While I was in Australia for the I’m a backpacker competition I was lucky enough not to have to eat like a backpacker. We were shown some of the best places to eat which were quirky and full of character. They all seemed to be busy with a great atmosphere too. Here is the run down:
Bine – A craft beer and dining bar is located south of Surfers Paradise between Mermaid Beach and Miami on the Gold Coast Hwy. The place hasn’t been open that long but has quickly become a favourite among locals, mostly for the beer but the food it good too. They had a good choice of main course but the highlights were their sharing plates – not that we shared ours and the tasting handle of beers.
Vapiano – This is an Italian restaurant of which there are three in Australia. Dining here is a very unique experience as upon arrival each person is given a bill card which you use to order everything on. To order drinks you go to the bar like normal but to order food is very different. Once you have chosen from the menu, queue at the appropriate place (pizza, pasta or salad queue) and then wait your turn. The chef then asks how much of spice, flavouring etc you would like, the type of pasta and then makes the dish fresh in front of you. Great idea – only problem was it took a long time to queue and none of our group ate at the same time as the pizza was ten times faster!
Tea House & Clifftop Dining – We dined here while in Binna Burra Lodge and both were lovely. The Tea House was a typical café menu with huge portions, average prices and beautiful views. The Clifftop Dining was the next step up and we enjoyed a buffet breakfast here, the views were even better and the selection was huge. Nothing fancy just nice.
Hard Rock Café – The typical chain diner American style and I have to say it was the only disappointing one! The atmosphere was lacking and I didn’t enjoy my food as much as the other places however some of the others food was awesome.
Helm Bistro – Gorgeous location, gorgeous food – located by one of Surfers many water ways the view was lovely in the fresh summer air. They had a meal deal every night and even stocked Burleigh Brewing Co. beer! All our food was incredible but I was amazed at the size of the prawns in my salad and my passionfruit pavlova was to die for. This was probably my favourite place and the atmosphere was awesome.
Hurricane Bar and Grill – We ended up here on Valentines night so it was packed! However it was run so smoothly and although we did have a long wait on food I think that was to do with one of our meals being the huge trio plate. The place looked out on to the beach and the inside was well decorated. More importantly our food was amazing and so was the waitress Brittany. The portions were massive and after a few drinks we all felt feeling like we had indulged too much!
Burleigh Brewing Co. – We were shown around the brewery and even several beers to taste on an afternoon here. It is a local brewery which is ever growing in size and awards for its well-loved beer. Every month on the first Friday they hold a fab party with food and music then the rest of the month they open for a much smaller gathering on a Friday evening. All their beers except the Hef are supplied around Australia although most just around the Gold Coast area – we even found them in bars in Surfers! Each year they have to make enough stock for demand as well as three new beers, it’s a team that certainly have their work cut out. A family run company (plus a few extras) who really love what they do.