Cynics love bashing Valentine’s Day—a day where ridiculous amounts of the gold notes are splashed on presents, flowers and sometimes a special piece of jewellery. Ah-hem!
And while we all love a good anti-consumerism rant (occasionally), we also love a good excuse to head out for dinner and smooch in public, ‘cause a little PDA is good for the soul.
So, if you’re stuck for ideas on where to take your honey this year, here are a handful of fabulous Gold Coast restaurants doing something a little spesh for Valentine’s Day.
8th Ave. Terrace
Every other day of the year, 8th Ave. Terrace is just another life-changing experience of incredible dishes and good looking humans, but this Valentine’s Day they’re making it a romantic wonderland. Trust us, we’ve experienced 8th Ave. Terrace’s new nose to tail menu, and it’s the stuff foodie dreams are made of—especially if you’re a little adventurous. Secure your posi in the upstairs dining room or on the terrace, then put your trust in chef Chris to deliver one of the best meals you’ve devoured all year. Each guest receives a glass of Mumm champagne on arrival and your choice of three or five courses (we’d totally go the five-course!).
Details: Three or five-course dinner + glass of Mumm champagne
Cost: $55 or $75 per person respectively
Tasca Wine Bar
We’re feeling the love at Coolangatta’s Tasca Wine Bar, so surprise that special someone with a romantic dinner at one of the best restaurants on the Gold Coast for Valentine’s Day. Intimate by nature, snuggle up in a booth or on a sidewalk table under the heaters, with flickering candle light, flowers and music to put you both in the mood. Next, work your way through a three-course share plate dinner with wine carefully paired with each dish. Yet to discover this southern belle? Well, you’re clearly missing out.
Details: Three-course share plate dinner + matched wines
Cost: $70 per person
Cinema Under The Stars At The Collective
If The Collective packs out for Valentine’s Day, and there’s a good chance it will, there’s going to be a helluva lot of love in one room! Taking advantage of all five kitchens, The Collective are going all out with a five-course dinner, a rose and bottle of French bubbly waiting on arrival, plus live acoustic music all night. Though what makes this one of the best restaurants on the Gold Coast for Valentine’s Day? They’re throwing a super cute ‘flicks under the stars’ from 8pm, complete with popcorn and cosy lounge seating. Love!
Details: Five-course dinner, bottle French bubbly + cinema under the stars
Cost: $149 per person
Sparrow Eating House
This wee eatery is hands down one of the Coast’s shining gems, so you’d better move quick before they book out. This Valentine’s Day, Sparrow Eating House is offering a seasonal degustation menu for $55 per head including a beer or bubbles on arrival, plus tempura oysters, cold rare beef with whipped horse radish butter, roasted pork shoulder with crackling, pancetta and goats cheese, and a swag more. Bring extra coin for #allthecocktails.
Details: Seven-course dinner + glass of beer or bubbles
Cost: $55 per person
The North Room
With space for just 28 diners at a time, this petite Mermaid Beach bistro punches well above its weight and is high among our favourites when it comes to date night. Early diners at The North Room will be treated to a five-course share plate meal, with the later 7:30pm sitting working through seven courses of chef Tim Stewart’s mind-blowing creations. With warm and personalised service, an impressive wine selection and an included glass of champas on arrival—if you’re looking for one of the best restaurants on the Gold Coast for Valentine’s Day well, you’ve found it.
Details: Five and seven-course share plate dinner + glass of champagne
Cost: $59 & $79 per person respectively
SoPo Dining Room
Our fave haunt for delicious eats in Southport is SoPo Dining Room. This standout addition to the Australia Fair Metro complex is playing cupid and offering a crazy good value $45 per head four-course banquet. You’ll get matched wines throughout and tempting dishes like Kingfish ceviche amuse bouche, house made pasta with duck confit, Greenstone NZ beef, passionfruit panna cotta and more. Mmmm. SoPo is hands down one of the best restaurants on the Gold Coast for Valentine’s Day if you’re living on the northern end.
Details: Four-course dinner + matched wines
Cost: $45 per person
Valentine’s Day is the ideal moment to win some serious brownie points, ‘cause nothing oozes romance more than a table literally lapped by the ocean with wafting salty sea breezes. This February 14, Rick Shores is hosting a succulent seven-course banquet ($110 per person or $170 with paired wines) which includes mind-blowingly flavoursome dishes for sharing and a special V-Day dessert. (Hot tip: that golden hour just before sunset is extra magical.) Is this one of the best restaurants on the Gold Coast for Valentine’s Day? We think so!
Details: Seven-course dinner
Cost: $110 per person or $170 with matched wines
Dinner In The Stars At Skypoint
If you and your lover enjoy knocking back a few extra bevvies to celebrate a special occasion, you’ll be interested to know Q1’s Skypoint Observation Deck is the only venue we’ve found that’s tossing in an unlimited three-hour beverage package. Their love struck agenda centres on their uninterrupted 77th-floor views (obvs), plus canapés on arrival, two-course dinner, dessert and live music by local lass, Nicky Convine.
Details: Canapes, two-course dinner + three-hour beverage package
Cost: $120 or otherwise $140 per person for a window-side table
Galentine’s Day Moving Feast With Meets & Eats
Find yourself in a bit of a love hate relationship with romance? We hear you, and this Galentine’s Day we’ve got some bloody great news for you. For one night only (AKA February 14) Meets & Eats is hosting a ladies-only roving dinner so you can shake off any break-up, ignore any heartache and forget any unanswered text. Single or attached (they don’t discriminate), grab your BFFs and meet up at a secret Nobby Beach location for a progressive dinner that’ll see you meeting a bunch of other like-minded gals and toasting cocktails to girl power.
Details: Three-course progressive dinner at three restaurants
Cost: $75 per person
We hate to go for the obvious choice here, but the Italians do romance like no one else, so of course we endorse The Star’s Cucina Vivo among the best Gold Coast restaurants for Valentine’s Day. For $100, you and your beau will be presented with a glass of Prosecco on arrival, plus three courses including a gorgeous Dolci Della Casa raspberry mousse to finish. Devour, Lady and the Tramp style.
Details: Three-course dinner + glass of Prosecco
Cost: $100 per person
Social Eating House
What’s more romantic than eating a degustation at much-lauded Broadbeach restaurant, Social Eating House? Nothing. If you truly want to impress this Valentine’s Day, treat your amore to a five-course dinner featuring Yellowfin tuna tataki, salt and pepper soft shell crab and confit King Ora salmon with gnocchi and brown butter… then just watch the brownie points clock up. You’ll pay $85 per head for five courses, but limited seats are remaining—soooo, chop chop!
Details: Five-course dinner
Cost: $85 per person
The way to every heart is through the stomach, so a date night at Nobbys’ Gemellini is guaranteed to ensure your lover rolls out of there sufficiently satisfied and not asking to stop at Maccas on the way home. On February 14, Gemellini is hosting a four-course Italian feast with a glass of NV La Riva dei Frati Prosecco on arrival. Next tuck into arancini and crisp caprese salad, followed by chargrilled octopus, ravioli pomodoro and a delish coffee-soaked tiramisu to warm you up before whisking your lover home again. Wink wink.
Details: Four-course dinner + glass of Prosecco
Cost: $65 per person
Cupid’s Twilight Cabana At Palazzo Versace
How does a private poolside cabana, bottle of Moet and candlelit three-course seafood feast sound? Like someone’s getting proposed to later, that’s how. This February 14, Palazzo Versace is offering something seriously spesh for the hopeless romantics. Splash out $450 per couple and be waited on hand and foot; with dinner, champas, plus his and her miniature Versace perfumes, a long stem rose and sexy vibes galore. Snuggles later? Cosy cabana bed = provided.
Details: Private poolside cabana, three-course dinner + bottle Moet & Chandon
Cost: $450 per cabana/couple
The Cambus Wallace & The Scottish Prince
Nobby Beach & Palm Beach
If you’re on a budget, you can always count on the legends at The Cambus Wallace and The Scottish Prince to host a night of lurve that won’t cost you your week’s rent. For $60 per couple, you’ll get a Saint Valentine’s four-course share plate dinner starting with a glass of bubbles and ending with the likes of honey-glazed pumpkin tartine with caramelised onion and Milawa blue cheese, garlic and chilli prawns, and lamb cutlets with whiskey and maple syrup on a pea-basil mash. The difference being, if you’ve got a vegan lover on your arm, they’ll be well catered for with their own menu at The Cambus Wallace. Cambus guests will also benefit from an always vibing performance by the James Street Preachers, while Elska is serenading sweethearts at The Scottish Prince. Want dessert after dinner? Diners and post-dinner guests are welcome at either joint with rum (or whisky at The Scottish Prince) and chocolate tasting boards on the menu for $30 each.
Details: Four-course dinner + glass of bubbles (whisky/rum + chocolate tasting board available for dessert)
Cost: $60 per couple ($30 extra for post-dinner tasting board)
Little Truffle Dining Room
Mermaid Beach’s fine-dining stalwart is simply made for Valentine’s Day, with its old-world charm and intricate menu to match. Be spoiled by Little Truffle’s four-course feast, where $99 per head will have you dining on the likes of Moreton Bay bug and prawn tortellini, or cauliflower, parsnip and truffle veloute; plus confit ocean trout with a parsley and spinach risotto, or braised beef cheek with pan-fried gnocchi. Fancy! They’ve got an early or late seating, and few seats remain, so pick up the phone and nab your preferred timeslot.
Details: Four-course dinner
Cost: $99 per person
Terraces At Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort
Thinking about splashing out on a midweek mini staycation? Close to home yet still so far, pack an overnight bag for Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort on Main Beach. While you don’t need to stay the night (though you totally should), Terraces is laying on their famous seafood buffet. Dinner will set you back $95 per head, but once you eat your weight in prawns and oysters, you’ll be making plans to come back next year.
Details: Seafood buffet + rose and gift
Cost: $95 per person
Nothing says “I love you” more than a candle-lit dinner at one of the Gold Coast’s oldest Italian restaurants, the fanciful Ristorante Fellini. This year, their San Valentino six-course degustation menu starts with a glass of sparkling wine and continues into a chilled watermelon consommé, Australian king prawn salad, rosemary and pepper-crusted lamb rack or crispy skin Atlantic salmon, finishing with a drool-worthy 23-carat gold flecked chocolate and orange sponge. We’ve been told that so many choose to pop the question at Fellini! No pressure…
Details: Six-course dinner + glass of sparkling wine
Cost: $140 per person
Want to shout your lover a trip to Spain, but you’ve already reached your holiday quota at work? Valentine’s Day dinner at San Sebastian is the next best thing. For $40 each, you’ll dine on three-courses of mouth-wateringly creative pintxos tapas… hell, we don’t actually know what you’ll get, but we can guarantee it’ll be amaze. San Sebastian is a super chill experience every time, and you didn’t even need to piss off the boss to make it happen. Now, that is crafty.
Details: Three-course dinner
Cost: $40 or otherwise $60 per person with matched wines
On the hunt for more ideas? Some of our faves date night spots—including Lupo, Hellenika, Blue Door On 5th and Glenelg Public House—are welcoming you with open arms and their beautiful a la carte menus.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson for The Urban List