If you’re staying at Wyndham Surfers Paradise, you already have a huge range of restaurants and pubs right at your doorstep. The Gold Coast’s Glitter Strip isn’t short on places to eat, but sometimes the frenetic crush of Surfers can get overwhelming. For something quieter, head north to gourmand hot-spots like Hope Island and Sanctuary Cove – they’re less than 35 minutes’ drive from Wyndham Surfers Paradise, and many of their best restaurants boast gorgeous harbourside views. With casual, international and fine dining, the northern end of the Gold Coast is a great place to turn down the noise and turn up the flavour.
The Best North Gold Coast Restaurants
Anyone craving Chinese? No? Just us? Dragon Cove isn’t your average Friday-night fast Chinese – this upscale eatery has the sophistication of an inner-city restaurant, pairing Mandarin-fluent staff with an authentic, mainland Chinese menu. Its broad-paned floor-to-ceiling windows mean diners have excellent views of Sanctuary Cove harbour as they choose from yum cha, à la carte or banquet menus. For something special, order Peking duck – hand-carved at your table – or try the Tasmanian lobster sautéed in supreme broth.
We couldn’t write a ‘Best Restaurants’ listicle and not include an offering from Italia. Io Esco is Italian done right – you won’t find any culinary faux pas here. Kick off your dining with ciabatta or focaccia bianca, before diving into the good stuff; dishes like beef carpaccio and roe with a cognac-mushroom sauce are served as starters. Go classic with pizza and pasta dishes, or select hard-hitting offerings like black angus eye fillet steak and fish of the day. Io Esco also accommodate bambini, vegans and gluten-free eaters, so there’s definitely something for everyone.
Black Angus Bar and Grill
If you’re after an Italian-inspired steakhouse, we’ve got one coming right up: Black Angus Bar and Grill. This waterfront restaurant has a spacious dining room and a menu packed full of mouth-watering meat. Seafood lovers, prepare to be delighted: oyster plates are available natural, tempura, or Kilpatrick-style, while the Ocean Platter for Two packs a $140-punch, including Mooloolaba king prawns and Moreton Bay bug tails. If steak’s what you came for, choose from a selection of speciality Angus and Wagyu cuts, served char-grilled or on a hot rock.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: if a restaurant has a single-word name, it’s gotta be good. Artichoke’s dishes are an eclectic fusion of Italian, French and Asian flavours, pairing traditional flavours with the modernist twists that have made them a household name on the Gold Coast. Browse an à la carte menu, or be adventurous and try a bespoke degustation menu ranging from four to ten courses.
JoneZ on Food
Sure, the name’s a little odd, but the chow is hands-down amazing. Drawing inspiration from a range of international flavours, JoneZ on Food is chef Gary Jones’ answer to fine dining. Boasting a luxury fusion menu that combines French, Australian and Japanese palates, diners can choose between dishes like Master Kobe Wagyu, pan-seared Canadian scallops, rabbit pie and Cape Grim eye fillet. Admire the exquisite plating as you enjoy the classic ambience of the restaurant’s harbourside location.
House of Siam
Hold off on that Bangkok holiday – if you’re visiting Thailand for its delicious food, save yourself a few bucks and check out House of Siam instead. Boasting beautiful views of the Sanctuary Cove riviera, it strikes a nice balance between fine dining and casual dinner, and the menu prices won’t hurt too much. Sample a broad range of traditional Thai soups, salads, curries, rice, noodles and stir fries, or go big and order a Chef’s Special. We like the Thai Spicy – this explosive stir fry combines red curry paste, capsicum, beans, bamboo shoots, coconut milk and sweet basil. Just make sure you have a glass of water handy before you tuck in!
Located in the Hope Island Central business complex, Kitchen Enn is an intimate dining experience. Its pleasant, nouveau-Japanese ambience matches a line-up of affordable classics like gyoza and salmon sashimi, with Westernised sushi also available. Our favourite is their pork katsu don – it’s one of those delicious dishes that is just oh-so-easy to eat.
The Boardwalk Tavern
This is the Gold Coast, Australia, and a trip to the Boardwalk Tavern is a great way to get back in touch with the spirit of the region. Hit up the bar for a schooner of Iron Jack, blow a greenback on the pokies, or duck into their restaurant for a spot of harbourside dining. Nothing says Queensland like crumbed calamari rings or coconut-crumbed prawns, but the Tavern also offers a vast line-up of gourmet burgers, pizzas, char-grilled steaks, chicken schnitzels, and locally-caught seafood. Our faves? The Boardwalk Burger or James Squire Beer-Battered Fish – yummy!
Hope Island Deli
There’s few better places for a quick snack or casual lunch date than the Hope Island Deli. This upscale eatery is located directly beside Hope Island Coles, making parking and access incredibly easy. Serving up a classic array of café food like chicken paninis and chive-scrambled eggs, it’s the perfect way to break up a day of exploring. Dine in the Deli’s cosy interior, or relax in its spacious al fresco seating.