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Mudgeeraba icon Panchos returns

It's nacho average Mexican, it's mex-cellent!

The bar, Panchos (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
The bar, Panchos (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

If you look anywhere hard enough on the Gold Coast, you can see remnants of yesteryear. In most cases, they’re hospitality venues that had their heyday way back in a decade even before you were born. And most of the time these places simply fade away with little or no rejection. They simply had their time in the sun.

However, this sentiment doesn’t quite sit right with one such young and loved-up couple, Lachlan and Maddie, who have just taken over the iconic Panchos Mexican restaurant in Mudgeeraba. The glory days of the 80s may well and truly be but a distant memory, but the course is set to bring Panchos roaring back in style.

The venue has undergone a makeover of the grandest proportions. Bright flashes of searing yellow, pastel blue, warm pinks and hot reds are used throughout. What you can say about the large size venue is that there is a space for every mood and occasion. A deck at the front is the place to enjoy a quiet beer, the main dining room will be the buzzing place to tuck into some great food, whilst a larger back deck area and garden (with its own bar), will be one of the sweetest places to spend a Sunday arvo on the Coast.

Whole rack of pork ribs with baked potato and mint slaw, Panchos (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Whole rack of pork ribs with baked potato and mint slaw, Panchos (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

As multifaceted as they come, chowing down top-rated Mexican fare and sipping cerveza is only part of the deal. Live music will be a prominent feature at this removed ‘roadhouse’ style Mexican joint, with DJ sets lined up for Sundays afternoons and live bands on the horizon for weekend nights also.

A band room to the property’s exterior has been specially transformed with soundproofing, stage, and all the necessary bits for live acts to throw down in front of a sizeable crowd. Could this be a sweet little gig space in our very own hinterland? It appears so!

With an idyllic but slightly removed location, Panchos makes itself a great place to pop in for lunch post-hike or simply a weeknight escape to somewhere with a slice of tranquillity.

The menu is an array of delicious Mexi bites with a larger focus on tacos — you’ll have to try the Chicken Tinga or Garlic Prawns, both are utterly delectable — and are in burrito form. There’s also a collection of hearty mains such as a whole rack of pork ribs and a Mexican Steak, which will come to the table on a sizzling plate (never gets old!). Should you feel like something smaller, or even a prelude to the bigger stuff, starters like Pork Taquitos and Spicy Chicken Wings with Habenero sour cream should fit the bill nicely.

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

You’ll come across Burleigh Brewery’s leading beers on tap and a couple of tinnies to keep things interesting for those beer connoisseurs out there. At the same time, a thoughtfully curated wine offering features boutique new age style wines from across Australia alongside a handful of signature cocktails like the Born Sippy featuring gin, rhubarb, and yuzu.

Naturally, these guys are well versed in mixing up a margarita or two, so if you’re a fan of a salty rim and limey goodness, well, you’re in luck!

The owners are excited for the local community to come and enjoy the space and hope to see as many people from right across the Gold Coast as possible. The charm of the old days certainly hasn’t been lost, but the rumbling of a new found glory seems right around the corner.

Hours: Thursdays 4pm — late, Fridays – Sundays 11.30am — late
Where: 581 Springbrook Road, Mudgeeraba

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Panchos exterior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Panchos exterior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

13 bueno Gold Coast Mexican spots

Goodness Gracias (image supplied)
Goodness Gracias (image supplied)

It’s one of life’s greatest pleasures; eating Mexican and drinking margis so when Cinco De Mayo rolls around each year, we rejoice because we have an excuse to do just that (like we needed one).

For those who flunked history or have just wiped out too many braincells with said margaritas over the years, Cinco De Mayo commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 aaaand….we’ve lost you. Anyway, back to the margis (hello again), we have compiled a list of some of the Coast’s best Mexican restaurants that we love a whole enchiLOTa.

Goodness Gracias
A little (somewhat hidden) gem on the Gold Coast Highway is Goodness Gracias serving up plant-based Mexican eats that are some of the tastiest around. With some incredible menu items, you’ll be hard-pressed to choose just one dish. But if you ask us, regardless of which you choose you’ll be sure to have your sombrero knocked off, even if you aren’t vegan!
Where: 1A 1114 – 1116 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

El Camino Cantina (image supplied)
El Camino Cantina (image supplied)

El Camino Cantina
With shops across the country, we’re lucky to have ourselves one of these spicy little dens of Mexican magic here on the Goldy. Slip in and slip on a sombrero and let the endless fantastic food and de-lish cocktails flow. Positioned on the promenade waterfront dining precinct at Robina Town Centre you have the perfect place to enjoy al fresco dining with your gang. Their Carne Nachos deserve a special shout-out. Because, if you know, you know.
Where: 1009/1010 Level 1, 19-33 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina

Beach Burrito Company
The southern belle can be found overlooking the ocean in Coolangatta, usually packed with people and with all of the good vibes on offer. There are what feels like endless burritos on offer, and why not go all boujee and get the ‘Cali upgrade’, which means the beans and rice are replaced with hot chips! Yes my friends, you read that correctly, and yes, our mouths are watering!
Where: The Strand,Shop 25/26 72-80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Montezumas Burleigh
After relocating from the beachside arcade to just off James Street, this family-friendly Mexican purveyor of good times sure can serve up the goods. The menu is quite extensive, so shall we suggest the Combination Plate? Because why not have a little bit of everything and give ’em all a go. Plus through in a Margarita for good measure! Because it wouldn’t be a Mexican fiesta without one!
Where: 1/19 Park Avenue In the Alleyway From James Street to Park Avenue, Burleigh Heads

Hibachi Chicken Achiote & De Lechon (Pork) taco's, Agave Rosa (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Hibachi Chicken Achiote & De Lechon (Pork) taco's, Agave Rosa (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Agave Rosa
Fresh, delish dishes with dashes of distinct oriental flavour (say that after a few tequilas), served Mexican style is what you’ll get in spades at Agave Rosa. It’s funky, bright and welcoming feels are perfectly complimented by their phenom menu mixing our two fave cuisines with finesse. And like any Mexican establishment worth its salt, their cocktails and margaritas slay!
Where: Shop 2/74 Musgrave Street, Coolangatta

Clay Cantina
With its cool, casual laneway dining outside and inviting, home-style dining inside (open kitchens are life!), this feisty Latina dishes up the best Mexican outside of the Motherland. And we’re not actually joking. Plus, you can transform into a Mexican Masterchef yourself with super fun classes using authentic ingredients and tools. This sage and terracotta-hued heavyweight can do no wrong.
Where: 2/16 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

La Diosa Mexicana
If you’ve got cheap but cheerful Mexi goodness on your mind (same) this one’s for you! Taco Tuesdays offer delish $4 tacos or if you’re down for an all-you-can-eat taco fiesta (SAME!), you can go gangbusters on these Mexican bad boys. Serving up all your traditional faves, it’s great for groups as the fit-out and vibe are a’pumpin.
Where: Circle on Cavil, Shop 11/3184 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Tacos, La Diosa Mexicana (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
Tacos, La Diosa Mexicana (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

Hail Mary
Boasting a fit out and décor to die for and a delish menu to match, Hail Mary is a standout. Serving up the freshest, flavoursome Mexican nosh, it’s a no-brainer. With specials like two tacos and a beer/wine or soft drink for $20 on weekends, what are you even waiting for? Ohhh and don’t miss their Burrito Wednesdays!
Where: 6/26 James Street, Burleigh Heads

Bonita Bonita
Eats institution Bonita Bonita (and little sister Bon Bon pouring mezcals and tequilas for pre or post-dinner party starters) is a long-standing fave. Its dimly lit, moody and ornate interior design never ceases to impress and create an intimate vibe. Enjoy the mouth-watering eats (the grilled corn…OMG) and don’t even get us started on the cocktails.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Mexicali
Always busy, the Cali meets Mexico feels of Mexicali have us coming back again and again. You can’t go wrong with a banquette if you’re in a group, and you even have the option of adding a bottomless drinks package (sold!). Sunset cocktails on the balcony never get old, and a snap under the ever-changing lightbox message above the stairs is mandatory!
Where: Level 1, 2223 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach

Mexicali (image supplied)
Mexicali (image supplied)

Frida Sol
Sibling to Bonita Bonita and Bon Bon, this texture-rich stunner pays homage to the almighty Frida Kahlo and oozes a delectably sultry vibe. With live DJs on Sundays from 1pm – 4pm and a divine modern Mexican menu, it’s a Mexi lovers home away from home. One of our FAVES.
Where: 1176 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Holy Jala
This fun-infused Cooly local serves up a juxtaposition of Mexican, Spanish and other Mediterranean flavours and the result is mexcellent! Offering a free food banquet on Saturday when you buy a drink (yes, you read that right), why wouldn’t you give it a whirl. It also has a food truck so if you’re looking for catering, you know who to call!
Where: 140 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

The Aztec
Kicking around since 1995, The Aztec Broadbeach…along with The Aztec Coolangatta…is a hit with the whole fam, boasting a fun-loving mixture of cosy booths, ultra-modern furnishings and an epic fluro bar. A colourful and upbeat venue, you’re spoilt for choice with all the Mexican goodies you’d hope to find. Insider tip; wear your oversized tee and order the loaded nachos.
Where: The Aria Building, Shop 11/17 Albert Avenue, Broadbeach & 152 Griffith Street (Twin Towns end), Coolangatta

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Hail Mary (image supplied)
Hail Mary (image supplied)

Recipe: Mexican Breakfast Hash

You’ll need all the energy you can get this weekend with three full days of dancing on the cards at Blues on Broadbeach. To start your weekend right, cook up this simple and healthy breakfast hash and you’re good to go!

INGREDIENTS
2 cups pumpkin in 1cm cubes
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1Ž2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
A pinch of salt
1 garlic clove, crushed
1Ž2 onions, diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1Ž2 cups of red capsicum, diced
1 cup of zucchini, diced
1 and a 1/Ž2 cups spinach
4 eggs
Juice of 1 and a 1/Ž2 limes
1 avocado
1/4 of a red onion, diced
A handful of fresh coriander

DIRECTIONS
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Peel the pumpkin and cut into small 1 cm cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, smoked paprika and cumin. Toss so each cube is well seasoned. Place the pumpkin on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until tender.
While the pumpkin is roasting, in an oven-proof frying pan sauté the crushed garlic, diced onion, diced capsicum, diced zucchini and 1 tablespoon of the diced jalapeños, for 3 to 4 minutes. Once the onion becomes translucent add in the spinach, lime juice and 1 teaspoon of cumin. Cook for another minute and then set aside.
Once the pumpkin is cooked add it to the pan with the veggies and stir to ensure everything is evenly mixed. Create 4 wells in the mixture and crack an egg into each hole.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until the egg whites are cooked.
In the meantime mash the avocado with 1 tablespoon of diced jalapeños, diced onions, the juice from half a lime and a pinch of salt.
Once the eggs are cooked serve with the smashed avocado and a handful of fresh coriander.
Serves 2
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 25 minutes

For more great recipes by Gold Coast local Caralee Caldwell, check out her page here.

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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