Food & Drink

22 Of The Best Restaurants In Surfers Paradise, 2023 Edition

By Brooke Darling
21st Aug 2023

It’s the glitter strip that put our humble surf city on the worldwide tourist map, but there is much more to Surfers Paradise than high rises, novelty arcades and expansive beaches. 

In the past few years, Surfers’ culinary scene has really stepped it up a notch or three. So, if you find yourself knocking around these parts with a hunger for some top-notch fare, creative beverages and friendly service, best make good use of your valuable time—and avoid the tourist traps—with our pick of 22 of the best restaurants in Surfers Paradise. 

COAST Beach Bar & Kitchen

coast surfers paradise

$2.5 million was spent bringing this landmark venue to life and luxury resonates in every aspect of COAST Beach Bar & Kitchen; from the sleek coastal furnishings, to the contrasting brass, leather and marble fixtures, to the standout 14-metre marble bar. The modern share-style menu celebrates the best of Australian seasonal produce and is centred around flavours of land and sea.

 Setting COAST leagues apart from the pack, a Spanish-style Josper wood and charcoal oven is used to infuse signature dishes with a bespoke smoked flavour, with a large portion of the menu dedicated to ‘Josper Fired’ dishes. The jewel in COAST'S crown is a 2,000-stron wine bottle cellar that boasts 120 wines sourced chiefly from top Australian vineyards. 

Citrique

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 experience. 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 oven baked snow fish  with wood-fired cauliflower, macadamia and wattle seed crumble, cauliflower puree, lime finger and beurre blanc.  

Isla Cantina

isla cantina

Owned by the brains behind the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (Mulpha Hospitality Group), Isla Cantina is a stunning waterfront restaurant that brings us a scrumptious combination of Mexi-Cali cuisine. 

Mulpha’s executive chef Mark Marshall (who worked with Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing) has put his absolute all into creating a menu for you and your eyes to feast on. From fresh spanner crab tostada with refreshing jalapeno lime mayonnaise to eight-hour slow-roasted melt-in-your-mouth lamb barbacoa, Isla Cantina has got a delicious range of delicious Mexi-Cali options that are guaranteed to leave you in awe.

Yamagenyamagen

Yamagen is a funky Japanese izakaya located inside QT Gold Coast hotel, with one of Queensland's largest Japanese whisky collection (over 65 bottles and counting) plus some of the most innovative and creative 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 Japanese chefs work over robata grills and binchotan charcoal.

Or, nab a posi at the 15-seat traditional 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 in Surfers Paradise, well, you’ve found it.

Akoya

akoya langham

If you’re yet to experience the extravagance that is Surfers Paradise’s tallest Jewel tower, look no further than The Langham as your go-to way in. Set on the shores of the Gold Coast’s iconic coastline, it's Akoya’s mouth watering buffets inside the sophisticated culinary home that’ll have you feeling like a food critic in a tasting store.

Wirh daily buffet breakfast, a la carte and shared menus for lunch and dinner, there’s a plate (or several) with your name on it. For those seeking an unparalleled seafood experience, head to Akoya on Friday and Saturday evenings for their signature seafood buffet. Delight in the freshest catches from the ocean—plus a smattering of other dishes—prepared with culinary mastery and presented in an opulent setting that enhances the senses. 

Bazaar

bazaar qt interior

Gathering up the mates can be hard enough, let alone all deciding on what to chow down on. This top-tier Surfers Paradise buffet restaurant is your ideal solution, without having to begrudgingly settle on a food court.

Taste your way around this decadent epicurean dining experience up for grazing at QT’s own Bazaar. Serving up street food-style dishes ranging from Middle Eastern souk through to Latin American bodega, nibble your way around fresh seafood and succulent slow cooked meats with all the trimmings.

Paradise Centre Dining Precinct

Popular shopping destination Paradise Centre has recently welcomed eight new dining hotspots, creating a vibrant new foodie precinct in the heart of Surfers. The $40 million re-development boasts Queensland's first Wahlburgers restaurant alongside a 340-seater Tex-Mex joint El Camino Cantina, Australia's largest TGI Fridays store, the Gold Coast's only Gelato Messina and more. This bustling foodie hub certainly hosts a wide variety of restaurants if you're struggling to choose. 

The Island

sunday roast

There’s a lot to love about The Island, Surfers Paradise's much-loved boutique hotel offering. Choose between dining at Goldie's, The Island's signature bar and bistro restaurant or soak up views at lush rooftop bar, The Island Rooftop.

Home to a lush rooftop bar and sprawling alfresco patio, The Island Rooftop pulls out all the stops with DJs, a retro-style cocktail bar, ample seating, nooks and one of the best Sunday sessions on the Coast. Goldie's has also recently launched a cheeky 'Sunday Roast Revival' where you can indulge in a succulent roast share-style lunch, entertainment and two-hour bottomless drinks package for $69 per peson.

Salt Meats Cheese 

salt meats cheese pasta

Ensuring you are never too far from cheese, pizza and pasta, Sydney’s renowned food emporium, Salt Meats Cheese, has its very own Gold Coast-based pizzeria and deli, right in the heart of Surfers Paradise.

The New York-style Italian menu features truffle gnocchi, flaming Parmesan wheels (Wednesday nights only) and the intriguing black lobster pizza with a squid ink base. Sweeten your experience with cheap eats like all-you-can-eat bottomless pizza Mondays for $29 per person (when you purchase a drink) and $25 Cheese Wheel Wednesdays.

T'ang Court

If the opening of The Langham Gold Coast wasn't exciting enough already, well, we've got some news for you. The Langham's iconic Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant, T'ang Court is one of Surfers Paradise's best restaurants and promises a unique and authentic Cantonese fine-dining experience that embraces the essence of Southern Chinese dining. 

The exquisite menu showcases an array of traditional culinary masterpieces, including duck pancakes with hoi sin sauce, sauteed pearl meat with ginger and shallots, and spicy black tiger prawn with roasted garlic. The 80-seat restaurant seamlessly blends modern luxury and traditional authenticity, with an elegant fit-out that celebrates the vibrancy of the T'ang Dynasty.

BOBs Beer

BOBs Beer is so much more than a microbrewery—the sophisticated menu puts a modern twist on French, Japanese and Australian flavours to create a standout lineup you might not expect in Surfers Paradise. Curated by culinary genius, Nobert Szlama, the fusion menu goes against the grain of usual pub fare and boasts smaller plates like delicate chickpea crisps with french kimchi, harissa and rice crackers and oysters mignonette with shallots, shiitake and topiko.

Another thing we love about BOBs is their innovative sustainable initiatives—their spent beer grains are 100% recycled and a portion of the grains are made into serving platters for oysters (genius, right?).

Surfers Pavilion

surfers paradise pavilion

Spacious with high ceilings, a crisp white interior and expansive yet uninterrupted river views, Surfers Pavilion is a sight to behold. Boasting the largest marina in Surfers Paradise (so you can indulge in the Pavilion's offerings from the comfort of your vessel), the space is simply gorgeous and has a sleek interior that creates the perfect backdrop to your next boozy lunch, sunset drinks sesh or late-night cocktails. 

The menu specialises in modern Australian classics—we're suckers for the lavish oyster bar, which serves up freshly shucked oysters paired with champagne, fulfilling your dreams of living it up Cali-style. 

Sandbar

Surfers Paradise’s longest established beachfront watering hole underwent a funky Bali-inspired overhaul recently, injecting some desperately needed cool back into the touristy precinct. We love Sandbar’s breezy fit-out, always-holiday vibes, creative menus, extensive craft beer selection and killer cocktail list to accompany those salty sea vistas.

Tuck into creative burgers such as Kim Jong’s Demise with Korean-style crispy chicken or the Piggie Smalls with spiced pulled pork and apple relish, or surrender to a delish beachfront serving of Jo’s Proper Fish and Chips, complete with mushy peas. Head to Sandbar, one of the best restaurants in Surfers Paradise, and cheers to the good life. 

Hyde Paradiso

A Surfers staple, Hyde Paradiso is the perfect spot for Sunday sessions and long lunches that lead into dinner with live DJs setting the mood. If you’re after a European summer escape but can’t afford the airfare, then this is the place for you—the hanging garden draws your eye up and then out to the stunning and uninterrupted beach vista.

Food-wise, there's a fresh, seasonal, share-style menu with dishes reflecting the bold flavours of Greek, Turkish, Italian and Moroccan cuisines. Our tip? Order the BBQ baby octopus and the Australian lamb rack and go nuts.

Edgewater Dining 

edgewater dining

One of the best restaurants in Surfers Paradise, Edgewater Dining is one venue that’s successfully embraced the beauty of Gold Coast’s spider web of 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 breakfast, long boozy lunches and dinner, seven days, a visit here is a sure bet you and your posse will be satisfied beyond belief. Munch on oysters, lemon pepper calamari, specialty burgers, risotto or perhaps a juicy lamb rump. 

White Rhino

white rhino cheesecake

White Rhino, Surfers Paradise's impressive two-story restaurant and bar venue located in the Circle on Cavill precinct is ideal for those long, boozy dinners and drinks with friends. The interior oozes cool with an elaborate waterfall bar, five-metre-high ceilings and lush greenery.

The recently refreshed modern Australian menu features everything from drool-worthy burgers to creamy seafood pastas and fresh salads. White Rhino also has a large cocktail and wine list on offer that will have you ordering an Uber home. 

Seascape Bar & Restaurant 

Got a weakness for seafood? Beeline to the esplanade where you’ll find Seascape Restaurant & Bar. Sprawling over three levels, including a sunny rooftop bar, nabbing a prime position with uninterrupted Pacific Ocean vistas won’t be too difficult.

Go semi-casual with the bistro on level one or frock up for a fine dining experience in the restaurant on level two. Here you’ll feast on fresh Pacific lobster, Moreton Bay bugs in a Malaysian red curry glaze, Tasmanian Atlantic salmon in a coconut broth, or an impressive selection of fresh local fish cooked to your liking. 

Fu Manchu Oriental Kitchen

Fu Manchu Oriental Kitchen on Surfers Paradise’s Chevron Island has a true Asian fusion menu that morphs from devout traditions to dishes with a European twist. Hiding behind an unassuming London shop front-style facade, Fu Manchu is totally where we want to hang on our next date night, with a dark and moody supper club-ish interior that lends itself to getting cosy and just a lil’ bit boozy. Our tip? Fu Manchu’s Singapore chilli crab and sticky Asian beef short ribs are life changing. 

Chop Chop

Chop Chop is a sprawling hawker-style market that feature a bunch of permanent Asian restaurants and street food stalls, plus an epic bar pumping out cracking cocktails. In case your mouth isn’t already watering, be prepared for cuisine representations from Korea, Thailand, Japan, China and India, plus more.

Dive into flavour-packed eats like steaming bowls of ramen, mouth-watering dumplings, butter buns, crispy pork with noodles, honey chicken and game-changing bao buns. 

House Of Brews

If a wide craft beer selection is high on your priority list when choosing a restaurant, House of Brews on Orchid Avenue has your name all over it. Beer lovers will be in hoppy heaven with a ridic wall of 32 taps—the biggest draft selection on the Coast.

Hungry? While of House of Brews specialises in, well, brews, their extensive beer menu can be paired with classic American BBQ dishes such as sticky BBQ wings and ribs, burgers, steaks and loaded parmys—knock back a coldie while people-watching the frivolities of the nightly Surfers’ circus.

Longboards Laidback Eatery 

It’d be a crime to leave long-time favourite Longboards Laidback Eatery off our list of the best restaurants in Surfers Paradise. Cheap and cheerful, with poolside seating next door to the towering Q1 Hotel, Longboards has served many a satisfied burger-loving customer with finger-licking appetizers and cheeky burgers like The Budgie Smuggler and The G-Banger.

Up for a challenge? Their 1.6-kilo Phat Bastard Burger will ensure you depart from holidays with a lil extra bulge around the waistline.

Filled that hole in your stomach and ready down some cheeky bevvies? You’ll find all our favourite Surfers Paradise bars right here. Drink up.

Image Credit: COAST Beach Bar, Citrique, Paradise Centre, The Langham, Hayley WilliamsonKaitlin Maree Photography and Brooke Darling Photography for Urban List 

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.