Long gone are the days our metro cousins to the north and south can pigeon hole the Gold Coast for its stellar beaches and party-hard lifestyle.
2015 was quite the year for new hospitality openings, with quality cafes, restaurants, and bars sprouting up and down the coast (we counted more than 40!). Paired with some blockbuster years before that, today the Gold Coast is arguably one of Australia’s fastest growing foodie destinations, and we love that.
When it comes to eating out, we all count ourselves as experts. So with that in mind, how many of the Gold Coast’s best new openings of 2015 have you visited?
Burgster may have only recently arrived on the scene, but it’s quickly establishing itself as a contender for the best burgers on the Gold Coast. If you like to think of yourself as a connoisseur, follow your nose into the back streets of Palm Beach. Our tip? Their burger loaded with Moreton Bay bug tails is heaven in a soft crusty bun.
Where: Shop 2, 4-10 Philippine Parade, Palm Beach
Justin Lane Establishment
If you’ve not caught news of the evolution of the Justin Lane Establishment, you’ve likely been living under a rock. Sure the original Justin Lane has been hosting a dedicated following for a few years now, but this is JL like you’ve never seen before. With a sexy rooftop patio, new menu, expanded seating, and new and improved takeout pizza shop—it’s the hottest Sunday session on the Coast. Or any session, you choose.
Where: No 1708-1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Bam Bam Bakehouse
If you don’t lust over the immaculately stylish fit-out, you will most certainly lust over the crafted all-day breakfast and lunch menu. From the talented young restaurateurs that brought us Miami’s Paddock Bakery, Bam Bam Bakehouse is undoubtedly one of the Gold Coast’s best new openings of 2015.
Where: 2519—2521 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Lester and Earl
2015 was the year American smokehouse BBQ came a knocking. With a banging takeover of an old upper floor apartment, and just a sandy-footed sashay from the beach, expect slow-cooked brisket, finger-licking-good ribs, and a wide selection of tapped craft beers. Lester and Earl are leading the charge for a swathe of quality hospitality ventures popping up in Palm Beach. Bravo guys!
Where: 1097 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Broadbeach’s glitzy Oracle Boulevard is already a hot bed for some of the Gold Coast’s best restaurants, the standard stepping a notch higher with the arrival of Mamasan. A beautifully designed space, where you can watch the chefs work their magic from the dining room or private chef’s table. Their Asian fusion menu is next-level with must-try dishes like the Pork Bao, Mamasan KFC, and delectable chocolate brownie.
Where: Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
Cicchetti is new Gold Coast venture from the gang behind the applauded Byron Bay establishment of the same name. Delivering contemporary Italian cuisine and an extensive wine list to their grand chandelier-lit dining room. If the house made beetroot and ricotta ravioli doesn’t get you, the drool-worthy tiramisu will.
Where: Shop 2G01, Capri on Via Roma, Isle of Capri
Salt Meats Cheese
Salt Meats Cheese, a successful venture out of Sydney, has recently descended on Surfers Paradise. It’s a imported-food mini warehouse specialising in, cheeses, crazy salts, and, yes, you guessed it, meats. Home chefs will be in gourmet ingredient heaven or, waltz in for coffee, vino, craft beer, pastas, charcuterie platters, and authentic wood fired pizza.
Where: Shop 6, The 4217, 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise
Brooklyn Depot is dedicated to encompassing that true, Old Brooklyn-style food which means you won’t find a sprig of kale anywhere in sight. If you ask for kale, you will be forcibly removed. Just kidding. But Brooklyn Depot are not kidding around with their glossy burger buns, rich, real meats, and oozing cheese.
Where: The 4217, 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise
Easy Street Diner
Easy Street Diner is another new haunt to open this year, with a burger-fuelled menu catering to the hungry hoards of Mermaid Beach. Their Americana cheesy fries, buffalo wings, and deluxe burgers are the reason we can’t get enough of this epic watering hole.
Where: 12/2563 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Gelato Messina is the undisputed king of the dessert kingdom. Having served nightly hordes in Sydney for over a decade, they recently started spreading their magic across the country, this year opening their first Queensland store in Coolangatta. With all produce made in house with love, go weak at the knees for over 40 exotically indulgent flavours like salted caramel and chocolate chips, pear and rhubarb, or apple pie. If you’ve not yet tried it for yourself, you don’t know what you are missing.
Where: The Strand, Shop 33/72-80 Marine Parade
Sparrow Eating House
Unassuming Nobby Beach is slowly transforming into one of the Gold Coast’s best destinations to eat and drink, all thanks to new establishments like Sparrow Eating House (and soon to be joined by Gemellini Italian). We’re loving the eatery’s crisp lines and white subway tiles, balanced with bursts of colour through funky geometric light fittings, furnishings, and wall art. Our tip: start with the tempura zucchini flowers and a chilled glass of Sangria…Wherever you go from there, you really can’t go wrong.
Where: 2/32 Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach
House of Brews Taphouse
House of Brews is one for the lovers of hops. With a staggering 32 domestic and international craft beers lining their tap wall, an American BBQ-inspired menu (hello, hot wings!), a rooftop cocktail bar, and regular live tunes to sink your beers to, this new venue has quickly nuzzled its way among the best bars and restaurants in Surfers Paradise. In the words of Homer Simpson, cheers to BEER, “the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems!”
Where: 17 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Setting up in a somewhat unconventional location, a suburban Burleigh Waters shopping mall, Larder is worth seeking out for their consistently good breakfast, burgers, and desserts. Better yet, make your weekly grocery shopping expedition less painful by first preparing with a cheeky cronut and signature Blackboard coffee.
Where: Treetops Plaza, 1/3 Classic Way, Burleigh Waters
Parlour Coffee was another café gem to settle in Burleigh this past winter. We love the laid-back deck out front, the perfect spot to pull up for brunch with your besties. And the coffee is just so damn good. Every. Single. Time.
Where: 34 Tallebudgera Creek Road, Burleigh Heads
Bonita Bonita dishes up the best Mexican on the Gold Coast. There, we said it. So you’ll be pleased to know (if you didn’t already) that they’ve recently opened a stellar tequila bar right next door—BonBon Bar. One hundred tequilas behind the bar is dang impressive, plus you can order all the delicious Latino delights you’ve come to love from the talented culinary team, while you sip on the best margarita of your life—the Bonita Margarita.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Their Instagram posts of adorable French bulldogs and pugs (All-Time are pooch friendly) and drool-inducing vegan-friendly donuts (one half of the owner’s team is vegan), are enough to warrant a change from your tried and tested morning routine. Their epic donut treats sell out fast, so if you miss out we reckon you’ll be pretty stoked with fun old school faves like sweet and savoury toasties and jaffles.
Where: 2478 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Cocoon Ultra Lounge Bar
No matter how many bearded and anchor-tattooed hipsters have emerged from the woodworks these past few years, Gold Coast will always be “Gold Coast”. So, Surfers Paradise’s new Cocoon Ultra Lounge with its glistening white-on-white décor and day beds will satisfy those who come in search of the iconic glitter coast.
Where: 58 Cavil Avenue, Surfers Paradise
You can find Mexican food on every second block these days—not that we’re complaining! But for a fresh change, Fiery Deli entice us further south of the border with their casual Venezuelan and Latin-inspired menu. We can highly recommend their tasty Arepas, a healthy burger-like feast that’s an ideal option if you’re avoiding carbs.
Where: 2/1718 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
This café is so new, you’d be forgiven for not having heard whisper of the name. Hendrixx is worth ducking into to check out an immaculate fit-out of the old surf shop, Boardlife, and to savour coffee in retro couches under sundrenched windows and the watchful eye of the legend himself, Jimmy. (Breakfast menu coming soon.)
Where: Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach
Coming soon…Rick Shores
Rick Shores is only a week or two away from opening, so we’ve chosen to included it anyway. We are predicting big things from the Brisbane crew behind Longtime, who are currently setting up in a long-vacant space under Oskars, close to Burleigh Hill. Expect authentically executed Asian fusion featuring Thai, with splashes of Vietnamese, Japanese, and Indian, all served a stone throw from the stunning sands of Burleigh Beach.
Where: Shop 3 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
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
Photo Credits: Brooke Darling, Hayley Williamson, Claire Dryden, Mandy Ryan, and Esteban Rivera for Metropolist