There’s no denying the Gold Coast of 2022 is a foodie’s paradise. But finding the right restaurant to suit that special night out isn’t always an easy task, so we’re here to help.
Narrowing down the city’s culinary champions was no easy task—from north to south, these are 18 of the absolute best Gold Coast restaurants right now.
QT Gold Coast’s signature restaurant, Yamagen is a funky izakaya with one of Queensland's largest Japanese whisky collections and some of the most innovative Japanese cuisine you'll ever taste. Behind the expansive bar, you can peer into the glass-enclosed kushiage station; the beating heart of the izakaya where smells and smoke wafts as chefs work over robata grills and binchotan charcoal. Or, nab a spot at the 15-seat sushi bar where you can interact with the chefs and devour plate after plate of omakase (chef’s selection of market fresh sushi and sashimi). If you’re on the hunt for one of the best restaurants on the Gold Coast, you’ve found it.
Social Eating House
Located on glittering Oracle Boulevard, Social Eating House is definitely not somewhere to go for a quick bite, for the simple reason you would not be doing it justice. Although currently undergoing renovations, Social Eating House is one of the absolute best restaurants on the Gold Coast—this unassuming and unpretentious two chef-hatted bistro sets a culinary bar that other restaurants can only aspire to. Come for Social Eating House’s legendary one-kilo saltbush lamb shoulder, followed by the most exquisite desserts in town and washed down with orgasmic espresso martinis.
Spearheaded by celebrated Executive Chef Chase Kojima, Kiyomi is perfection on a plate. Tucked discreetly away on the mezzanine level at The Star Gold Coast, this stylish Japanese eatery is dimly lit, made moodier by the candlelight, dark furnishings and warm wood feature walls. With an adventurous menu including seared scampi with foie gras, Hiramasa Kingfish miso ceviche, binchotan Wagyu and melt-in-your-mouth sashimi platters, all dishes are prepared to look like an edible work of art. Don’t know where to start? We recommend passing the reigns over and splashing out on their limited edition twenty-course omakase degustation—it’s the stuff foodie dreams are made of. Without a doubt, one of the Gold Coast's best restaurants.
Perched above the hustle and bustle of Surfers Paradise, lies the foodie paradise that is Citrique. Renowned for its long weekend lunches and seafood market experience, Citrique is a unqiue and chic dining experience that excels at its signature ocean and paddock-to-plate style dining. Their award-winning seafood buffet will have you sampling a variety of fresh, local seafood for the ultimate sea-to-table expereince. Think: Pacific oysters, Mooloolaba tiger prawns, blue swimmer crabs and Moreton Bay bugs galore. If a buffet presents too many sumptous options for you to choose from, dive into their larger plates—which all showcase local ingredients—like the lavendar honey-glazed duck breast with marinated heirloom beetroots, croquettes, chard leaves, asparagus and fig jus.
Gold Coast’s foodie portfolio was elevated when Sydney chef Alex Munoz Labart and his Gold Coast-raised wife Karla opened their first restaurant in Burleigh Heads. Awarded the best regional restaurant in Queensland by The Courier Mail, this intimate 60-seat bistro brings a touch of European sophistication to the local dining scene. Restaurant Labart’s open-plan kitchen and charcoal grill allows diners a front-row seat to watch Alex and his talented team work their magic. The ever-changing menu is designed to share with both snacks, small and large plates on offer, with all ingredients locally and sustainably sourced.
Nineteen At The Star
If there’s one destination that seriously nails hotel dining on the Gold Coast, it’s The Star Gold Coast, with a half dozen stellar eateries under one roof. And the crème de la crème of Gold Coast hotel restaurants is Nineteen at The Star. This is where the who’s who come for grilled Patagonian Toothfish and rock lobster bolognese with glittering views of the coastline 19 floors up; and where visitors and locals splurge to celebrate that special something or someone.
Hidden behind a whitewash timber door, if you didn’t already know about Etsu, you’d question whether you’d stumbled upon a city-side barn. But, look a little closer and you’ll find a modern Japanese izakaya-style dining room with effortlessly cool staff, brought to life with incredible Asian creations—cocktails and sake included. Designed to share; devour sushi, sashimi, tempura dishes and more at this intriguing Mermaid meeting place and hands down one of the absolute best restaurants on the Gold Coast.
A packed dining room seven nights, plus lunch Thursday to Sunday, is a testament to the young Carney brothers who introduced some of the most authentic Italian fare to the Gold Coast. Gemelli, translating to ‘twins’ in the mother tongue, is the original trattoria in the Gemelli hospitality empire and is somewhat of an institution among pizza and pasta lovers. The brothers were making pasta sauce before most of us had learnt to read and write, and it’s their traditional recipes made with imported ingredients from Italy, passed through the generations, which are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike at their iconic Broadbeach restaurant. Come for the woodfired pizzas, melted gnocchi bowls and loaded salumi boards, and then stay for their drool-worthy Nutella Bomba desserts.
Eddy + Wolff
A relative newcomer to the Gold Coast fine dining scene, Eddy + Wolff is an intimate 22-seat Asian bar and restaurant bringing delicious, modern eats to Robina. This sleek eatery boasts a share-style menu split into barbecue snacks and bigger dishes, although you might not want to share when you see the plates coming out of the kitchen. Expect mouth-watering dishes like their signature ‘Baby Pho’, which boasts a 48-hour simmering bone broth which comes from an old school family recipe passed down from way back. Pair your dishes with Eddy + Wolff's selection of Japanese whisky and extremely rare sake, and you'll agree this is absolutely one of the Gold Coast's best restaurants.
The North Room
Hunting for one of the best restaurants on the Gold Coast, whether it be date night or to treat your bestie? We’re totally crushing on Mermaid Beach’s intimate bistro, The North Room. The handiwork of talented husband and wife duo Tim and Shannon Stewart, nab a seat in this stylish and intimate 28-seat dining room and be spoilt with a refined European-style dining experience combining faultless service, buttery smooth ambiance and a menu that champions the finest of seasonal, locally-sourced produce. Expect creative dishes like the spanner crab and bone marrow crumpet or Pottsville pipis with green zebra tomato and pumpkin, which are even more delicous than they sound.
With a carefully-curated Asian fusion menu of contemporary dishes from Vietnam, Thailand and further afield, this Burleigh Beach waterfront favourite not only offers lust-worthy views across the table, but some of the most delicious dishes we’ve tucked our knife and fork into. You will not leave disappointed after the likes of soft shell crab on betel leaf, Rick’s famous Moreton Bay bug rolls, Kingfish sashimi and king prawn yellow curry. Hot tip? Rick Shores’ outdoor walk-in patio seats are all-time for a vino or frosty beer with a view, plus that golden hour around sunset is extra magical, so plan your night accordingly. Rick Shores is hands down one of the absolute best restaurants on the Gold Coast.
Orzo is the second eatery by lauded hospitality couple Matt and Dayna Jefferson, who have made their mark on the Gold Coast with the divine Social Eating House, so when Orzo opened it's doors in early 2020, we were always confident this would be special. And we were right. Orzo brings sophisticated coastal Italian cuisine to the Gold Coast; its concise yet impressive Italian-inspired menu includes a playful smattering of Asian and native Australian ingredients to make it truly distinctive. Orzo's slurp-worthy, handmade pasta menu is simpy divine—from the signature scampi on orzo pasta coated in a rich roasted shell sauce with leek and mascarpone to the generous serving of tagliatelle brimming with shitake, dusk, cocoa and fennel, you can't make a wrong choice. Orzo’s elegant design evokes a feeling of relaxed comfort, transporting diners to the picturesque Amalfi Coast. If you're on the hunt for one of the best restaurants on the Gold Coast, stop the search.
Burleigh Pavilion’s signature al a carte restaurant, The Tropic’s jaw-dropping locale makes you feel as if you’re dining on the edge of the ocean. With plantation-style ceilings, a pale pink tiled bar, crisp white tables, thoughtful greenery and splashes of pastel blue, moss green and creamy yellow, every inch of the 200-seat restaurant is achingly cool. Chef Guillaume Zika, who nabbed two hats while running esteemed Restaurant Cottage Point Inn in NSW, heads up The Tropic’s kitchen, so you know you’re in for a mouth-watering treat. The menu is produce-driven featuring only the freshest local ingredients, which means anything seafood related is a must-try.
Neslted in the heart of Broadbeach, Miss Moneypenny’s coastal colour palette is dreamy and the styling is elegantly timeless. From the terracotta breeze wall entry way and stunning terracotta lined bar, to the walnut tables, plush heathered grey and sea foam blue couch seating—Miss Moneypenny’s is chic, grown up and very classy. Now that you've lusted over the interior, let's move onto the food. Artistically executed, work your way through moreish bites like seared beef tataki with smoked enoki mushrrom, Hiramasa kingfish ceviche and chargrilled Moreton Bay bug. With social dining at its heart, we recommend trying Miss Moneypenny's chef's seven dish signature selection, which will have you dining on a carefully curated menu of Miss Moneypenny's signature dishes, including wagyu beef skewers, chargrilled ora king salmon and lemon vanilla buttermilk panna cotta.
A newcomer to the Gold Coast dining scene, Rubi Red is the latest venture of culinary trailblazer, Michael Lambie, whose impressive career spans many decades and continents, before making the move to the Gold Coast in 2022. Rubi Red oozes sleek, contemporary-chic vibes; the dark, moody fit-out is concentrated by bright pops of red and white-washed walls. Rubi Red’s magnificent menu is eclectic, bringing together a fusion of pan-Asian flavours inspired by the abundant local produce. The seemingly uncomplicated yet artfully curated menu is a reflection of Michael’s extensive travels throughout Asia, combining unique tastes from different regions which seamlessly complement each other. You can't go past the drunken chicken with Shao Xing wine, spring onion and ginger and the crispy fried Chinese Sichuan duck with water chestnuts and tamarind sesame dressing.
Given our love affair with Asian food, we rank Jimmy Wah’s high among the best restaurants on the Gold Coast. A contemporary take on traditional Vietnamese cuisine with an Australian twist, you won’t find any upturned milk crates for stools or conical palm leaf and bamboo hats here. Open for both lunch and dinner seven days, undo your top button in preparation for plates and plates of flavour-packed braised short beef short rib on steamed buns, pork and prawn Vietnamese pancakes, Banh Mi and tempura bug tail on betel leaf.
Justin Lane Establishment
Ask any local and they’ll tell you Burleigh is where the magic happens; and one of its star attractions is Justin Lane Establishment. Justin Lane is legendary around these parts; having helped shaped the charismatic pocket of Burleigh we know and love today. Justin Lane’s sleek two-story digs attracts a hip, jovial crowd any day of the week, so come for the sun-drenched rooftop bar and prime-positioned booths with beach views, then stay for the show-stopping cocktails, handmade sourdough pizzas, pastas and share plates.