The best food trails around Cairns and Port Douglas

It’s easy to get distracted when visiting Tropical North Queensland. From exploring the depths of the Great Barrier Reef to setting off on an expedition through the world’s oldest rainforest, there is plenty to keep you busy.

Step foot in Cairns to find a seemingly endless list of adventure awaiting you with tropical islands only a stone’s throw away and sightsee bucket list of marine animals to be ticked off.

Arrive in Port Douglas and be immediately relaxed with resort vibes and a plan of snorkelling the crystal clear waters of the Low Isles and walking the Dreamtime tracks at Mossman Gorge.

But all that adventure can leave you with an empty stomach. Luckily, this diverse region is literally a crock-pot of trails for foodies, full of astoundingly good restaurants, fresh-from-the-farm produce and days of mooching between normal holiday adventures.

So kick back and let your tastebuds take you on a journey around the region.

The best of the best


Whether it’s a special occasion that you’ve finally broke the piggy bank for or you simply want to #treatyourself, these scrumptious servings will be sure to satisfy.

From the tastiest steak around to chef’s hat awarded Thai, you’ll be salivating at the first glance of this list of the 10 best restaurants and cafes in Cairns.

When you’re short on time

Blackbird Espresso Cairns

You’ve obviously made a mistake on your itinerary by choosing a short stay in Tropical North Queensland. But don’t worry, we’ll have the ice-cream on hand when you arrive to soften the blow of leaving so soon.

If only visiting briefly, stick to our 24 Hours of Eating in Cairns itinerary to sample local produce straight from the markets, daily roast coffee and locally made ice-cream.

For the Caffeine lovers

Cairns Coffee

Did someone say coffee? If you can’t function without your morning brew, then follow the cosy scents of the glorious beans on this trail to the best coffee stops in Cairns.

Whether you like to enjoy your morning jolt by kicking back with a view or amongst the chatter in a crammed hipster café, these coffee experts are the best in town.

When you are ready for a feast

QT Port Douglas

Port Douglas has never been a secret for serious foodies so we’ve dosed up the days and come up with 3 days of feasting in Port Douglas covering everything from rainforest to beachside and inlet dining.

Kick off your appetite at QT Port Douglas’s onsite restaurant Bazaar before traipsing off into the natural wonders of Mossman Gorge where you can munch down on calamari salad while listening to the soothing sounds of the water trickling through the rocky cascades.

For an escape to the countryside

Atherton Tablelands

Swap the fringing reefs for the farms in Atherton Tablelands, just a 45 minute drive inland from Cairns, where to paddock to plate is a way of life and the sweet tropical scents mean fresh produce nearby.

Check out our 48 hours of grazing on the Atherton Tablelands itinerary to see dairy cows, cheery little chickens, coffee plantations and lakeside cafes that offer scones with lashings of double clotted local cream.