Cafes and restaurants in Gold Coast, Australia
While Gold Coast in Australia is known for its sweet surf and pristine sand, there are few who look to Queensland for its dining scene. Many tourists and even locals may be surprised at the number of eateries that have started making waves on this coastal city, such as the award-winning Elk Espresso and celebrity-favourite Bam Bam Bakehouse.
With that said, here are 10 cafes and restaurants that should be on your radar the next time you visit Gold Coast:
1. Cowch - a one-stop dessert, coffee, and cocktail bar
Nights out are now made more inclusive with Cowch - a bar selling alcohol, sweet treats and coffee under the same roof! Entering was like stepping into every girl’s Instagram dream, with neon lights, dangling ceiling lights and hot pink booth seats.
Since it was Nutella Day, we had the Nutella Waffle Sandwich (AUD$25.45/ ~S$25.71) with scoops of nutella ice cream between belgian waffles. Best shared among two people, the waffles were thick and crunchy and sprinkled with crushed oreo.
On weekdays, you can also enjoy a cocktail at AUD$13 (~S$13.01) during Happy Hour from 5PM-7PM!
Address: Shop 1606/07 Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Broadbeach QLD 4218
Opening Hours: 9AM-10PM, Daily
2. Bam Bam Bakehouse - pastry cafe loved by locals and celebs
Located at Mermaid Beach, Bam Bam Bakehouse is known for churning out some of the most beautiful pastries on Gold Coast. From their colourful eclairs to pastel-coloured coffee, their desserts have received love from numerous Australian celebrities such as Margot Robbie and Hugh Jackman.
We dug into their most Instagram-famous pastry - the Weiss Bar Eclair (AUD$7/ ~S$7.07). Those who don’t fancy their desserts being too sweet will love the eclair’s light and creamy texture with a hint of fruity zest.
We also had the blue Mermaid Latte (AUD$4.50/ ~S$4.55), a photogenic and nutritious drink made with chai spices, coconut milk, cinnamon and blue spirulina. While it didn’t taste exactly like latte, we liked how it cleansed the palette and neutralised the sweetness of the desserts.
Address:2519 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach QLD 4218, Australia
Opening Hours: 7AM-3PM, Daily
Telephone: 5526 5218
3. Elk Espresso - Gold Coast’s #1 rated cafe on TripAdvisor
At Elk Espresso, change is the only constant with creative menus that are revamped every 3 months. Rated #1 on TripAdvisor, this long-standing cafe has only ever kept this one particular dish on their menu - the simple Potato Hash (AUD$18.50/ ~S$18.69) which has been around for 7 years. Served with hollandaise, poached eggs and avocado, this savoury dish offered different textures of crunchiness and creaminess.
Elk Espresso is also famous for their lattes and shakes. We were recommended their most popular drink - the Crème Brulee Thickshake (AUD$8.5/ ~S$8.59) - with caramel, vanilla and bits of white chocolate. While it was as kao as the name suggests, the thickshake had a smooth and easily drinkable texture.
Address:Oasis Shopping Centre, Gold Coast QLD 4218, Australia
Opening Hours: 6AM-4PM, Daily
4. Commune - homey organic cafe great for people watching
If you have the whole morning to spare, pop by Commune, a popular cafe located near Burleigh Beach. Open from 6AM, the cafe is known for their all-day breakfast and organic ingredients, as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. It’s filled with all sorts of customers from mothers with babies, to dog-walkers and topless surfers.
We ordered the Cacao Pancakes with caramelized bananas, nuts and ice cream at AUD$16 (~S$16.14), and the Mediterranean Chorizo Scramble at AUD$18 (~S$18.15), both of which came in large portions. The ice cream that came with the pancakes wasn’t overly sweet, but sweet-tooths can go ahead and add maple syrup to taste.
Address:1844 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220, Australia
Opening Hours: 6AM-3.30PM, Daily
5. Yatala Pies - one of the oldest pie shops in Australia
Those driving out of Gold Coast may have noticed a gigantic pie sculpture on a pole along the Pacific Highway. This iconic landmark belongs to Yatala Pies, one of Australia’s oldest pie shops.
Upon entering the diner, we were instantly hit by a whiff of fragrance from the pies. The staff recommended us their two most raved-about picks - the Plain Steak Pie at AUD$5.60 (~S$5.65) and Steak & Mushroom Pie at AUD$5.80 (~S$5.85). We were surprised by how filling they were as they didn’t seem big. Thick with many layers that resembled lasagna, the flaky and crispy pastries oozed with gravy once sliced.
Yatala Pies also has a drive-through behind their diner which is perfect for travellers on the go
Address:48 Old Pacific Hwy, Yatala QLD 4207, Australia
Opening Hours: 7AM-8.30PM, Daily
6. Justin Lane Pizza - rooftop pizza bar
Located in the quaint suburbs of Burleigh Heads is Justin Lane Pizza, a relatively new eatery with an attractive ambience and equally good food. Furnished with 3 kitchens for pizza, pasta, and take-aways, the restaurant also has a function room and scenic rooftop bar.
We made our way to the rooftop bar and ordered the Seafood Pizza (AUD$27/ ~S$27.35) and James St Deli Ham Pizza (AUD$24/ ~S$24.31). The Seafood Pizza was our favourite - large enough to feed four people and generously topped with prawns, calamari, and mozzarella. All pizzas here are made from sourdough, so their bases have a mildly sour kick.
Address:1708-1710 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220, Australia
Opening Hours: 5PM-12AM (Mon-Thur), 12PM-1AM (Fri-Sat), 12PM-12AM (Sun)
7. Currumbin Vikings Surf Club - seafood platters by the beach
Dining by the beach is a must at Gold Coast. Perfect for families or large groups of friends, the Currumbin Vikings Surf Club is an open air restaurant serving seafood by the beach. We had a window seat offering a view of the splashing waves, soaring seagulls and people running across the beach - Baywatch style.
While some locals come here for the ambience and a simple glass of wine, we opted for the Seafood Platter (AUD$75/ ~S$75.64), piled to the brim with oysters, prawns, mussels, seasoned crab and calamari. While it wasn’t spectacular, the variety and portion made it worth the price. We did particularly love the calamari and potato wedges which were soft to the bite.
After lunch, climb the stairs behind the restaurant to the Elephant Lookout - a small platform with a 360 degree view of the Gold Coast, Coolangatta and Surfers Paradise!
Address:741 Pacific Parade, Currumbin QLD 4223, Australia
Opening Hours: 7AM-10PM (Sun-Thur), 7AM-12AM (Fri-Sat)
8. Delhi Darbar - North Indian restaurant in Surfers Paradise
Tucked in the heart of Surfers Paradise is an unlikely contender - the second oldest North Indian Restaurant in Gold Coast called Delhi Darbar. Delhi Darbar looks rather ordinary from the outside, and while they don’t sell prata here, they do have one of the best butter chicken we’ve ever tasted.
Delhi Darbar’s Butter Chicken Curry
All the food here is made from scratch - no pre-mixes. We had the Set Dinner Banquet for two at AUD$60 (~S$60.51) which came with a choice of entree, two curries, rice, and gulab jamun. Served with tomatoes and cream butter, their famous butter chicken curry was sweet, with a creamy texture that mixed easily with the basmati rice. We enjoyed it so much that we even requested to dapao some.
Address:3018 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217, Australia
Opening Hours: 4.30PM-10PM, Daily
9. Bumbles Cafe - house-turned-cafe with different room concepts
While some of us may be getting fed up with the plethora of new cafes trying to pull off the rustic look, here’s a cafe that is the real definition of old-school. Not only are the furniture in Bumbles Cafe authentically vintage, the house-turned-cafe was also built in 1951 and has 6 different room concepts. While walking through the rooms, we couldn’t help but feel as if we were trespassers in someone’s home.
We made ourselves comfortable in the Willow Room and ordered their best-selling dishes - the Coconut and Lime Poached Chicken and the Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Lamb both at AUD$22 (~S$22.22). The light poached chicken was well-balanced with sweet coconut milk and some sourness from the lime, while the slow-roasted lamb was juicy and tender.
Address: 21 River Dr, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217, Australia
Opening Hours: 7AM-3PM (Mon-Wed), 7AM-10PM (Thur), 7AM-4PM (Fri-Sun)
10. Jimmy Wah’s - affordable Vietnamese cuisine
After getting our fill of pizzas, burgers and coffee, we were craving for something a little different. Just a few blocks down from Justin Lane Pizza is Jimmy Wah’s - a Vietnamese restaurant and bar inspired by the 1987 Robin Williams flick “Good Morning, Vietnam”.
The open-air restaurant is dimly lit with simple wooden furnishing. 80s and 90s music played in the background, and you can watch the bartender at work.
We had the Sunday 6-course banquet for two with bottomless bubbles (Asahi or Italian Prosecco) at AUD$75 (~S$75.64). Dishes also came with gluten free-options, and some of the dishes we had include the Crispy Spring Rolls, Dumplings with Chicken Shiitake, and Soft Shell Crab with Papaya Salad.
Our personal favourite were the soft Steam Buns stuffed with sweet-sour lemongrass braised pork!
Address: 1724 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220, Australia
Opening Hours: 12PM-2.30PM, 5.30PM-8.30PM, Daily
Places to eat at in Gold Coast
From cosy beachside cafes to classy restaurants, there’s much to be discovered from Gold Coast’s bustling food scene. If you’ve exhausted your list of dining options in Melbourne, it may be time to pay the Gold Coast a visit!