The round-up: pasta houses to Greek gems – must-try restaurants in Coolangatta
Soaked in sunshine and dripping with personality, this seaside hub is known for its pristine beach (which wraps around to Rainbow Bay and Snapper Rocks) and laid-back vibe, making it a popular hang for locals and tourists alike. The bonus to all of that is that Cooly, which is the southernmost suburb on the Gold Coast (yep, take one step too far and you’re in New South Wales) is also dotted with some top-notch eateries – and a lot of them fly under the radar. So, for those searching for restaurants in Coolangatta, here’s a handy list of must-try spots.
This quaint eating house and wine bar is the jewel of Griffith Street, serving snacks and share plates with an Italian lean alongside a stellar collection of natural wines. Tasca covers all of the bases – an intimate dinner for two, a night of great wine and tasty food with the crew, solo snacks and sips at the bar, and long Sunday lunches filled with bubbles and sunshine.
There’s often a line-up of local pizza fiends clamouring for a taste of Francie’s woodfired goodness. The pizzas here are kept simple and authentic, accompanied by a handful of small shareable bites (including vegan options) and a fun list of wines. Gear up for good times and great pizza when heading to Francie’s.
Enjoying stunning ocean views and a dreamy fit-out, dining destination and bar Baskk has all of the ingredients for memorable beachside long lunch, an intimate dinner for two or a fun-filled feast with the brood. The menu covers land and sea with tasty bar snacks, handmade pizzas, and share plates of barbecued meats and seafood. Find a spot in the rum bar down the back for a post-dinner tipple.
Greenhouse Canteen + Bar
Chasing a plant-based meal with a couple of cocktails on the side? Greenhouse is an entirely vegan and gluten-free eatery, tucked right in the middle of Griffith Street. With other locations in Miami and South Brisbane, Greenhouse has quite the following and it’s not just vegan folk that are filling the seats – its tasty menu (everything from bar snacks to tacos, curries and burgers) is known for luring in the most staunch carnivores, too.
Eddie’s Grub House
Sometimes, a double-beef burger, a basket of onion rings, some fried chicken, a few whiskies and some rough and raw blues music is all you need to feel great again. Eddie’s is a longstanding fixture in Coolangatta’s casual-dining and bar scene, delighting burger lovers with a mouth-watering menu of towering delights and hand-held bar snacks that will leave you licking your fingers.
While technically it sits on the other side of the border in Tweed, Gallura is just metres from Griffith Street (Coolangatta’s main drag) and certainly deserves your attention. Inspired by the Italian island town of Sardinia, Gallura offers a menu of traditional Sardinian specialties, with a few subtle twists and modern adaptations. There’s plenty of seafood and handmade pasta to curb your appetite and a wine list that takes you on a tasting tour of Italy’s coastline.
Radici Pasta House
If it’s pasta you’re craving, get yourself acquainted with this local Italian gem. The casual dining spot, tucked in along Griffith Street, is well known for its delicious handmade pastas – from spaghetti to tagliatelle and tagliolini. Be sure to kick off with the pizza bites and finish with Sicilian-style cannoli.
If you want to soak up the beach views with great food, minus the elements (we all have a love-hate relationship with the Gold Coast humidity), then Bin72 is the ideal place to park. You’ll find share-style eats and larger plates on offer, from prawn-stuffed zucchini flowers with jalapeno dipping sauce to braised beef cheek with potato gratin, plus a fine selection of wines. All of that is made better with dreamy views over Coolangatta beach.
Greek food is best enjoyed by the seaside, and that’s exactly how it’s served up at Xenia Grill. The menu is designed to share, with everything from smaller meze plates to belly-busting Greek banquettes brimming with succulent meats and fresh seafood. There’s also favourites like moussaka, spanakopita, saganaki, housemade dips and a menu of street-style souvlaki filled with chicken, lamb or pork with crackle.
4 Pines X Boardriders
In late 2019, the original Boardriders cafe morphed into a day-and-night hub as part of collab with 4 Pines brewery. The overhaul and introduction of an entirely new venue meant a new dinner trade was introduced, offering tasty pub fare like spiced chicken wings smothered in kick-ass sauce, to fish tacos, grazing boards and vibrant salads. As you’d expect, there’s a wide range of tap beers on offer, alongside a fun series of cocktails and shades of wine.
For tasty tacos, tiki vibes and live music, you can’t look past Tupe Aloha. Described as ‘when Hawaii meets Mexico and has a holiday in Kirra’, this personality-packed eatery and bar is were you’ll find delicious bar bites and tropical-inspired shareables, ice-cold tap beers and a fun collection of cocktails. Plus, there’s always a killer line-up of local musos providing the tunes.
If you’ve got the munchies for burgers and wings, and are thirsty for a cocktail or three, St Helens will sate your appetite. With a raft of bar snacks (including plenty of vegan options) on offer alongside its burgers and bigger bites, you’ll surely roll out of here with a full belly and an ear-to-ear grin. You’ll get to enjoy prime views of Kirra beach while you’re at it and there’s always live music to keep your toes tapping.
Bread N Butter
Do you love nothing more than a warming bowl of gnocchi and a glass of wine? Or a piping-hot pizza and an ice-cold beer? If it’s a ‘yes’ from you, then grab a table at Italian kitchen Bread N Butter and satisfy those cravings. There’s cocktails, a fun vibe and live music on most nights – all enjoyed just metres from the pristine ocean.
That’s just a handful of spots to check out, pals! There is a lot more goodness in the Coolangatta-Kirra precinct – take a peek at our Stumble Guide to explore the area a little more.
Got a favourite Cooly spot that we need to check out? Send your tips to [email protected]
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.