It’s that time again—where we reflect on the year that was and the long list of incredible new restaurants and bars that popped up in our region.
And believe us when we say there was a heap to sort through! We could undoubtedly make one very long list, but instead we thought less is more—so here’s our fave restaurants and watering holes that we’re totally high-fiving 2016 for.
We had no idea what rib-shack-chic even was before Bordertown came into our lives. But now we do! Sitting a stone’s throw from Noosa River, this restaurant and bar was bound to be a success with the folk behind it having owned and operated several hotspots in Brisbane. Serving up delectable dishes inspired by the southern states of USA and Mexico, this place is fine-diving at its best. (Get it? Because it’s a “dive bar”. C’mon guys.)
Where: 253 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville
Hands down one of the most talked about openings this year, Brouhaha Brewery had a whole village behind them before they’d even poured their first beer. Gotta love the Sunny Coast! Tucked at the back of Maleny, off the main drag, this brewery slash restaurant brings together housemade craft beer and posh pub grub to create the ultimate casual dining experience. Haven’t made the trek yet? Grab your mates, nominate a designated driver, and get up to this mountain town—stat!
Where: 6/39 Coral Street, Maleny
Pretty much the biggest news to hit Maroochydore in 2016, August saw the opening of stunning old-world restaurant Orléans. You lot went crazy on our Facebook post announcing they were throwing open their doors, and the team at Orléans dealt with a booked out venue from the get-go. Now that’s what we call “wanted”. Sexy is at the top of a whole heap of words we could use to describe this dimly-lit space with exposed brick walls, Chesterfield-style booths, and an indoor vertical garden. But, it’s the taste and tipples that really sealed the deal—think: pressed pork belly or seafood gumbo washed down with a Vieux Carre—a tantalising blend of rye whiskey, cognac, and Benedictine.
Where: 1/24 Duporth Avenue, Maroochydore
Motorbikes, jaffles, and hard liquor—Noosa Junction was hanging for a place like Moto. Part bike showroom, part cafe, and part bar, these guys do everything well including serving up a super smooth Clandestino coffee. Yep, this could be your new local and you don’t even know it yet. Oh and why we have you, a warning about their drool-worthy can’t-get-enough jaffles: they will possibly definitely ruin every other future jaffle, ‘cause they’re so dang good!
Where: 66 Noosa Drive, Noosa Junction
A late bloomer in 2016, we’d been waiting for The Basement for a long time. Not actually, but we’d always hoped the boys behind Your Mates Brewing Co. were one day going to open a space to showcase their frothy numbers. So, when we caught wind there was a new bar opening in Nambour AND we found out who was behind it, well, let’s just say we were rather stoked. If you haven’t found yourself at this beer cave yet, how ‘bout we meet ya there? Shotgun one of the leather couches!
Where: Downstairs at 35 Currie Street, Nambour
If there was a name for 2016, we’re positively sure it’d be “the year of the brewery”. At least on the Sunshine Coast. We had a handful of epic beer-making spots opening up, and the best bit is they’re all so different. And none more so than Bonsai Brewhouse. Hidden in the Noosa Hinterland, this ramshackle shed with no glass in the windows, exposed timber beams, mismatched furniture, heaps of hanging plants, and bonsais (duh!), is the perfect place to brew a range of beers and ciders and, even better, a super inviting place for you to drink them. Might be time for a trip out to Pomona, guys.
Where: 18b Reserve Street, Pomona
Right, right, riiiiight at the beginning of 2016, we were completely wowed by the refurbishment of an old boat named MV Catalina. Setting sail for the first time under its new guise on New Year’s Day, this sleek, white-washed, nautical-themed boat totally took our breath away. Since then, it’s coasted along Noosa River most weekends hosting a bunch of private (weddings) and public events. The pick of the bunch and almost always sold-out (so get your tix fast!) is Saltwater Sundays, a sunset cruise with DJs and cocktails at the ready. Sure, it’s not a bar or a restaurant, but it totally deserves a posi in our best openings on the Sunshine Coast in 2016.
Melt-in-your-mouth lamb shoulder, super slow-cooked brisket, and the best mac ‘n’ cheese we’ve tasted in years, Dirty Moes has done a mighty fine job of bringing the flavours of the Deep South to the Sunshine Coast. This city-vibing joint gets our vote for the best spot to kick off a boozy night in Mooloolaba—we’re still going loco for their Sticky Date Espresso Martini. Ermahgawd!
Where: Shop 8/11 Landmark Resort, Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mooloolaba
Rick’s Whisky Bar
Mmmm… whisky. Tucked upstairs in Rick’s Garage is where you’ll find this American-style whisky bar packed with couches, wine barrel tables, and lotsa memorabilia. Opening midway through the year, this joint is home to a giant collection of whiskies that are literally stacked to the ceiling. Some are from Ireland, some Scotland, some Japan—but one thing they have in common is they all taste good, real good! If it’s been a while since you’ve stopped into Rick’s Garage, consider this your lure. It’s still the same people, same values, same humongous burgers, except now they’ve got a legit whisky bar. You have been told.
Where: 14-16 Margaret Street, Palmwoods
Canteen Kitchen + Bar
If you don’t venture to Coolum Beach on the reg, you may not know about Canteen Kitchen & Bar, a stellar 2016 addition to the town’s restaurant line-up. With a breezy terrace giving you glimpses of the ocean and a sleek all-black interior featuring exposed pendent lights and concrete benchtops, this is where you’re gonna want to escape to when you’ve reached your sunbaking quota. More-ish cocktails and menus donning all the right things (think Citrus Smashed Avo on rye for breakfast, Organic Blue Corn Cajun Fish Tacos for lunch, and Crispy Skin Ginger Pork Belly for dinner), it’ll be hard not to spend all summer grazing the goods.
Where: 1748 David Low Way, Coolum Beach
Think we left somewhere out? Let us know!