Go on, call us bias, we don’t care! Us Gold Coasters are living a life so many dream about. Sunny days for the better part of the year, beaches so stunning they rate as some of the world’s best and, generally, just an atmosphere that wherever you visit, the locals are always stoked to see you. It’s hard to be angry in a place that some consider heaven.
And now? We’ve upped the ante again. The Gold Coast food scene and our love for boozy lunches are joining forces, and we’re reaping the benefits. With industry-renowned chefs opening doors to tasty eateries spanning north to south, we are shining a light on all the top spots perfect for a long, lazy, so-good-we-could-cry weekend lunch. You know that fashion fad, jeggings? Well, you should probably do yourself a favour and invest in a pair.
Isle Of Capri
Edgewater Dining is one venue that’s successfully embraced the beauty of Gold Coast’s canals. Situated on Isle of Capri, Edgewater’s sprawling deck opens out to a swoon-worthy view of million dollar mansions and an up close and personal look at the iconic Q1 and glittering Surfers Paradise skyline. With talented restaurateurs at the helm and open for long boozy lunches seven days, a visit here is a sure bet you and your posse will be satisfied beyond belief. Munch on oysters, lemon pepper calamari. speciality burgers, risotto or perhaps juicy lamb rump. Yes, please.
Baskk At Kirra Point
The geniuses behind Cafe Dbar have again created the perfect long lunch spot. Widely known for crafting cocktails yummier than mother’s milk and food that’ll have you toe-tapping in satisfaction, their alfresco dining makes for the ultimate setting for those ripper GC days. Nestled on the main street of Coolangatta, Baskk, Marine Parade’s newest addition showcases exactly why the southern end of the Gold Coast is booming.
Did someone say modern Vietnamese cuisine? If tempura soft shell crab banh mi, rice paper rolls, Yellowfin tuna sashimi and grilled giant octopus don’t get you Flinstone-ing your butt straight to Jimmy Wah’s then maybe their Feed Me menu—where the chef selects six courses for $45—will be your tipping point. Come Sunday lunches, this joint is always packed and we’ve put it down to two things: bottomless beer + bubbles banquets ($75pp) and the top-notch, friendly service.
Glass Dining And Lounge Bar
This fancy favourite lays claim to something seriously special—million dollar views. Situated in Main Beach’s Marina Mirage, you’ll be left mouth-agape as you ogle at a marina brimming with yachts and the brutal reminder you’ll never be able to afford one. If you’re hunting for an uber-relaxing and equally stunning restaurant, Glass Dining & Lounge Bar should be top of your list. Open for lunch daily and with a vibrant ever-changing menu utilising locally-sourced ingredients, you’d not be blamed for ordering seconds, even thirds, of their famous seafood platter. Screw the budget.
The North Room
Built around a philosophy of ‘eat with your eyes’, this intimate Mermaid Beach fave hosts just 28 guests, so you’d best book in advance for their Friday and Saturday lunches. Tantalising the senses from the moment you walk in, The North Room’s creative meals are designed to get your tummy grumbling before you’ve even perused the menu. With bar seating at their custom-made marble bar for an up-close experience with the friendly staff or get cosy in the luxe blue velvet lounge, you’ll be too busy chatting (and admiring how pretty the food is) to break the conversation.
That’s amore! Well, that’s what you’ll be chanting as you’re rolled out of this superb Italian pizzeria in Palm Beach. Unbutton your pants and get ready to enter foodie heaven. Open for long boozy lunches Friday through Sunday, come for Balboa Italian's fresh handmade pasta and dreamy wood-fired pizza, all while downing a generous glass of authentic Italian red wine (or four). Need we say more?
Garden Kitchen And Bar
Contrary to popular belief, Garden Kitchen & Bar isn’t just for a Saturday night get down. The stunning layout of this chic venue boasts views over the sprawling garden with pops of flora and fauna to really get you green with envy. While you’re busy planning which plants you’ll try stuffing into your bag, build your liquid courage with Champagne Saturdays ($99 including bottomless Moet Chandon). Relax and soak up the sun on their massive deck while gasbagging with your besties.
It’d be plain wrong if this Gold Coast staple didn’t make the list. Rick Shores is basically an icon. If you’ve not dined here already, you’re borderline bonkers. Perched on Burleigh’s beachfront, floor to ceiling windows offer dreamy vistas up the coast and across to the hinterland. Open for lunch Tuesday through Sunday, if you’re wise, you’ll book in for lunch in the most perfect of settings. Just imagine: surfers running into the breakers, fresh ocean breezes as the waves crash basically at your feet and, of course, 12 bug rolls deep. Long boozy lunches on the Gold Coast don’t get much better than this.
Hidden away in the fertile northern NSW hills, Potager is a destination restaurant that totally lends itself to lazy long lunches. This country cottage has been converted to a rustic yet elegant restaurant with refined meals and personalised service that could compete in any capital city. With produce plucked direct from the kitchen garden and everything else sourced from neighbouring farmers and producers wherever possible, Potager is a farm-to-plate experience in every sense of the word. #handsupnotdriving
Harry’s Steak Bistro
Built on the foundation of a quality cut of beef and a casual dining experience that won’t break the bank, Harry’s Steak Bistro is the perfect solution to any lunchtime indecisiveness. Inside, the bistro’s recycled red-clay bricks compliment the minimalist style and draw the eye to its feature piece; a life-sized bull hanging out behind the bar. Open for long boozy lunches Friday through Sunday and famous for damn good steaks served with bottomless frites, Harry’s menu also features small share plates and banging cocktails designed to keep the banter going.
Social Eating House
Located on glittering Oracle Avenue in Broadbeach and open for lunch seven days, Social Eating House is definitely not somewhere to go for a quick bite, for the simple reason you would not be doing it justice. If you go to Social Eating House, clear your schedule, strap yourself in and bask in the glory of European cuisine cooked to absolute perfection, a warm buzzing atmosphere and cocktails so intricate the mixologist personally explains them in detail. Not to be missed? The famous one-kilo slow-roasted salt bush lamb shoulder is the stuff meat dreams are made of, and their espresso martinis are some of the best we’ve sipped anywhere on the Gold Coast.
Sister restaurant to another fabulous Broadbeach eatery Social Eating House + Bar, Orzo is the modern Italian restaurant of your foodie dreams. Expect handmade pasta, incredible desserts and Italian-inspired cocktails worth returning for. Simple, fresh and local is the mantra here. Orzo’s concise yet impressive Italian-inspired menu includes a playful smattering of Asian (like miso) and native Australian ingredients (like bush tomato and lemon myrtle) to make it truly distinctive. A current and sophisticated addition to the bustling Oracle Boulevard dining precinct, Orzo has long leisurely lunch written all over it.
With five restaurants in one ranging from American diner-style eats, Asian cuisine to wood-fired Italian, you and your crew are never short of options. The Collective’s friendly, educated staff are eager to make your long boozy lunch experience one you won’t forget. Their artisan cocktails and extensive list of craft brews sets the laid-back vibe of this trendy rooftop rager. You’d also not be blamed for getting carried away when your 2pm lunch turns into a 2am return home. God knows we have.
More of a brunchin' fan? Work your way through our ultimate guide to the Coast's best cafes and let's chat again in 12 months.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson for The Urban List