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Surfers Sand Bar

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

9 reasons locals love Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise Beach - Photo by Will O (Image from Unsplash)
Surfers Paradise Beach - Photo by Will O (Image from Unsplash)

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

Surfers Pavilion (image supplied)
Surfers Pavilion (image supplied)

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

The Island Rooftop (image supplied)
The Island Rooftop (image supplied)

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

Retro's Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
Retro's Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

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 Life Saving Club (image supplied)
Surfers Paradise Life Saving Club (image supplied)

A first timers guide to 24 hours in Surfers Paradise

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.

King Tutts Putt Putt (image supplied)
King Tutts Putt Putt (image supplied)

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.

11 epic vegetarian restaurants on the Gold Coast

Plant Based Cafe

The Gold Coast restaurant scene has been quick to catch up to the increasing number of people jumping on board the vegetable train.

While everyone is dishing up tasty meatless treats these days, there are plenty of veggie only venues the locals are loving. Here are 11 of the best from north to south.

Plant Based Cafe
The newest on the block, Plant Based Cafe is both aptly named AND slinging some absolutely incredible vego eats. The kitchen is headed up by former Masterchef contestant Christine Laker and she has nailed every single dish. Of course. The Zucchini and Corn Fritter Stack is next-level with a stack of low-fat, baked fritters served with tomato relish, smashed avocado and a lightly-dressed petite salad. So tasty and perfectly presented too. Try them all for yourself.
Where: 1/2 Grice Avenue, Paradise Point

Giri Kana Café
Southport’s famous vegetarian and vegan café is just as loved by meat eaters as it is by vegos. Their emphasis is on fresh and wholesome foods that are good for the body, mind and spirit – and to this end, their food is cooked with love and devotion. With salads, burgers, breakfast, juice and smoothie options you’ll be spoilt for choice at this welcoming little café. P.s they now do breakfast too.
Where: Ground Floor, H2O Broadwater, Corner Nind Street and Gold Coast Highway, 82 Marine Parade, Southport

Blendlove
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 Ricki-Lee and Sharlene pride themselves on serving the tastiest, freshest and healthiest plant-based food on the Gold Coast. Everything in their space is made fresh daily without the use of refined sugars, artificial colours or preservatives. One of the very best.
Where: 253 Ferry Road, Southport

Cardamom Pod
For many years it’s been a firm favourite amongst lovers of a delicious vegetarian dish. So much so that a second Pod opened at The Brickworks on Ferry Road. They offer creative, colourful eats and the most magical of mocktails. In a first for the Gold Coast, Cardamom Pod also offers a vegan high tea made up of a selection of their finest raw desserts. There’s a reason this place has been around for years, go discover it for yourself.
Where: Shop 1/2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach and Brickworks, Ferry Road, Southport

i like ramen

Easy House
It’s a little eatery tucked away in Mermaid Beach serving vegetarian yum cha on the daily. The locals love it and it’s easy to see why. They also offer regular meat-free meals like the yummiest of stir-fry’s. Don’t go past the dumplings, there are many kinds so save it for a day when you’re absolutely ravenous, trust us, you won’t want to stop.
Where: Markeri Street, Mermaid Waters

i like ramen
If there is a perfect food for keeping you warm and nourished in winter, it is ramen. Particularly ramen by the boys at i like ramen. Which is vegan honestly but that also means it’s vegetarian and you should eat some ASAP. We love the Spicy Kimchi Ramen with a side (or three) of Panko Mushrooms and probably also a beer to wash that down. Big fans of everything about this place.
Where: 2251 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach

Greenhouse Canteen
The holy grail of health food. With the motto ‘anything you can do, we can do vegan’ they’re onto something. In the short time they’ve been open they’ve amassed a huge following of both vegans and meat eaters who can’t go past the flavour-filled foods. All produce is sourced from trusted suppliers and farmers markets with the belief that food is medicine and it should nourish the mind, body and soul.
Where: 1916 Gold Coast Highway, Miami

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. The restaurant is run by authentic, loving people who strive to provide full of goodness and flavour. Make this one a must visit.
Where: Shop 8/ 2462 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

The Milkman's Daughter

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 terraniums 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 Housemade Lemon Pancakes are a real treat. Get excited for this one gang.
Where: 43 Alfred Street, Mermaid Beach

Doko Demo V
One of the most diverse eateries on the Gold Coast vegetarian scene is Doko Demo V in Miami. The menu is both breaky and lunch all day, as of just recently, dinner too and it’s filled with beautifully prepared dishes that are both healthy and of the eyes-are-bigger-than-your-belly variety. We’d go the  Mexican Chicken* Brown Rice Poke Bowl because it’s a fresh, tasty option with Spanish beans, smashed avocado, ‘chicken’ made from tofu protein and a corn and coriander salsa. Plus, Mexican always. They’ve got a little bit of everything and the produce is super fresh and super delicious. So good.
Where: 1908 Gold Coast Highway, Miami

Govindas
It’s a vegetarian institution on the Coast and if you haven’t been there, you haven’t lived. With options from potato bake and 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

Words by Kirra Smith.

Doko Demo V
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