Brews, chews and things to do – see these central Gold Coast suburbs in a new light
Look, we’d be kidding ourselves if we said that the Gold Coast doesn’t get many tourists – after all, what’s not to love about endless summer vibes and game-changing foodie hangs? While southern spots like Cooly and Burleigh may be seen as objectively ‘cooler’ by the locals, the central suburbs that many perceive as a bit tired are actually anything but. If you’ve purposely avoided Surfers and Broadbeach for this reason, allow us to lure you back in – because it turns out these suburbs have more street cred than you might realise.
New kids on the block
You may think that the southern end gets all of the cool new food spots, but you are mistaken – Surfers has had some absolutely killer openings in the past few months. We’ve had some southern institutions making their way to our shores in the form of legendary vegan fast-food joint Lord of the Fries and Sydney’s ridiculously drool-worthy burger emporium Milky Lane. CHOP CHOP is a bustling Asian-food precinct that can cater to all of your cravings from Indonesian to Thai, while Poke California is the spot to hit up if you want to try the famous namesake nourishment dish. White Rhino will stun you with its two levels of (almost) around-the-clock dining and drinking, from lavish breakfasts to cheeky nightcaps. If your sweet tooth needs satiating, Bubbo Dessert Bar has got you covered with its Insta-famous Hong Kong egg waffles.
Look, you can’t beat a classic – and these awesome eateries are proof. Lovers of fine Italian fare would do well to pay a visit to the iconic Salt Meats Cheese, while El Patio de Cuba serves up a distinctly Spanish vibe with incredible flair. For a bite to eat with a side of eye-popping scenery, a visit to Steampunk is a must – think gears, cogs and all things industrial. Those chasing a frothy should make tracks to House of Brews, with an impressive 32 craft beers on tap. Sandbar is perfect for those who want to grab a delicious bite with a side of total beachfront views (minus any tacky tourist vibes). Chasing a java hit? ESPL Coffee serves up the best brews in town and is a favourite with the locals.
Out of the box entertainment
If you’re looking for things to do in Surfers Paradise that aren’t just going to the beach (although the beach is an excellent choice), we’ve got you covered. Unleash your friendly competitive side with some excellently themed putt-putt at Holey Moley, paint and sip to your heart’s content (and unleash your inner Picasso) at the Brush & Barrel studio, or channel your inner tourist and pat adorable felines at the Crazy Cat Cafe.
What’s going on
Surfers is understandably a hotbed of amazing annual events – be sure to scope what’s on and plan your visit accordingly. Some absolute must-dos are the Sand Safari Arts Festival, rad music festival Surfers Paradise LIVE, VIVA Surfers Paradise, and of course the pyrotechnic spectacular SeaFire.
Just next door and a little to the south of Surfers lies Broadbeach, another rad suburb that is prone to getting overlooked. If you’re keen to venture out and try some of the local nosh, we have some tips that will get you salivating. Elk Espresso is an absolute must if you dig fine seasonal daytime fare, while Main Street Burger Bar dishes up jaw-dropping burgers with a side of ice-cold brews. International cuisine gets a look-in too – Aztec Tequila Bar and Restaurant is perfect for those seeking some spice, and national fave Harajuku Gyoza ups the kawaii Japanese factor with its succulent dumplings and zany service. Looking for a rad place for some adult-style sips? The Roosevelt Lounge is an opulent choice dripping with intimacy and decadence, while Soho Place is another killer choice with speakeasy vibes and the option to BYO food.
When to come out and play
If you’re planning a trip to the area, it’s well worth scoping out some of the annual events happening to max out your time. If you’re into all things aquatic, the Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships take place around the end of March into early April. Lovers of live tunes best keep mid-May free for the Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival, as well as the Groundwater Country Music Festival at the end of July. Francophiles should plan a trip around mid-November and take advantage of the Bonjour French Festival – it’s like a slice of Paris by the sea!
The main attractions
There are plenty of things to do in Broadbeach that aren’t related to the actual beach! If retail therapy is your jam, Pacific Fair Shopping Centre will be like your mecca – this massive mall is home to some seriously impressive retailers. Broadbeach is also home to the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, so be sure to check the venue’s website to see what cool events are happening when you’re around. The market scene is a treat – you can scope the Broadbeach Art and Craft Markets on the first and third Sunday of every month, with the beachside location coming alive with food, stalls and live tunes. For a cute spot to take the fam or have a picnic, be sure to head to Cascade Gardens.
Feeling inspired? If you’re down to explore Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, Mantra Hotels are the perfect spot to stay so you can max out your time there. With a range of super-convenient locations and styles of accommodation, you’ll find something to suit – whether it’s a girl’s weekend, a couple’s retreat or a family vacay. Check your options here and get booking!