Granddad Jacks is one of the top spots on the Gold Coast Photo: Krista Eppelstun/TEQ
Although the Gold Coast first comes to mind for long days at the white sand beaches, soaking up the seaside, it has a thriving food scene and plenty of destination dining.
There are five Gold Coast restaurants and eateries where I have enjoyed amazing food that you really must try. There are so many restaurants that demand attention here, but I’ve found that my favourites seem to fall between Broadbeach and Burleigh.
Ashbern Farms serve up delicious strawberry sundaes – a must-stop on the Granite Belt food lover’s trail.
Granite Belt, Southern Queensland Country
Start out on the Cunningham Highway from Brisbane and in just over two hours of driving you will be on the Granite Belt. It’s the cool, high country region that centres around Stanthorpe and stretches to the border with New South Wales. This is a region where the seasons are distinct just like the flavours. You will enjoy log fires (even sometimes in summer), excellent local wines and fresh farm food.
These are your favourite ways to explore the Granite Belt.
Kay Tommerup from Tommerup’s Dairy Farm in the Scenic Rim.
This was the year that the Scenic Rim really came into its own. A region plagued by bush fires and drought in the months, it bounded back off the back of the Scenic Rim Farm Box which finally showed the rest of Australia just what this region can deliver. I regularly order a Scenic Rim Farm box and find the produce fresh and flavoursome. I’m keen on the meat packs too!
Here’s where you can go in the region to see the produce growing, buy direct from the store and dine in style.
Lunch at Kin Kin General Store. Photo Kerry Heaney
Noosa, Sunshine Coast
Ah, Noosa! That’s my heart sighing as the car crests the hill leading down into Noosa Heads. This region is my special place, and it has some of the best food around.
This year I went off the beaten track and explored food trails around the region and also found some of the local’s favourite haunts and you loved my discoveries. Here is where to go.
Moroccan magic food on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) Photo: Kerry Heaney
Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), off the coastline from Brisbane
If you have not taken the ferry ride across to Straddie (as the locals call it), you must make the trip. It’s doable in a day but why limit paradise?
The island is a small community, but it does have some delicious food that you can eat while enjoying the most amazing views. Try these trips and tips on for size.
Rob Bauer in the fields that grow his beautiful baby potatoes in the Lockyer Valley. Photo: Kerry Heaney
Just an hour’s drive from Brisbane, the fertile Lockyer Valley edges the Scenic Rim with rich farmland. The locals here take it for granted that their food will be fresh and full of just-picked flavour. Working with premium ingredients, it’s not hard to whip up a flavoursome feast here. This popular trail takes you on a country trip to explore the region with amazing eats along the way.
Grunske’s Seafood Market, Bundaberg. Photo: Kerry Heaney
Still flying under the radar, Bundaberg is only good for food lovers who like their seafood fresh from the trawler, their fruit and veggies farm fresh from local growers and their dining full of imaginative and moreish cuisine. If that is not you, give Bundaberg a miss but it certainly ticks all my boxes.
Here is where you should dine.
Rafter & Rose, Ipswich. Photo: Kerry Heaney
History will tell you that Ipswich was once in the running to be the capital of Queensland. That ship has sailed, but the city is doing its best to develop into a strong food capital. There are some real culinary surprises in Ipswich that are worth exploring and judging by the number of clicks on this post, you are doing just that!
Which are your top Queensland food destinations?
I hope you enjoy discovering the wealth of flavours in these top Queensland food destinations. I certainly did!
Where are you finding great food experiences in Queensland? Do share!