11 of the best restaurants on the Sunshine Coast
A far cry from the sleepy Queensland coastal region it once was, the Sunshine Coast is now a booming culinary mecca. An influx of fresh chef talent and a decided shift towards modern, sustainable and local cuisine has revitalised the industry and placed Sunshine Coast restaurants well and truly on the map.
From the bustling dining hubs of Mooloolaba and Noosa, to the rolling hills of the Hinterland, here are 12 of the best restaurants on the Sunshine Coast.
If you’re after a high-energy, flavour-packed dining experience, Rice Boi is your place. Opening exclusively throughout the weekend (Thursday to Sunday), this vibrant Sunshine Coast restaurant offers up modern, Asian-fusion eats, cold beers and good times.
The food is always fresh and always local and guests are spoilt for choice. Crispy eggplant chips are the perfect snack, and it’s hard to go past the dumplings — their speciality. Get there early to nab a seat out on the deck overlooking the water, or head upstairs to the bar for spiked bubble tea and a selection of tasty bites.
Fish on Parkyn
For an elevated take on fish and chips, head to Fish on Parkyn. Chef Andrej Kogoj is pioneering a “dock-to-table” ethos, serving only the best-quality, sustainably and wild-caught local fish, and he’s doing it beautifully.
Going strong for more than 15 years, this is simple, local food, worth travelling for.
Occupying prime waterfront real estate in what was once the local yacht club, Pier 33 is a Mooloolaba institution. Come for the stunning Hamptons vibes and stay for the impeccable seafood, collected directly from the moored fishing trawlers you can see from your table.
Sustainably sourced local produce complements the seafood, and the menu changes with the seasons. You can usually get your hands on their famous Mooloolaba prawn roll though, and you certainly should. Treat yourself to some oysters and whatever’s been caught that morning, and settle in for the day, you lucky thing.
Sum Yung Guys
Kitsch, pan-Asian holiday vibes abound at this much-hyped Sunshine Beach restaurant. And happily, the food is as good as it is fun.
Led by ex-Masterchef alum, Matt Sinclair, Sum Yung Guys’ inventive menu runs the gamut from Japan to Indonesia, so there’s something for everyone and meals are designed to share. Wash it all down with any of the inventive, tasty cocktails on offer and good times are practically guaranteed.
Tucked away in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it spot on Sunshine Beach’s Duke St, Embassy XO is a foodie favourite among locals and visitors alike.
Serving up top-notch Asian cuisine overlooking the beach, it’s not surprising that this is considered one of the best Sunshine Coast restaurants. You can’t go wrong with a la carte, but in-the-know locals swarm to the lunch-time yum cha offering. The banquet will set you back a very reasonable $38. Book early or go hungry!
No trip to Noosa is complete without a long lunch at Rickys. Sitting right on the picturesque Noosa River, just up the road from Noosa’s main street, Rickys is a dichotomy – at once reliable and comforting while also being modern, fresh and full of surprises.
Meals are made that much better due to the sourcing of the bulk of their produce from Rickys’ own property, Maravista Farm, in the Noosa Hinterland. Access to three vegetable plots, abundant citrus groves, a private bee colony and a herd of cattle, plus a commitment to converting food waste to compost on the farm, sets Rickys apart.
Harrys on Buderim
Housed in a 139-year-old homestead on the edge of the Buderim Forest Park, Harry’s on Buderim lured two-hatted chef Stuart Bell from Victoria to take over the reins of the long-running fine diner in 2018.
Harry’s is committed to supporting as many local businesses, suppliers and producers as possible. They’ve also recently received a ‘Snail of Approval’ accreditation from Slow Food Noosa for their commitment to using good, clean and fair ingredients from the local area.
The ever-changing seasonal menu champions local produce and the seafood-forward dishes are fresh and memorable. Make time for a stroll to Buderim Falls in the adjoining park while you’re there.
A guide to the best Sunshine Coast restaurants simply wouldn’t be complete without Spirit House. The award-winning restaurant, housed in a fairytale, tropical-garden setting about a half hour drive from Noosa, just gets better with age.
The infamous cooking school on site attracts tourists in droves (and it’s fantastic), but if you’re short on time, let the incredible chefs look after you in the restaurant. Book early or be disappointed, and order everything. If you have to choose, the whole crispy fish is an absolute must have. A world-class experience not to be missed.
Set in the lush Maleny rainforest, in the Sunshine Coast’s Hinterland, The Tamarind is an award-winning, hatted restaurant that offers contemporary Australian cuisine with an Asian influence.
Make sure you book in advance and ask for a table on the deck, which looks out over the beautiful gardens. Choose from a range of small and large plates, designed to be shared, and if you get a chance to eat the Chinese steamed buns with whipped roe, you absolutely should. Not to be missed.
The Long Apron
Tucked away within Spicers Clovelly Estate in Montville, this two-hatted, French-inspired restaurant has long been considered one of the best Sunshine Coast restaurants, renowned for its world-class food and service.
Beyond the plate, The Long Apron is also a pioneer when it comes to sustainability. Their onsite vegetable garden provides fresh, seasonal produce to the restaurant, which is used in abundance. They’re also involved in a range of other initiatives, including implementing an innovative glass-to-sand program with Enviro Sand, and adopting a 100% paper-straw policy, among others, to ensure they’re having a positive environmental impact.
Opt for two- or three-course a la carte or go all out with the five-course tasting menu, but don’t miss the beeswax sorbet for dessert (made from their very own native honey bees!).
Flame Hill Vineyard
Overlooking their working cattle property and winery, Flame Hill Vineyard is a homestead-turned-restaurant and cellar door in the lush town of Montville in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
Offering the ultimate paddock-to-plate experience, Flame Hill’s farm and kitchen garden produce grass-fed Angus beef as well as the herbs and vegetables accompanying every plate. Wash it all down with some of their excellent wine, which is 100% estate-grown and hand-picked from their vineyards.