On our recent road trip in Queensland, Hendric and I had the opportunity to eat at many many places and I really want to share them with you! These aren’t your common run-off-the-mill tourist attractions, I’ve really whittled the list down to my favourites. The commonality about these restaurants is that produce is very local and fresh, the food is excellent and a lot of thought goes into designing these places and building the ambience you’re in.
Warning: lots of food pictures ahead!
1. Walrus Social House (Gold Coast)
Walrus Social House is located conveniently beside Surfer’s Paradise station. It has an impressive bespoke heritage cocktail list, a strong tapas menu and a relaxed alfresco cabana lounge that we loved. We particularly liked the slow braised pork belly; the sauce was a balanced combination of sweet and salty, and the pork belly truly had a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
SS Walrus, $18
Black Schnauzer, $19
Crispy salt and pepper local squid, $15
Three hour slow braised pork belly, $14
Walrus Social House
3032 Surfers Paradise Boulevard,
Surfers Paradise QLD 4217, Australia
Tel: +61 7 5588 8400
2. QT bazaar (Gold Coast)
Entering Bazaar is like walking into heaven – there’s a premium meat section, wood-fired pizza selection, classic pot roasts, organic salads, a seafood section, an Asian wok section (if you’re missing our good ol’ Asian food) and a seemingly endless selection of desserts.
Come here on an empty stomach and you’ll leave a happy camper. Pro-tip: pace yourself, and take small portions!
The price tag’s a little hefty ($72 for dinner), but it’s well worth it.
Bazaar @ QT
7 Staghorn Avenue,
Surfers Paradise QLD 4217, Australia
Tel: +61 7 5584 1200
3. Elephant Rock Cafe (Gold Coast)
Here’s a fine place for beach front dining – take in the sights and sounds of Currumbin beach life by day, or enjoy the perfect view of the sun setting and waves lapping the beach from the upper deck of Elephant Rock Cafe.
Tempura zucchini flowers, $16
Duck 3 Ways, $35
Elephant Rock Cafe
776 Pacific Parade,
Currumbin QLD 4223, Australia
Tel: +61 7 5598 2133
4. GoMA Cafe Bistro (Brisbane)
To be honest we were here because the highly lauded GOMA Restaurant was fully booked, but we had no regrets after tasting the quality food! The bistro’s right on the edge of the river, which lends it a nice, relaxed atmosphere and a great view. Perfect for an alfresco lunch.
Kilcoy beef cheek bourguinon, $23
Seared Mooloolaba tuna nicoise salad, $18
GoMA Cafe Bistro
Stanley Place, Cultural Precinct
South Bank, Brisbane
Queensland 4101, Australia
5. Bucci (Brisbane)
Bucci lies in (the very hipster) Fortitude Valley, and has a seasonally driven modern menu that boasts fresh, organic and locally sourced produce which really elevates their dishes. My personal favourite was the burrata which was paired with an amazing truffle honey which was also locally farmed. It’s a simple dish which really let the ingredients shine! Great place for a casual lunch.
Burrata Tartufata (with truffle honey) $18.50
Hervey Bay scallops (with garlic aioli & parsley crumbs) $22
Shop 11/15 James Street,
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006, Australia
Tel: +61 7 3252 7848
6. Eat Street Markets
I love being at markets, especially when there’s food, so the Eat Street Markets really got my heart racing. When the sun sets it’s bustling with activity and lit by pretty fairy lights and the enthusiasm of stall owners. Lots of fun! Eat Street is a must-go if you’re visiting Brisbane. It’s open every Friday (4pm – 10pm) and Saturday (4pm – 10pm).
I’ll have to be honest I don’t quite know the prices for these because we traded “work” (not really) for food. But I loved the funnel cake; it’s like a mashup between a waffle, churro and a donut. Top it off with ice cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and a Ferrero Rocher for an irresistible dessert!
I also really enjoyed the oysters here as well; super fresh and tasty.
(The price tag shows $12 per dozen…what a steal!)
Eat Street Markets
Hamilton Wharf, Northshore, Brisbane
7. Miss Moneypenny’s, Noosa
The relaxed vibe in Noosa made it one of my favourite places in Queensland. Miss Moneypenny’s is a stylish venue where we found the pièce de résistance really enticing:
the Seafood and Charcuterie Share Board ($82) had everything you ever needed to be happy on a board. This includes fresh oysters, Mooloolaba King Prawns, Balmain Bugs (not insects), prosciutto and other cold cuts that made my heart sing.
6 Hastings Street
Noosa 4567, QLD
Tel: +61 07 5474 9999
That about sums up our favourite culinary finds in Queensland; let me know if you have more to recommend.
And If you’re planning a roadtrip of Gold Coast and beyond, hope you found these useful!
(P.S. All prices listed are in AUD.)
(P.P.S All pictures taken with the HTC Re / HTC Butterfly 2 except the last pic!)