Want to escape the Sunshine Coast, but couldn’t pull together enough dosh for a night away, let alone a trip overseas? We feel ya!
As much as we heart everything about the Coast, sometimes the lure of a non-Sunshine Coast setting, tantalising international cuisine, and that feeling of discovering somewhere new, is so strong that you’d pretty much die to hop on a plane outta here. Temporarily, of course.
So, what’s a guy/gal to do when your bank balance and your annual leave just don’t wanna play ball with your holiday dreaming? You make the most of the best restaurants on the Sunshine Coast that don’t feel like the Sunshine Coast. Here’s five of our faves, no flights needed.
Aromas | France
Even if you’ve never eaten at Aromas, you know where we’re talking about. The seats face outwards to Hastings Street much like a regular bistro in France. What you’re drinking and what you’re eating come second to the people-watching you’re bound to do. Probs not the best situation if you’re trying to catch up with someone you haven’t seen in a long time. But as a date, what could be more fun than trying to figure out what that guy’s deal is, or where that family are visiting from, or if that woman’s husband knows she’s just maxed out their credit cards with whatever is in those shopping bags? You get the drift. Open from morning to night, your perch is waiting.
Rick’s Garage | USA
Basically, we could never say enough about Rick’s. Whether you’ve actively hunted the place down or struck gold when you stumbled on it whilst driving through Palmwoods, chances are you’ve told everyone you know, too. This American-style diner and whiskey bar, serves up some of the most incredible burgers we’ve ever put our mouths around. There’s a heap of memorabilia crammed on the walls, a sprawling outdoor area with one of the best beer gardens on the Sunshine Coast, and a cool, everyone’s welcome, vibe.
Spirit House | Thailand
Haven’t got the dosh to splurge on a ticket to Thailand? Spirit House is the next best thing. Trust us! You’ll be hit with all those holiday feels as soon as you start wandering through the tropical garden to the restaurant. But because it’s not all about the setting (even though it kinda is, when you see this place), the Thai cuisine served here is second to none. With a menu featuring a whole heap of dishes that are created to be shared, we would never, EVER, go past the coconut soup of salmon and the whole crispy fish—just ask anyone who’s ever been there. They’ll tell you the same thing!
Dirty Moes | USA
Who knew Mooloolaba housed one of the best deep south food experiences you’ll ever come across on the Coast? We did! Without making this a bite-by-bite recount of how drool-worthy the brisket is (FYI, it’s so freeeeeakin’ good), every dish Dirty Moes serves up will make your stomach very happy. Exposed brick walls, communal bar tables, an impressive cocktail list, and super ambient lighting will whisk you off the Sunshine Coast faster than you can say “table for two, please”.
La Canteena | Melbourne or Mexico
So this place may remind some peeps of Mexico, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But we can’t help be taken to somewhere a little closer to home—to the back alleyways of Melbourne. Tucked away off Ocean Street, in one of the coolest courtyards on the Coast, La Canteena’s high walls and black cast-iron entryway, will make you feel like you sinking sangria in the city. Except you’re not. Head here for a weekend escape when you want to chill the f out to a DJ spinning tunes, icy-cold cocktails, and some seriously more-ish eats. Yep, these guys do epic tacos and nachos. And their wings? Next-level.