Famed for its long sandy beaches, surfing spots and elaborate system of canals and waterways, there is so much more to the Gold Coast than theme parks.
Commonly thought of as Australia’s holiday capital, there is also a serious dining culture in this Southeast corner of Queensland – from fine diners to seafood on the beach, find something on the GC to satisfy all palates.
Here are five of the highest-ranked Chef-hatted restaurants in the area you need to dive into:
Looking for somewhere 'social'? Social Eating House & Bar
(14) by Executive Chef, Matt Jefferson and his team is just the place you're looking for! Located at the base of Broadbeach's Oracle building, this intimately rustic venue delivers another wonderfully reliable dining destination on the Gold Coast.
Start a memorable experience with BBQ octopus, txistorra sausage, olive oil, potato purée and chimichurri, moving onto mains like 12-hour slow-cooked lamb shoulder, cabbage slaw and jus, with a side of crispy chat potatoes and smoked sour cream.
Offering a unique blend of art and food on the Gold Coast, discerning diners head to Palette
(14) on Bundall Road in Surfers Paradise for a meal to remember. Nestled in the stunning HOTA Gallery, Palette is a place for celebration and entertaining; whether you are looking for a private dining room or an intimate evening with your someone special.
Cast your net over starters like cuttlefish, shiitake chawanmushi, native furikake and yuzu pearls, or kangaroo, 250+ day SEQ mole, fermented native fruits and a taco; carnivores devour Wagyu rump cap, hot foie gras foam, triple-cooked potato chips and chicken salt.
Open the barn door at Etsu Izakaya
(13) on Gold Coast Highway in Mermaid Beach to discover a magical mystery tour of Japanese share-plate dining. Moody surrounds of neon signage, walls plastered with photographs and a long, low-lit dining space make this izakaya-style restaurant an ideal place for a romantic encounter, or chilling out with friends for after-work drinks.
The menu embraces all aspects of Japanese fare from sushi and sashimi to tempura, salads and teriyaki; think plates like robata grilled Wagyu rump, Asian greens and jus, or char-grilled fish collar and yuan yaki sauce.
Cutting-edge style delivering atmosphere-driven dining is what you will find at Miss Moneypenny's
(13) on Surf Parade in Broadbeach. Architecturally designed by leading Australian firm Kelly Designs and taking inspiration from the original Noosa Heads venue of the same name, expect a modern Mediterranean coastal ambience with casual Gold Coast sophistication.
Stroll up from the golden sands of the nearby beach for a lazy share plate of Alaskan King crab, traditional XO, steamed lotus bun and lime, or squid ink tagliatelle, grilled whole scampi, prawn, cherry tomato, chilli and garlic.
Imagine a small bar in Asia off the beaten track and immerse yourself in true and authentic flavours at Eddy + Wolff
(13) on Ron Penhaligon Way in Robina. Named after the two streets the Vietnamese owners grew up on, this intimate space transports you to another time, where you feel a sense of belonging and a connection to where their love for food started.
Pink neon Chinese characters light up the entry, comfy bar stools and a sexy wine list ensure a good time; as you ponder a unique menu – with plates such as octopus tentacle, spicy tamarind and Vietnamese mint.