While it's not shedding its reputation as Australia's quintessential beach hangout anytime soon, the Gold Coast is garnering serious food cred for its sophisticated dining options. Thanks to a new wave of restaurants and internationally celebrated chefs, Queensland's beach playground is giving travellers a new reason to visit.
Below, we round up the top five Gold Coast restaurants worth booking a table at.
Where to stay
voco Gold Coast
The GC's newest hotel offering brings a fun new style of accommodation to Surfers Paradise. Beautifully styled suites are spacious and come with ocean or hinterland views. Situated only moments from the beach, guests have it all: east- and west-side pools, decadent high teas with Champagne, and a day spa that offers coastal healing treatments. Order a post-pool cocktail at the quirky Social House before venturing out to local dinner spots. Feeling too relaxed? Stay in and dine at one of voco's elegant options — Clifford's Grill and Lounge does seasonal small, share and large plates, with seafood menu highlights including seared Canadian scallops.
31 Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise, goldcoast.vocohotels.com
Where to eat
Jimmy Wah's, Burleigh Heads
Going all-out? Head to Vietnamese diner Jimmy Wah's for a seven-course banquet that leans heavily on local seafood and fiery flavour play. The pared back and balanced menu is as detailed as the restaurant's sleek fit-out — high and low American oak tables offer varied dining options. Start at the bar where you'll find Asahi and Orion on tap, and a myriad of unique cocktails inspired by the kitchen (the vodka Saigon Spider comes spliced with lychee liqueur and pomegranate sorbet).
1724 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads, Qld, jimmywahs.com.au
Hellenika, Nobby Beach
Hellenika's smart updates on Mediterranean classics ensures traditional dishes are enhanced, rather than completely remastered. Big Greek flavours are showcased in creamy home-style taramasalata and silverbeet dolmades stuffed with veal mince and rice grains. Seafood is served braised or grilled, tossed in tomato-based pastas that are heavy on the white wine. The terrace is perfectly positioned for summer sessions: order a round of mezedes (don't forgo the lamb ribs) and a glass of Kefalonia white as you ponder the unmissable dessert menu.
2235 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach, hellenika.com.au
Hidden within the glitz of The Star Gold Coast sits the elegant Kiyomi. Serving up carefully presented plates, masterfully executed by chefs Chase Koyima and Yonge Kim, the restaurant's switched-on service is as tightly focused as its food. Stop by the moody space for swanky cocktails and silky sashimi, or go all in with a set menu that promises stellar value and bold, detailed flavours: tempura snapper gets a kick from black pepper Amazu, while hiramasa kingfish topped with miso ceviche shows fine balance.
The Star Gold Coast, 1 Casino Dv, Broadbeach, star.com.au
Don't be fooled by Lupo's charming European-bistro style (or its copper horseshoe-shaped bar) — the friendly Mermaid Beach nook serves up clever Italian small plates with plenty of modern flair. Home-style eats direct from the wood-fire oven are creative and comforting: the steak tartare sanga arrives lodged between two pieces of tomato powder-doused crostini, while green pea puree lifts kingfish ceviche to greatness. The staff are attentive and relaxed, and offer great intel on Lupo's fun twist on cocktail classics. Start your night right with an Italao Disco.
2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach, restaurantlupo.com.au
Double Zero, Broadbeach
The best slice on the coast belongs to Double Zero, where Neopolitan-style pizze are go. This neighbourhood gem has a cult following thanks to its feather-light pizza bases that come slathered in rich tomato sauce and sprinkled with light-on toppings. Stop by for pizza-to-go and enjoy your slice seaside, or dine in and make the most of the well-priced wine list. This GC institution hits the mark when things are kept simple. Our pick: pizza Tartufo.
2/2715 Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach, doublezeropizza.com.au
Main image credit: @jimmywahsburleigh
Brought to you by InterContinental Hotels Group