Airlie Beach might be famous for its tourist-friendly atmosphere and incredible natural attractions, but it’s also home to a thriving foodie scene focused on seafood and gourmet pub food.  If you’re exploring the Whitsundays or holidaying in Airlie Beach, you need this guide.

Here are the top nine Airlie Beach restaurants and eateries of 2021, picked just for you.


Airlie Beach’s Best Restaurants and Eateries

Tides Restaurant and Bar

tides beef dish

On-site at Club Wyndham Airlie Beach

0 minutes from Club Wyndham Airlie Beach

Located on-site at Club Wyndham Airlie Beach, Tides Restaurant and Bar is fine dining served with a side of ocean views.  Its chef-prepared menu features an array of Greco-Turkish dishes like chickpea masala and chargrilled Turkish bread, as well traditional Western offerings like Coral Coast barramundi, New York-cut sirloin steak and Black Angus beef fillet.

Italian influences make their appearances with dishes like the Portobello mushrooms and the pappardelle ala Bolognese, meaning there’s something to match every palate.

Vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free eaters are all catered to, as are connoisseurs of beautiful views – Tides’ al fresco dining area offers diners a chance to survey both Airlie Beach and the sweep of the Coral Sea.

For something truly special, try their five-course chef-selected degustation menu, which pairs dishes like Thai pumpkin soup and Black Angus beef fillet with five matched wines.

Fish D’Vine & the Rum Bar

rum bar Airlie Beach rum cocktails

12 Airlie Esplanade, Airlie Beach QLD 4802

2 minutes’ drive from Club Wyndham Airlie Beach

Self-defined as an “Airlie Beach institution”, Fish D’Vine is one of the town’s most popular restaurants – boasting an international reputation and a mouth-watering menu, it should definitely feature on any traveller’s foodie bucket-list.

Its seasonal dishes embrace the flavours of the Whitsundays, with a line-up of oceanic offerings like tiger prawns, oysters, calamari and fresh-caught fish.  When pan-fried Red Throat Emperor and Tasmanian Salmon fillet are up for grabs, you’d expect a hefty blow to the hip pocket to accompany them – at Fish D’vine, though, the pricing is more than reasonable, so there’s no need to hold back.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the Rum Bar, which lies adjacent to the restaurant.  This incredible addition offers over 100 varieties of rum, so, if you’ve ever dreamed about the perfect mojito with the perfect sunset, this is the place to grab it.

The Deck Restaurant and Bar

pappardelle beef pork and mince

The Deck Restaurant & Bar, 277 Shute Harbour Rd, Airlie Beach QLD 4802

3 minutes’ drive from Club Wyndham Airlie Beach

Gourmet breakfasts in one of the world’s most beautiful locations?  Where do we sign up?

The Deck Restaurant & Bar offers a traditional Western/Italian menu enhanced by its exceptional chefs and a light, clean ambience.  Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can devour brekkie specials like blueberry hotcakes (as delicious as they sound) and the massive Decked Out feast.

Alternatively, come back later in the day for dishes like smoked kangaroo, duck ragu, seafood linguini and eye fillet of beef.  For those craving pure Italian, the Deck also offers a variety of mozzarella-smothered pizza.

Sorrento Restaurant and Bar

sorrento-whitsundays-pizza

Sorrento Restaurant & Bar, 22 Shingley Dr, Airlie Beach QLD 4802

6 minutes’ drive from Club Wyndham Airlie Beach

The name ‘Sorrento’ exudes Italian exclusivity, and this fine-dining restaurant doesn’t disappoint.  With a pared-down dinner menu focusing on seasonal produce and bold flavours, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a magical sunset or celebrate an anniversary.

Seafood and premium meats dominate their mains, but we love their pizza and pasta offerings.

Enjoy reasonably-priced dishes like marinara fettucine and filleto fettucine, or go traditional with amazing offerings like their pancetta pizza.  Featuring house-made Napoli sauce, smoked pancetta, buffalo mozzarella, balsamic mushrooms, wild rocket and Spanish onions drizzled with truffle oil, this is one dinner you can’t afford to pass up.

KC’s Bar and Grill

steak at Airlie Beach steakhouse

KC’s Bar & Grill, 382 Shute Harbour Rd, Airlie Beach QLD 4802

3 minutes’ drive from Club Wyndham Airlie Beach

KC’s Bar and Grill steps away from fine dining and fully embraces its lively, grill-house ambience.  With polished wooden décor and a longhorn’s skull suspended above the bar, you know that you can expect cocktails, chargrilling and a crazy-good time when you step through the door.

Its menu is all about the meat – sirloin, rib fillet, eye fillet and T-bone are available, but, for something different, try their lightly spiced crocodile or Australian game platter (grilled crocodile, kangaroo loin, emu chipolatas and buffalo rissoles accompanied by beer-battered chips and a powerful game sauce).

They also have nightly live music, which features a diverse line-up of Australian artists and bands.  If you’re looking for a great night out in Airlie Beach, you can’t go past KC’s.

La Marina

primavera pizza airlie beach

La Marina Italian Restaurant & Bar, 1/33 Port Dr, Airlie Beach QLD 4802

3 minutes’ drive from Club Wyndham Airlie Beach

La Marina is best described in Italian – oddio, è delizioso, which roughly translates to, ‘OMG, this is delicious.’  Want an explosion of Mediterranean flavours working in mouth-watering synergy?  This is this place to visit.

They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and have a line-up of pizza, house-made pasta and risotto to keep you satisfied.

Our favourite?  Their Primavera, which features flame-roasted capsicum, marinated olives, semi-dried tomatoes and tiger prawns tossed in garlic and chilli oil and sprinkled with finely shaved parmesan.

If you’re not particularly hungry, you can stop by for their amazing cocktails, or go classic with a variety of wines, beers and spirits.

SideWalk Café

Sidewalk Cafe Restaurant and Bar, 2 Airlie Esplanade, Airlie Beach QLD 4802

3 minutes’ drive from Club Wyndham Airlie Beach

The recipe for a successful café is as follows:

  • Amazing coffee
  • Creative cocktails
  • Delicious food
  • Friendly staff
  • Incredible views

A staple of the Airlie Beach coffee scene, SideWalk occupies a position of prominence on the Airlie Esplanade.  Although you’ll probably come here for the coffee, you’ll return for its range of innovative cocktails, hand-crafted by in-house mixologists.

The food isn’t anything to scoff at, either – the café’s cooks draw on both Eastern and Western influences to produce a menu stacked with dishes like pasta, risotto, confit duck and pork belly.

SideWalk also caters to vegetarians and gluten-free eaters.

Little Vegas Burger & Bar

Little Vegas Burger & Bar, 3/259 Shute Harbour Rd, Airlie Beach QLD 4802

4 minutes’ drive from Club Wyndham Airlie Beach

If you feel like dropping an Elvis quote when you walk into Little Vegas Burger & Bar, we won’t judge, promise.  There’s something about this joint’s classic American-style burgers ’n’ beer we just can’t get enough of!

little vegas big burger
The Big Bopper.

Don’t worry, you’ll still get to experience Airlie Beach’s seaside ambience – this is an open, coastal-style diner with Bacardi instead of Bud Light on the menu, and the burgers taste as good on the beach as they do at a table.

The menu’s à la carte, smattered with different culinary influences including American, Mexican and Chinese, but each item has one thing in common: it’s dangerously delicious cheat food. Wash it all down with a tropical cocktail from the upstairs bar, Bar LV, which boasts some pretty excellent wall graphics.

Our menu recommendation?  The Big Bopper.  It’s hard to pass up a burger so monstrously large that it clocks in at $37.

Fat Frog Beach Café

Fat Frog Beach Cafe, 44 Coral Esplanade, Cannonvale QLD 4802

7 minutes’ drive from Club Wyndham Airlie Beach

Think quirky vibe and delicious coffee, think Fat Frog.  This iconic Airlie Beach café is a must-visit if you like great brews with even better views (yes, it gazes out across the stunningly beautiful Pioneer Bay).

This brekky/lunch eatery delivers a nice mix of classic morning fare like bacon ’n’ eggs and bircher muesli with more unusual dishes like fish tacos, the sardine-laden Fisherman’s Board and the Green Frog, which involves asparagus, avocado and pistachio dukkah.

fish tacos
Fat Frog’s fish taco.

In addition to being fully licensed with craft beer and boutique wine, they also have a thoughtful ‘$13 Menu’, which is great for families with a passel of hungry mouths to feed.

fat frog steak sandwich
Fat Frog’s steak sandwich.

If you try one dish here, make it the eponymous Fat Frog (smoked bacon, rib fillet steak, eggs, hash browns, mushrooms, Spanish beans and sourdough), and wash it down with a delicious Campos coffee.


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