After months of lockdown, take-away and even baking our own bread, everyone’s finally asking: where can we eat out? Despite the lockdown, a bounty of eateries and bars have opened on the Gold Coast. So with restrictions easing, it’s time to get out there and start sampling them all, and thankfully, you won’t have to do any dishes…
It’s a bar, restaurant and beauty salon all rolled into one. And it’s all too easy to spend a whole evening (or day – it’s open 11am-6pm Sundays) here. Classic Mediterranean cuisine is served up (try the share plates) while the cocktail menu and wine list is one of the most impressive on the Coast – all served at a five-metre-high bar dripping in gold. Southport never looked so Parisian.
Where: 410/1 Como Crescent, Southport, boudoirlounge.com.au
THE LUCKY SQUIRE
The Gold Coast’s very first James Squire Brewhouse, The Lucky Squire, just opened (in June) – and it’s one of the largest venues to open on the Coast in years. Built within the trendy Oracle Boulevard precinct in Broadbeach, it has a microbrewery with a bar and restaurant, with room for 450 patrons across two levels. Each dish is built to complement the entire variety of James Squire beers available on tap, along with wines and cocktails.
If one drink just isn’t enough, make a meal of it (literally) and sample some of the items on the menu that have been paired perfectly to match the beers. We’re talking small plates like the buttermilk fried chicken wings and wood-fired lamb skewers through to something a little bigger in the wood-fired half chicken, handmade potato gnocchi or the parmesan crumbed Berkshire pork cutlet. Yum.
Where: 3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach, jamessquire.com.au/brewhouses/the-lucky-squire/
Surfers Paradise is set to have its very first brewery. From late-September/early-October, Bobs Beer (Best of Beer, get it?) will open a fully operational brewery, brewhouse and restaurant, metres from the beach. On tap will be four of their own core beers, along with four seasonal and limited release beers, plus eight guest beers, chosen from the best that Australia and New Zealand have to offer. Surfers Paradise has a bit of everything – soon it’ll have a brewery on the beach to add to its repertoire. Open seven days, 11am to midnight.
Where: 10/2 Elkhorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise, bobsbeer.com
Koi has been at the forefront of Broadbeach’s hip restaurant scene since it opened in 2007. But, it was time for a facelift after 13 years since opening, and this one’s of the million-dollar variety. Six weeks and seven figures later, Koi looks brand new again. There’s now an open kitchen and bar section out front, with a coastal design that still oozes elegance, courtesy of soft leather seating, cosy booths and stone, marble and copper finishes.
Where: 89 Surf Parade, Broadbeach, koibroadbeach.com.au
Prepare for the hottest new restaurant on the Gold Coast. For 10 years, Hellenika was the region’s most iconic restaurant until it sadly closed its doors in 2019. Locals have been watching with anticipation to see what’s coming next on the site. Now it has been revealed: Miss Me.
From the owners of Burleigh’s trendy Justin Lane, this new south-east Asian eatery will dazzle – not just because of the food. There are two levels of neon lights, pink booths and DJs. What’s not to love? Expect to see Asian favourites like bao, satay chicken skewers and yellow curry, along with bigger plates like the grilled chicken cutlet with toasted coconut dry red curry. Yep, we’ll have one of all of those dishes, please!
Where: 2235 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach, missmee.com.au
The Gold Coast was screaming out for a gin distillery, but when owner James Greig finally opened his cellar doors to Wildflower Gin, two years after perfecting his signature gin, the state went into lockdown. His first product for sale ended up being hand sanitiser. Now he’s able to release his Wildflower Signature Gin at this speakeasy-inspired cellar door. The gin itself takes on a botanical note, produced with locally picked flowers. Also offering gin masterclasses with the master distiller, book in for a 2-hour session where you’ll not only learn about gin and its history, the distilling process and botanicals used but walk away with your own 500ml bottle of gin to enjoy. Sounds like a perfect gift idea if you ask us!
Where: 2/486 Scottsdale Drive, Varsity Lakes, wildflowergin.com
Another Gold Coast business set to open right when COVID-19 forced everyone indoors, Common Ground were able to welcome the public in late-June. It’s located where iconic café Burleigh Social used to be, and first reports are that it’s set to be just as much of a local’s favourite. Any café located on a street called Hibiscus Haven has to be cute, right? And Common Ground doesn’t let us down. The all-day menu changes to reflect local produce – but you can never go past the ciabatta breakfast bun with fried eggs, bacon, chutney and hollandaise sauce. The truffle honey is also already legendary around Burleigh.
Where: 2/2 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads
THE VAN BY BURLEIGH PAVILION
Burleigh Pavilion has launched a new ‘70s-style pop-up bakery just outside its amazing beachfront location. From six every morning, order house-baked breads, croissants, hand-made doughnuts and other breakfast specials made by head chef Guillaume Zika and his team from a ’70s Viscount caravan outside the Pav’s entrance. It’s the coolest new place for brekkie on the run…or wait till noon and lunch is served – wholesome dishes like gigantic burgers and beer-battered fresh fish and chips.
Where: 3a/43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads, burleighpavilion.com
THE WHISKEY LOUNGE
This hidden whiskey bar in the hinterland-bordering village of Mudgeeraba was all set to open in March when the lockdowns began. Fast-forward four months and The Whiskey Lounge is ready to go: offering over 130 whiskies from around the world. The owners are keen to show off their favourites – it’s very casual here, there’s no food served but feel free to bring in your own takeaway meals. It’s a small bar with a community feel intended to recreate the small-village vibe of Scotland or Ireland.
Where: 58 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba, whiskeylounge.com.au
Chic Kirra/Coolangatta restaurant Baskk was the coolest thing to ever hit the Coolie area. But from early-July, it turned Italian! Occupying prime position along Coolangatta’s beachfront with views over Greenmount Beach, the owners decided to turn the restaurant into a pizza and pasta restaurant. It’s perfect for long-table dinner feasts, or snacks washed down with cocktails. Pair that with DJs playing your seaside soundtrack, this makes BASKK one of the southern Gold Coast’s hippest dining spots.
Where: 52-58 Marine Parade, Coolangatta, baskk.com.au
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region.
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.