You might be surprised to learn the Gold Coast has gone and grown all hipster in the past few years. Sure, beach life still reigns supreme, but a new wave of hip hangs proves the Coast is turning a serious corner given its global spotlight with the impending 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Here’s a handy guide to the Gold Coast’s growing brigade of hipster joints where you can roll up your chinos, and wear your top knot or lumberjack beard with pride.
BSKT Café | Nobby Beach
What Nobby Beach’s hip BSKT Café is doing to bring health-conscious, wholesome food to the masses is a beautiful thing. Pull up a stool on the sidewalk or get cosy in the dining room and order the likes of super berry cacao pancakes, raw pad Thai, or BSKT’s signature Healthy Benny topped with kalenaise (that’s kale-infused hollandaise!). If you’ve already had the pleasure of experiencing CocoWhip, a vegan-friendly bio-fermented coconut soft serve that’s taking the food scene by storm, you might find it cool that this guilt-free treat was invented right here at BSKT!
Alfred’s Apartment | Mermaid Beach
There’s something about this vintage diner/ menswear store/barber that draws you in. Their house brew is a specialty Alfred’s blend by Moonshine Coffee Roasters, served from a cute coffee cart in the welcoming and laid-back courtyard. For eats, these guys make one of the best breakfast burritos in town. Fun fact: the urban menswear boutique attached is owned by three brothers, sons to owner of the popular but now defunct Brothers Neilson surf shops.
Elk Espresso | Broadbeach
With a well established reputation for some of the best breakfasts in Broadbeach head to Elk Espresso for an arty, alternative vibe and specialist coffee from some of the best baristas in the game. Elk have also mastered the art of combining traditional and modern elements of food, such as their smashed avo with pistachio dukkah. See, you think you know where we’re going but then BAM, twist!
Burleigh Social | Burleigh Heads
Wrap up Burleigh’s carefree bohemian surf culture in a coffee shop nutshell, and it likely looks like Burleigh Social. Not only are they making some of the best breakfasts in Burleigh, like their epic signature eggs benny on a croissant (seriously, why hadn’t someone thought of this earlier?), but their coffee is always on point. Grab a hot or cold brew depending on your mood and find some shade under the brollies and picnic tables. Still need convincing? Check out their Insta page and try to refrain from drooling all over the screen.
Balter Brewery | Currumbin
Now this, folks, is worth getting excited about. It’s not every day four pro surfers get together and live every man’s dream: opening their own brewery. Local Gold Coast lads, four-time world champ Mick Fanning, one-time world champ Joel Parkinson, plus pro tour surfers Bede Durbridge, and Josh Kerr launched their first beer, Balter XPA in March. Balter HQ is located in the industrial area of Currumbin, the address is not something you’d normally associate with a brewery, but this is one hell of a sexy venue. Balter Brewing’s cellar door is open to the public Thursday to Sunday evenings. Who knows, time it right and you might just find a pro surfer behind the bar pouring your direct-from-the-source beer.
The Cambus Wallace | Nobby Beach
Hidden behind an intriguing wooden façade on the main drag of hipster Nobby Beach, step inside this moody, vintage watering hole where the effortlessly cool crew behind The Cambus Wallace bar will happily make a recommendation if you’re struggling to choose from the cocktail menu, craft beer options, or rotating taps.
Ze Pickle | Burleigh Heads
Everyone knows beers and burgers are a match made in heaven, especially when those burgers are some of the best you’ll find on the Gold Coast. Our mates at Ze Pickle are so damn popular they’ve recently expanded to Brisbane and Surry Hills. So why not visit the Ze Pickle where it all began and forget about being healthy for one day (‘cause calories don’t count on holidays, right?). Like their signature Doughnutfukwitdis Burger with Nutella-cured bacon and a glazed doughnut for a bun. Say what?!
Eddie’s Grub House | Coolangatta
Grungy dive bar, Eddie’s Grub House opened in January and has since been keeping a loyal following of southern Gold Coasters watered and amused to the sounds of blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and the vinyl playlists of local DJs. Dimly lit for maximum moodiness, Eddie’s has a fully-loaded back bar, and craft beer from Balter, Stone & Wood and Brooklyn Brewery on tap. Swing in for some rowdy convo over pub grub like burgers, fried chicken, spicy jalapenos, and onion rings… knocked back with a stiff whiskey, naturally. Here pirate beards and anchor tattoos will feel right at home.
The Village Markets | Burleigh Heads and Paradise Point
Handcrafted wooden skateboards, floppy felt hats, babes on push bikes—The Village Markets is Gold Coast’s answer to Bondi’s much-loved school markets. Since 2008, “TVM” has been silencing skeptics of the Gold Coast’s blossoming talent pool with their artfully selected round up of boutique fashion and lifestyle stalls. TVM trades on the first and third Sunday of every month at Burleigh Heads State School, and the fourth Sunday of every month at Paradise Point Park. Pack a picnic blanket; marvel at emerging designers, creatives, and collectors; listen to live music; and eat delicious food. What more could your holiday weekend possibly call for?
Miami Marketta Night Markets | Miami
Casually offering up an oyster bar and gluten-free donuts like it ain’t no thing, the Miami Marketta international street food market is a frenzy to the senses and a fine example of the Gold Coast’s deep-rooted multiculturalism. Watch the passion poured into flaming souvlaki and the rigour of flipping a batch of paella before sailing into the sinful “dessert hall”. The Miami Marketta night markets are served up over blues, jazz, reggae or flamenco music on any given Friday or Saturday night of the month. Not in town over the weekend? There’s a more intimate opportunity to mingle with the locals at the regular Wednesday Night Tapas Club.
‘Cause the best things in life are free, one of the most-loved pastimes of Gold Coast’s hipsters is park hangs on picnic rugs at Burleigh Hill. On the north side of Burleigh Heads’ forested national park, a natural amphitheatre overlooks the reliable point break. It’s a sweet possie from which to watch the wave-slaying action while dreaming away work on a Monday morning. Starting out early? Swing by James Street for a chilled acai bowl or CocoWhip treat. Better yet, our fave time is late afternoon for a BYOP (that’s bring your own picnic!).
Image credits: Hayley Williamson, Brooke Darling
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