Best Cafes, Bars and Eateries in Palm Beach

The Gold Coast’s Palm Beach, or ‘Palmy’ as the locals call it, is a spectacular long white sand beach bookended by Currumbin and Tallebudgera Creeks, with a rich history dating back to 1930. The foreshore is an integral part of Palmy’s identity, famous for its older style beach shacks that hold steady amongst prime beachfront land. Just behind the beach, Palmy has undergone a major metamorphosis in recent times, and its emerging dining and bar scene (centred around Seventh and Palm Beach Avenues) has made it one of the coast’s coolest burbs. Locals and visitors with discerning palettes are sampling the delights of the new chic cafés, trendy bars and swanky restaurants popping up around town. Find out about eight of the best.  

One of the most popular drawcards for visitors to Palm Beach is its beautiful parklands surrounding the sparkling mirror-calm waters of the Currumbin Creek estuary at the south end of the beach. There’s no better place to enjoy the parklands than laid-back Dune Café with its breathtaking view of Currumbin Lagoon. Stop in for a delicious all-day breakfast, a lovely lunch with a sunny view, great coffee or a cool treat, anytime from 6:30am-3pm. Dune’s position beside the iconic pirate ship playground, complete with tall sails, hidden treasures, planks and cannons, make this the café of choice for families on the Gold Coast

Just behind the beach on Palm Beach Avenue is Barefoot Barista, one of the new places to be. This hip café offers outdoor seating, artisanal coffee, cold-pressed juices and all-day gourmet breakfasts, with healthy and tasty lunch options from 11:30am. Local’s favourites include the avocado sourdough with edamame and pickled cucumber, the zucchini halloumi fritters and the ricotta hotcakes with fresh fruit, toasted seeds & nuts, Canadian maple and organic coconut ice cream. The thoughtful menu also offers kids options plus gluten-free, vegetarian vegan and diary-free choice

Around the corner on Seventh Avenue, just off the Gold Coast Highway, you’ll find Wildernis café and takeaway coffee station, offering fine coffee with breakfast and lunch from 6am to 2pm every day. The café boasts modern inspired dishes, bountiful tastes, colours and textures that are fresh and honest. The punchy menu offers such delights as a French Benny, ‘Woodsman’ scrambled eggs with truffle oil, Lebanese eggs with spiced lamb and dukkah, sweet potato and kale fritters, Acai and Nourish bowls, and Blackforest pancakes

On a leafy corner, a few blocks back from the beach, you’ll find local’s favourite, Third Base Coffee. This relaxed, friendly and casual venue prides itself on its serious barista-made coffee, juices, frappes and smoothies and epic all day breakfasts, including the bacon benny, the vegan brekky burger, berry-nice pancakes, and the chunky smashed avo with seeds and chilli flakes. The skilled chefs of Third Base have created a clever menu that offers ample vegan, vegetarian and dietary options and provides some tasty toastie and burger twists alongside the classic BLT, soft-shell tacos and fish and chips

Intimate and inviting Burgster shares the block on Philippine Parade with Third Base Coffee and is a nostalgic but chic-take on an American burger restaurant, drawing inspiration from the hipster culture of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg warehouses. The tattoo-style street art, exposed brick and industrial finishings are complemented by a small but fully stocked bar with locally sourced wines, raw but inviting booth seating and a killer menu. Burgster’s focus on sourcing organic and free-range meat, complemented with handmade sauces, has made them famous for serving the best burgers on the Gold Coast. Burgster caters for kids, gluten-free and vegan diets, and draws a loyal local crowd for tinnies and fish taco Tuesdays, wing and margarita Wednesdays, and oyster happy-hour Fridays

Palm Beach’s Balboa Italian is without a doubt, one of the best Italian restaurants on the Gold Coast, offering an extensive menu of fine Italian fare - including antipasti, woodfired pizza, handmade pasta and risotto - with a contemporary twist. From its sleek industrial aesthetic and towering ceilings, its grand chandelier and glistening gin and negroni bar, to its second story ocean-view deck dining, this gorgeous restaurant adds a touch of class to the Palm Beach neighbourhood. Balboa strives to source the finest local and imported ingredients, whilst combining classic Italian techniques with fresh interpretations to serve up some of best modern and traditional Italian dishes to thrill even the most discerning palette. If you’re seeking an evening of decadence, start with a Balboa signature cocktail or a glass of wine from Witches Falls, paired with an Affettati Misti Antipasta for two, followed by the hand-made and baked Gnocchi Sorentina, and finally a Balboa style sticky date roulade for dolce. Simply to die for!

This almost hidden unsigned speakeasy, tucked away behind an unimposing upcycled wooden door, is the coast’s coolest “secret” plantation-style rum bar. With more than 60 different varieties of exotic rum on offer, Suga is Gold Coast renown for having reinventing the Daiquiri, offering its signature splashes from Thursday to Sunday, accompanied by the dulcet tones of local musicians. Intimate and cosy, you can grab a booth, a brown leather couch or a bar stool and sample a curated list of cocktails, an extensive selection of tipples, brews and bitters and revel with a laid back good-time gang until the wee hours. Suga is the perfect place for a fantastic, accidental late-night outing

Named after the famous 1887 Gold Coast shipwreck which ran aground with a cargo of whiskey, this Scottish styled relaxed pub and restaurant brings authentic pub food with a Gold Coast twist and a wall of over 300 different whiskeys! This green galley-style whiskey bar has a nautical vibe and invites you in to its cosy timber and tartan seating to sample the extensive wine list, the Malt of the Month or one of over 500 spirits on offer. The many tipples to choose from are wonderfully complemented with a colourful menu of nautically named cheese boards, seafood and share plates, and heartier options for the hungry. Local’s favourites include the haggis bons bons, the crunchy panko crumbed arancini balls and the slow roasted pork shoulder. The menu also caters for children and provides a selection of vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options. The Prince offers private-room whiskey tasting sessions, Tuesday night comedy and live music from Wednesday to Sunday, opening from 5pm for happy hour, but it is usually packed to capacity by 6pm, so book or turn up early

By Michaela Lyons

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