Looking for Gold Coast restaurants with a view? You will eat well at these places from Surfers Paradise to Palm Beach, and maybe even enjoy an ocean glimpse! Browse this list of 10 restaurants and see why you should eat there, which ones have the best views for a fabulous Gold Coast dinner and where to find the best Bug Rolls.
It’s known for its sun and surf, but the Gold Coast dining scene is well-developed and will seriously challenge your waistline. There are so many restaurants that demand attention here, but I’ve found that my favourites seem to fall between Surfers Paradise and Palm Beach.
Take a look at these 10 Gold Coast restaurants, bars and cafes which are the places I would return to without hesitation. I tell you why you will want to eat here and if you are looking for a Gold Coast restaurant with a view, I have that covered too!
What’s a bug roll?
I’m also searching for the Gold Coast’s best bug rolls. What’s a bug roll? Well, it has nothing to do with insects and everything to do with Moreton Bay bugs which are a type of lobster found locally in Moreton Bay. Combine battered bug with a soft bun, crisp lettuce and sauce and you have a very memorable taste experience. The Gold Coast has taken the bug roll into its heart and there are plenty of variations to be found.
Opening photo – Maman at Burleigh Heads. Photo: Kerry Heaney
Tempura Bug Roll at Miss Margot’s, Surfers Paradise
10 Gold Coast restaurants you have to try
Miss Margot’s Bar & Eats, Surfers Paradise
This Gold Coast restaurant and bar is tucked inside the lobby of Hilton Surfers Paradise in busy Orchid Street. I sampled the menu heavily and found favourites in the grilled king prawns with green papaya and peanuts, the bao buns filled the pork belly, fried chicken or soft-shell crab and the salt and pepper calamari.
If you are addicted to lobster rolls like me, sample the tempura Moreton Bay bug roll which comes on a soft milk bun with sriracha mayo and crisp lettuce.
Why eat here?
It’s a great place to escape from the hustle and bustle of Surfers Paradise. The all-day menu means you can find food suitable for any time of the day or have breakfast for dinner.
Grab the table right at the front of Miss Margot’s and position yourself with a 180-degree view of Orchid Avenue. It’s great for people-watching.
Pizza straight from the wood-fired oven to you at Salt Meats Cheese.
Salt Meats Cheese, Surfers Paradise
Salt Meats Cheese at Surfers Paradise is seriously dedicated to the art of the pizza. Chef Alessandro Vicinanza creates his pizza dough with tender loving care as though his grandmother is watching over his shoulder. The menu includes all your Italian favourites from arancini to gnocchi and there is a kid’s menu for small fry.
Why eat here?
If you have a hankering for a pizza or Italian, this is your go-to in Surfers.
Not so much. It’s inside a shopping centre facing busy Beach Road. There is some outdoor dining.
Salt Meats Cheese, 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise.
Dining at Maggie Choo is like taking a trip to Bangkok.
Maggie Choo, Broadbeach
They don’t mince words when it comes to Maggie Choo describing their Gold Coast restaurant food as ‘kick-arse Asian fusion. The good thing is that they are right.
Sitting in Maggie Choo is a strange cross between being in Bangkok and Broadbeach. Look inside and you are in Asia, look outside and the streetscape screams Gold Coast vibes. It’s busy and buzzy but that doesn’t mean the service is slow or the meals are anything less than perfect.
I was delighted by the fresh seafood on the menu here and I rate it as some of the best on the Gold Coast. I started with a few fresh oysters served natural, lap chong kilpatrick of Thai vinaigrette followed by lotus chips and a sesame and lime dip.
Maggie Choo has their own version of a bug roll. This one is a tempura bug tail with mayo and crisp baby gem lettuce with an Asian twist of a sweet and sour sauce. If I couldn’t get to Rick Shores this would be a very acceptable alternative.
My favourite dish here was the scallop sashimi, closely followed by the tempura king prawns. Least favourite – the Indonesian fritters just didn’t do it for me.
Why eat here
Busy with plenty of street action, you can have an Asian street food experience without leaving Oz.
Only the busy street action.
Maggie Choo, 105/89 Surf Parade, Broadbeach.
Delicious Japanese food at Kiyomi, one of the top restaurants on the Gold Coast. Top Photo: Krista Eppelstun/TEQ
Expect transporting Japanese food at Kiyomi that will take you straight to the freshest catch at the Tokyo seafood market along with some stunning local produce. I recommend the chef’s tasting menu which provides an excellent selection of dishes. There are mouthfuls of joy from the Hiramasa Kingfish and the blushing pink Lamb Cutlet. The wagyu 7+ tenderloin is meltingly tender and the sushi will be the freshest you have tasted.
Served at Kiyomi’s iconic sushi counter, the 20-course omakase, which translates to ‘leave it up to you’, offers guests a front-row seat to an exclusive degustation menu personally prepared by Kojima or Head Chef Winson Law. It is only available to eight diners every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, with bookings essential. While the exact menu will be a surprise in the evening, diners can expect dishes such as seared scampi with foie gras, apples and shiso leaf and grilled black cobia with Japanese curry butter. Alongside the chef’s table experience, guests will also be able to enjoy a flight of four premium saké’s from Kiyomi’s collection.
Why eat here?
Try Kiyomi before a show or just relax and enjoy the Japanese experience. Tip: You can order a table for two as a takeaway.
Located in The Star’s Lobby Level, there is a view over the lower level where the entrance to the casino tempts some.
Kiyomi, The Star Gold Coast, 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach.
Granddad Jacks is one of the top spots on the Gold Coast Photo: Krista Eppelstun/TEQ
Granddad Jack’s, Miami
More of a bar than a restaurant, but I loved Grand day Jack’s Craft Distillery so much I had to share it with you.
Family comes first at this Miami gin distillery inspired by Granddad Jack, a hard-arse barber from Timaru, New Zealand. It is Gold Coast’s only Craft Gin and Whisky Distillery and is located close to North Burleigh Surf Life Savings Club.
Built with upcycled materials, the atmospheric old surfboard warehouse has been converted to create a rustic distillery. The handcrafted spirits are made from locally or nationally sourced ingredients. Production is on full show to visitors from the Tasting Room, and Distillery Tours and tastings are available over the weekend.
Why drink here?
Why not? It’s a must for gin lovers but don’t stop with a drink! Put yourself down for a make your own gin night and learn their tips and tricks. Distillery tours also are available on Saturdays and Sundays.
There’s plenty to see here but it’s more about checking out the decor rather than a view outside.
Granddad Jack’s, 45 Lemana Lane, Miami.
Plenty to relax about at Grandad Jack’s.
Gold Coast restaurant Maman has a tangy lobster roll version
Maman Bar and Kitchen, Burleigh Heads
Fresh Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours fill the menu at Maman. The dishes are light, simple and designed for sharing with plenty of table presence. We started with a spread of dips and meats, followed by burrata with black salt, along with a medley of fresh tomatoes topped with basil. Our meal continued with a selection of the small plates leaving the larger plates for a return visit. I am keen to try their version of a spinach pie.
Maman has a tangy lobster roll version with a milk bun, crisp iceberg lettuce, harissa and lime mayo.
Why eat here?
Wildly popular, Maman has carved itself a substantial reputation in the busy Burleigh dining scene. The decor is while focused with wall art that can stimulate dinner table conversation.
TIP: Maman founders Lizzy and Karen are mums, hence the French name for mum, Maman, but don’t say it as it looks. The correct pronunciation is Ma-Mo!
Maman Bar and Kitchen, 49 James Street, Burleigh Heads
That’s the view from Burleigh Pavilion. Photo: Kerry Heaney
Burleigh Pavilion, Burleigh
Epic beachfront views make Burleigh Pavilion a top spot for casual outdoor dining or a pre-lunch cocktail. It’s located sort of on top of Rick Shores so could be an alternative for a Burleigh beach view.
The food here ranges from bar bites to wood-fired pizzas and beer-battered fish and chips, chicken schnitzel burgers and fresh summer salads. Expect high level pub food and you won’t be disappointed.
For me, it’s all about sitting at a high table on the deck with a beachfront view sipping on a cocktail.
Why eat here?
It’s loud and noisy but a fun place with good food. What’s not to like.
It’s gorgeous! A wide beach view that goes for miles. Watch the surfboard riders and surfers do their thing while you enjoy a leisurely drink.
Burleigh Pavilion,3/43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh
Special occasion Gold Coast dining at Rick Shores.
Rick Shores, Burleigh Heads
Offering locally sourced Pan-Asian flavours in one of the Gold Coast’s most iconic locations and focuses on fresh, locally sourced produce with a menu designed to share.,
The bug roll is iconic but don’t stop there, the pork san chow bow with pineapple and the crispy duck chopped salad are other standouts for me.
You can almost touch the waves when dining here. It’s so close to the water, after the last time it flooded during a high tide/cyclone event, they redesigned the restaurant so everything can easily be removed.
Why eat here?
If you love food, Rick Shores has to be on your Gold Coast dining list. Book early because it is popular. Bookings of six or more must have the $79 set menu. TIP – you can grab a seat at the bar and on the patio to enjoy a limited menu selection including the famous bug roll.
There isn’t a better beach dining view on the Gold Coast in my humble opinion.
Rick Shores (3/43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh
Moreton Bay Bug Roll. Gold Coast dining at Rick Shores. Photos: Kerry Heaney
Tempura soft shell crab banh mi with coriander and chilli
Jimmy Wahs, Burleigh Heads
Vietnamese food with an Aussie twist is the best way to describe the food at Jimmy Wahs. You’ll find your favourite prawn rice paper rolls, stem buns, prawn dumplings and crisp spring rolls along with tempting ocean trout sashimi and caramelised pork belly.
Their version of the Gold Coast lobster roll is a tempura soft shell crab banh mi with coriander and chilli. It’s worth every calorie. For something a little different, try the panko-crumbed eggplant chips with hellfire oil or the tempura oysters with chilli mayo.
Why eat here?
The food and atmosphere are excellent, as is the service. It’s also a great spot when you want to eat between 3 pm and 5 pm. Many other restaurants are gearing up for their dinner service during this time period by Jimmy Wahs has a limited menu available.
No view, but the restaurant is bright and full of atmosphere.
Jimmy Wahs, 1724 Gold Coast Highway
Caramel custard dulce de leche at Las Palmas
Las Palmas, Palm Beach
Fancy a night out in Brazil? Head to Las Palmas for the flavours of Latin America from Colombia, Chile and Argentina to Cuba. Think charcoal fish tacos, baby octopus, tuna ceviche, with plenty of corn and pineapple that you haven’t tasted before. How about yuca frita (fried cassava) or a roasted pineapple infused with marjoram syrup dessert?
Don’t pass on dessert at this Gold Coast restaurant. The caramel custard dulce de leche with whipped caramel cream is memorable.
Why eat here?
If you are looking for a different cuisine and you like a little bite in your food, this is your place. There’s a chef’s tasting menu that showcases seven favourite dishes for $60 per person.
The restaurant overlooks Palm Beach Lifesaving Club with just a car park between you and those rolling waves.
Las Palmas, 6/1097 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
The Las Palmas beach view.
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