8 Gold Coast restaurants with a view of the water
Some restaurants and cafes rely on good looks, celebrity chefs or Heston Blumenthal-esque theatrics to pull in the crowds, but on the Gold Coast, real estate trumps all.
The best restaurants here come with a side serve of million-dollar ocean views.
From laid-back surf clubs, to fine dining by the marina and unbeatable oceanfront hotspots with exceptional food to match, these are the top Gold Coast restaurants with a view of the water.
Burleigh Pavilion | Burleigh Heads
With the most prime position in Burleigh Heads looking up the coast to Surfers Paradise, it’s not just the views that have mouth’s dropping at Burleigh Pavilion.
From the stunning breezy interiors to the produce-driven menu (we’re talkin’ locally sourced seafood platters to woodfired pizzas and burgers), this hot locale covers all beach reveller’s needs: from casual post-swim bites and beers on The Terrace to fine dining on the northern side at The Tropic – a full-service 240-seat restaurant headed by Michelin-starred chef Guillaume Zika.
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Seascape restaurant and Bar | Surfers Paradise
Seascape has not one, but three levels of the Soul Boardwalk in Surfers Paradise, with expansive views and a unique dining option on each floor.
The bistro on level one is all cocktails and casual bites (think grilled scallops and fish tacos), while upstairs in the restaurant, sleek decor and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean will capture your attention from the moment you step inside.
On the menu, fish is the star of the show with six different catches of the day served with moreish sides like potato galette, tempura asparagus with sticky soy, and heirloom carrots with truffled honey.
Coming straight from the beach? Take to the rooftop for a cold beer.
Glass Dining at Marina Mirage | Main Beach
Across the road from one of the Gold Coast’s most underrated beaches and overlooking a bevvy of super yachts, there’s no denying that Glass Dining has won the location lottery.
Glass Dining and Lounge Bar provides a marina-front stage for anytime cocktails, as well as an intimate setting for an exceptional lunch or dinner. Although, sunset is undeniably the best time to pull up a table here.
Start with oysters dressed with shallot and chardonnay vinegar before sampling from the tapas menu. For the main event, you could focus on seafood with the likes of black mussels swimming in white wine cream and fresh herbs, or appease your inner carnivore with filet mignon topped with duck liver parfait and served with truffle glazed carrots and a Galway Pipe port wine jus.
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Rick Shores | Burleigh Heads
If you were any closer to the water, you’d be swimming in it. Ever since opening its doors in 2016, Rick Shores in Burleigh Heads has earned itself a reputation for both its unbeatable waterfront location and its award-winning food.
Most recently, it was awarded a chef’s hat in the 2020 Australian Good Food Guide, so if you haven’t already, gather your friends to make a booking and prepare to share.
From bar snacks like Rick’s famous fried bug roll through to smoked pork and tamarind curry with charred chilli and roasted macadamia, the intensity of the flavours at Rick Shores (paired with that oceanfront view) will leave a lasting impression on you.
Edgewater | Isle of Capri
Moor your yacht and step into Edgewater Dining for tasty fare served with a sparkling view over the Nerang River, and the towering Q1 building framed by floor-to-ceiling windows.
Boasting a modern Australian menu with an Italian bend, set aside a few hours to work your way through their ‘liquid journey’ menu – from the ‘Sparkly Tour’ through to ‘The Magnificents’ pinot noir and mourvèdre varieties, it’s a fabulous showcase of Australian and New Zealand wines.
Open for breakfast right through to dinner, there are plenty of tastes to tempt but we’re going for the prawn and bug risotto with pink champagne sauce for the win!
BMD Northcliffe Surf Club | Surfers Paradise
In Australia, our Surf Life Savers do so much more than just keep our beaches safe and look good in yellow and red; their clubhouses are secret winners in the dining stakes, too.
With a pocket of prime Surfers Paradise beachfront real estate all stitched up, Northcliffe Surf Club is the perfect spot to order a pot (mid-sized beer) and a parmy (chicken parmigiana) and while away an afternoon, checking out the action on the beach in air-conditioned comfort.
Passionate about your beer? Hanging above the bar are three copper tanks full of preservative-free Carlton Draught Tank Beer. From just-brewed to bar, it doesn’t get much more fresh than that!
Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club | Currumbin
Eating out on the waterfront doesn’t need to equal fine dining. For sandy-feet, literally ON the beach dining, Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club takes the cake.
Its location may be million-dollar, but the vibe here is as casual as they come. It’s the quality, wallet-friendly fare that keeps locals and visitors coming back for more.
Club-style feeds like burgers, the fisherman’s plate and a hefty 300g sirloin are all there, but you’ll also find crispy skin salmon and Moroccan spiced potatoes served with a fennel and mandarin salad, and pumpkin and sage ravioli to satisfy more discerning palates.
Hyde Paradiso | Surfers Paradise
An icon in Los Angeles, Vegas and Miami (Florida, that is), Hyde Paradiso is the first flagship Aussie venue from US-hospitality brand, HYDE. And boy did they pick the perfect location right across from Surfers Paradise.
Located within Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise, the hotspot oozes Mediterranean feels with pastel hues, mosaic tiles, white archways, DJ soirees, a Venetian-inspired sgroppino bar, and of course, uninterrupted ocean views day and night.
Then there are the edible offerings: a bottomless brunch with all the mimosas, oysters, arancini, cold meats, and breads you can stuff in; bar bites like Greek-style spanakopita and fried haloumi chips; through to piled-high plates of lamb ragu, Portugese-roasted chicken, and 300g Cape Grim ribeye for when you’re truly famished.
For more of the best bars on the Gold Coast, read this guide.