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.
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 – 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
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
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
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, 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 – Currumbin
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 – Currumbin
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.
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.
Las Palmas – Palm Beach
Las Palmas Bar and Restaurant offers Latin American cuisine from Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. The menu is divided into land, sea and earth options and rounded off perfectly with dessert. Churros or dulce de leche anyone!
Burleigh Heads – Gold Coast best restaurants and cafes
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 – 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.
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.
Maman – Burleigh Heads
Maman (French for ‘mum’) brings a vibrant new bar and restaurant to James Street. Fresh Mediterranean vibes of white washed walls and splashes of Mediterranean blue are the next best thing to Greece this COVID summer. A menu favourite is the Moreton Bay bug roll.
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 – 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.
Tarte Bakery and Cafe – Burleigh Heads
Palm Springs – Burleigh Heads
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.
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.
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.
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!