The pretty little beachside suburb of Kirra is the perfect place to spend a balmy summer, soaking up the sunshine and refueling with tasty food and ice-cold tipples.
Which is why we’re thrilled to bring you news of a brand new eatery open as of right now, St Helen’s, and their tasty food and ice-cold tipples, you guessed, right opposite the ocean in Kirra.
The casual, welcoming space, named after the active volcano Mt St Helens (located near Seattle, Washington) is relaxed and unassuming, the type of place you can drop in to with sandy feet and a solid sunburn and kick back for an afternoon refreshment or two.
St Helens is the work of husband and wife duo Brendan and Jess Hayes who moved from down south to bring their beachside restaurant dreams to life. Chef Jess hails from Seattle and brings plenty of those flavour influences to a menu filled with fresh, feel good foods you’re going to absolutely adore.
The space itself is simple, deep ocean greens paired with dark timber, pendant lights and a neon sign or two make up a venue that’s right at home in the heart of Kirra. A black and white painting of Mt St Helens herself completes the picture.
But back to the menu. Jess has created dishes that are simple and unfussy but filled with unexpected flavours and using as much local produce as possible.
We were particularly partial to the Kirra Fried Cauliflower with ranch and Frank’s hot sauce and the Baby Cos with Parmesan and pickled celery in the small plates section.
Large plates-wise we highly recommend the Mighty Clarence River Free Range Pork Shoulder which is a buttermilk braised shoulder with polenta and peach chutney and the Rainbow Trout – sugar cured and grilled with potatoes, cherries and horseradish cream.
For dessert, don’t go past the Peanut Butter Crème Brulee with a crunchy chocolate cookie on top – it could be the best we’ve ever had.
Drinks-wise the fridge is filled with cans of beer, a sweet selection of wines and all your favourite spirits.
It’s the sweet little venue Kirra never knew it needed and we’re all going to get along just fine thank you very much.
LOCATION: Shop 2, 78 Musgrave St, Kirra
HOURS: Tuesday to Saturday 4pm to 10pm
Words by Kirra Smith
Best known for a pumping, world-renowned surf break and ever-present chill vibes, Kirra is the unassuming seaside village within our swiftly expanding city.
Nestled between Bilinga and Coolangatta, Kirra may be small but she is also mighty. Just ask the locals.
Warning: the word Kirra may be slightly overused within this article.
Here’s a list.
St Helens Bar + Kitchen
The newest of the bunch is St Helens, a laidback eatery from which you can feel the ocean breeze on your face while enjoying fresh, seasonal eats made from local ingredients. The family owned business has quickly become a firm favourite due to their welcoming, good vibes, quality and affordable menu and of course, the perfect location. Head in there for a delicious feast.
Where: Shop 2, 78 Musgrave St, Kirra
Famous for an overflowing dessert cabinet including, you guessed it, tasty tiramisu, this little gem has become an institution in the beachside suburb. Not only loved for their clever name, Kirramisu serve up a bangin’ breakfast and lunch menu, fresh juices and smoothies and all with a side of sparkling ocean views. It’s the little place with the big soul.
Where: 2/28 Musgrave St, Kirra
Speaking of institutions, Kirra Surf is a must-visit when cruising into the footwear-optional suburb. Their range of surfing products and apparel is unrivalled, the staff are super friendly and there’s always at least two things you’ll want to take home with you. Pop in for a visit and marvel at the larger-than-life posters of your fave good-looking surfer boys.
Where: 8 Creek St, Kirra
Baskk at Kirra Point
Right on the cusp of the Coolangatta and Kirra border is baskk at Kirra Point. Also a bit of a newbie, baskk is bringing cruisy, lounge bar vibes to the already rather chill suburb. Serving a range of tasty tapas and some absolutely stunning cocktails (there’s flowers in the ice cubes guys), it’s the place to be for long lunches that turn into decadent dinners.
Where: Shop 2, Beach House Plaza, 52-58 Marine Pde, Coolangatta
Bread and Butter
The Kirra institution recently got a spectacular makeover to match it’s spectacular menu and the people of Kirra (and the rest of the Gold Coast) were very happy about it. They’re serving up pizza, pasta and gnocchi of the tastiest varieties including all you can eat for $30 on Thursday nights. Plus you’ll get those delightful salty ocean breezes from right across the road. Best.
Where: 76 Musgrave St, Kirra
A very recent addition to little old Kirra is Kirra Hub, a social eatery all about good food, good drinks and chill place to spend time with your people. The concept venue, in the Kirra Surf Apartments building, offers three types of cuisine under the one roof. Think pizzas, burgers and authentic German dishes. There’s so much deliciousness to choose from.
Where: 2 Creek St, Kirra
Kirra Beach Bakery
A visit to Kirra isn’t complete without hitting up the local bakery. Whether you’re in need of a post-surf Sweet Chilli Chicken Pie or a pre-dinner Vanilla Slice (don’t judge), Kirra Beach Bakery is the place to go. Get down there early in the morning for fresh-out-of-the-oven bread and enjoy a slice or two with the local seagulls while watching the sunrise.
Where: 1/100 Musgrave St, Kirra
Who doesn’t love homewares. Cotton Living, located opposite the beach, is one of the best, showcasing stunning handmade furniture and accessories. Everything in the store is Insta-worthy with a focus on natural colours and textures and the deepest of ocean blue hues. It’s a luxurious space inspired by the beauty of the Coast and you’re sure to find something to take back to your own abode.
Where: Shop 5, 34 Musgrave Street, Kirra
The poke bowl phenomenon has taken the Gold Coast by storm and why wouldn’t it. Originating in Hawaii, poke bowls are made up of protein and salad combinations artfully arranged in bowls and perfect for both consuming and Instagram snaps. Two of our favourite things. Of the signature bowls, we’re all about the Karaage Chicken with edamame, carrot, corn, sweet chilli mayo and lotus root chips. Summer is just around the corner folks, time to get healthy.
Where: 18/48 Musgrave St, Kirra
Since surfing is king in Kirra, it’s no surprise that a tiny little converted surf shack has become a favourite for local hangs. Previously the shaping digs of Dorrington Surfboards, the classic little brick building is a family owned affair stocking all the best surf-friendly goods from boards and accessories to clothing. Head down and stay awhile, HSD is oozing with good vibes.
Where: Nirvana by the Sea, Shop 2, Cnr Musgrave and Douglas Streets, Kirra
Kirra Surf Life Saving Club
Located right on the beach, this old boy has been around longer than you (est. 1916) and is a firm favourite amongst all Gold Coasters. It’s the perfect spot for an afternoon cold one overlooking the ocean or an affordable dinner with the crew. Sit yourself on the deck and let that balmy sea breeze float your worries away.
Where: 15 Marine Pde, Kirra
Kirra Hill Lookout
Where better to feast your eyes on the beautiful beach that Kirra is famous for the world over. Trek to the top of the headland (maybe after you’ve had that pie) and prepare to be wowed by views from Main Beach to Snapper Rocks. Pack a picnic or fire up the barbie and thank your lucky stars you get to live in the best place on Earth.
Where: It’s on the big hill, you won’t miss it
Gold Coast Skydive
Jumping out of a plane is all kinds of a fun time, and jumping out of a plane and landing on Kirra beach, even better. The food folks at Gold Coast Skydive are based in Kirra and once you’re out of that plane hurtling toward the sand, Kirra is exactly where you’ll land. After that adrenaline rush you might want to calm yourself with a beer or two. Luckily, the surf club is right there to assist.
Where: 1/78 Musgrave St, Kirra
Kirra Beach Pavilion
While driving around the headland, you may have noticed the cute little shelter overlooking the ocean. It’s not only a great place to hide from the scorching sun, it’s also got some time on its back, over a century to be precise. Early photos of Kirra beach show the shelter in place by around 1916. The Kirra Shelter Shed makes for a great viewing platform and is the perfect spot to watch whales play out in the ocean.
Words by Kirra (sadly-not-named-after-the-suburb) Smith
Ocean image by Andrew Shield