The Gold Coast is fast becoming a paradise for foodies. Whether you’re hungry for full fine-dining experiences or craving casual bites, these appetising options should tempt your tastebuds.
For something a little fancy
You don’t expect to find a fine-dining restaurant of Verve’s calibre hemmed between a pharmacy and beauty clinic on a small Broadbeach shopping strip, but there it sits, just waiting to be discovered. Inside, the atmosphere is warm and inviting with the décor’s rich tones gorgeously lit and soft jazz music soothing the senses. Head chef Ashley Steen’s modern Australian menu changes often but you won’t go wrong with the degustation offering a decadent taste of everything from twice-baked goats’ cheese soufflé with beetroot chips to seared scallops with corn custard, paired with beautiful wines. For dessert, the vanilla crème brûlée served with fresh passionfruit is a simple medley of flavours not to be missed.
For funky fusion fare
Another totally unexpected dining experience, you’ll find brand-new BiN 232 in a shopping-centre food court, of all places. But don’t let that put you off! The food court is The Patio, a swish new dining venue at the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre in Broadbeach, and the food is anything but pedestrian. Open till late, BiN 232 serves up Asian fusion plates designed to be shared. Must-tries include melt-in-your mouth braised beef cheek, fried jamón and mozzarella balls (a moreishly perfect combination of creamy and crunchy), and sticky pork belly served with zesty pickled apple. Wash it all down with a stylish cocktail and you’ll be going home happy.
For a total experience
If you don’t mind crowds, throw yourself into the heaving throng that is NightQuarter on a Friday or Saturday night. The Gold Coast’s newest entertainment precinct is home to more than 120 different shops and stalls, all uniquely fashioned from upcycled shipping containers. There’s live music and shopping but the food is really where it’s at – and there’s an utterly endless selection to enjoy. Street food and carnival treats abound (think fried-dough funnel cakes topped with ice-cream sundaes served by dancing staff), but do explore the dozens upon dozens of micro-restaurants where chefs are serving up anything and everything from delicious homemade gnocchi and impressive seafood paella, to barbecued emu and popcorn crocodile.
For sensational street food
Nestled along the Gold Coast Highway in Palm Beach, this bright little cocina is all about fresh, flavourful food with a saucy Latin flair. For a casual lunch or dinner, grab a platter of mixed tacos, a traditional burrito, a refreshing salad or an on-trend grain bowl, then head on down to the beach. Not sure what to choose? We heartily recommend the chicken mole burrito (mmm, chocolate) along with the surprisingly complex “Holy Guacamole” salad, followed by yet more chocolate with the Chile choc brownie for dessert. goodnessgracias.com.au
For soaking in the vibes
There are so many gorgeous cafés across the Gold Coast that it’s hard to go wrong when searching for brekkie or lunch – just look for the locals kicking back and pull up a seat. One place they’re flocking is the relaxed Social Brew. Tucked away in a little arcade with tables arranged under a beautiful hanging garden, it’s the perfect spot to soak in the extra-laid-back vibe of Burleigh Heads. Order a cold-pressed juice and check out the specials, like homemade Boston beans with bacon, eggs and spinach for breakfast, or the Vietnamese coconut pancake with pulled pork for lunch.
SEE ALSO: Five Great Experiences on the Gold Coast