Food & Drink

The Best Southport Restaurants You Need To Try, 2023 Edition

By Danielle Read

Southport is best known for its dazzling Broadwater, though it’s transformed to firmly plant its position as a fierce contender on the Gold Coast foodie scene. A mecca that weaves multi-cultural influences with fine eats, the best Southport restaurants are just a tram trip away. 

From rooftops to hideaways, fine-dining to new favourites; if it’s a Korean restaurant, Southport delivers; for Japanese restaurants, Southport shines. And that’s just the beginning. Here’s our Urban List picks of the best Southport restaurants to tuck into on your next Northern Gold Coast visit.

Mozza Mozza

mozza mozza spreadImage Credit: Mozza Mozza | Clayten Fowler 

Mozza Mozza is the pasta-twirling, pizza-slinging Italian restaurant centrally located inside Southport Sharks, and it's already garnered a loyal following since its late 2022 opening. Its extensive menu showcases Italian classics with a twist—think tableside cheese wheel pasta, boozy tiramisu, burrata nestled on a garden pea pesto and sublime cocktails, all served with a side serve of disco tunes.

With a majestic four-metre-tall olive tree as the centrepiece, the 160-seat Mozza Mozza boasts a charming, family-friendly atmosphere that will see long lunches slowly drift into dinners, as the sun sets through the wraparound glass windows. Mozza Mozza also boasts a plethora of rotating weekly specials to check out.

Ramen Danbo

ramen being slurped up
Image Credit: Ramen Danbo | Instagram

Transport your senses to the alleyways of Shinjuku in an instant at this much-loved Southport ramen joint. Ramen Danbo is a long-time local favourite for their silky noodles, authentic broths and generous servings of personalisable dishes. Choose everything from your noodle firmness, richness, spice and salt levels. Whether you choose a classic ramen with tonkotsu pork broth, the negi-goma with its toasted sesame or any of the six specialties, make sure to take a seat at the bar to watch the kitchen magic unfold. 

Ramen Danbo is the Japanese restaurant Southport plant-based eaters can get amongst too with their miso and konbu-based vegetarian or vegan ramen topped with atsuage tofu and spring onions. In our opinion, this genuine Japanese restaurant in Southport is a front-runner on the Gold Coast.

Mr P.P.’s Deli & Rooftop

mr pps rooftop
Image Credit: Mr P.P's | Isabel Croker

Tucked inside a long-time historical building, Mr P.P.s’ namesake was a Postmaster General whose family called the space home for a century. Today this moody haunt is arguably the best Southport restaurant for rooftop sips, a generously loaded pizza and top-shelf tipple.

Drop in for a sundowner affair atop Southport’s hustle bustle on the rooftop or hide away in the adjoining vintage Percy’s Bar. We recommend the succulent Australian olives with preserved lemon, thyme and garlic, the smoked almond pizza with a ricotta base, flakey almonds, fontina cheese and chilli-infused honey. To be fair though, there are no wrong choices at Mr P.P's Southport.

Cafe Catalina

spread at cafe catalina
Image Credit: Cafe Catalina | Supplied

A foodie fiesta in Southport couldn’t possibly be complete without a wander down the Broadwater. With its unrivalled coastal views, a vibrant outdoor bar and menus spanning breakfast, lunch and dinner, make sure to stop into the freshly revitalised Cafe Catalina

A mouth watering experience is on the dinner cards with the crowd favourite braised beef cheek bourguignon with roast garlic mash, pancetta, mushrooms and onions. While you're indulging, sample the orange crème brulee with mascarpone and a chocolate wafer to cleanse the palate and finish off the relaxed dining experience.  Swing by from Friday to Sunday for sunset sessions to the soundtrack of live sax, vinyl or down tempo DJ tracks. 

JFX Noodle & Tapas Bar

Pull up a seat at this hot spot and you’ll see exactly JFX’s dynamic restaurant is a local favourite. From steaming hot pots, and hot plate ready wagyu, to crispy pork Katsu and some of the most decadent authentic ramen on the Gold Coast. 

For reasonably priced mouthwatering dishes in Southport, look no further than JFX Noodle & Tapas Bar. If you’re lucky enough to visit this open-air eatery before the chilli coriander ramen sells out, count your lucky stars and chow down now. This jam-packed menu is brimming with delish dishes that never disappoint. 

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Gal.B Korean BBQ

If you’re on the hunt for a centrally located, top-notch Korean restaurant, Southport has you sorted with a plethora of Korean hot spots, and Gal.B is one of th best.

Conveniently nestled along Nind Street, Gal.B Korean BBQ has garnered a much-loved local reputation for fresh feasts and traditional dishes. Taste your way around favourites such as tangy kimchi pancakes, beef bulgolgi hot pots, or a selection of BBQ sets to sizzle and flip solo. 

GOTO Japanese

goto japanese southport
Image Credit: GOTO Japanese | Instagram

Don’t let the shopping centre locale fool you. GOTO Japanese is well-worth the pretty pennies you’ll happily hand over for their authentic, perfectly presented dishes tirelessly created by their team of skilled chefs. 

Considered one of the best Japanese restaurants Southport has ever welcomed, some go as far as to say GOTO plates up Australia’s finest. Melt in your mouth sashimi pairs perfectly with the miso toothfish sugatayaki wrapped in aromatic cedar wood. Get all swept up in this true to its name dining go-to.

Aviary Rooftop Bar

aviary rooftop bar
Image Credit: Aviary Rooftop Bar | Instagram

It’s the top-level foodie experience Southport begged for, and Aviary Rooftop Bar truly delivers. Because, hey, who says you need rolling waves to gaze at when you have Australian woodlands illuminated by a setting sun. 

Adjacent to the Southport Sharks Precinct and perched atop Mantra at Sharks, Aviary offers a wide selection of specialty cocktails including the decadent Lamington, with wildflower vodka, Chambord, whiskey, coconut syrup topped with steamed Milo. Honestly, the creative twists featured on the cocktail menu are reason enough to visit. Not just a bar, foodie plates include pork belly porchetta bits, grilled salt and pepper calamari on a bed of ‘nduja mayo and antipasto platters that accompany next-level pizzas. 

Cardamom Pod

cardamom pod southport
Image Credit: Cardamom Pod | Instagram

Vegetarian and vegan food that’s truly theatrical in taste, colour and presentation can be hard to come by. Not at Southport’s own Cardamom Pod, though. Generous plant-based breakfast dishes come adorned with mermaid tails, stacked superfood burgers and the avocado on toast is taken up several notches. We won’t ruin the surprise. 

Offering only vegetarian dishes and vegetarian dishes, you’ll find Cardamom Pod inside Ferry Road Markets’ Brickworks with ample parking. The breakfast and lunch menu is extensive and every generously-sized dish never fails to impress; all the more reason to make it your personal mission to try every dish. 

Izakaya Ichi

Did we mention that some of the best Japanese restaurants call Southport home? Izakaya Ichi is no exception with their competitively priced bites, bowls and beautiful rows of pillowy gyoza. 

This lesser-known restaurant is conveniently located right by Southport’s tram stop. Which may come in handy when you leave with a karaage chicken, wagyu beef don and vegetable curry rice food baby in tow.  You’ve been warned. 

Quan 55

Think traditional flavours meets contemporary Vietnamese-inspired family recipes. Where even the equipment like the same stock pot used within the family for over 20 years. Vietnamese for ‘bar’, Quann 55 pours tall cocktails and speciality sugar cane juice sourced from Jacobs Well, which is freshly pressed daily. 

Choose from a selection of snacks, like rice paper rolls filled with prawns, pork, fresh cucumber, a selection of mints and vermicelli noodles, medium plates like the lightly battered deep-fried tamarind soft shell crab salad served with apple and daikon, or mains like the infamous pho beef noodle soup served with mouthwatering beef brisket, succulent beef balls, slices of rare eye fillet beef and a generous handful of bean sprouts. This broth may possibly change your life. 

Cycho’s Buffalo Wings

From time to time, we’re all in the mood for a little wing-a-ding-ding. Cycho’s is Southport’s answer to all our wing-loving dreams. Conveniently located on Young Street with two hours free parking at Australia Fair, step inside to be greeted by a vibrant urban mural. 

Dubbed the best wings on the Gold Coast, Cycho’s Buffalo Wings dishes up crispy-yet-juicy wings, doused in sauces of your choosing. Why not opt for the $25 all-you-can-eat wings to tuck into for one blissful hour? With burgers, sliders, loaded fries and vegetarian options, head to Cycho’s to see what all the fuss is about. 

Looking for more foodie inspiration? Check out:

Image Credit: Cafe Catalina | Supplied

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