Gold Coast is undoubtedly a beach lover’s paradise, with long stretches of golden sandy beaches and azure waters breaking by shores. Beyond that lies the unique neighborhoods and a seemingly endless list of things to do that are enough to put this bustling town on any traveler’s bucket list. But what I loved the most about GC is the epic nightlife and the incredible food scene!
No matter whether you’re craving some fresh seafood tossed in delicious buttery sauce or the traditional fish-n-chips, or just looking for some great grilled meat with craft beer – Gold Coast won’t leave you disappointed! As they say, “Life’s too short to waste on a bad meal”, I thought of compiling a list of my favorite eateries along Surfer’s Paradise & Cavill Avenue (the MOST happening spots) in Gold Coast.
1. Elston Restaurant & Bar
Elston Restaurant & Bar is one of the most relaxing and scenic dining spots in Surfers Paradise, thanks to its beachfront location. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with friendly, easygoing service in operation all day. It combines a wine bar dining experience with deli-fresh meats and a chic urban twist.
The decor, and seating arrangement allow for a day-to-night feel, as the deck seating is perfect for coffee, breakfast, and lunch and the inside with its large sofas, high bar seats, and dim hanging spotlights are spot-on for a nighttime occasion of dinner and cocktails. Alongside the strong selection of local beers on tap, including Blocks Pale Lager and White Rabbit Dark Ale, the lunch menu includes typical pub grub offerings like burgers, sandwiches, wraps, and salads. The spread is rustic and simple with basic menu sections including starters, burgers and sandwiches, salads, share plates, and everything else – which consists of fish, chicken, pasta, etc. So, you have 1000 options to treat yourself during this vacay!
2. Seascape Restaurant & Bar
Perched opposite the iconic Surfers Paradise beach, Seascape boasts some of the best vantage points the Gold Coast has to offer with a different level for all occasions. Sprawling over three levels, including a sunny rooftop bar, nabbing a prime position with uninterrupted Pacific Ocean vistas. Go semi-casual with the bistro on level one or frock up for a fine dining experience in the restaurant on level two. Feast on fresh Pacific lobster, Moreton Bay bugs in a Malaysian red curry glaze, Tasmanian Atlantic salmon in a coconut broth, or an impressive selection of fresh local fish cooked to your liking.
A perfect place combining the best of casual Bistro Bar, a fine dining restaurant, and a Rooftop Terrace, all overlooking spectacular ocean views with exceptional contemporary cuisine. If you step in for lunch, you’ll surely spot the surfers trying to conquer the waves and in case you drop by in the evening, you’ll be greeted by the jostling crowd!
3. Brooklyn Depot Kitchen & Brew
If you’re a burger lover like me and searching for an absolute feast, look no further than Brooklyn Depot. Inspired by the award-winning American burger and bar concept of New York’s old Brooklyn, this is like a little slice of old New York in the streets of Surfers Paradise. It is known for serving some of the best burgers on the Gold Coast.
Apart from the burgers, some of the famous dishes amongst the visitors include sweet potato fries, hot dogs, chicken wings, and onion rings. As the name suggests, there are plenty of beers and cocktails to indulge in as well. As the name suggests, there are plenty of beers and (of course) cocktails to indulge in – so step in & get ready for some fun!
4. Clifford’s Grill & Lounge
Located within the Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast (now, Voco Hotel), with a menu offering a modern spin on the traditional grill house with delicious meats, seafood, and other staples that are grilled to perfection. The restaurant is named after the street attributed to 19th-century world-class rower Thomas Clifford. And I repeat, they offer a tempting menu of meat and seafood which is served with the modern flair of an inner-city bar.
Clifford’s centerpiece is its 10-burner grill, set alight daily to fire up fresh cuts to their juiciest, most flavorful dimensions. The pan-seared pork sirloin, slow-cooked lamb shoulder, and seriously meaty sharing platters are standouts. Just don’t leave without ordering Clifford’s signature Bombe Alaska dessert—it’s totally Insta-worthy too.
5. White Rhino Bar & Eats
White Rhino is a spacious, double-storied venue bringing Jumanji dreams to life!
Covered in greenery with birdcage booth seating, indoor and outdoor options, a mezzanine level, and even a rock wall with a waterfall (yes, we said waterfall!) – White Rhino really is an experience in itself with an extensive food menu serving lunch and dinner, a mouthwatering cocktail list and award-winning wines!
Some of my White Rhino favorites include the Chilli Bug Linguini, the Chargrilled Eye Fillet, and of course, the Wagyu Beef Burger. ‘The White Rhino experience’ is a must-try when it comes to breakfast, saving you from having to make that terrible decision by covering both the sweet and the savory cravings!
6. La Diosa Mexicana
If you’re a fan of high-quality, flavor-filled feasts, you’re in for a treat!
Located in Circle on Cavill, La Doisa is further proof Surfers Paradise is becoming a true foodie hub. The first thing to take notice of is their decadent interior. Combining modern minimalism with just the right amount of artistic flair. Think clusters of succulents and cacti growing in white pebbled gardens, hanging feature lights, blonde timber, and even a neon cactus wall installation, this place is recommended by many travelers.
The entire menu was like a dream come true if you ask me, filled with all my favorites including Tostadas, Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Nachos, and of course, the beloved Burrito. I’d recommend starting with a share plate or two, the Grilled Mexican street corn with coriander crema, paprika, queso, and lime because they are the absolute goods, and the Albondigas is meatballs with house beans and queso fresco that’ll give you a perfect dose of flavor sensations!
If sampling tasty eats while overlooking the ocean is your thing, look no further than Sandbar on The Esplanade in Surfers Paradise. “Sunny days, long nights – Good times, all the time. We’ve got you covered.” – yeah, that’s exactly what this place shouts out loud! One of my favorite restaurants in GC, Sandbar definitely is a sunny social playground that encourages customers to wine, dine, and take their time with a strong focus on changing the vibe of and creating lasting memories of a Surfers Paradise summer that never ends.
They serve a wide variety of dishes including creative burgers, poke bowls, and some of the best fish and chips around. There’s also the craft beer and cocktail menu.
8. Hyde Paradiso
Undoubtedly, this is one of the most Insta-worthy eateries on the Gold Coast! Good food & impeccable ambiance can lift up the mood, anytime! Incredible beach views, over-size cocktails, mouthwatering food reflecting the bold flavors of Greek, Turkish, Italian, and Moroccan cuisines, and DJ soirees on weekends – when I think of all these, the first name that comes to my mind is that of Hyde Paradiso. Well, when you’re in GC, there’s no way that you can skip having a meal that this drool-worthy cafe!
The menu is made up of delicious share plates and also things travelers may enjoy all by themselves washed down of course, by a stunning (and delicious) cocktail or two. There’s also a cocktail-making masterclass that’s very fun.
Well, beyond the beaches, Gold Coast can also be called a foodie’s paradise and I believe that food is an essential part of all our journeys, so if you don’t eat well, you don’t travel well!
If you’ve traveled to Gold Coast and think I’ve missed out on something, do let me know in the comments below. Maybe the next time when I travel there, I’d stop by and grab something from your recommended place.