13 Gold Coast restaurants with epic water views
Some restaurants and cafes rely on good looks, celebrity chefs or Heston Blumenthal-esque theatrics to pull in the crowds but on the Gold Coast, real estate trumps all.
The best restaurants here also come with a side serve of million-dollar views, especially when the sun’s shining and the surf is pumping.
Surprisingly, for a region with 57 kilometres of coastline, nailing down waterfront dining options as a newbie Gold Coast diner can be trickier than you’d think.
So we’ve done the groundwork to pull together these 13 Gold Coast restaurants with epic water views. Don’t forget your sunscreen.
Glass Dining at Marina Mirage, Main Beach
Does lunching across the road from one of the Gold Coast’s most underrated beaches, overlooking a bevvy of yachts belonging to the well-heeled and the saltiest of sea dog dreamers sound like your
cup of tea glass of Verve?
Glass Dining and Lounge Bar provides the marina-front stage for anytime cocktails, as well as a stunning breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Start with oysters dressed with wakame, apple cucumber and wasabi granita or test out the charcoal and Asahi beer battered morsels before sampling from the tapas menu.
The main event focusses on seafood with the likes of black mussels doused in blue cheese and parsley vying for your attention next to crispy skin barramundi and sous vide char-grilled baby chicken.
Vie Bar & Restaurant at Palazzo Versace, Main Beach
When your address is the Palazzo Versace and your view spans across the Gold Coast Broadwater, expectation levels are sure to be high.
Frock and suit up for sunset drinks and tapas, stay for dinner, or return the next day for a sunny lunch special that dishes up champagne tastes on a surprisingly beer (okay, maybe craft beer) budget.
We predict many a proposal has been made over the seafood platter for two, with everything from Coffin Bay oysters to crumbed bug tails and a macerated green paw paw and mango salad.
Helm Bar, Surfers Paradise
Eating out on the waterfront doesn’t need to equal fine dining (and remembering which fork to use when).
Helm Bar in Surfers Paradise melds pub-style feeds with a fun nautical interior and seriously gorgeous views over the Nerang River and Chevron Island.
It’s breezy, casual, and come the weekend, live tunes will turn your lunch or dinner into a damn-where-did-the-time-go (or wow-I-really-went-to-town-on-those-Coronas) affair.
Seascape, Surfers Paradise
New kid on the Soul block in Surfers Paradise, Seascape is two (soon to be three!) levels of expansive views and killer nosh.
The bistro on level one is all cocktails and casual bites (think kingfish saganaki and fish tacos), while upstairs, sleek decor and floor-to-ceiling windows will capture your attention and taste buds from the moment you step inside.
Fish is the star of the show here with six different catches of the day served with more-ish sides like potato galette, lemongrass lentils and heirloom carrots with honey.
If you’re not in the mood for making any decisions, hand the reins over to their ever-accomplished chefs for the five-course banquet, with or without matching wines.
Seaduction, Surfers Paradise
Awarded one Chefs Hat in the 2016 Australian Good Food Guide, Seaduction puts the faith back into the hotel restaurant.
Located within Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise, Seaduction offers a seasonal menu and degustation options from five courses to an all-out extravaganza sampling ‘earth’, ‘water’, ‘foliage’ and ‘vines’ (with their powers combined, they are
Captain Planet exquisite).
Start the salivation with beetroot and sugar cured ocean trout followed up by free-range Hunter Valley quail with burnt miso butterscotch, apple, pomegranate and walnut salad; and later, green tea house smoked duck breast and duck and shitake spring rolls with sour cherry gel, hoisin and orange marmalade. *Drool!*
Perhaps the most attractive of all options though is their lunch special, with two courses and a glass of wine for $45. The million-dollar views are complimentary.
BMD Northcliffe Surf Club, Surfers Paradise
In Australia, our Surf Life Savers do so much more than just keep our beaches safe and look good in yellow and red, their clubhouses are secret winners in the dining stakes, too.
With a pocket of Surfers Paradise’ prime beachfront real estate all stitched up, Northcliffe Surf Club is the perfect spot to order a pot (mid-sized beer) and a parmy (chicken parmigiana) and while away an afternoon, checking out the action on the beach in air-conditioned comfort. Plus, Keno!
Edgewater, Isle of Capri
Moor your yacht and step into Edgewater Dining & Lounge Bar for tasty fare served with a killer view over the Nerang River, and the towering Q1 building framed by floor-to-ceiling windows.
Boasting a modern Australian menu with an Italian bend, set aside a few hours (and book yourself a cab) to work your way through their ‘liquid journey’ menu – from the ‘Sparkly Tour’ right through to ‘Merlot Station’ it’s a fabulous showcase of Australian and Kiwi drops.
Open for breakfast right through to dinner, there are plenty of tastes to tempt but we’re going for the crab and bug risotto with pink champagne sauce for the win!
The Fish House, Burleigh Heads
When Hellenika (renowned Nobby Beach restaurant) godfather Simon Gloftis opened The Fish House in 2013, foodies around the country flocked like seagulls to a chip in Burleigh Headland park, coincidentally across the road from this suave establishment.
The interior is sleek and stylish, the outlook as sunny as you can get, the staff faultless, and the seafood, superb. Unsurprisingly fish is the main event here, with whole cooked fresh catches of the day the headliners.
To truly soak up the menu and sample some of the fine suggestions from their sommelier, opt for the seven-course menu of the day. You won’t be disappointed.
Rick Shores, Burleigh Heads
The boys behind acclaimed south-east Asian restaurant LONgTIME in Brisbane have nabbed the lease on one of the Gold Coast’s most prestigious waterfront leases and flung open the doors of Rick Shores in Burleigh Heads this month.
Sitting pretty underneath Oskar’s (next on the list!), we’re predicting a scorching hot first summer so get together a group of six to make a booking.
From bar snacks like cuttlefish popcorn and betel leaf topped with soft shell crab and apple slaw, through to beef massaman tartare, wok fried diamond clams with chilli jam, Hunglay curry, and Korean rice noodles with coconut cheese sauce, the intensity of the flavours at Rick Shores will slap you sillier than the view itself (which is pretty boss).
Oskar’s, Burleigh Heads
The original, and many still say the best, Oskar’s on Burleigh is as iconic as the metre maids when it comes to images of the GC.
Opened in 1997, the veteran restaurant had a complete revamp mid-2015 and started opening for breakfast on weekends.
The menu, heavily influenced by the likes of Moreton Bay bugs and Yamba prawns, is like a much-loved aunt that you only see at Christmas, then walk away feeling so revitalised you wonder why you don’t visit her more often.
Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club, Currumbin
For sandy-feet, literally ON the beach dining, Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club takes the cake.
While its charm lies mostly in the location, it’s the quality, wallet-friendly fare that keeps locals and visitors coming back for more.
Clubbie-style feeds like burgers, the seafood basket and a hefty 400g T-bone are all there, but you’ll also find tuna carpaccio served with a fennel, radish and orange salad, macadamia and herb crusted barramundi, and pumpkin and sage ravioli to satisfy more discerning palates (just wash it down with a Chardy, darl!).
*PS. There’s not always a giant octopus on the rocky outcrop beside the surf club – this was part of the annual Swell Sculpture Festival; a great time to visit!
The Beach Shack, Currumbin
More cafe than restaurant, The Beach Shack in Currumbin still deserves pride of place on the list for its undeniably beautiful views and the fact its licenced, which we all knows equals a perfect lunch locale.
It’s also casual enough that should you want to wander straight over from a swim with your towel wrapped around your waist, no-one will bat an eyelid.
Snack on a starter plate of zucchini chips, chorizo and dips with pita bread or refuel after a surf with a tasty wrap, burger or blat (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato on Turkish bread).
Bin72 at The Strand, Coolangatta
Fans of Burleigh Heads’ Bin 12 and Little Truffle in Mermaid Beach are now well served at their southern cousin, Bin 72 in Coolangatta.
Apart from owner and chef Daniel Ridgeway’s tasty tapas, 12 metres of window frontage overlooking one of the coast’s prettiest beaches makes this one of 2015’s hottest openings.
Pull up a pew and order large, with fried jamon and mozzarella balls jostling for your attention alongside prawn-stuffed zucchini flowers, southern fried chicken wings and braised beef cheek.