You’re planning a trip to the Sunshine Coast.  You’ve heard about the incredible seafood, the relaxed local ambience, and the hinterland-sourced produce.  And now you’re wondering where you can try it all for yourself.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  This is a list of the Sunshine Coast’s top 10 restaurants, spanning everything from white-table wineries and fine dining establishments to quirky pizzerias and casual cafés.  Fold your napkins, polish your cutlery, and get ready for this mouth-watering collection of eateries.

1. Tides Waterfront Restaurant

Drive Time From Ramada Resort by Wyndham Golden Beach: 10 minutes

Delivery: No

Tides Waterfront fish dish
Featuring panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Glasshouse Mountains, Tides Waterfront is coastal dining epitomised.  Relax indoors or al fresco in a clean, refined ambience; a glass-and-steel aesthetic complements the feeling of light ocean breezes caressing your skin.

Tides Waterfront’s menus have been composed by Head Chef Damien Gage, and feature a variety of global influences.  Try Mooloolaba prawns with coconut egg noodles and chilli jam for lunch, or return once the sun has set for heavy-hitting dishes like Darling Downs eye fillet and Coral Coast barramundi.

The extensive drinks menu is also well-worth exploring, particularly if you’re visiting in the middle of a hot Queensland summer.  A huge selection of red, white and dessert wines sits alongside cocktails, spirits, beer, juices, coffee and tea – for something uniquely delicious, try their Tidal Wave spiced rum cocktail.

2. The Long Apron

Drive Time From Ramada by Wyndham Marcoola Beach : 34 minutes

Delivery: No

Long Apron chef pouring sauce
A foodie holiday wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a French-inspired restaurant.  Upscale and refined, The Long Apron has a hard-won reputation for delightful, innovative dishes plated in a typically elegant manner.

Its menus are stacked with European opulence – dine on thick-cut bacon with sun-dried tomatoes, eggs and sourdough for breakfast, or enjoy black onyx onglet steak and coal-grilled octopus for dinner.  For a special occasion, try their Seasonal French Table or Tasting Menu.

Located in Montville at Spicers Clovelly Estate.

3. Spirit House

Drive Time From Ramada Marcoola Beach: 23 minutes

Delivery: No

yandina spirit house cuisine
Cradled by palm trees and dense rainforest, Spirit House offers diners a view of their mirror-like lake – perfect for a romantic evening nibble.  With nouveau-Thai dishes and Asiatic interiors, this is a gastronomic journey designed to showcase Thailand’s amazing flavours.

Visit at lunch or dinner to sample dishes that range from classic Thai chow to unique offerings exploding with Bangkok influences.

4. Flame Hill Restaurant

Drive Time From Ramada Marcoola Beach: 37 minutes

Delivery: No

flame hill winery
Driven by simple, seasonal ingredients, Flame Hill Restaurant is comfortably positioned in the heart of the Flame Hill Vineyard, 300 acres of vines and beef cattle that provides a gorgeous backdrop for your Flame Hill dining experience.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re dining in the upscale Deck, snacking on brunch or relaxing in an al fresco setting – this Sunshine Coast restaurant is definitely worth the drive.

It goes without saying that Flame Hill’s wines are superb.  Kick off your evening with a wine-tasting session that showcases the best of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, and then continue the epicurean experience by enjoying glass after glass of matched vintages with your dinner.

5. Locale

Drive Time From Ramada Marcoola Beach: 33 minutes

Delivery: No

locale noosa food and wine
There’s a saying: culture is heritage made modern.  Walking into Locale feels exactly like that – the deep, rich traditions of Italy, transplanted and reshaped into contemporary sophistication.

Each dish designed by Locale’s expert chefs draws inspiration from regions like Tuscany and Campania, but they’re made unique by seasonal Australian ingredients harvested from the Sunny Coast.  According to Head Chef Andy Davies, “While I love Italian cuisine, I am passionate about Australia’s amazing seafood and, of course, the beautiful fresh produce from [Locale’s] very own Maravista Farm.”

Pore over a menu stuffed with dishes like zucchini blossom filled with buffalo milk ricotta, squid ink tagliatelle with Mooloolaba king prawns, and Coral Coast barramundi with shellfish foam, sea succulents and prawn mousse.

Their cocktail and wine lists are equally impressive, but, if you want to splash some cash, go all in with the monstrous $115 degustation dinner.  Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

6. El Capitano

Drive Time From Ramada Marcoola Beach: 33 minutes

Delivery: Yes

El Capitano might not have the upscale elegance of Locale, but this quirky pizzeria makes up for it with panache and downright delicious pizza.  With a focus on Old World pizza-making methods and fresh, Noosa-sourced ingredients, visiting El Capitano is a great way to turn the volume up for your tastebuds.

el capitano bar
El Capitano’s impressive wooden bar – note the custom tentacle-handled taps on the right-hand side.

Kick things off with grilled tiger prawn and octopus tentacle entrées – we think they go nicely with an organic white or one of the restaurant’s bespoke tropical cocktails.  Once you’ve whet your appetite, it’s time to choose a main.

el capitano booth
One of El Capitano’s eating booths, decorated with nautical-themed equipment and paintings.

El Capitano’s signature 72-hour fermented organic sourdough bases come in two varieties: rossa (thin and crusty with tomato sauce) bianca (bubbly, ropy texture with no tomato).  Try classics like margherita and quattro formaggi, or go for originals like sweet potato with cashew nut puree and Cape Grim brisket with provolone and cornichons.

el capitano pizza
Slow-roasted lamb shoulder and goat’s cheese on a pizza rossa.

Oh, don’t worry.  If you’re still hungry after all that, there’s dessert too, including a dairy-free and vegan strawberry coconut sundae.

7. Orléans Restaurant and Bar

Drive Time From Ramada Marcoola Beach: 14 minutes

Delivery: No

In a culinary landscape dominated by the trifecta of fine dining – Italian, Japanese and seafood – Orléans stands out.  It’s part gourmet restaurant, part dive bar and part casual Sunny Coast hangout, a hybrid that’s an excellent choice for pretty much everyone.

The menu is simple: eight entrées, six mains, four sides and four desserts.  Orléans’ chefs focus on quality, not quantity.  Sleek French dishes like roast duck l’orangé and sticky beef cheeks with mushroom ragout sit side-by-side with hearty Southern meals seafood gumbo and buffalo wings with blue sauce.  Vegetarian, dairy- and gluten-free meals are all available on request.

For particularly special occasions, Orléans offers three- and four-course tasting menus paired with matching wines – the perfect way to celebrate an anniversary or the start of a honeymoon.

8. Three Restaurant Bar and Grill

Drive Time From Ramada Golden Beach: 7 minutes

Delivery: No

Think bar.  Think grill.  Put them together, turn it up by 300%, and you get Three Restaurant Bar and Grill, one of the Sunny Coast’s favourite family restaurants.

Positioned on the corner of Bulcock Street and Centaur Street, Three is all about simplistic interiors – massive glass windows so guests can soak up the small-town Caloundra vibe, exposed brickwork that accentuates the exquisite cuisine, and a charmingly rustic wooden bar.

Its à la carte menu is a mixed bag of modern influences, bound together by a commitment to fresh Australian ingredients like Tasmanian salmon, local seafood and impressive Aussie steaks.  You can go for mains like the delicious duck ragu or the slow-roasted BBQ pork ribs, but – if we’re being honest – where’s the fun in that?

You came for grilled meat, and that’s what you want.  Choose from cuts like a velvety 200-gram eye fillet, a whopping 400-gram T-bone, or mid-sized pork and chicken grills; complement your chosen dish with flavoursome sides like mashed potato, coleslaw, roast veggies or baked garlic mushrooms.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a seafood-and-white-wine couple, or a family of red-blooded carnivores – Three Restaurant Bar and Grill offers the best of both worlds.

9. Sails Beach Restaurant

Drive Time From Ramada Marcoola Beach: 33 minutes

Delivery: No

Sails is quintessentially Noosa.

Here, gentle ocean breezes ruffle tablecloths, crisp cocktails sweat condensation and the waves lap gently at the shoreline of the adjacent Noosa Beach.  It’s the type of place you hold a wedding, and then an anniversary.  It’s understated simplicity, where quality food meets equally impressive wines.  It’s the laid-back culture of the Sunny Coast combined with a fine dining restaurant.

If we sound like we’re a little bit in love with Sails, it’s because we are.  The menu is deliberately uncluttered, with just five mains – fish, bugs, linguine, vegetables and steak.  Breads, appetisers, entrées, salads, desserts and cheese platters are also available in equally pared-down numbers.

Why is it all so minimalist?  Probably because Sails boast a breathtaking 24-page wine list, spread across four different cellars.  The dishes, designed by Executive Paul Leete, are the canvas for this vast array of beverages, and it’s up to you to create something beautiful.

Got your attention?  Check out Sails Beach Restaurant here.

10: Beach Bistro

Drive Time From Ramada Marcoola Beach: On-site

beach bistro wyndham marcoola breakfast
Call us biased, but Beach Bistro at Ramada Marcoola is probably our favourite Sunshine Coast restaurant!  It might not have the most expensive ingredients or the most creative dishes, but its summery ambience is emblematic of the Coast.

With a range of authentic Aussie cuisine – think signature steaks, slow-cooked pork ribs and good old chicken parmis – it’s perfect for both dinner and lunch.  If you’re after a lazy breakfast, relax and watch the sunrise while munching on smashed avocado toast or creamy eggs benedict.

Are you feeling hungry yet?  We definitely are!

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