The Gold Coast has come a long way in the past year and now boasts some of the best eating to be had in South-East Queensland, from incredible Greek food to the hippest cafés around. Here’s our top picks.
Run by four very cool young guys originally from the Sunshine Coast, Black Coffee Lyrics is the place to be seen on the coast. So hip it hurts, the café turns from its daytime trade to an awesome bar with themed nights throughout the week (don’t miss the Mexican bingo nights).
The breakfasts are famous (the eggs smothered in basil cream is the stuff of dreams) and the coffee is ground exclusively for the café. With board games, books and great music playing it’s a place to linger. In fact, it’s so hot the venue was named in the Top 5 People’s Choice in The Australian’s Top 50 Hottest Restaurants, up there with Vue de Monde and Flying Fish. Not bad!
Lamb shoulder. That’s all you need to know to add Hellenika to your list of must-tries. This Greek restaurant in Nobby’s Beach not only has some of the best atmosphere and décor along the coast, it also has the juiciest, falling-off-the bone lamb shoulder to be eaten. Ever.
Hellenika is on the side of one of the busiest highways in Australia, however the unlikely setting makes the cosy and welcoming atmosphere inside even more surprising. Owned by a Greek and with an Irish head chef, the food is traditional but with a modern take. It’s also one of the best spots for a long Sunday lunch, just be prepared to leave full!
Buffets are never an acceptable eating venue unless you’re on a cruise. However Bazaar at QT Gold Coast has finally made the buffet cool again. And my God it’s such a good concept. Something for everyone, and lots of it.
This very cool buffet has a seafood station to rival any good fish & chippery, an Asian chef who steams up dumplings to order, someone pulling chunks of meat off a pig on the spit, a BBQ guy who grills steaks to order, a pasta station, pizza, charcuterie, salads, the list goes on and on.
One of the hardest things about a buffet is discipline and small portions. But save room for dessert – the dessert chef is like Willy Wonka with his love of popping rocks and fizzing candies.
Salt was opened by celebrity chef Luke Mangan and it’s hard to miss him. His name is on everything – and not just in the sense that it carries his usual level of brilliant food and high level of service. We mean literally; the glasses, the napkins, the crockery. You half expect his name to appear on your toilet paper squares.
Branding aside, this is one of the best places to get a steak on the coast. Situated within the brand new Hilton Surfers Paradise, Salt is fast becoming so popular it’s hard to get a table without a reservation. And it’s all about the grill. Steaks melt in your mouth and come with some of the best side dishes around, there’s a selection of great seafood and some of Luke’s signature dishes also make an appearance on the menu.
Nestled down a lane in the surfing mecca of Burleigh Heads, Justin Lane suits the cool vibe of this area to a T. The bohemian set congregates here in big numbers on a Friday and Saturday night (expect to queue) for some of the best pizzas around.
There’s a bar to wait in and a cocktail list that keeps you going back for more. Don’t expect to linger though as this place is so popular a bill will be on your table by the time you finish your last slice. And, if you need more incentive to visit, all of the waiters are really, really ridiculously good looking.