Once upon a time the pub—or “watering hole” as it’s affectionately known—was a place where you could simply indulge in some enthusiastic booze and banter, perhaps with a harmless game of darts or a round of pool with your mates, while toe-tapping to some live tunes.
Now, catering for seemingly every gastronomic urge, the once oh-so-modest Aussie pub encapsulates so much more. And Gold Coast pubs are no exception.
We have waterfront pubs practically spilling with seafood choices, pubs serving gourmet hamburgers that go scrumptiously with your fresh-from-the-tap craft beers, English and Irish-style pubs serving traditional Sunday roasts with a pint of Guinness, and even drinking establishments so close to the deli that they come with a distinct whiff of cheese!
The truth is, there’s a hell of a lot extra going down at your not-so-watered-down-anymore local these days. So without holding up last orders at the bar, let us explore 14 of our favourites among the best pub meals on the Gold Coast.
1. There’s good reason why House of Brews is regarded one of the best new eateries and craft beer bars on the Gold Coast. We believe the Hola Mexicana—which encapsulates grilled chicken breast topped with melted cheese, salsa, avocado guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos, lettuce and tomato—has a lot to do with it!
2. While you’re by the water must take advantage of the “Seafood Indulgence” menu option at Fisherman’s Wharf Tavern. Ideal to share between two or three people, it comes with prawns, oysters, lemon pepper calamari, crumbed fish, lime butter scallops, and prawns (in case you haven’t got enough prawns!), dukkah spiced salmon, grill bugs, and served with chips and a side salad. Superb!
3. Taking pride of place on Tamborine Mountain is the Witches Chase Cheese and Fortitude Brewing complex. Adjacent to Witches Cheese Deli, Fortitude Brewery lets you try a paddle of “extreme” local craft beers while tucking into an assortment of cheeses or fruit pastes that won’t leave your taste buds yearning.
4. Craft beers and a “Three Little Pigs” slider of baby burgers (pork belly BLT, crispy beef with red pepper, and crumbled camembert with onion jam) are the order of the day at Surfers’ Pigs and Pints.
5. Fox and Hounds is a delightful English upholstered pub where you can go for a slap up traditional English roast dinner and a frosty pint of London Pride without the international airfare expense.
6. Or have the Irish roast alternative on Sunday’s special menu at the D’Arcy Arms and swap that Pride for a pint of Guinness!
7. A seafood basket of beer battered snapper, prawns, scallops, and crumbed calamari is what to order at pirate-themed pub restaurant The Galley, Coomera.
8. The chicken parmigiana is large enough to stop your stomach rumbling for a week at one of our faves, the Rainbow Bay Surf Club.
9. You’ll be hard pressed to find anything more satisfying than tucking into a superb traditional fish and chips at St Bernards Hotel while gawking at the jaw-dropping panoramic views of Tamborine Mountain.
10. Saturday’s Seafood Tower special (ideal to share) is simply essential ordering at Harringan’s Drift Inn.
11. The 300g Waygu rump should be your go-to at the “oldest pub on the Gold Coast”— the Wallaby Hotel.
12. You’ll go barmy for a $10 Chicken Parmy (with a pot of Great Northern) in Malibu’s Bar at Miami Tavern.
13. What’s not to like about a stuffed chicken called “The Cooly” that’s replete with chorizo, red pepper, and mozzarella, sitting atop a broccolini and potato rosti with creamy mustard sauce—yum! Find it at the Coolangatta Hotel.
14. There’s good reason the 250g signature steak at Burleigh Heads Hotel, which is topped with grilled Moreton bay bug and prawns, smothered in garlic butter and served with kipfler potatoes, greens, and cherry tomatoes, is a popular dish. Go try!
Did we miss your fave watering hole serving some of the best pub meals on the Gold Coast? Let us know!
Photo Credit: The Urban List