We’ve got a confession to make—the Metropolist team will make any excuse for a road trip. And with another long weekend up our sleeves, we’d be crazy not to combine a mini-break with eating out at some of the top restaurants within spitting distance of the Coast.
We’ve rounded up some seriously top-shelf offerings close enough for a weekend away in any direction.
EAT At Dan’s & Steph’s | Hervey Bay
We all have our guilty reality TV pleasures, and all us tragic MKR fans just won’t be able to resist at EAT At Dan & Steph’s. Lovebirds and winners of the 2013 season, Dan and Steph are dishing up their famous BBQ pulled pork, along with maple bacon waffles, and the ultimate Aussie comfort food—jaffles.
Coast | Hervey Bay
Coast, in Hervey Bay offers one of the best fine-dining menus on the north side of the Sunny Coast, with heaps of local seafood, as many tapas options as you could want to try, and epic meat platters to share if you’re feeling hungry. We can totally vouch for the bourbon-glazed beef short ribs.
Sea Grapes Bistro | 1770
If you’ve got a couple of days to spare and you’re up for a proper road trip as far as 1770, check out Sea Grapes Bistro—a Francophile’s dream with all the classics including duck liver pate, snails, and of course, crème brulee.
The Big Smoke
Esq | Brisbane
The best thing about Esq is that you get to try the perfectly balanced flavours, subtle combinations and stunning produce that guests at the award-winning Esquire get to try, but in a casual-style. And can we have a big cheers for the charcoal grill?
Gasworks | Newstead
Your mum always told you to share, so do mum proud and head to Gasworks, Newstead for tapas, pizzas and cocktails. No worries about food envy here!
Pearl | Woolloongabba
Probably (definitely) my personal favourite brekky spot when I’m in Brisbane. No matter how much you know about food, when you visit Pearl at Woolloongabba, you’ll get to try something you haven’t had before, whether it’s soft boiled eggs with bottarga and pumpernickel soldiers, or a house-made pork and fennel meatball sub. And promise me you’ll try the cakes. PROMISE!
Going for Gold
The Fish House | Burleigh Heads
Head to The Fish House for serious seafood feasting—oysters, caviar, white anchovies, and sashimi—but if you’re not into award-winning seafood so fresh it’s still flapping its tail, don’t waste your time. This place is for hardcore seafoodies only.
Little Mermaid | Mermaid Beach
All you early adopters will want to check out new kid on the block, Little Mermaid, for its beachy, uber-cool fit-out and drool-worthy burgers, ribs, and wings. Grab a jug of sangria and watch the world go by. You’ve got to try the watermelon pizza, too!
JRs Smokehouse | Coolangatta
If too much barbecue just ain’t ever enough, JRs Smokehouse will serve up slow-cooked ribs, brisket, and pork shoulder from their proper wood-fired pit. This mobile catering favourite has finally laid down some roots at Coolangatta.
Rick Shores | Burleigh Heads
Already touted as one of the best new openings in Queensland for 2016, Rick Shores incredible beachfront location is just one of the reasons this restaurant is a must-visit. The Asian-influenced cuisine is another!
South of the Border
Harvest | Newrybar
In the gorgeous blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hamlet of Newrybar in the Byron Bay Hinterland, grab a seat in the country garden at Harvest Restaurant for heavenly house-baked pastries and Allpress coffee, a charcuterie platter, or 12-hour braised lamb shoulder. Get your phone at the ready, ‘cause you’re gonna want to Insta-shoot everything!
Fleet | Brunswick Heads
What do you get when you combine Melbourne cool, with a laid-back beachy charm, and a chef who has a magic touch when it comes to spectacular local produce? Pop into Fleet at Brunswick Heads and find out.
The Roadhouse | Byron Bay
Plenty of raw, vegan offerings, freshly-pressed juices, glowing waitresses, and beardy barmen. The Roadhouse Byron Bay is our idea of ethical, sustainable foodie heaven.
Bangalow Hotel | Bangalow
Round up your crew to check out live music, bask in the Art Deco-style, sample the awesome choice of beers on tap, and feast on epic pub grub at Bangalow Hotel.
Osteria | Casuarina
Osteria, in the sleepy surf town of Casuarina, is serving up an awesome offering of family-style meals and locally-sourced produce with an Italian flavour.
Go West young man
Firefly | Toowoomba
You might be surprised at how many vegie and vegan options are on the table at Firefly Toowoomba. For our money, we can’t go past the spiced black, cannellini, and borlotti beans on toast
Brinx Deli | Stanthorpe
Only $10.50 for a kick-arse burger and sweet potato fries at Brinx Deli totally makes heading out to Stanthorpe worthwhile. The Campos coffee is just the icing on the cake.