Where to eat on the Gold Coast

Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission. Read the full disclosure policy here.

The Gold Coast Has Some Great Eating Establishments

Over 4 million domestic and international travellers visit the Gold Coast every year. The Gold Coast is not just family theme parks and boozy nights out. We have some of the most varied restaurants in Australia and you shouldn't discount the quality of food you can get on the Gold Coast.

Here are some recommendations for dining out on the Gold Coast.

Coffee Breaks & Cafes on the Gold Coast

One of the most popular things to do as a local is walk the ocean front paths almost anywhere along the coast. If you find yourself in the central section from Broadbeach to Burleigh, join the locals on the Burleigh Headland with a coffee and watch the surf roll in.

Nook Espresso is a tiny coffee bar located at the southern end of the Burleigh Pavilion just before the toilets. There is almost always a line but the coffee is great and you can people watch while you are waiting. After grabbing your coffee keep walking south up to the top of the hill where you can sit on a seat or the grass and watch the surfers giving it all they've got.

Alternatively Paperbark in Burleigh village is also great as is the little cafe underneath Miami Beach Surf Life Saving Club. It isn't listed on Google Maps but if you find the surf club you can find the cafe.

If you are staying on the northern end of the Gold Coast try Espresso Bonsai on Chevron Island, or wander along Tedder Avenue at Main Beach.

Alternatively if you are on the southern end of the coast, Niche & Co at Tugun never disappoint. Three Sons Coffee Cartel is also pretty good if you are in Coolangatta. Take your coffee and walk around the headland to Snapper Rocks to watch the surfers. Any local can point you in the right direction.

Breakfast Recommendations:

A great breakfast restaurant is Bumbles Cafe at Budds Beach. If you are staying in Surfers Paradise you can easily walk the 1.5km from Cavill Avenue to Budds beach and grab a coffee or breakfast at Bumble. This great little cafe faces the Nerang River so you get to eat your breaky looking out over the Gold Coast waterway.

Bumbles Cafe Buds Beach for breakfast on the Gold Coast
Bumbles Cafe Budds Beach Gold Coast

A more local option is The Henchman in Miami. From Surfers you can catch the tram to South Broadbeach and then jump on the 700 Bus heading south. Henchman is very popular with the locals and their Eggs Benny on a croissant instead of a muffin is divine! Here's the location on Google Maps

The Henchman Miami
The Henchman Miami

My final suggestion is Kirramisu Cafe at Kirra Beach on the southern end of the coast. The best thing about Kirramisu is that its easy to park your car (provided you are early) and then I would suggest walking into Coolangatta along the beach path, around the headland past Snapper Rocks and back to a well deserved breaky at Kirramisu. The walk to Snapper and around the headland and back is almost bang on 5km so a nice hours walk. They also open at 5:30 am in the summer!

Dinner Recommendations:

I'm not going to suggest lunch spots. There are so many you won't have any trouble finding food. Dinner is a little different.

Upmarket Dinner Options

If you are after an upmarket dining experience, Social Eating House and Bar in Broadbeach's restaurant area is very nice. It's a little tough on the wallet, but the food is sensational. It is actually closed for renovations at present but is opening again in April 2022.

Etsu Izakaya Japanese in Mermaid Beach is amazing! Again not cheap but very very good food. Brad and I had a beautiful lunch with 2 cocktails each and it was $200. We didn't skimp on anything and it did feel exy at the time, however when I look back and think about the 4 cocktails, the food was not too badly priced. It is really nice however it is hidden behind a big thick timber barn door which feels a little intimidating the first time you visit. Google Maps location.

Etsu Izakaya Mermaid Beaach for amazing Japanese food
Etsu Izakaya Mermaid Beaach for amazing Japanese food

Little Truffle is a Gold Coast institution. It offers a blend of the best of Australia woven in with classic European tastes. Located just a few doors down from Etsu Izakaya, Little Truffle is also located in Mermaid Beach. They also have a 16 seat private dining room if you would like some extra privacy.

Mid Range Dinner Options

The Gold Coast has so many clubs, pubs and restaurants of all themes and pricing that I know you won't have any trouble finding something. While the surf clubs are known for being cheaper, that's not really the case any longer. Some of the surf clubs are situated on prime real estate and I'm sure must have to pay for that honor.

If you do want to dine at one of the surf clubs, try to find the smaller clubs like Nobby's Beach or Palm Beach instead of the larger ones at Surfers and Broadbeach. The food is great and the beer cold at the larger clubs but they are no longer cheap options.

Consider Doko Demo V at North Burleigh for amazing Vegan cuisine. If you are staying on the northern end of the Gold Coast a visit to George's Paragon seafood restaurant at Sanctuary Cove is not to be missed. Their all day menu is considerably discounted in comparison to the dinner menu so remember that if you are on a budget.

Seascape Restaurant in the Soul Building in Surfers Paradise has consistently great seafood. I've been there a few times and never had anything less that an amazing meal.

Balboa Italian at Palm Beach is very good. I have had a less than wonderful experience once here, but it was early in the peace and I've never had trouble since. Obviously they are Italian and almost always have an amazing steak. Google Maps Location. Before I went back to being vegetarian, the Saltimbocca alla Romana was my favourite.

Markets and Food Halls

Miami Marketta on Hillcrest Parade is open Wednesday (limited options) Friday and Saturday from 4 to 10. You do want to be there by 8pm to have everything still available. Stalls do sell out later in the evening. Parking can be a challenge in this area so be prepared to park and walk. Please don't park dangerously on curves and corners. Marketta has live music, a great bar and now the ability to reserve tables.

Miami Marketta Entrance
Miami Marketta Entrance

The Collective at Palm Beach is very popular. There are 5 food outlets to choose from and they are all great, however you will need to book. Don't even try if you haven't reserved a table.

A drive up to Brisbane for a night out at Eat Street is really worth it. Eat Street has hundreds of stalls, you can bring your pets and the kids will LOVE it. It is probably an hours drive from the Gold Coast.

Eat Street Brisbane North Shore
Eat Street Brisbane North Shore

Jenny Marsden - Charge The Globe
About the author

Meet Jenny, a passionate Australian travel blogger who has explored 103 countries to date. With over 30 years of travel experience, Jenny has a wealth of knowledge to share with her readers about the cultures, landscapes, and people she has encountered on her journeys. She's always battling unfashionably frizzy hair and you will never catch Jenny in anything but comfortable shoes. Learn more about Jenny and her travels.

Budget Meals and Restaurants

Wahoo Fish Tacos at Burleigh Heads is great but they are horrible for closing early. I've been in there just after 7:30 and they are closing. If you get there before 7 you should be fine. A little further north you will find Margarita Cartel a Mexican inspired eatery. It isn't traditional Mexican but it is great food and always popular. Their location in North Burleigh and the link to their menu.

Indian Delights on the Gold Coast Highway in Miami is very good. Its a small out of the way restaurant that has beer & wine but also has BYO. The menu is comprehensive, the service always great and the food lovely. Their location.

In Chirn Park just north of Southport you will find a great little restaurant strip. There is probably 10-15 eateries here and Tonic on Chirn is my favourite. It is mostly cocktails and share plates which means you can get away with a couple of plates between you for an affordable dinner. Of course it can end up costing more if you keep eating (which is what we always tend to do) but for a wine and a snack its great.

No matter what style of food you are looking for I'm sure the Gold Coast will have something to suit you.

Our main dining precincts are (north to south):

  • Paradise Point. 6-7 restaurants on the esplanade opposite the Ephraim Island Bridge
  • Tedder Avenue, Main Beach: 6-8 restaurants on Tedder Avenue.
  • The Spit, Southport: There are probably -10 nice restaurants on and around the Spit. If you search for Mariners Cove Marina or Marine Mirage Shopping Centre, you will find a few in each location. They usually are on the waterfront so head to the water and you will find them.
  • Surfers Paradise does have some nice restaurants but they are scattered amongst the area. There are quite a few nice ones in the Soul Building area.
  • Broadbeach has a couple of restaurant strips. Oracle Boulevard has some very nice but not so affordable options. and the block of Surf Parade between Queensland Ave and Victoria Ave. There are quite a few that line the pedestrian mall in Broadbeach also. Try the Grand Dynasty Chinese here!
  • James Street and Gold Coast Highway in Burleigh Heads have some great restaurants. Probably around a dozen in this area.
  • Marine Parade in Coolongatta also has quite a few restaurants in close proximity.

Check out my Australia Destination Page for all the info, posts & places to visit in Australia.