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Sleek new poké bowl spot brings healthy, good vibes to Coolangatta

Raw + Rice migrates south from the Sunshine Coast.

Balmy all-day beach weather is almost upon us and with it will come entire days frolicking in the salty, sunshine with the crew, frosty cold beers buried deep in ice-filled eskies and light, feel-good eats to ensure you’re energetic enough for said frolicking.

And you know what’s the perfect light, feel-good eats Gold Coasters? Poké bowls – bowls filled with healthy, tasty goodness that will not only nourish you from the inside out, but are also very pretty and perfect for taking back to the beach so you don’t miss out on any fun.

Conveniently, if you venture down Coolangatta way sometime soon (which you should), you’ll find a sleek new space serving up exactly that – healthy, tasty poké bowls filled with locally sourced produce that are some of the very best around.

Raw + Rice is the newbie, found on Marine Pde in Coolangatta overlooking the ocean and perfectly at home with a sleek, plant-filled interior, seating out on the deck and plenty of natural light inside.

It’s the work of Sunshine Coasters Ben Glass and James Breust who have already created four successful venues (including one in Brisbane) and it’s the perfect addition to the Coolangatta dining scene.

The business was built with sustainability and conservation in mind with all fish ethically caught and the use of biodegradable packaging prominent throughout. It’s a nod of gratitude to the earth and that’s something we are fully in support of.

The fresh, flavour-packed menu boasts both a choose-your-own-adventure and an already-expertly-decided-upon option and every single possible combination is 10 out of 10.

In the already-expertly-decide-upon section, there are Salmon, Ocean Trout, White Fish, Soy Tofu and chicken options loaded up with a variety of crunchy, delicious extras that’ll knock your socks off.

If you’re keen to choose exactly what’s going into your bowl, start with your base – sushi rice, brown rice, quinoa or mixed greens – then add protein, some fresh salady goodness, sauce (Wasabi mayo for the win) and some crunchy bits to keep things interesting.


Since there are already four venues going strong up the Coast, you know Raw + Rice are on top of what’s good in the poké bowl department but we suggest getting down there to taste test them for yourself.

Get down there ASAP so when balmy, all-day beach weather rolls around you’ll know exactly what you want, you can run in barefoot off the beach, grab your goods and barely miss a minute of the sandy action.

Good times all round.

Love you Raw + Rice poké bowls.

LOCATION: 2/110 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
HOURS: 11am until 7pm daily

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Earth Pantry

It is a known fact that the Gold Coast is home to many a person who doesn’t even puff when they run on the beach for more than one minute. Fit, glowing-from-the-inside types who have energy all day long and don’t need to eat chocolate at 3pm every single day just to stay alive.

If you are one of those people, props to you (help us) and if not, we’ve got a little newbie to chat about that’ll help get you there.

It’s Earth Pantry in Coolangatta, a new little café that opened a couple of weeks ago bringing healthy breaky and lunch eats (that are also very tasty) to the Gold Coast.

You may have heard of the Earth Pantry crew if you’ve ventured down Kingscliff way, they opened their first venture there a few years ago and as you’d imagine, it was met with rave reviews from healthy food-loving locals.

The Cooly newbie, underneath Reflections Towers on Marine Pde, offers the same extensive menu packed with very-good-for-you smoothies and bliss bowls plus tons of breaky and lunch favourites with a healthy twist and takeaway goodies too.

Let’s dive into the menu.

For breakfast don’t go past the Herby Pumpkin Bread (home baked) served with crushed avo, hommus and black sesame seeds. The Spiced Carrot and Chickpea Fritters are also the goods with a poached egg, chorizo, labneh, hommus and rocket on top.

For lunch, we’re quite partial to a Sushi Bowl with seared miso salmon, Asian greens and pickled ginger and soy mayo served on brown rice and quinoa AND the Grilled Karaage Chicken Burger with Wombok salad. Nourishing and delicious, both of them.

There are 15 smoothie and acai bowls to choose from and all of them are perfectly Insta-worthy. If we had to choose, we’d opt for the Flamingo with pink pitaya, mango, pineapple and coconut water topped with caramelized buckini, strawberries, raspberries, passionfruit, shredded coconut and chia seeds.

Wash all that down with a Dirty Chai – which we find quite hard to get around these parts – and you’ve got yourself a delicious and nutritious feast that’ll both fill your belly and make you feel like a million bucks.

It’s the perfect way to recharge after a big day of surfing and/or sunbaking across the road and the perfect addition to the Cooly eats lineup.

Healthy here we come.

LOCATION: 8/110 Marine Pde, Coolangatta
HOURS: 6am until 4pm daily

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Francie’s Pizzeria

Pizza and puns are, without a doubt, two of the best things ever created. Oh and also wine and GUESS WHAT, you can get all of those things at Cooly’s new kid on the block.

In a move that quite frankly has skyrocketed Coolangatta into coolest suburb on the Coast status, Francie’s Pizzeria is bringing over 15 pizza flavours, their own range of wine and a whole lot of soul to the south and we are stoked (and also very full).

The intimate space has all your favourite things, a glossy white brick feature wall, a neon sign, perfectly placed greenery and vintage-style photographs depicting some of the coolest characters in entertainment history. You might even catch a glimpse of owners Claudia and Tony’s model-esque parents and grandparents.

The pair have dubbed their style of eats Neo-nepolitana which we’re pretty sure translates to super delicious and also aesthetically pleasing. All attempts at humour aside, the pair have done their research (tough gig). Prior to opening Tony travelled from New York to Philadelphia to gather ideas and inspiration including paying a visit to Pizzeria Blanco, who are apparently the cult leaders of the pizza world. Hence, the venue being a north American style of pizzeria.

On his travels Tony learnt that the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating big, bold flavours and thus friends, that’s exactly what he did.

Here’s your favourite part: the names of the pizzas are puns and what could be better in the world honestly.

The Pears Brosnan is made with pear, Gorgonzola, speck, thyme and fior de latte. The Fennel Countdown is house made fennel sausage, red onions, parmigano reggiano, tomato and a garlic crumb. The Kale Me Maybe is Tuscan kale, roasted chilli, buttered mushroom, garlic and aged cheddar. Too good.

Get this, there’s also an entirely vegan menu with seven pies, plus entrees and seriously, be still my heart.

Claudia and Tony make their own sourdough, lemonade, sweet tea and hummus (you’ll want to bath in it) and they’ve created something completely unique and perfectly befitting of Cooly’s super chill vibes.

Get it gang.

LOCATION: 102 Griffith St, Coolangatta
HOURS: Wednesday to Monday 11am until 2pm and 5pm to 9.30pm

Words and photos by Kirra Smith.

Eddie’s Grub House

uxtaposed against the sparkling Coolangatta sea is the dark and grungy good-time den that is Eddie’s Grub House.

It’s a New Orleans-style dive bar and rock n roll personified with a dartboard in the corner and chalkboard pillars sporting cheeky messages and tiny works of art. Framed photos of Elvis and the like adorn the back wall while another is stacked high with a collection of spirits the King himself would be proud of.

Put simply Eddie’s Grub House is all the good things you won’t find anywhere else on the Gold Coast and if that’s not enough to persuade you, their new menu definitely will.

Eddie’s war cry reads Whiskey, beer and fried chicken. All Marinated in Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll” and while this is true, burgers and hot dogs are the stars of the latest show.

The Menage Abbatoir consists of an all beef patty, two southern fried chicken tenders, bacon, cheese, an onion ring filled with red cheddar, Coopers Ale BBQ sauce and special sauce – it’s a doozey, good luck. Not quite that brave? The Philly Cheeseburger also packs an all beef patty simply plus cheese, sautéed mushrooms, onions and peppers. The Sloppy Joe Cocker is a beef party, chilli con carne, sour cream and shallots. Prepare to get saucy.

Onto to the hot dogs. They’re all made with Eddie’s signature jalapeno, course ground dogs rammed into a milk bun and served with fries of course. The O.G is literally that – a timeless hot dog classic filled with ketchup, mustard and red cheddar cheese. The Philly Cheese Dog boasts matching ingredients to the burger of the same name but dog-style.

If all that’s not enough to render you useless for the rest of the day add on some Texas Chilli Cheese Fries – they’re coated with Eddie’s fire dust, bacon and scallions and smothered in hot cheese sauce.

Forgive us for we have sinned.

HOURS: Tuesday to Thursday 12pm to 10.30pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm to 12am and Sunday 12pm to 10pm.

LOCATION: 171 Griffith Street, Coolangatta.

Words and photos by Kirra Smith.

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