Eat, drink, beach, repeat
Eat, drink, beach, repeat
Uninterrupted beach views, a revitalised restaurant and a brand new menu available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sandbar Surfers Paradise has received it’s first facelift in over 20 years and is set to put Surfers back on the map. Offering a fresh, classy venue where patrons can wine, dine and enjoy a never ending summer.
A family owned business, Jake Short has taken the plunge in revitalising the old surf club. Inspired by the surroundings from his part-time home, Indonesia and travels around the world, the new Sandbar radiates the vibe of a Bali beach bar with the perfect touch of the French Riviera. Furniture has been custom designed and shipped across from Indonesia in beachy woods, blues and whites. From the ceiling hangs an array of nautical pieces, white painted steel drums, glass buoys even golden sunflowers, all helping to create that relaxed beach life vibe. The atmosphere is serenaded by the sweet tunes, similar to that of Potato Head Beach Club in Bali, playlists have been customised to change every 2 – 3 hours ensuring that the perfect sounds are played at exactly the right time.
Jake, alongside food genius and head chef Maxie Hill, has spent countless hours perfecting the impressive menu, ensuring that Gold Coast’s fresh seafood and local produce is put to good use. Maxie was head chef of Rick Stein’s South Coast restaurant and also owns three successful cafes in Bali. The expertise of Chef Maxie can’t go unnoticed in the three menus, food so good that you’ll want to order one of everything.. “sharing is caring” after all! Choose from divine smoothie bowls, shakes and pulled pork bennies at breakfast. Poke bowls and burgers for lunch, this menu has been kept short and sweet with an excess of quality.
Poke bowls? Well move over Acai bowls. Poke bowls are Hawaiian goodness, fresh, tasty and healthy. Choose from marinated snapper, tuna or kingfish sashimi served on a bed of quinoa with an edamame and avocado salad! The burgers are of the different kind, the Shi-Boo-Ya burger, tempura battered soft shell crab served with fresh mango and wasabi mayo on a custom made Pastry Emporium bun, made exclusively for Sandbar!
Dinner offers a share style menu and an array of fresh seafood; think scallops, Moreton Bay bugs, octopus and mussels.
A knock your socks off cocktail menu and Queensland’s largest selection of craft beers (over 120 of them in fact), there won’t be a dry mouth in the room. For the mocktailers, there are cold pressed juices and cold drip coffee are also made in house!
Finally the Gold Coast has been treated to the beachfront dining that it deserves, where sand between your toes is welcomed, smiles are contagious and good times guaranteed to be had. Pop down and see how this Surfers Paradise local has become new again!
Open 7 days a week
Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
52 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
By Amy Merridan
Ah, Surfers Paradise. The jewel in the crown that is our fair city. The place visitors first picture in their minds and have done for the last several decades. While it is the most tourist-dense part of our Coast, what is it local’s love about it? Here we fill you in on the six best reasons locals love Surfers Paradise.
Belt out karaoke at Tune Up
The definition of karaoke, Tune Up is THE place to test out your vocal cords after you’ve had a few cocktails at bar instution The Avenue or a few schooners of ale from House of Brews. It’s an intimate environment that feels much like a house party where you can choose to mingle with everyone in the main bar or take up residence in your own little private room and sing your heart out. Count us in!
Where: Level 1, 23 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise (above Gold Coast Real Estate)
Have a Guinness at the D’Arcy Arms
Wet your whistle with a pint of Guinness at D’Arcy Arms where the historic first Guinness keg was brewed in Queensland (and arguably Australia), tapped onsite in 1988. This locals’ Irish pub fave offers a welcome change of pace if you want to take things slow, keep warm by the fireplace or if last night happened to get the better of you. There’s always great home-style food to be had, live music and a few friendly faces with some good craic.
Where: 2923 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise
Have a luxe afternoon at Surfers Pavilion
Aptly positioned with ceaseless waterfront views and boasting a substantial mooring site of 400sq metres, means if locals would like to arrive GC-style by boat or jet ski — so be it! Setting and glam aside though, the new arrival is perfect for enjoying our fantastic year-round weather with an outside frosé bar, and for those with a discerning palette, a dedicated oyster and Champagne station keeps the crowd more than occupied.
Where: 30-34 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Hit 9 pins at Strike Bowling
Prepare to lose a few hours when you step into this space which is a literal smorgasbord of entertaining activities and feast for the senses. The highlight is the 10-lane glow in the dark bowling alley where competitive urges can be settled with groups big and small. But, it doesn’t stop there either. If you fancy further fun, then a 15-person karaoke room, cocktail bar, two escape rooms, and pool tables should do it.
Where: Circle on Cavill, Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
Sip cocktails on The Island Rooftop Bar
Rooftop bars are one of the greatest things that ever happened to the Gold Coast. Period. Now, take this sentiment and couple it with this — the Gold Coast’s largest open-air rooftop bar — and voila, you have one of the best places to drink delectable cocktails, watch live music, and live your best life at the stream of ever-changing events (drag queen brunch anyone?). You are promised great times and vibes when you head to The Island.
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
Grab breaky at Cuppa on 41
If you find yourself in Surfers Paradise before the afternoon, then you need to head to Cuppa on 41 to energise yourself for the day — as well as for all the other inclusions on this list! The café is an excellent concept that allows local underprivileged youth to become experienced in hospitality, and coincidentally isn’t so hard on your pocket either! Our pick is the Bauernomelett, a German-style omelette straight out of heaven. You’ll leave with a satisfied belly and knowing you have contributed to a change in a Gold Coasters future.
Where: 41 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Indulge at Alfrescos Italian Restaurant
Creating picture-perfect pasta and pizza for the last 25 years, you might say what Alfrescos doesn’t know about Italian food and ambience isn’t worth knowing — and you’d be right! This charming family-owned and run restaurant has stood the test of time with locals and continually returning for great Italian classics and drinks to match. If you haven’t been in a little while, be sure to change that, the venue underwent a slight facelift late last year and is looking as enchanting as ever.
Where: 3/3018 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
Boogie on down at Retro’s
When it comes to having a boogie along to cheeky tunes of yesteryear, you no longer have to hide in your bathroom in your towel to do so. All the locals know that Retro’s is the ultimate answer to having a fun night out and dancing the night away to the music you grew up with. With themed nights and drinks specials coming at you from all angles, you are destined to have a good time no matter what day of the week it is at this hotbed of a disco.
Where: 3 — 15 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Take in the view at Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club
After a swish refurbishment, this 100-year-old surf club is the faultless place to go for an ice-cold beer for a spot of people watching, seamless views across the Pacific Ocean and to chat to a local. The family-friendly atmosphere is full of locals after their early morning beach walk tucking into a big brekky (but they’re also open for lunch and dinner too!) — a great option straight off the sand and when you feel the need to escape the crowds with some uber-friendly Queensland hospitality.
where: Corner of Hanlan Street & The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
Surfers Paradise is the heart of the Gold Coast, loved by locals and a stark reminder of a youth well spent for locals.
If you’re short on time but still keen to experience the magic of this tourist hub, never fear; here’s a guide to spending 24 action packed hours in Surfers Paradise.
Early morning: Rise with the sun for a walk along one of Australia’s most famous beaches. It’s the quietest time of day in Surfers but the active wear will be out in full force. A magnificent sunrise will ignite you for the day ahead.
Breakfast: Sandbar on the Esplanade has long been a visitor’s favourite and with a recent renovation, it’s now a favourite with the locals too. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy your first coffee of the day, a smoothie bowl or an omelette with a side of lamb sausage (Aussie, Aussie, Aussie) while overlooking the beach.
Where: 52 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise (on the corner of Elkhorn Avenue)
Mid-morning: After letting your breakfast settle, relax with a Surfers Paradise River Cruise. The cruise travels through the waterways at a leisurely pace while the Captain points out interesting sights and celebrity homes along the way. Morning tea is served and can be enjoyed on the sunlit deck overlooking the skyline.
Where: 63 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise (next to the Tiki statue)
Lunch: You’ll be famished after a morning on the water so head down to Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co. for a mouth-watering burger and their famous concrete desserts. You’ll be hard pressed to stop eating but don’t forget you’ve got an afternoon of activities ahead!
Where: Chevron Renaissance12-14/3240 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise
Early afternoon: Surfers Paradise has a huge variety of shops to wander through from high end to highly touristy. You could easily lose hours (and dollars) in Cavill Mall alone.
If you’re keen for more activities there’s also Timezone, Infinity – a mind-blowing maze adventure, the Wax Museum – where you’ll come face to face with Johnny Depp, Kylie Minogue and the Dalai Lama and Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium – offering 16 themed galleries filled with unbelievable artefacts and interactive exhibits. Perhaps a spot of mini golf at King Tutt’s Putt Putt.
Late afternoon: Get a birds eye view of the Gold Coast from 240 metres in the air at SkyPoint Observation Deck. Relax and enjoy afternoon tea (or a sneaky cocktail) while marveling at 360 degree views of the Coast from the ocean to the hinterland. Hot tip: Head up just before sunset to see the dazzling lights of Surfers come on.
Where: Q1, 9 Hamilton Ave, Surfers Paradise
Dinner: After a long day of activities, you’ll appreciate a relaxed dinner. Take a stroll across the bridge to the little village community of Chevron Island. Treat yourself to a takeaway pizza from Arlo’s Pizzeria and perch yourself in the park overlooking the Broadwater.
Where: Shop 2, 46-50 Thomas Drive, Chevron Island
After dinner: For a sweet treat don’t miss grabbing a gelato from local favourite Yum Gelato before you hit the hay or, if you’re a night owl and you’ve come to see the Surfers Paradise spectacle that is Orchid Avenue, dance the night away in one of the many bars located in and around Surfers Paradise.
Start at the local’s favourite Melba’s for drink in this open air bar before wandering up to the newly renovated The Avenue for a stint of live music. As every good bar crawl progresses, you can’t miss the Gold Coast’s super club Shooters. Have a bit of a jive at locally-loved bar Elsewhere (with a colour changing disco dance floor), before settling in at late night venue The Bedroom before calling it a night (or an early morning if you gave it a good go).
Don’t forget your kebab on the way home, hold the onion.
So there you have it, one of many ways to spend 24 hours in Surfers Paradise. Keep an eye out for more plus Inside Gold Coast’s ongoing suburb spotlights.
Words by Kirra Smith.
The Gold Coast restaurant scene has been quick to catch up to the increasing number of people jumping on board the vegetable train. Thankfully these days, we need not venture far to find our plant-based fix, with a plethora of veg-vibing establishments all vying for our affections.
As the masters of mind-blowingly good meat-free eats, these veritable veggie experts are in a legendary legume of their own.
While we may be guilty of throwing the word ‘institution’ around a little liberally at times, Cardamom Pod (and it’s crew of certifiable whole-food wizards) is a name known the coast over as a haven for plant-based folk and those craving nourishing nosh.
While we sadly bid adieu to the original Broadbeach location (and then a fond ‘hola’ to Nude Amigos in the same spot – coincidentally also offering a considered assortment of vibrant vego options) – thankfully the name lives on through the second Pod residing at Brickworks Ferry Road. Get your fill of creative and colourful all-day eats such as the Buddah Bowl, Blinged Out Avo Benny, and if we really must choose – the French Toast *never* fails. There’s a reason this place has been around for years, go discover it for yourself.
Where: 3/3 Brolga Avenue, Southport
The delightful folk at Blendlove believe nothing is worth eating, if it hasn’t been created with love and let it be known that everything they create there, is worth eating. Co-founders Riki-Lee and Sharlene pride themselves on serving the tastiest, freshest and healthiest plant-based food on the Gold Coast. They whip up their treats in-house without the use of refined sugars, artificial colours or preservatives. Plus, keeping us plied with our daily Blackboard coffee fix earns them a bunch of extra brownie points in our books (guilt-free, sugar-free ones, of course).
Where: 253 Ferry Road, Southport
Mermaid’s middle-eastern eatery, Falafels, has since expanded from its initial exclusively meat-free menu, but its primarily plant-based roots remain (as do the legendary falafels we know and love, praise be chickpea).
This small but mighty neighbourhood noshery specialises in fresh and flavour-packed portable bites with a mediterranean focus – all plied with secret-recipe sauces, dips and house pickled veg. The famous hand-crafted falafels have a rep as the best you can get your mitts (and mouth) around on the Coast. Available any which way you like – Plate, Pocket or Salad – aka stuffed in a pillow of pita, or perhaps piled atop a throne of veg, tahini and hummus (or not, for the #hummushaters… we’re told they’re out there… #blasphemy).
A trip to Falafels will give you allll the feel-good feels (namely satisfaction).
Where: Shop 2c/1 Lakeview Blvd, Mermaid Waters
Temple of Spices
Ahhh, vego curry, how we love thee. A wholesome, hearty, hug in a bowl – and for many of us, the gateway dish to discovering that meat-free can be mind-blowingly good, yes? Mermaid’s resident spice slingers, Temple of Spices has quite the rep for treating local diners to incredible Indian eats – including a dedicated menu of main-character vibing veg/vegan dishes to tempt anyone and tantalise every tum. Quell those cravings and chow down on chutneys, coconut rice and your choice of protein swimming in creamy, spice-laden curry – your tastebuds will be happy as Lassi. And for anyone considering skipping the Vego butter? That gets a big yeah, naan from us.
Looking to bolster your meat-free meal with an all-out feast? Spice up your night and split one of the plant-based banquet packs with your Dahl-ing (thank us later).
Where: 2468 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Tian Ran Vegetarian
Meaning nature in English, Tian Ran provides the purest of vegetarian and vegan Asian cuisine. Their meals are free from meat, dairy, alcohol, garlic, onions and MSG and they also offer a gluten-free menu. The team are passionate about providing quality food and make their meat substitutes with soy, wheat, yam, seaweed and mushrooms. Serving wholesome helpings of healthful eats made with love, that in no way compromise on flavour or satisfaction – and impressively so, considering the restricted ingredient repertoire. Don’t believe us? Just check their reviews #amustvisit.
Where: 2468 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
The Milkman’s Daughter
The funkiest little vegetarian joint around is Mermaid’s The Milkman’s Daughter, tucked away on Alfred St and serving up some of the very best (and most stacked vego food). The interior is as cool as they come filled with cascading greenery and terrariums built into tables, you’ll be Insta-snapping up a storm. The entirely vegetarian menu is made up of both all day breakfast and lunch options and my word, will you be hard up to make a choice.
The Farmers Breakfast is a perennial fave among frequents – but you ‘batter’ believe the loaded Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, piled with vanilla turmeric custard, granola, walnuts, passionfruit, berries, pistachios, lemon zest has to be one of the most bonkers brunches going (in the best of ways).
Where: 2/43 Alfred Street, Mermaid Beach
To the uninitiated, the Dalas Kitchen specialty of salads, sodas and sweets seems to strike the balance of naughty and nice eats – but as it turns out, its just nice.. and nicer – with the latter comprising of sparkling water topped homemade soda syrups and raw sweets.. so get amongst it guilt-free, y’all.
One of adulthoods greatest tastebud revelations remains that salad can be both nourishing and oh-so-satisfying (for those of us who grew up knowing ‘salad’ as sad iceberg and token tomato slices slapped on your plate, anyway). Dalas Kitchen is of course, serving up the former – Nobby’s wholesome eats dispensary delivers our daily veg-vibing, summery side-dish and salad fix, all 100% ready to tuck right in. Because sometimes we need a star salad without that whole cleaning-every-pot-and-pan-we’ve-ever-owned song and dance, right? #exhausting. So go on, grab some of that goodness to-go and get in that daily 2&5 in the most soul satisfying of ways.
Where: 2247 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach and Pavilions, Fifth Avenue, Palm Beach
A crew that’s especially keen on their greens, delivering crafted plates of plant focused, whole food eats that are also downright delicious. Their foodie philosophy of ‘sometimes naughty, mostly nice’ – is an approach we can wholeheartedly support, especially since they also happen to serve a killer marg #ourkryptonite (and also something we get around with gusto).
In their ever-tasty eight year tenure, they’ve amassed an army of loyal local fans (both vegans and meat eaters alike) that would follow them *almost* anywhere for their flavour-filled fare. Which is lucky, since they recently relocated little further south, making the move from Miami to Talle… and yeah, we can manage that – anything for our Cauliflower Wings (and coconut marg, lbh) fix.
Where: 268 Tallebudgera Creek Road, Tallebudgera
It’s a vegetarian institution on the Coast and if you haven’t been there, you haven’t lived. With everything from Creamy potato bake, saucy layers of veg-laden Lasagne to an array of salads and desserts, there’s always something tasty to try and a line up of people waiting to get in on the goodness. Eat in or takeaway and definitely don’t forget to indulge in the lemon, mint and ginger refresher, it’ll make your day.
Where: 20 James Street, Burleigh Heads and 72 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Psst – specifically seeking eateries sans animal products entirely? Check out our lineup of the best vegan GC restaurants here.
Words by Kellie Leader.