5 Gold Coast restaurants you can’t miss
The Gold Coast has come a long way in the food and wine biz, boasting some of the best eating to be had in South-East Queensland, from incredible Greek food to the hippest cafés around. Here are our top picks.
Award-winning dining? Tick. Waterfront views? Tick. Great food? A given, considering the guys behind the aprons hail from some of the country’s top South-East Asian restaurants.
Ask any local about Rick Shores in Burleigh Heads and you’re guaranteed to cop an earful. So close to the beach you can hear the waves in between mouthfuls, you won’t know what’s more impressive, the prime location or the flavour sensations blowing your mind, from bar snacks like the silken tofu with sichuan eggplant sauce and crisp lettuce through to the finger-licking main roasted pork shoulder with apple teriyaki and red miso.
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, QT Gold Coast changed the game when they introduced their gourmet all-you-can-eat Bazaar back in 2010. 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.
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 rooftop 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.
Sitting (exceptionally) pretty at Capri on Via Roma, Cicchetti is a treat not just to the tummy, but to the eyes as well. Artfully designed with floor-to-ceiling windows and dazzling chandeliers, the pizza and pasta bar is a first-class dining experience minus the hefty price tag.
Following the success of their original Byron-based restaurant, the owners decided to bring the same casual yet chic atmosphere to the GC, and we’re so glad they did.
Mangia mangia on their Italian eats (FYI, the pastas are house-made) and wash it down with a cocktail or a glass of red from their extensive wine list.