Our pick: Diavola Pizza
Where: 4/1840 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Osteria del Mare, Burleigh Heads (image supplied)
Osteria del Mare, Burleigh Heads (image supplied)

Osteria del Mare
Burleigh’s resident ristorante and pizzeria, Osteria del Mare is another authentic Italian neighbourhood nosher known for its impeccable pizza prowess. Tuck into creations like the portobello mushroom and truffle topped Tartufo, and ride the carb-train straight to complete and utter bliss. Mark the first Tuesday of the month in your calendars and head to Osteria Del Mare for Pizza Club. Bottomless pizza, plus a wine or a beer for $35.
Our pick: Little Piggy
Where: 2/1718 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads

Justin Lane (image supplied)
Justin Lane (image supplied)

Justin Lane
There’s no denying that Burleigh stalwart, Justin Lane is the king of pizza. It’s come a long way from its humble beginnings, growing from a wee little pizzeria into a heaving multi-level restaurant, bar and event space. The perfect spot for a casual slice and catch up with your crew (so we assume the cocktails are implied). Pick your cutest stretchy pants, you’re bound to run into at least 35 people that you know. And that’s just on a Monday.
Our pick: Justin’s BBQ Smokehouse
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Balboa Private Dining Space (image supplied)
Balboa Private Dining Space (image supplied)

Balboa Italian
You’ve seen it. We’ve all seen it. The sprawling, modern industrial stunner fronting Palmy’s main drag is a total traffic-stopper, and we’re pleased to confirm that its contents are as epic as the outside. And when it comes to amazing nosh across the board, Balboa Italian sure isn’t pulling any punches. In particular, the pizzas are #goals #IYKYK – and if you don’t – we would suggest remedying this immediately. Take your pick between the selection of red and white sauce bases, or try them all because carbs, shmarbs.
Our pick: Boscaiola Pizza
Where: 1069 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Grilled corn, Zucchini prawn pizza, Caprese salad, Fettuccine boscaiola, Calamari fritta & Arancini balls, Toro's Pizza (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Grilled corn, Zucchini prawn pizza, Caprese salad, Fettuccine boscaiola, Calamari fritta & Arancini balls, Toro's Pizza (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

A cosy and uber cute spot where Mediterranean and Moroccan vibes collide; Toro’s does pizza with panache. With peach tones for days (#swoon) – the spread at Palmy’s cosy slice slinging haven is quintessentially Italian, but with a healthy dose of tasty modern takes to keep us on our toes. The super relaxed yet chic vibe is just our type, and the pizzas will delight even the most discerning pizza connoisseur. There’s even dessert pizza if that’s your jam… (well, Nutella, technically speaking). Yep, she’s a winner on all fronts.
Our pick: Di Toro Pizza
Where: 7/2 Eighth Avenue, Palm Beach

Lenny Pizzeria & Bar, Mudgeeraba (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Lenny Pizzeria & Bar, Mudgeeraba (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Lenny Pizzeria & Bar
Where do we even begin when it comes to Lenny Pizzeria & Bar? For a rather questionable analogy – just imagine Burleigh icon Justin Lane and the locale Mudgeeraba had a baby; courtesy of local culinary legends, Oliver Botha (of Justin Lane, The Fish House, Hellenika and Rick Shores fame) and Justin Lane founder, Robert Morwood. And yeah, consider our case rested! Not unlike the duo’s signature 72-hour fermented dough recipe, which imparts their bases with a next level taste and texture.

No matter how you slice it, the addition is a total score for Railway Street’s dining scene – with sensational woodfired delights like fermented chilli kissed Prawn Pizza and Butternut Pumpkin Pizza served with whipped feta and salsa verde. You know the drill: two, four, six, eight…
Our pick: Fancy 4 Cheese
Where: 58 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba

Mortadella Pizza, Tommy's Italian (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Mortadella Pizza, Tommy's Italian (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Tommy’s Italian
One minute, we’re passing through Currumbin minding our own business,–and the next, our mouth commences immediately watering at the mere sight of Tommy’s telltale red and white umbrella’s adorning the promenade. And that’s before we’ve even caught wind of the freshly-flamed bites bubbling away within! In only a few short years, this two-storey cutie has become a fixture along the suburb’s seaside strip; serving up multi-million dollar ocean views and mighty fine pizzas to match (and cocktails… because nothing says happiness like a slice of Italy in one hand and a margi in the other).Who can resist? Certainly not us.
Proving that good genes run in the family, Tommy’s has a little sister, Little Tommy’s. Just 500m down the road, it’s the more approachable, relaxed and uncomplicated one, with equally great pizza.
Our pick: Tartufo Pizza
Where: 818 Pacific Parade, Currumbin

Bread and Butter, Kirra (image supplied)
Bread and Butter, Kirra (image supplied)

Bread & Butter Kirra
If you’re looking for pizza with a view, Kirra’s Euro-eats all-rounder, Bread & Butter, provides exactly the type of vantage (and carby goodness) that we need and mentally transport ourselves to the Amalfi Coast for the afternoon. Perch up on the terrace and feast upon classic, stone-baked combos like Primavera or the pesto-drizzled Pollo. Add in some tapas and an Aperol Spritz or two and you’ve got yourself a party! Who needs holidays when you have pizza like this?
Our pick: Siciliana Pizza
Where: Shop 1, 76 Musgrave Street, Kirra

Words by Kellie Leader

10 pasta dishes worth eating carbs for

Hey carbs, friend, thank you for being you. Oh sorry, got distracted by the cheesy, mouthwatering goodness that is all of the pasta.

Anywho, World Pasta Day is real (praise the lord) and it’s happening on October 25th. In honour of that and all the Italians who don’t get nearly enough credit for creating the best flavour-vehicle ever, here are 10 places to stuff yourself silly on pasta.

You’re welcome.

Salt Meats Cheese – Flaming Cheese Wheel Pasta
This too-good-to-be-true pasta dish is on fire (actually). Watch as your pasta is prepared at your table in a flaming wheel of Parmesan cheese. This theatrical spectacle happens every Wednesday night from 6pm. Book ahead kids.
Where: 10 Beach Rd, Surfers Paradise

Gemelli – Spaghetti al Gamberi
The Gemelli twinsare known for creating an authentic Italian experience and all their dishes, including mouth-watering pasta, are made fresh in house daily and way too good to eat just one. Definitely give the Spagetthi al Gamberi a try because prawn cutlets, zucchini, chilli, garlic and olive oil. Best.
Where: 2/2685 Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach

Justin Lane – Pappardelle, Wagyu bolognaise, Grana Padano
The team at Justin Lane take pasta very serious with their own pasta bar and all the enthuisiasm. You should probably go and try them all but if you have to choose go with the pappardelle wagyu bolognaise, highly recommended. Eat, drink and be messy y’all.
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads

Balboa – Roasted Lamb Cannelloni
Oh Balboa you big babe. Their fit-out, complete with a glamorous chandelier and bright red Vespa, is enough reason to visit and of course. their pizza is outstanding. Most importantly though, their pasta is to die for. Do yourself a favour and try the Roasted Lamb Cannelloni.
Where: 1069 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach

Alfresco – Lasagne
This authentic Italian family run restaurant has been around since 1992 and it’s not hard to see why. With a foundation built on family, Raff Velardo and his wife Natalie consistently dish up amazing Italian cuisine. One of the signature dishes is the classic homemade style lasagne, simple but better than you’ve tasted before. Promise.
Where: 3018 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise

Cicchetti – Taglioni Al Granchio
Cicchetti Pizza & Pasta Bar treats you to all the cultural delights of Italy, including pasta, of course. The highlight has to be Taglioni al Granchio – spanner crab coated in a chilli, garlic, pepper, cherry tomato and white wine sauce tossed through house made taglioni. STOP. IT.
Where: 2G01/15 Via Roma, Isle of Capri

Cucina Vivo – Fettucine Carbonara
This. Place. Cucina Vivo is a rustic and traditional Italian restaurant overlooking at The Star and dining there is certainly reminiscent of a weekend in Italy. The house made Fettucine Carbonara is served in a rich, creamy sauce, pancetta, egg, cracked pepper and pecorino cheese. Eat it.
Where: The Star, 1 Casino Drive, Lobby Level, Broadbeach Island

Fellini Restaurant – Rigatoni Granchi
Beautiful Fellini is known for its exemplarily service, picturesque location, luxurious ambience, and above all – FOOD. Our pick: Rigatoni Granchi – pasta cooked with fresh mixed seafood in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, chili, fresh tomato and white wine parsley. Straight from the sea to your belly.
Where: Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Dr, Main Beach

Pepe Italia – Spaghetti alla Positano Calzone
Using traditional recipes handed down from Nonna, Pepe Italia’s menu is filled with all the authentic Italian dishes you know and love. For something a little different try the Calzone Pizza filled with spaghetti in napoli sauce, tomatoes, seafood and parsely. Belissimo.
11 Connor St, Burleigh Heads

Goccia Italian Pizzeria – Pappardelle Al Ragu
Mermaid’s new(ish) kid on the block is as authentic as they come run by two northern Italians who know what’s up. You’ll feel right at home twirling your Pappardelle Al Ragu around your fork. It’s made with egg-wide ribbon pasta and a homemade beef bolognaise ragu. It’s heaven.

Words by Louisa von Ingelheim

Little Cooly

© 2024 All Rights Reserved.