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Take a bite out of the Southern Gold Coast

Christine Retschlag

It seems fitting to order a snapper burger when you're looking out over Snapper Rocks and at Cafe D'Bar, up at Point Danger you can do just that. Open for breakfast from 7am, lunch from 11.30am and dinner reservations recommended, this casual establishment promises art, food and views. There's an art gallery around the back, the food is relaxed dining with plenty of seafood, and the views over the Pacific Ocean speak for themselves. Try some of the freshly made juices such as the Ketut - a papaya, lime, mango and watermelon concoction.

A chorus line of rainbow lorikeets greets diners who park their cars along Marine Parade Coolangatta at dusk. The birds are as hungry as the diners who flock to The Strand complex to dine at the likes of Bin 72. Inside, it's as lively as the birds outside. Describing itself as "fine food with friends" there's a large selection of smaller plates to share here, as well as larger dishes. On Tuesdays, you'll even find $5 gourmet tacos. For something more substantial, try the braised beef cheek with potato gnocchi, sautéed mushrooms, Alsace bacon and white wine sauce washed down with an impressive drinks list.

With a silky name like Passiontree Velvet, this new offering in The Strand complex sells itself. You'll find a world of edible luxury here with stands of mighty macaroons stealing centre stage. This is an English Tea House, Parisian patisserie and Belgian chocolatier all rolled into one on the Gold Coast. There's even a High Tea option for kids: The Teddy Bear's Picnic.

Set within a rather impressive surf shop of the same name, you'll find Boardriders Cafe. Once you've feasted on the huge range of boards, bathers and surfing paraphernalia on offer in the store itself, pause for a bite in the cafe overlooking Coolangatta's Marine Parade. There's nothing pretentious on the menu which boasts good old "sangas", "toasties" and even "dip and crackers".

You'll find Burleigh Brewing beers in bottleshops and restaurants all around the coast, but for the real deal, head out to West Burleigh to the brewery itself. While it only does takeaway sales between Monday and Friday, come Friday night and the Brew Lounge Bar opens for snacks and drinks. Take your taste buds on a tour of their growing range of beers such as My Wife's Bitter, FIGJAM IPA and the 28 Pale Ale.

For some fine dining along Currumbin Creek, head to Allure on Currumbin. This black and white themed French bistro does several duck dishes but it's the duck risotto which the owner admits her daughter, a member of the Australian Swimming Team, devours. Fans of this upmarket establishment also swear by the black cherry duck which is a twist on the old favourite duck l'orange which also makes an appearance on this menu.

For relaxed dining also along Currumbin Creek, head to The Boat Shed Cafe & Bar. Here, in these casual surrounds, you can watch the kayakers and Stand-Up paddle boards ply these cool, calm waters. Open for breakfast and lunch and private dinner functions, a nautical but nice theme runs through this restaurant. The food is unpretentious here such as bacon and egg rolls and steak sandwiches, all the better before you hop on a board and tackle Currumbin Creek.

Order your coffee in lamb, sheep or ram sizes at The Black Sheep Espresso Baa along Marine Parade, Coolangatta. A statue of a black sheep greets you at the door of this hole-in-the-wall establishment which does a mean bacon and eggs on Turkish and cool juices which are ideal after a morning surf.

Another hole-in-the-wall worth checking out is up at Currumbin, opposite the beach. The Salt Mill is a popular breakfast venue which serves enticing acai bowls, fresh juice, great coffee and healthy sandwiches. The food is so good here, people queue to taste it.

Christine Retschlag


Christine Retschlag is an award-winning Australian journalist who has worked in newspapers, magazines and online for the past 25 years in Australia, Hong Kong, London and Singapore. In 2006, she won the Australian Travel Writer of the Year award for Best Trade Story as well as the Jack Butters Memorial Award for Travel Writing Excellence. In 2007 she won Best Australian Story over 1000 words and in 2014 won Best Food Travel Story. She is also the author and architect of the successful travel blog: The Global Goddess.

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