Pasta is the very foundation of Italian cuisine and the reason perhaps our Italian friends have so much fire in their bellies and spring in their step? Because if you know Italians well, they are some of the most animated and passionate people you can come across. For this we love them. For giving the world pasta: we adore them!
As we come out of summer, we think it’s a fair time to enjoy some heartier and soul-satisfying dishes, and nothing quite ticks those boxes than handmade pasta goodness — with ALL of the cheese naturally.
But where does one find the perfect pasta dish to bring this crushing idea to realisation? The Gold Coast has many fine Italian eateries, so we painstakingly undid a notch on our belts and to compile a list of the very best. Because we’re nice like that.
Salt Meats Cheese – Flaming Cheese Wheel Pasta
This too-good-to-be-true pasta dish is on fire (literally). Watch as your pasta is prepared at your table in a Flaming Wheel of Cheese. This theatrical spectacle happens every Wednesday night from 5pm. We advise you to book ahead!
Where: 10 Beach Road, The 4217, Surfers Paradise
Gemelli – Spaghetti al Gamberi
The Gemelli twins are 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 sample just the one. Give the Spaghetti al Gamberi a try because these guys combine prawn cutlets, zucchini, chilli, garlic and olive oil in the best possible way.
Where: 2/2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
Justin Lane – Pappardelle, Wagyu bolognaise, Grana Padano
The team at Justin Lane’s cooking game is strong (we LOVE their pizza): but their attention to pasta is also so very serious you should probably go and try them all. If you do decide to choose just one, go with the Pappardelle Wagyu Bolognese, we highly recommend it. Eat, drink and be messy y’all.
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Balboa – Roasted Lamb Cannelloni
Oh, Balboa you aesthetically pleasing thing you. Their fit-out, complete with a glamorous chandelier and bright red Vespa, is enough reason to visit alone. Here you’ll find the pizza is outstanding, but most importantly though, their pasta is to die for. Do yourself a favour and try the Roasted Lamb Cannelloni.
Where: 1069 Gold Coast Highway, 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 yet better than any you’ve tasted before. Promise.
Where: 3018 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
Cucina Vivo – Spaghetti Carbonara
Cleverly denoting rustic and traditional Italian restaurant vibes whilst being located in the very modern The Star Gold Coast; the dining is certainly reminiscent of any local restaurant you’re going to find in Rome. The house-made Fettucine Carbonara is served in a rich, creamy sauce, pancetta, egg, cracked pepper and pecorino cheese. We implore you to go try it.
Where: The Star Gold Coast, 1 Casino Drive, Lobby Level, Broadbeach Island
Glenelg Public House — Truffle Gnocchi
Ok ok, so gnocchi isn’t technically a pasta. But folks, hear us out. The kitchen at The Glenelg Public House is home to some of the Coast’s finest culinary steak wizards so when we say you have to swing by Mermaid Beach to savour their Truffle Creamed Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms and air-dried Pecorino Cheese, don’t even question it!
Where: 9/2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Radici Pasta House — Tagliatelle Tartufo E Porcini
Flying under the radar down on the southern end of the Coast, Radici is an Italian family-run restaurant who decided to make sunny Coolangatta home 5 years ago. This dish epitomises why Italian cuisine is so damn good. Take black truffle pesto marry it up with imported pork and fennel sausage and then smother it over handmade tagliatelle. That folks, is one of the finest dishes of pasta you will have south of Sicily.
Where: 99 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
Pizza makes people happy, that’s a fact. Even the word pizza is a fun time. Say it out loud right now and pay attention to increased levels of happy. Now imagine yourself eating pizza and you’re on the same level as the rest of the world today.
Why? Because pizza is the delivery option of the gods, we made that up, but it’s one of the originals and that friends, is something to celebrate. Our way of celebrating is writing a list for you fine people to make life (and pizza finding) easier.
So here it is. From south to north because a change is as good as a holiday (it’s not).
A relative newbie in Cooly, Francie’s is the Italian bestie you never knew you needed. Run by a coupla legends who, quite rightly, saw a gap in the traditional pizza market down that end of the Coast. The crew have 15 flavours of pizza on offer and their own range of wine and there isn’t really anything better in the world than that combo. Except for maybe the fact that the pizzas have puns for name – Piers Brosnan anyone? Yeah, see. Text your order for takeaway 0411 415 554 Where: 102 Griffith St, Coolangatta
Earth N Sea
These guys have been in the business of pizza since 1976 so, as you might imagine, they know what’s up. With a view of the actual sea and all the good vibes Cooly has to offer. They’ve got MANY varieties of pizza including one called Prawneroni which is pure gold (and delicious). Mullumbimby Madness also sounds like a time you’d like to have. BRB. moving to Cooly. Open for takeaways during the day and deliveries/takeaways at night. Call on 5536 3477
Where: 60 Marine Pde, Coolangatta
The big, beautiful building on the highway in Palmy is home to a number of Italian delights, not least of all a moped suspended from the roof. As you would know, if you’ve been, their menu is the definition of next-level and the pizzas, in particular, are perfection. There are 16 varieties, divided into red and white sauce bases and maybe just try them all because life’s too short to care about carb counting. We’ll meet you there!
Where: 1069 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
Your mate and ours, Justin Lane in Burleigh is the king of pizza. No doubt you’ve sunk a few slices while sipping on cocktails and scoping out the scene. We’re quite partial to the prawn, calamari, garlic confit, mozzarella, chilli, parsley and lemon pizza but hey, you do you. While it’s ciao for now for dining inhouse, you can still order takeaway, delivery and now with booze, just order online. Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Stoked Wood Fire Pizza
It seems people who have been to Stoked Wood Fire Pizza want to keep it a secret and fair enough, it’s epic but too bad, because it’s epic. Tucked away at Stockland Burleigh Heads is a gem you may have heard increasing whispers about since opening last year. Quite obviously, the pizzas are wood fired and also quite obviously that equals delicious. There are plenty of flavours, all of which are worth a sample. Call 0427 473 095 to order… personal Stoked deliveries coming soon.
Where: Stockland Burleigh Heads, West Burleigh Rd, Burleigh Heads
Alright, if you haven’t been to That’s Amore in Miami, you’ve been missing out on some fine Italian fare. These guys are kind of hidden away in Miami Shopping Village but do not live a life that doesn’t include finding them. Everything’s good but the pizzas are pure perfection and very reasonably priced. Get it. Phone 5520 0797 or find them online.
Where: 110 Mountain View Ave, Miami
Woodfired pizza come at us. The Italian family behind Gemellini are a gift from the Gods. They’ve created an authentic Italian experience in Nobbys and for that we are eternally grateful. They’re all ridiculous but go the Funghi Bianca if you can’t decide. It’s got mozzarella, mixed marinated mushrooms, truffle oil and parmigiano. There’s a new updated menu with cheaper prices too for both Gemellini Mermaid Beach and Gemelli in Broadbeach! Phone 5575 1418 to get your real homemade Italian food delivered for free.
Where: 2247 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Okay, so these guys are something else. They focus on traditional Neapolitan styles and they cannot be faulted on pizza production. Last time we sampled the Gamberetti e Zucchine because a. it sounds fancy and we can pronounce it and b. it’s got San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, zucchini, garlic and prawns. YEP. Give them a tingle on 5526 8635 or if ordering online use code DZ30 for 30% off your takeaway order.
Where: 2/2715 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
Without a doubt one of the most iconic Italian restaurants on the Coast. For 34 years, Alfresco has seen it all. But while it’s usually a delight to dine in, we’re just happy we can still enjoy the menu at home. Our fav, the mighty Vesuvius layered with pepperoni, capsicum and a touch of chilli. Of course leave room for their traditional lasagne. Pick up or delivered right to your door phone 5538 9333, text 0402 026 083.
Where: 2/3018 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise
Salt Meats Cheese
Let us begin by saying there is a pizza with FOUR CHEESES on it and that should be enough quite frankly. Found in Surfers Paradise, Salt Meats Cheese boasts all the delicious Italian things (as referenced in their name) and although off topic, they also make pasta in a wheel or Parmesan cheese. It’s Italian gourmet at its cheesy best. Bye. Order online or call 5661 1517 to place a contactless pick-up order.
Where: The 4217, 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise
Pizza Paradise Gourmet Kitchen
We were once told this place had ‘the best pizza by a country mile’ and that’ll about do us. There’s a pizza called The Catch and it is indeed that. Topped with capsicum, calamari, prawns, mussels, barramundi, shallots, garlic, rocket, lemon and aioli it’s an actual taste sensation. If you’re a northerner, they’ll deliver it right to your door. Best.
Where: SHOP 3, 20 Grice Avenue, Paradise Point
Words by Kirra Smith.
If there is one thing we would love to be doing right now, it is slurping hand rolled pasta and sipping on a glass of wine as big as our heads, watching the world go by in a cosy little Italian wine bar.
Alas, we cannot but what we absolutely can be doing is the next best thing and that is venturing down to Coolangatta to pull up a chair at a brand new venue by some exceptional people whose culinary handiwork you’re hopefully already familiar with.
The new addition is called Cross Eyed Mary and it’s by the clever folks (and new business partner Ashley Maree-Kent) who gifted us Francie’s Pizzeria a little while ago.
If you’ve had the pleasure of munching on a Francie’s slice you’ll be thrilled to know Cross Eyed Mary’s is of the same very high quality and so you better get down there, an Italian feast awaits.
Found on Griffith Street where Tasca once lived, the newbie is everything you’d expect a quaint little Italian eatery to be – white weatherboard with a little awning and high tables out the front and inside, cosy booth seating, colourful art, stacks of wine and fruit bowls for decoration.
It’s the perfect aesthetic for Italian eats, fresh, modern and comforting and with the ability to float you all the way to the Italian seaside but you know, legally.
The menu is made up of an Antipasti section with starters like Local Kingfish with buttermilk, cucumber, apple and fingerlime and Stuffed Zucchini Flowers with ricotta, lemon and herbs to name a couple.
Then, the piece de resistance, the handmade pasta.
There’s Spiced Oxtail Ragu, Ravioli with potato, leek, ricotta, brown butter sage (YES PLEASE) and Confit Chicken Tonnarelli with egg bottarga, cavalo nero and marjoram.
All absolutely mind-blowing and all created by Head Chef Ashley Kent, whose insane work you would have sampled at Tasca in the past. If not, pop it at the top of your to-do list.
To sip, there’s an array of wine curated by Cork and Co. including plenty of local varieties and Whistling Boy from NZ. Hot tip; Cross Eyed Mary are the only place in Australia that sells this tasty drop.
There are also epic cocktails like the Gintelligence with Slow Gin, Tanqueray, seasonal berries, housemade mixed berry shrub and Kombucha and the Dirty Mary with gin, Vermouth and olive brine. Tried, tested and ten out of ten.
The entire menu suggest wine pairings for each dish so all you need to do is choose something tasty (won’t be hard) and then sit back and enjoy the welcoming Italian vibes right in the heart of Coolangatta.
Good times await friends.
Cross Eyed Mary is walk-ins only but you can always take a stroll to the beach while you wait for a table and trust us, it’s worth a wait.
Love you pasta. And wine. And all things Italy.
LOCATION: 114 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
HOURS: Tuesday to Saturday from 5.30pm
Words and photos by Kirra Smith