The only thing we love more than a fish bowl (RIP Melba’s) is a poké bowl. And, unlike the former, poké bowls don’t make us do dumb stuff like text our ex at 2am, or bust out the Macarena amongst people who weren’t even born when it was a banga. Bursting with flavour, fun to eat and full of healthy ingredients, what’s not to love about this native Hawaiian cuisine turned worldwide taste sensation?!
Coz we can’t get enough, here is a list of some of the best poké bowls on the Gold Coast from North to South, so you can up your ‘gram game!
With a philosophy like “Love Yourself” and a commitment to serving up healthy poké-a-plenty with only the freshest local ingredients, who could resist this resident and tourist fave. Never short of customers, do yourself a favour and try the Pork Katsu Poke Bowl with fried pork katsu, rice, mixed salad, cucumber, sweet onion, carrot, cabbage, edamame, sweet corn and your choice of toppings and sauces.
Where: Southport Central Apartments, 56 Scarborough Street, Southport & Circle on Cavill, 9 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Born and bred in Byron, Finn Poké are masters at putting their own spin on the humble Poké bowl. Creating super healthy, get-in-ma-belly style meals, they are as focussed on sustainability as they are flavour. The Okinawa Beef Bowl is a Finn specialty, with premium wagyu brisket on rice, caramelised and marinated onion, pickled ginger, Okinawa special sauce and red pepper blend.
Where: Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Hooker Boulevard, Broadbeach & 1/11 James Street, Burleigh Heads
Aloha Bar & Dining
The fact that it’s hidden makes us love it even more! This tropical tiki bar serves up the yum factor with Hawaiian nosh, including some fierce Poké Bowls! Once you’ve sampled their insane cocktails, the Szechuan chicken with crispy onion an Asian slaw Poke Bowl will be just what you need to give you that hearty fix to kick on all night long!
Where: 18 Main Place, Broadbeach
Okazu Sushi Bar
Okay so while Poké Bowls may be Hawaiian, they are rich in ingredients associated with Japan and therefore make a welcome appearance on many Japanese menus. Okazu has a spread of drool-worthy bowls to choose from, but we can’t go past the original Poke Bowl with tuna, salmon, edamame, brown rice, cabbage, ginger, crispy shallots, wakame, chilli, soy sauce, cucumber and sesame mayo. Bliss!
Where: 2223 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Specialists in fresh, fruity, fun vibes and all the delicious and healthy tropical delights you can poké a stick at, Poké Poké offers up generous and tasty poké bowls, decadent roti wraps and next level super smoothies! Our pick is the Snap Her Up with mouth-watering cooked coconut snapper, brown rice, carrot, edamame, cucumber salsa, radish, mesclun, fresh chilli crispy shallots and sesame. Drooling!
Where: Mermaid Beach Village, 2375 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Bowl & Blend Co
Ex Sydneysider and award-winning restaurateur Kim Udomdej brings us high-quality, organic, ethically sourced eats in her cute tropical boho space, Bowl & Blend. It’s difficult to pick a frontrunner, but we’re giving a shout out to The Salty Squid Poké Bowl because we always say hells yes to anything involving squid, and get some pork on your fork with the popular Miss Piggy Poké Bowl.
Where: 70 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
HiPoke brings an authentic blend of tropical culture and fresh food built for active lifestyles…and we’re fans! Their mission is to provide a wholesome, fast-food alternative that makes both your bod and the community sing amen! We’re obsessed with the signature Marinated Tofu Bowl with quinoa, marinated tofu, wakame, cherry tomato, enoki mushroom, spring onion, purple cabbage, pickled ginger, ponzu sauce and crispy shallot.
Where: Kirra Village, 18/48 Musgrave Street, Coolangatta
Niche & Co
Giving the 4224 folk the good vibe infused healthy feed they need, Niche & Co is a 2021 Travellers Choice Award winner and an absolute must see (or taste!). The Roast Turmeric Cauliflower and House Spiced Tofu Poké Bowl will knock your nickers off with roast cauli, turmeric tzatziki, spiced tofu, pickled onion, kim chi, seasonal greens, sweet radish, avocado, spiced cucumber, sesame carrot and crispy shallots.
Where: 449 Golden Four Drive, Tugun
Words by Bianca Trathen.
As some of the world’s most highly revered cuisine, it’s little surprise that Japanese food is loved worldwide. The depth of flavours and incredibly focussed and precise cooking techniques are the foundation for some damn tasty food — and that ain’t no lie.
Finding exceptional examples of far eastern delicacies isn’t as easy as you may think. Sure, there are a great many good Japanese restaurants out there, except here we are only eager to discuss and dissect the exceptional ones!
We’re talking about the kind of places with that undeniable ‘X’ factor and take your taste of the orient to an entirely new level. Lucky for us, there are a mustering of such venues here on the Gold Coast, so start practicing your chopstick skills as we run you through the places that are exceptional odes to Japan — minus the 10-hour flight.
Often regarded as the flagship Japanese restaurant on the Gold Coast, you might think their inclusion on this list required little thought. Yes, Executive Head Chef Chase Kojima has created amazing mouth-watering dishes on the robata grill, and the tempura menu is a tantalising read as any menu you’ll come across. But here, the finer things and the premium setting speak for themselves, like highly sought after Beluga Caviar and Char-grilled Queensland grown Wagyu, which are lovingly dished up and are sure not to disappoint.
Where: Lobby Level, The Star Gold Coast, 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach
What these folks don’t know about ramen simply isn’t worth knowing. After opening their first Queensland venue, in blissful Burleigh, we were a tad excited earlier this year. The team behind some of Sydney’s best-received ramen bars takes their noodle and broth game extremely seriously, so much so there was a severe amount of time spent in Japan learning and researching the craft before their first bowl was even served. Atmospheric, welcoming and stacked full of great drinks: go ahead and slurp as if nobody is watching!
Where: 21a/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads
Tucked away in Carrara and simply waiting for you to discover it is the small and quaint Japanese-style eatery of Kumeri. They dish up nothing short of authentic flavours and unadulterated Japanese dishes. How do crispy hand-rolled gyozas matched with incredible examples of European wines sound? A little too good to be true, perhaps. However, let owner — and qualified sommelier — Hiro guide you through his extensive collection of European and boutique Australian wines for a well-rounded and unique dining experience.
Where: 3/124 Pappas Way, Carrara
Everyone’s favourite Japanese restaurant is still the light of our lives and knocking out superb food in Mermaid Beach. It was certainly groundbreaking a few years back, and now it seems a slew of other Japanese restaurants have caught up to the party — however, the dedication to service, great seasonal produce, and an impeccable drinks offering has never wavered one bit. Ideal for a midweek escape and perfection for a weekend feast; the standout features of this establishment are, without a doubt, its down-to-earth and charming decor and an ever-evolving cocktail list worthy of anyone’s attention.
Where: 2440 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
For a while now, the locals of Palm Beach — plus those in the know — have been quietly enjoying the spoils of this Osaka-style back alley Izakaya all to themselves. But we think it was about time it was shared! Deeply authentic and brimming with a menu of carefully constructed and drool-inducing dishes, including the ever-famous Okonomiyaki savoury pancakes. What sets this place apart is the dedication to cultural accuracy — oh, and the fact you can book out the entire restaurant should you have the occasion that calls for it (and enough friends)!
Where: 6 Fifth Avenue, Palm Beach
When it comes to a hearty combination of flavour and showmanship, teppanyaki-style dining is a surefire way to beat hunger — with a slice of entertainment thrown in there for good measure. One of the best in the business, and an unsurpassed way to experience this highly revered form of Japanese cooking, is Misono at JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort and Spa. Let their talented and affable chefs delight you and your friends with an abundance of flames and flavour.
Where: Level 3, JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort and Spa,158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
When this little magic berry from the Amazon began to appear in our lives around five years ago, who was to know how much we’d fall for this little antioxidant-packed gem?
It’s safe to say, superfoods have taken off in a big way and are the perfect ingredient to mitigate the strains of a fast-paced twenty-first-century lifestyle – and all those cocktails, naturally. Since we first began to see açai bowls appear in our cafes, they have been elevated to an adored status, with serious attention to detail and quality ingredients making them a stock standard staple on our breakfast menus across the Gold Coast.
Whether you choose to munch yours at the office as you read your emails or scoop your way through a bowl with a few friends on the weekend: the love is real. Handily for you, though, we have compiled the spots that dish up soe of the best of this South American treat — all in the name of good health!
The Shack Superfood Café
This OG of superfood and tasty treats is part of the very fabric that makes Nobby’s Beach so damn cool. If you haven’t been and experienced their taste-filled goods, then, where have you been?!
The pick: Choose your adventure between top-quality Amazonia Energiser and Pure Açai, then take a stroll down to the beach and enjoy your bowl with a fantastic view.
Where: 2221 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
If all you can eat gorgeous vegetarian food sounds like music to your ears, then might we suggest you take a look at this insta-famous cafe? With some of the most eye-catching ‘extra’ food around, you won’t be disappointed with anything you order here.
The pick: The Pod Special Acai Bowl is nothing short of a piece of art, with blue spirulina crème making this a one-off colour sensation!
Where: 1/2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach & 3/3 Brolga Ave, Southport
Niche & Co
This Tugun-based delight is the epitome of what a Gold Coast cafe is all about. Great coffee, an incredible menu of hot and cold delights, laidback village vibes, and a place where all the cute dogs miraculously seem to converge. If you know, you know!
The pick: The selection of Acai at Niche & Co is nothing short of mind-blowing. Sideline your order of coffee and pick the Mocha Acai Bowl, with lashings of raw cacao protein and mocha coconut chia mousse – perfection, folks!
Where: 4/449 Golden Four Drive, Tugun
Goji Granola Bar & Café
When you see people pour nothing but devotion and passion into their work, it shows, right? Step inside Goji Granola Bar and Café, and you’ll feel this sentiment straight away with lavish-looking dishes aplenty and chirpy staff to guide you through their brimming menu.
The pick: Their acai bowl is already a marvellous thing; however, we suggest you add on their unique and rotating flavour Coco Fluff – vegan coconut soft serve – to really up the ante. (You’ll thank us later).
Where: 7/60 Santa Cruz Boulevard, Clear Island Waters
What this little Nobby Beach café doesn’t know about healthy eating isn’t worth knowing. Asides from epic eats for breakfast and lunch, this is one of the most prolific doggo hang-out spots in the city — just saying.
The pick: Their standard Acai bowl features whipped Brah acai and all of the trimmings you’d expect, like goji berries and shredded coconut for days. Perfect fuel as you pat ALL the dogs.
Where: 4 Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach
This corner-side hangout spot has long been the locals’ favourite place to grab a coffee and a bite post-swim/surf – and it’s easy to see why. Dreamy décor and fantastic breakfast and lunchtime menus mean this is the kind of place you want to visit on the regular with salty hair and sand between your toes.
The pick: Get the Beach Lover Acai Bowl and don’t look back! All of the bright and zesty additions you’d expect but with a healthy dollop of peanut butter as its crown of glory.
Where: 2557 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Should you find yourself gallivanting around town or just coming in after a morning on the beach, either way, Oakberry at Burleigh Heads, Surfers Paradise or Coolangatta, is a great option for some wholesome fuel. You’ll find this café spot perfectly positioned on James Street, Cavill Ave and Marine Parade – all prime people-watching territory!
The pick: Where do we begin! Your options are utterly limitless here, so let your imaginations go wild and customise a bowl to your heart’s content. What we do love here though, is that the bowls are tall, so they actually fit inside your car cupholders, oh the dilemma.
Where: Various locations (Burleigh Heads, Surfers Paradise & Coolangatta)
Tugun Fruit and Flowers
Your one-stop-shop for all the significant essentials you need, and of course, some pretty darn good acai bowls! Whilst you wait for the bowl of your dreams, you can grab yourself some super fresh fruit, a candle or two, or even an epic-looking dried flower arrangement to spruce up a space at home.
The pick: The Choc Acai Bowl for us – this overflowing bowl is blended with raw cacao and almond milk and is topped with ALL of the seasonal fruit imaginable.
Where: 4/467 Golden Four Drive, Tugun
For vegans, this Southport café is a dream come true – and a whole lot more. When it comes to good plant-based eats that taste just as good as they look, these guys nail everything and will leave the everyday carnivore scratching their heads.
The pick: With ten smoothies you can have served as a bowl, but we can’t go past the standard acai with a spruce up of additional chocolate buckinis: delicious and nutritious.
Where: 1/253 Ferry Road, Southport
The Salt Mill
Acai bowls need to be consumed with an incredible backdrop: it’s a fact, and we’re sticking with it. So, what better distraction do you have than the gorgeous Currumbin beach? The Salt Mill is a complete haven of tasty treats and is hands down one of the Coast’s best beachside cafes.
The pick: If you go with their standard acai bowl, you’ll struggle not to spill anything as they come overloaded with mulberries, cacao nibs, passionfruit and the works. Insider tip: you can ask for a dollop of peanut butter on any of their bowls as an extra #justsaying.
Where: 785 Pacific Parade, Currumbin
Words by Alex Mitcheson.