‘Closing time’ is playing and 2018 is just about over. We’re not crying, you’re crying. Looking back on the year that was, it’s been a great one. And when it comes to new restaurant and bar openings, we were absolutely spoilt for choice.
In fact, we’ve had to wade through one seriously long list to recap some highlights!
Here are our favourite foodie and watering hole openings of 2018 on the Gold Coast.
The Milkman’s Daughter
As if Mermaid Beach didn’t have enough heart-eye worthy places to choose from, they went and got another. Stepping into The Milkman’s Daughter is like going on a European holiday. You’ll get serious rainforest retreat vibes here complete with terrarium table tops. The menu is completely vegetarian, think delish berry porridge with candied nuts, chilli bean nachos and the best avo on toast we’ve had on the coast. And we’ve had a lot.
Gold Coast foodie and entrepreneur Morgan Walsh had one very busy year, opening the aforementioned Milkman’s Daughter and FuFu's. Head to FuFu’s for their Insta-worthy backdrop and stay for the Chinese-American Diner inspired dishes like cheeseburger spring rolls, pork and cabbage dumplings with ginger chilli broth and deep fried coconut ice-cream for dessert. Thirsty? Grab a classic raspberry cola spider or a mango margi.
2018 saw the exciting opening of Restaurant Labart. And having already been featured in highly regarded foodie publication, GOURMET, they brought the goods. It’s the kind of place that ticks all boxes. Moody interiors, sky high windows, plus top-notch food and wine from head chef and owner Alex Munoz Labart. Think Spanish mackerel, white asparagus, tarragon and bottarga (an Italian delicacy made from salted fish roe).
Bread ’n’ Butter 2.0
An original Gold Coast hipster locale, loyal fans (including us) were devastated when Bread ‘n' Butter closed their doors two years ago. Lucky for us, it was just to refurbish, and this year saw their Kirra doors swing open once again. With absolute beachfront views, delicately handmade gnocchi and a never-ending spread of Spanish tapas, we’re naming it the best comeback of 2018.
Granddad Jacks might have opened this year, but their story was 93 years in the making. A celebration of the man himself, his cheeky ways and clever business transactions (cutting pencils into fours and selling them—genius), the Gold Coast’s newest whiskey and gin distillery came in with force. Founded by grandson David and great grandson Luke, the two (along with a team of helpers) renovated what can only be described as a shed after Luke quit his job as a mechanic. Hands down the most thirst-quenching opening of 2018 on the Gold Coast.
Night time feasting and boozy lunches got a whole lot cooler in 2018. Brought to us by Scott Imlach, the man behind GC gems Hideaway Kitchen, Bine Craft Beer Bar and Nightjar, this modern Cantonese eatery took Burleigh’s foodie scene up a level. Reminiscent of a Chinese garden, with draping vines and paper lanterns, Mr. Hizolas also jazzes the place up with leather booths and sleek concrete floors. Taking you on an intricate food journey, every dish is nothing short of mouth-watering. From the sizzling wagyu steak served on a fo zek stone, right through to kung pao chicken and Mongolian clay pot beef.
Nineteen at The Star
The year’s most anticipated opening, Nineteen at The Star, didn’t disappoint. Having kept the details under lock and key right up until opening, on first visit we realised it was every bit worth the wait. With local legends Simon Gloftis and Billy Cross in on the action, we had a feeling Nineteen was in pretty good hands. The rooftop bar has been dubbed an iconic, must-visit destination for any Gold Coaster or savvy travellers itinerary. Boasting a doozy of a wine list (think: 500+ bottles), a killer menu, VIP bar and views of The Darling hotel’s luxe infinity pool, it’s a top pick for openings in 2018.
When news hit our desk that power couple Ursula and Ben Watts were opening a new patisserie heaven down south in 2018, we were stoked. Already considered unstoppable (you might recognise their names from other ventures such as Paddock, Bam Bam Bakehouse and Neptune Kiosk) these two can do no wrong. Nestled in Chinderah’s sleepy riverside community, Cubby Bakehouse is your one stop shop for flaky pastries, loaded baguettes and one-off taste-tantalizing specialties.
Looking for more things to do? Check out our round up of the best markets here.
Image Credit: Hayley Williamson Photography for The Urban List