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 Airlie Beach’s top 8 restaurants and eateries, picked just for you.
Airlie Beach’s Best Restaurants and Eateries
Tides Restaurant and Bar
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
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
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
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
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 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.
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.
Shuckz Oyster & Champagne Bar
The best restaurants are often those with the clearest focus. Strip away unnecessary filler dishes and cut back on crowd-pleasers, and you’re left with a tight, clean menu that delivers exactly what is promises.
That’s Shuckz Oyster and Champagne Bar. Their à la carte menu features just three sections: share plates, tapas and oysters.
Pair dishes like antipasti and moreton bay bugs with their potent selection of bubblies, or just sample what the bar does best: a dozen Pacific or Sydney Rocks oysters, or a dozen Bloody Mary oyster shooters. It’s pricey, but well-worth the cost.
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