Although we are off on an adventure around the world, some of you may be venturing to the Gold Coast in Australia, our home land. And who better to tell you about some great places to poke your head into than people who actually live here? Where do the locals go? Read on to find out…
Nobby’s beach resides in a very small spot between Miami beach and Mermaid beach in the central Gold Coast. It is North of Burleigh heads and Cooloongatta (the airport) and South of the tourist sectors of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach. Our first two favourites are in this area brimming with local flavours.
1) The Cave
One of our favourite places ever. A cafe / restaurant / bar all rolled in one with scattered couches, mismatched coffee tables and a few high tables and stools. A maroon mural spreads itself down one wall, a bookshelf near the kitchen scattered with books and board games. The place centres heavily on displaying local art and live music, with emphasis on new home-grown acoustic talent. As I type we sit here on a rainy Queen’s birthday long weekend with a glass of New Zealand Pinot Grigio, bottle of Burleigh Heads finest beer and a game of chess. Classic blues plays softly overhead while we relax in an old lounge, smoothed and shining with years of use.
Slightly more upscale but worth the splurge. A rum bar with character. Nautically themed the Cambus Wallace was named after a ship that wrecked off the coast carrying a cargo of rum. The establishment is around 8 months old; once we discovered this gem shortly after it opened, it quickly became our favourite for a smooth night out. There are no windows, and the entrance is marked by two large wooden doors with frosted glass on either side – if you aren’t looking for it, you won’t find it. Once inside you can be lost for hours in the conversation of your company and forget the outside world exists. The food is understated and completely delicious (get the warm marinated olives!), the staff are friendly, knowledgable and quite literally invested in the place. While you’re there get a traditional dark and stormy with Gosling’s black rum and ginger beer. We didn’t drink rum until we came here and had a glass of “The Kracken” on ice (Thanks Dave!)…we haven’t looked back.
Mermaid Beach sits in between Broadbeach and Miami Beach, it’s more of a suburb than a usual hotel destination, but as it’s very close to these hubs you might find yourself nearby. The next two are situated here – across the road from each other actually.
Another place with heavy emphasis on music and art, however the main focus is organic food and sustainable living. The food is vegan but one bite of their rustic pumpkin spelt-base pizza (wheat-free) you will be amazed at the flavour and swear you could be vegan forever. A large establishment filled with colour: bean bags and futon mattresses around the front stage, dining tables and chairs in the upper half of the restaurant, local artwork adorning the walls, and a glorious alfresco tropical paradise. The place is BYO wine only, no alcohol is sold on the premises, but they have a great range of refreshing kombucha’s and fresh coconut water.
Also newer to the gold coast, Kiva Han is a coffee roasting cafe restaurant, that have recently opened an expansion including a bar, named “K-bar & meze”. The gold coast is brimming with amazing barista’s and wicked coffee, but Kiva Han has won our heart. Combining their coffee with a fresh breakfast, it doesn’t get much better. The atmosphere fresh and light, with smooth decor and relaxed contemporary dining.
Although Broadbeach is slightly more commercial, there are great places to eat out, being a place known for it’s restaurants, the casino and major shopping centre, but among all of this is a hidden gem…
Cardamon Pod is a vegetarian restaurant on the north end of the Phoenician hotel along the main strip in Broadbeach. Don’t let the bain-marie’s fool you – this food is fresh, delicious and also cater’s to vegan and gluten-free diners. Get yourself a ‘not too hungry’ and feast on a hot dish and a salad accompanied with rice while you placing yourself in one of the alfresco chairs or lounges (I have a thing for dining areas with individual flair and mismatched chairs). Then indulge in a raw vegan dessert that’s good for your health as well as your taste buds.
6) Kirra Beach, Cooloongatta and Greenmount
These are in the same section of southern Gold Coast, right on the border to New South Wales and offer spectacular beaches and viewpoints to look out over the ocean and surrounds. Pubs and cafes are spotted all along the esplanade giving many opportunities to enjoy a beverage and soak up the surf and the sun. You might find yourself taking a few pretty pictures too.
Spread your wings with these hotspots:
- Saturday night Miami Food Marketta
- Sunday morning organic food markets at Miami High School
- Burleigh: Check out Commune, Justin Lane, Ze Pickle
- Nobbys Beach: Gypsy and the Cat, (organic / vegan opt / breakfast & lunch cafe), little beans
- Palm Beach: Genki Cafe
Coffee lover? Check these places out…
- Black Coffee Lyrics, Surfers Paradise
- No Name Lane, Broadbeach
- Vintage Espresso, Mermaid Beach
- Blackboard, Burleigh Heads
- Barefoot Barista, Palm Beach
Wherever you go on the Gold Coast, you are sure meet friendly people and be comforted in the coasts relaxed pace and beautiful surroundings.
eat. seek. travel.