Long gone are the days when the only ‘foodies night out’ you could manage in Coolangatta was a fish and chips at the beach or a Chinese takeaway. Coolangatta is now a foodie heaven, playing host to some amazing food and wine experiences, as well as being home to some fantastic restaurants that make good use of the local produce available from the area.
Whether you’re looking for a full-day food and wine extravaganza, or a romantic meal for two during your holiday, The Strand Coolangatta explores the best culinary delights available in our little corner of the world.
1. The Gold Coast Food and Wine Tour
If you have limited time in the area or you just want to eat and drink as much amazing food and wine in one day as you can, then Gold Coast Food and Wine Tour has you covered. They offer a range of different tours depending on your group size, activity level and personal tastes, including Premium Tours, Walking Tours and Private Tours.
You could opt for their ‘Taste of the Gold Coast’ Progressive Dinner, where you’ll enjoy an afternoon of canapes, food-making, local ingredients and wine tastings, as well an amazing five-star dessert and cocktail combination at the last stop. The entire tour is run along the G-Link (the Gold Coast’s tram network), so is super easy to manage for larger groups.
Alternatively, you could venture out for a completely unique food and wine experience on the nearby Tambourine Mountain. You’ll take in the breathtaking scenery while enjoying local dishes made from ingredients from the local area. The carefully selected itinerary means you’ll see the best of the Tambourine Mountain food scene in one day, enjoying hidden gems and delights made extra special by the rich, volcanic soil. This tour includes private coach transfer to and from the Gold Coast, and requires a minimum of 10 guests to run.
2. Drop in at the famous Coolangatta Hotel
Sometimes, it really is best to eat as the locals do! If you’re after a relaxed afternoon in a homely location with live music, restaurants and a selection of bars to enjoy a beverage at, then the Cooly Hotel may be just the ticket.
The Coolangatta Hotel’s Crave Restaurant is well-known for its seasonally changing menu, contemporary Australian cuisine and friendly service. The menu ranges from light snacks to international dishes, to hearty pub classics – so there’s something for everyone!
Why not start with a crispy skin pork belly with asian slaw and spicy Thai dressing, followed by Atlantic salmon with green pea risotto and balsamic reduction? Finish it all off with a delicious chocolate fondant or berry cheesecake while enjoying the live bands and well put-together wine list (or the extensive beer selection).
3. Have a tipple (and stay for dinner) at Tasca
Tasca is a small space, however, it more than makes up for it with its intimate wine bar, creative cocktail selection and unpretentiously fresh food menu. With 40 seats in a beautiful indoor-outdoor space with white panelling, exposed brick, cement and sophisticated dark wood, Tasca is the perfect date spot in Coolangatta.
The menu is short yet varied, featuring share plates and reasonably priced larger plates of meals like wild tuna carpaccio with chunky avocado and capers, or pillowy pumpkin gnocchi with basil pesto and goats cheese. The Spanner crab with soured cream, finger lime, chickory and macadamia is also a must-have, combined with a local side that changes every day depending on what’s available.
Easily located on Griffith Street in Coolangatta, Tasca is a must-visit for any traveller or Coolie local craving authentic, fresh, honest food.
4. Have lunch on the water at Bin 72
Bin 72 is one of the original (and the best) restaurants in Coolangatta. Serving up some of the best tapas in the area for many years, locals love Bin 72 for its ocean vistas framed by Norfolk Pines, it’s friendly and attentive service staff, and (of course) the delicious espresso martinis and share plates. Try the popcorn chicken with spicy mayonnaise, the prawn-stuffed zucchini flowers with jalapeno dipping sauce, or the sticky soy pork belly with mustard apple pickle.
Bin 72 is the perfect date spot, also serving up fresh sashimi, decadent wines and an inspiring cocktail menu. For serious foodies, why not try out their $45 dollar banquet menu, where you’ll sample a selection of their most popular share plates, grilled delicacies, sides, salads and desserts?
5. Bug rolls at Rick Shores
Rick Shores is a restaurant at Burleigh Heads serving up amazing pan-Asian dishes that are truly made for sharing. Its stunning location and panoramic water views are only showed up by one thing; the ‘bug roll’ on offer that has become famous with the locals.
Touted as ‘bundles of brioche magic with cult-like adoration’, these little bug rolls are deliciously crispy bug meat in a tempura-style batter, paired with gem lettuce, mayonnaise laced with kaffir lime and just the right amount of chilli for a little kick.
Rick Shore was named Number 1 in the Delicious 100 list and made the top 100 in the Gourmet Traveller Australian Restaurant Guide. With this high of a level of acclaim, it’s obviously a winner. Come for the water views; stay for the bug rolls.
If you’re looking for a quality pint of beer, some delicious food and great entertainment, head down to the Cooly Hotel in Coolangatta!