Put on your stretchy pants, I’m going to show you how to tour some of the best South East Queensland restaurants like a rock star with the best restaurants in Brisbane, Noosa, Scenic Rim and Gold Coast.

This is a trip that will take you from Noosa to the Gold Coast with a stop at the best restaurant in the Scenic Rim and a weekend of culinary delights in Brisbane.

You’ll enjoy

  • Five top restaurants in Noosa
  • Five top restaurants in Brisbane
  • Five top restaurants on the Gold Coast

It’s not for the food faint-hearted, but it is a real experience that I enjoyed with a group of international journalists here to explore the amazing local food scene in my backyard, plus a few of my favourite places to dine.

Start with the five top restaurants in Noosa Heads

Let’s start at the top end of the Sunshine Coast at Noosa. Here the subtropical climate begs you to head to the beach, but the dining scene drags you to the table.

For a real rock star feel, I’d suggest you let someone else do the driving.  Relax for the two hours on the road that it takes Limoso Limousines to deliver you from Brisbane to Noosa.

Where to dine around Noosa

There are many that could be on my list of the best South East Queensland restaurants, but I’m selecting these ones based on my recent dining experiences. 


The refined Japanese elegance of the dining and décor at Wasabi (2 Quamby Place, Noosa Sound) offers an exceptional experience for food lovers.  Restauranteur Danielle Gjestland and Executive Chef and co-owner Zeb Gilbert use seasonal produce from the restaurant’s own farm with seafood caught fresh daily by the local fleet. Dining here is a memorable experience, and the Noosa River views are to be savoured.


With 180-degree views of Laguna Bay, the views at Sails (75 Hastings Street, Noosa) can almost distract you from the food. Head Chef Paul Leete has been guiding the Sails menu since 1997 and works with fresh seasonal produce from Noosa and around Australia.


Expect Italian-influenced flavours at Locale (62 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads) and a finely balanced menu along with plenty of pasta options.  The bar here is good for a late evening drink.

Noosa Beach House 

Well-known chef Peter Kuruvita moved from Melbourne to take up residence at Noosa Beach House (16 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads). The menu has an ocean focus along with fresh local produce often sourced by Peter at Noosa Farmers Market. Curry lovers should also seek out the monthly Sri Lankan curry lunches.

Sum Yung Guys

It’s fun food with Asian flair and full flavours at Sum Yung Guys (8/46 Duke Street, Sunshine Beach). Don’t miss the roti and king prawn toast. Matt Sinclair, one of four chefs in the restaurant, was the 2016 runner-up of Channel 10’s Masterchef series.

Where to stay in Noosa 

Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas (33 Viewland Dr, Noosa Heads) is located a short walk away from the bustle of Hastings Street.  I stayed in a one-bedroom apartment with everything you need for a beach holiday. It’s a relaxed and casual environment where you can hear the whip birds call every morning in the adjacent bushland.

How to work off your Noosa breakfast, lunch and dinner

*Try Stand-Up Paddleboarding (or SUP as the cool people call it) on the Noosa River. A morning paddle on the calm river will give you a zen feeling for the whole day.

*Take a walk through Noosa National Park.  The track follows the coastline and offers stunning water and beach views along the way.  Look up to see koalas relaxing in the trees.

*Get wet at Noosa’s Main Beach where the waves are often gentle for a relaxing dip. 


Where else to explore in Noosa?

For an interesting local drink head to Fortune Distillery.

Where to dine in Brisbane

It’s hard to pick just a few for a best South East Queensland restaurants list in Brisbane because there are so many delicious eats. Brisbane’s food scene is booming with a rush of new restaurants opening to deliver an elevated dining experience.

Dining in Brisbane is refined but relaxed, refreshed but regional, friendly but focussed.  It doesn’t pretend to be anything that it isn’t, and that is good food served with simplicity and flavour.

These restaurants make my best South East Queensland restaurants list because they deliver all that and more.


You could be forgiven for thinking you are in France when dining amongst the red leather seats, gilt-framed mirrors and marble bar at Montrachet (1/30 King Street, Bowen Hills). The menu is modern French using the best Australian and imported ingredients but still includes the classics. Chef Shannon Kellam made an appearance on MasterChef when the series visited Queensland in Season 11.


Poolside at Hellenika (The Calile Hotel, James Street, Fortitude Valley) is the place to be seen in Brisbane, and it’s not just because of the superb food.  The poolside cabanas are hot property, but the Greek-inspired menu is mouth-watering.

Three Blue Ducks

With an enviable view over the Brisbane River towards South Bank, Three Blue Ducks (81 North Quay, Brisbane) follows the paddock to plate ethos that has made their Byron Bay restaurant and farm complex a must-visit.

King Street Bakery

An off-shoot of Montrachet, this bakery (20 King Street, Bowen Hills) pumps out artisan bread and handmade viennoiserie, tartlets and cakes the old fashioned way.  They use the same ingredients in the bakery as they do in the restaurant, so you know I’m talking quality produce.

Where to stay in Brisbane

Crystalbrook Vincent, (5 Boundary Street, Brisbane City) occupies a space at Howard Smith Wharves that few imagined as a hotel site. It sits cosily under the Story Bridge backed by the cliff face and showcases the works of acclaimed Australian painter, Vincent Fantauzzo with three original artworks and 500 giclee prints. It’s small, with just 166 suites and very slick in its dark, moody design.  The rooftop bar is a hidden gem in the busy Howard Smith Wharves scene.

How to work off your Brisbane breakfast, lunch and dinner

  • Brisbane River Walk

Take a stroll on the 870m long Brisbane Riverwalk between New Farm and Brisbane’s CBD. This track has separated paths for walkers and cyclists and absolute riverfront views.

  • Walk Brisbane

Discover Brisbane’s booming coffee scene with a guided tour from Lee-Ann Harris of Walk Brisbane. You’ll venture through laneway to discover hidden cafes and a chat to the passionate baristas who run them. 

The Rock Star moment

You can’t have a rock star tour without a rock star moment, and this time it is a helicopter transfer for lunch at Homage Restaurant at Spicers Hidden Vale in the Lockyer Valley to find another one of the best restaurants in South East Queensland. 

Drive to Archerfield Airport to board a flight with Pterodactyl Helicopters for a 30-minute cruise into the Scenic Rim.

Homage, Spicers Hidden Vale

When you land at Spicers Hidden Vale at Grandchester, there’s a glass of champagne waiting.  After a chef-led tour of the veggie garden, lunch cooked over the open coal fire is served in the converted barn.

Another 30-minute flight over scenic national parks will put you within reach of the waterways and coastline of the Gold Coast.