Whether you’re wishing a friend happy birthday, celebrating an engagement or just catching up with friends you haven’t seen in a while – dinner and drinks are the perfect choice but it can be hard to know where to go.
From award-winning fine dining with jaw-dropping views to more casual settings with excellent wine lists, we have rounded up the best restaurants to celebrate a special occasion along the Gold Coast.
Set right alongside the crystal clear sands of Burleigh Heads lies Rick Shores, one of the Gold Coast’s premier dining spots. After five long weeks of being closed for renovations, this much-loved spot has re-opened, just in time for spring.
This feet-in-the-sand restaurant offers up one of the region’s best ocean views, with direct access to the beach and the sound of crashing waves while you enjoy your meal. Run by superstar chefs Ben Bertei and Jake Pregnell, this restaurant delivers Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and Japanese flavours on both sharing dishes and bar snacks, as well as coastal-inspired cocktails. We’re talking: roasted Sichuan lamb with smoked eggplant and braised shiitake mushrooms, or pan-roasted john dory with burnt seaweed butter, potato and furikake. These crowd-pleasing dishes are designed to share, so don’t be too alarmed by the price.
Be sure to call ahead, as this hotspot can book out. If you’re wanting something really special, book a window table for sunset. The views are amazing, and the floor to ceiling glass doors slide away, offering uninterrupted views over the ocean.
Social Eating House + Bar
Nestled in the glitzy Oracle Precinct of Broadbeach, this casual fine dining restaurant is the ultimate special occasion venue. With Matt Jefferson, a three-time winner of the People’s Choice ‘Chef of the Year’ Award, running the kitchen, you know you are in for a treat.
The menu of international tapas and share plates show culinary flare with an oh-so-pretty presentation. Think; chargrilled southern octopus with ink vinegar, green tomato and potato aioli, or roasted Wagyu rump with carrot purée, cippolini onions, Jerusalem artichoke and de puy lentils. We guarantee there will be a resounding “wow” coming from your table as the dishes arrive.
Book a cosy table inside, score a seat outside in the alfresco or pop over to the bar and enjoy a sneak-peak into the kitchen. With fine dining dishes, a warm welcoming atmosphere and affordable prices, this has to be one of the best restaurants to celebrate a special occasion along the Gold Coast.
The Fish House
If you’re looking for somewhere with exceptional food, but a laid-back atmosphere, The Fish House is the place to be. This two-hatted restaurant offers up a world-class dining experience that is worthy of any special occasion. The restaurant’s ever-changing seasonal menu offers up fresh (and we mean really fresh) seafood that is flown in from around Australia. You can’t go past the restaurant’s signature dish, the Patagonian Toothfish marinated in miso and sake with caramelised and spring onion – we guarantee this dish is like nothing you’ve ever eaten before.
As for the view, what could be better than sweeping views of Burleigh Head, so close that you can taste the salty sea breeze while you enjoy a fabulously long lunch?
And with exceptional food, great views and attentive staff, it’s no wonder the restaurant’s patrons are always happy as Larry.
If a beautifully hand-curated selection of wines is what you look for in a restaurant, then Hellenika’s wine list will make you weak at the knees. Offering over 500, wines by the glass, in half bottles and whole bottles, you’ll be struggling to choose. Don’t worry though, the restaurant’s well-versed sommelier can help you decide. From Clare Valley Rieslings to French Sangiovese – and some delicious French champagnes thrown in, you’ll spend more time mulling over the drinks menu than the food.
Speaking of food, Hellenika menu consists of delicious, authentic Greek cuisine such as chargrilled octopus and Fraser Coast spanner crab, in mezze-style share plates. As for the setting, this slick, sophisticated restaurant has now opened up its rooftop terrace, offering panoramic views of Nobby Beach. So you can choose between a cosy place to sit inside or nab a rooftop seat on the sun-drenched terrace. Hellenika really is the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon with your friends.
If you’ve scored some of that wonderful Gold Coast sunshine, then why not celebrate your special occasion over brunch? The newly opened Little Mermaid is the best place to do it – think family-friendly café meets coastal-vibes restaurant. This casual café’s setting is all about white-on-white with pops of greenery and tropical prints.
You and your party can lounge on the front corner patio and soak up the morning sunshine, get cosy in the peacock chairs, or make yourself at home on the wide window sills. Their casual menu is easy on the wallet while still offering fresh, flavoursome dishes with locally-sourced produce. Little Mermaid nails the breakfast and the lunch part of brunch, serving up eggs bene and smashed avo’ as well as burgers, seafood and salads.
And if you want something a little stronger than coffee, this cafe delivers some seriously delicious cocktails. Try the 1litre sangria jug or an hour and a half of endless mimosas.
Haven’t sorted out accommodation for your next trip to the Gold Coast? AccorHotels can help you find the perfect hotel for you. Whether you’re looking for ocean views, plenty of space for all your friends and family, or a great location within walking distance to these great restaurants, AccorHotels has it all.