Gold Coast best restaurants and cafes

The Gold Coast restaurants and cafes have become somewhat of a ‘food scene’ in recent years. After a morning surf or trip to the local farmers markets, a Southern Gold Coaster will be spending their weekends visiting one of the many cafes listed below for brunch or lunch. Same goes for dinner – this is a local’s guide to the Gold Coast best restaurants and cafes.

Enjoy and you’re welcome!

Tweed Heads best cafes and restaurants

The Tweed isn’t technically on the Gold Coast but to locals it may as well be. The Tweed’s food scene is transforming and worth checking out for some of Gold Coast best restaurants and cafes.

Best acai bowls, Gold Coast, Next Door Espresso, Tweed Heads
Acai bowl by @nextdoorespresso

Next Door Espresso – Tweed Heads

A Tweed Heads gem! This is the original location of the Next Door Espresso cafes. Best known for bringing delicious coffee, baked goods, acai bowls,  waffles and crumpets.

The Bread Social – Tweed Heads

We are lucky to have The Bread Social in Tweed – the sister bakery to ‘The Farm’ in Byron Bay. The Bread Social is commonly known locally for their delicious sourdough loaves. Their baked goods and lunch menu always leave me struggling to choose. You’ll understand why when you see the selection of croissants, gourmet pies and sausage rolls, sourdough sandwiches and an array of decadent sweet treats!  They’ve also got you sorted for coffee.

Hymn Coffee best cafesTweed Heads
by @hymncoffee

Hymn Coffee – Tweed Heads

Just off Kennedy Drive you’ll find this little wonder.  Hymn Coffee has you sorted for great coffee, breakfast and burgers. And good luck walking out with just a coffee, the freshly baked cookies and muffins sit on the counter to tempt you – the white chocolate + salted caramel cookies are some of my personal favourites.

Baked at Ancora – Tweed Heads

Located on the river, this little cafe offers Parisian baked desserts and a beautiful a la carte menu serving up all your breakfast favourites from smashed avo, brekkie roll, french toast and burgers for lunch.

Coolangatta and Kira – Gold Coast best restaurants and cafes

Raw Energy Coolangatta - best acai bowls Gold Coast
Acai bowl – Raw Energy

Raw Energy – Coolangatta

If you’re in the mood for something on the healthier side like juices, smoothies, salads and wraps, Raw Energy is your spot in Coolangatta. It is the place to go for your acai bowl fix.

HiPoke Kirra - best poke bowl on Gold Coast
Poke bowls at HiPoke – Kirra

HiPoke – Kirra

HiPoke has some of the best poke bowls I’ve ever had. Choose from tuna, kingfish, salmon, karage chicken, marinated tofu along with a flavoured kombucha.

Tugun and Currumbin – Gold Coast best restaurants and cafes

Acai bowl from Niche & Co

Niche & Co – Tugun

Niche & Co offers healthy meals, acai bowls, juices and smoothies. Their murals fill the laneway if selfies are your thing!

Caribou – Tugun

A busy Tugun brunch and lunch hot spot off the Gold Coast Highway, Caribou serves up all the favourites.

Tugun Fruit & Flowers – Tugun

The smell of fresh fruit, wafts through the air as you approach Tugun Fruit and Flowers. For beautiful flowers, fruit, veggies, fresh juices, smoothies and acai bowls.

The Salt Mill – Currumbin

A local favourite for coffee and acai bowls, The Salt Mill has the prime position opposite Currumbin’s beachfront. You’ll always find a long line out the door.

Elephant Rock Café – Currumbin

Stunning views over Currumbin Beach, Elephant Rock Café has you sorted for all your classic Australian breakfast and lunch favourites from smashed avo on sourdough, eggs benny, fritters and a full Aussie breakfast.

Stable Coffee Kitchen Cornerstone Stores - best restaurant cafe Gold Coast
Mixed salad bowl at Stable Coffee Kitchen – Cornerstone Stores

Stable Coffee Kitchen – Cornerstone Stores, Currumbin

Tucked away just off the Gold Coast Highway, the Cornerstone Stores offers a relaxed shopping, dining and pampering experience. The Stable Coffee Kitchen has some of the best organic meals around with lots of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. It’s got to be one of my favourite cafes on the Gold Coast.

Pasture & Co.

Located in the Currumbin Valley, Pasture & Co. is an organic cafe catering to all dietary requirements. Spend some time wandering the grounds or grab a picnic box to enjoy under the 100 year-old fig trees.

Refinery Coffee

With plenty of delicious meal options, Refinery Coffee makes for a pleasant escape from the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast scene. Options for chilled inside dining and outdoor patio for those sunny mornings.

Palm Beach – Gold Coast best restaurants and cafes

Palmy has changed in recent years and has some of the Gold Coast best restaurants and cafes.

Highline – Palm Beach

Another local favourite serving up some of the best breakfast and lunch on the Gold Coast. Highline’s seasonal menu sources nothing but the best local ingredients. The green bowl is one of my personal favourites, but their seasonal peach, tomato and burrata on sourdough is next level!

Barefoot (Barista) – Palm Beach

One of the three in the Gold Coast Barista chain. Super cool setting on Palm Beach Ave, Barefoot has all the classics like bacon & egg rolls, burgers, sangas, as well as some options for the vegans and vegetarians.

Margaritas Gold Coast, Frida Sol Palm Beach
by @fridasolpalmbeach

Frida Sol – Palm Beach

Frida Sol is a Palmy hot spot for great Mexican food and cocktails. My personal favourite for tacos and margaritas.

The Collective – Palm Beach

With five restaurants and two bars, including one rooftop bar The Collective draws in the crowds seating up to 300 people.

Italian Balboa – Palm Beach

Italian Balboa sources local and imported produce to serve up amazing Italian food in Palm Beach.

Burleigh Heads – Gold Coast best restaurants and cafes

Best acai bowl Gold Coast - Commune Cafe
Acai bowls at Commune Cafe – Burleigh Heads

Commune – Burleigh Heads

This popular Burleigh café is approaching 10 years in the biz – that’s saying something! See for yourself why Commune is considered one of the best places for  breakfast and lunch on the Gold Coast. You can’t go wrong with their acai and pink pitaya bowls but when in the mood for something savoury the chilli crab scramble is one of my go-to’s. 

Social Brew – Burleigh Heads

Social Brew is one for those who like the classics – breakfast burritos, bacon and egg rolls, big breaky etc. but for those looking for acai bowls Social Brew will also have you covered

Next Door Espresso – Burleigh Heads

Sister store to Next Door Espresso Tweed Heads, the Burleigh addition to the family is hidden away in the Burleigh Industrial Estate. Not quite industrial though, Next Door’s Mediterranean-inspired courtyard café will have you dreaming of Greece. Their breakfast menu will sort your acai bowl, bircher or smashed avo cravings while lunch has you covered with Bread Social toasties. Coffee, juices and smoothies won’t disappoint either!

Paddock Bakery - best cafe and brunch on Gold Coast
Paddock Bakery – Burleigh Heads

Paddock Bakery – Burleigh Heads

Paddock Bakery has some of the most impressive baked treats I have ever seen. Come for breakfast or lunch but you will definitely be taking home dessert or some sourdough for later!

Justin Lane – Burleigh Heads

A popular roof top bar in Burleigh specialising in pizza, pasta and cocktails. Justin Lane is also known to draw in the crowds, particularly for the DJ sets on the rooftop.

Finn Poke – Burleigh Heads

Straight of out Byron Bay – Finn Poke is my favourite place for poke bowls in Burleigh. My personal favourite is the Big Katuna + avo.

Ocean views Gold Coast
by Burleigh Pavilion

Burleigh Pavilion – Burleigh Heads

Where you’ll find most of Burleigh on a Friday or Saturday night or for a Sunday session. The Pavilion serves up a modern Australian menu + classic (and delicious) wood fried pizzas. Stunning views from Burleigh Beach and probably one of the most Instagram-able venues on the southern Gold Coast.

Govinda’s – Burleigh Heads

For wholesome and delicious vegetarian and vegan, Govinda’s is a non-for-profit restaurant sourcing all their veg from their farm in Murwillumbah.

Jimmy Wha’s – Burleigh Heads

For a unique fine dining experience on the Gold Coast, Jimmy Wah’s brings Vietnamese to a whole new level. Fresh Vietnamese flavours, amazing cocktails and a fine dining experience with superb service.

The Fish House – Burleigh Heads

A Burleigh institution, The Fish House is the place to go for a fine dining seafood experience.

Rick Shores, best oceanfront restaurant on Gold Coast
Rick Shores by @bryonrleigh_

Rick Shores – Burleigh Heads

The view from Rick Shores is nothing but dreamy and has to be one of the best on the Gold Coast. Positioned on Burleigh Beach, it’s got a fab Asian inspired menu.

Ze Pickle – Burleigh Heads

When you’re in the mood for a naughty yet delicious burger – Ze Pickle has an amazing selection of fried chicken, beef and vegetarian burgers. Pair with your favourite beer or cocktail.

Miami – Gold Gold best restaurants and cafes

Hide n Seek Espresso – Miami

Hide n Seek Espresso is just as the name suggests a coffee shop hidden in the backstreets of Miami. The baked treats are just as good as the coffee!

Greenhouse Canteen – Miami

Greenhouse Canteen is a great vegan/vegetarian restaurant on the Gold Coast. Always busy and has an amazing menu if you’re in the mood for tacos, buffalo cauliflower wings or nachos.

Miami Marketta – Miami

On Friday and Saturday nights Miami Marketta has got you covered. With an array of food stalls and cocktail bars, bands and DJs as well as some cute little retail stores Miami Marketta brings something very unique to the Gold Coast.

Nobby Beach and Mermaid – Gold Coast best restaurants and cafes

MexiCali – Nobby Beach

For a Nobby Beach favourite, conveniently located on the Gold Coast Highway, it’s hard to beat MexiCali. Serving up killer baja fish tacos and margaritas – you won’t be left disappointed.

I Like Ramen – Nobby Beach

In the mood for some vegetarian ramen with your Japanese beer or whiskey cocktail – I Like Ramen is completely plant based and what I expect to be the first of many shops just like it.

Poke bowls Gold Coast
by @pokepoke_mermaidbeach

Poké Poké – Mermaid Beach

This Hawaiian themed bar is best known for it’s delicious poké bowls and other Hawaiian and Caribbean inspired meals and drinks. You can takeaway but the decor in Poké Poké is so on-point is worth eating in.

Cambus Wallace – Nobby Beach

This Nobby Beach whisky bar is great for late night drinks in a somewhat intimidate dark little bar. Cambus Wallace won’t disappoint.

Background (Barista) – Mermaid Beach

Another café in the Barista chain, Background (Barista) has a sleek interior and quaint outdoor dining area. Both food and coffee fail to disappoint – the potato hash is my personal favourite.

Vegetarian cafe Mermaid Beach
by @themilkmansdaugher_gc

The Milkman’s Daughter – Mermaid Beach

The Milkman’s Daughter is a vegetarian café delivering all those Mediterranean vibes to make you feel you’ve teleported to Greece for a moment. On the smaller side, you may expect some wait times but it’s totally worth it!

Bam Bam Bakehouse – Mermaid Beach

Bam Bam Bakehouse is owned by the same people who operate Paddock Bakery – the baked goods are equally as impressive and delicious.  

Bonita Bonita and BonBon Bar, Mermaid Beach

For all your modern Mexican food needs Bonita Bonita will have you sorted for margaritas, sangria, cerveza, cider and cocktail – need I say more?!

Etsu Isakaya – Mermaid Beach

Etsu Isakaya is a Mermaid favourite for modern Japanese and cocktails.

Broadbeach – Gold Coast best restaurants and cafes

Elk Espresso – Broadbeach

Located in the Oasis Shopping Centre, Elk Espresso provides a great meeting spot. The menu will leave you struggling to choose, but really you can’t go wrong because every dish will leave you wanting more.

Nineteen at the Star, Broadbeach

Nineteen at the Star offers a high end dining experience at the Star Casino (once Jupiters Casino). While it won’t be cheap, some say it’s one of the best restaurants on the Gold Coast.

Cardomom Pod - acai bowl Broadbeach Gold Coast
Cardamom Pod

The Cardamom Pod – Broadbeach

Looking for a vegetarian restaurant? Look no further than The Cardamom Pod for a completely wholesome (and tasty) vegetarian experience. Rumour has it they will be opening another location in Palmy real soon.

Miss Margarita – Broadbeach

In case you’re wondering – yes! – this is the sister store to the Byron Miss Margarita store. It brings the same delicious Mexican and margaritas!

Stay tuned for more tips on the Gold Coast. Coming soon!

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