There’s no denying the Gold Coast is a foodie’s paradise, but finding the right restaurant to suit that special night out isn’t always an easy task, so we’re here to help. Narrowing down the city’s culinary champions was no easy task—from north to south, these are some of the absolute best Gold Coast restaurants right now.
Rick Shores | Burleigh Heads
Pack your sense of culinary adventure and set out to discover Rick Shores in Burleigh Heads. Perched quite literally on the water at Burleigh Point, Rick Shores serves up a sophisticated share menu driven by pan-Asian flavours. Pull up a seat on the top level and pick at a plate or two of peppery betel leaf stuffed with soft shell crab and crisp apple slaw, beautifully fresh baos filled with barbecue roasted duck, plum and cucumber or Thai tuna tartare tacos from the bar snacks menu.
Yamagen | Surfers Paradise
QT Gold Coast’s signature restaurant, Yamagen is a funky izakaya with one of Queensland’s largest Japanese whisky collections and some of the most innovative Japanese cuisine you’ll ever taste. Behind the expansive bar, you can peer into the glass-enclosed kushiage station; the beating heart of the izakaya where smells and smoke wafts as chefs work over robata grills and binchotan charcoal.
Social Eating House | Broadbeach
Located on glittering Oracle Boulevard, Social Eating House is definitely not somewhere to go for a quick bite, for the simple reason you would not be doing it justice. One of the absolute best restaurants on the Gold Coast, this unassuming and unpretentious two chef-hatted bistro sets a culinary bar that other restaurants can only aspire to. Come for Social Eating House’s legendary one-kilo saltbush lamb shoulder, followed by the most exquisite desserts in town and washed down with orgasmic espresso martinis.
Lupo | Mermaid Beach
Tucked in along the Gold Coast Highway in Mermaid Beach, this quaint neighbourhood bistro is armed with a woodfired oven, a horseshoe-shaped cocktail bar and a menu that’s all about good, honest food. It’s a real family affair here, with father-and-son duo Brad and Harry Pearce in the kitchen creating share-style eats and snacks, including favourites like house chicken-liver pate on toast, and the woodfired chorizo and white beans. You can always count on Lupo for new and exciting natural wines, too.
Kiyomi | Broadbeach
Spearheaded by celebrated Executive Chef Chase Kojima, Kiyomi is perfection on a plate. Tucked discreetly away on the mezzanine level at The Star Gold Coast, this stylish Japanese eatery is dimly lit, made moodier by the candlelight, dark furnishings and warm wood feature walls. With an adventurous menu including seared scampi with foie gras, Hiramasa Kingfish miso ceviche, binchotan Wagyu and melt-in-your-mouth sashimi platters, all dishes are prepared to look like an edible work of art. Don’t know where to start? We recommend passing the reigns over and splashing out on an eight-course degustation—it’s the stuff foodie dreams are made of.
Etsu | Mermaid Beach
Etsu is a place for those in-the-know. It’s unlikely you’d stumble across this white timber door by accident – and even if you did, you wouldn’t consider going inside. Those who do however are rewarded with a Japanese izakaya-style dining room, filled with delightful Asian creations, effortlessly cool décor and a palette of cool stuff to match. Feast on plates that have been designed to share; from your classics like sushi and sashimi, to more experimental tempura dishes and an abundance of innovative cocktails.
Justin Lane | Burleigh Heads
Another Burleigh Heads beauty, Justin Lane is for those who love a skyward sojourn in the form of a rooftop bar. And let’s face it, who doesn’t? Sundowners, balmy nights, a tipple under the stars… this place combines all this with views out to the ocean and Surfers Paradise skyline. Part of the Justin Lane pizzeria and pasta bar establishment, the rooftop bar is a casual, chilled space with white umbrellas, festoon lighting, misting to keep you cool in summer and heaters to keep you cosy come winter.
Hungry for more?
Check out Gold Coat’s best cafes.