If you’re in need of a fun dinner out with pals, a romantic dinner, or perhaps a little solo respite (eating out alone is so hot right now), then you can find what you need in Mermaid Beach.
We recently shared our thoughts on the best cafes serving up coffee and breakfast feasts in this bustling Gold Coast district, and now it’s time to spread our love for the restaurants. In no particular order, we share our pick of the best restaurants in Mermaid Beach. Have you tried them all?
Since opening in early 2014, Bonita Bonita has been a runaway success, delivering some of the best Mexican food on the Gold Coast. This is undoubtedly one of our fave restaurants in Mermaid Beach, and it’s all thanks to the tight-knit local team busting their beautiful backsides to bring us next-level foodie fare and ambiance. While we could go on forever, start with the crispy snapper tacos, ceviche, sweet pumpkin empanadas, Bonita Margaritas and tequila with a verdita chaser. They latter are best consumed next door at sexy BonBon Bar. Holla!
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
By now, most of you already know where to find Etsu. For those who don’t (where have you been?!) or are visiting the GC (welcome!), keep your eyes peeled for an illuminated red lantern and an inconspicuous white barn door, left ajar. This immaculate venue, serving insanely good modern Japanese tapas, has also been a raging success since the day it opened. And it’s not hard to see why. With the perfect combination of delicious, refined food, incredible interior design and effortlessly cool service, Etsu Izakya has set standards high among Mermaid Beach’s best restaurants.
Where: 2440 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
K Bar and Meze
Meze is to Turkey, as tapas is to Spain, and this is just the style of eating you can expect at K Bar and Meze—the dining and drinking arm of well-loved local roasters, Kivahan. We love the crispy spanakopita, saganaki and tomato bruschetta, stuffed eggplant and zucchini, and the arancini. Always the arancini! These are all goodies you can find on their brand new menu. Anyone who can evoke memories of our last Mediterranean escapades via our taste buds wins us over. You?
Where: Shop 1/2557 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
The Glenelg Public House
A new arrival in 2015, The Glenelg Public House has graciously stepped up to join the ranks of the best restaurants in Mermaid Beach. As the name suggests, this stylish steak house is a nod to traditional gastro pubs from the motherland. With a classically styled dining room, featuring an exposed globe and candle-lit interior, sinkable leather Chesterfields, dark-wood furnishings, and rough-brick feature walls, this is one classy establishment. Dishes include rabbit terrine, cured ocean trout, glorious steak cuts, and saucy sides. Ravenous? Order the mammoth one kilo Black Angus T-Bone cooked to melt-in-your-mouth perfection. All this, plus an impressive wine list, craft beer on tap, and killer classic cocktails. With its new sunny pub garden, this is a Mermaid Beach must-go.
Where: Corner Glenelg Avenue, 2460 Gold Coast Highway
Little Truffle Dining Room
The longest running venture of successful restaurateur duo, the Ridgeways, its success having initiated the birth of the Bin family (aka Bin 12, Bin 72, and Bin 232), Little Truffle is the only chef-hatted restaurant in Mermaid Beach. Stepping inside transports you to a charming old-world with ornate furnishings, mirrors, candelabras, chandeliers, and private dining rooms (fancy!). And as you would expect, the food is the stand-out here. It’s European-esque cuisine with an Australian twist, with ingredients such as quail, terrine ham hock, venison carpaccio, along with mains including confit duck leg, braised pork belly, or beef cheek. When in season, fresh truffle shavings make a welcome addition to the menu. Think it might be out of your budget? The Little Truffle generously offers a banging value three-course set menu for $59 per head, Monday to Thursday. Now you officially have no excuses!
Where: Corner Bondi Avenue and Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Mandala Organic Arts Café
Mandala Organic Arts Café is the kind of 100% vegan establishment that vegans drag their non-vegan friends to kicking and screaming. And then the vegan struts out the door smugly saying, “what’d I tell you?” while their non-vegans friends eat their flax seed humble pie. From the creamy mushroom pizza to the salted-caramel smoothie, everything on the menu is jaw dropping. As a friendly FYI, Mandala recently acquired a liquor license. Your life is now complete.
Where: 4/2558 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Here at Metropolist, we like to think of ourselves as a bit snobbish when it comes to Japanese food. We’ve tasted some damn fine sushi and sashimi in our travels, and we know that when an Asian restaurant of any variety, is packed with nationals or ex-pats, then the food is authentic and just as you’d expect if it came direct from the source. True to a traditional Japanese eating house, Itoshin’s décor is simple and functional, but it’s the sushi, sashimi and sake that you’ve come for. Did we mention it’s BYO?
Where: 3/2484 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
When Brooke Darling is not travelling to far flung places or sailing around the world, she’s scouring the coast for the best ethnic food, new openings, and hidden gems, all in the name of research for Metropolist. She loves motorbike rides to the hinterland, learning (frustratingly) to surf, and will try any adventure sport at least once. Find her on Instagram @darlingisamrs