Noosa And Beyond: A Complete Guide To Sunshine Coast Dining
How to navigate the Sunshine Coast's string of pretty beaches, lacquered-on green countryside and proliferation of top-notch bars, restaurants and eateries.
There is plenty to see and do around the Sunshine Coast and the scenic roads that spaghetti around the two-tiered setting of beaches and hinterland are perfect for peregrination. From the main beach and chic eateries of Noosa, to family-friendly Mooloolaba and leafy hinterlands,
Want to eat and drink your way around the region – from hinterland breweries to surf club hangs – in one long weekend? It’s all there. Here is our insider’s guide on where to eat and drink around the Sunshine Coast.
The best Sunshine Coast breakfasts
Disentangle yourself from that day bed, don your favourite kaftan and strut past the weekend warriors ordering acai bowls from the Coconut Head in favour of a buttery croissant slathered in jam from the Noosa Hot Bread Shop. Although the bakery sounds old-school, it’s actually up-to-the-minute, doling out long-fermentation sourdough bread and classic French pastries.
The tables at Thomas Corner Eatery in Noosaville are also packed with appreciative punters enjoying chef David Rayner’s menu, which is as contemporary and modern as the clientele. Extend your breakfast into brunch at the bright, breezy eatery with options such as Spanner crab san choy bow. On Sundays, the Noosa Farmers Market rocks the beachside vibes and is the very best place to pick up fresh produce. Cap off your great start to the day with a brew from Little Boaty, a worthy spot thanks to well-trained baristas and a beach view.
The best Sunshine Coast lunch cafes
Turn your back on Noosa Main Beach to find award-winning Wasabi where owner Danielle Gjestland supplies seasonal produce from her Honeysuckle Hill farm. Dining here, with the gentle slap of the water against the banks of Noosa River, is an immersive experience thanks to custom-made crockery, exquisite omakasa options such as tempura dumpling of local king prawns and staff who are as elegant as the dining room.
Pull in for lunch at upscale Ricky’s River Bar & Restaurant, also smack-bang on the river, where head chef Josh Smallwood celebrates local Sunshine Coast produce with dishes such as school prawns slathered in chive mayonnaise and flecked with black sesame in one of the State’s prettiest dining rooms.
Sunny Coast perfection can also be found in a plate of sticky pork belly at Rice Boi, or beer-battered flathead and chips at Hamptons-styled chipper Saltwater, both housed in the brand-new Mooloolaba Wharf, which recently underwent a $10 million rejuve. With its decked terrace and suitably nautical décor, stylish new seafood restaurant Pier 33 has taken up residence at the old Mooloolaba Yacht Club and boasts views of sea and sky, bobbing boats and palm trees.
The best Sunshine Coast dinner restaurants
The dining room at Brouhaha Brewery in Maleny is perfumed with malt and hops, enticing craft beer geeks to order beer-focused food such as the Maleny Wagyu ragu featuring Brouhaha’s own Milk Stout & Blonde braised wagyu beef served with pappardelle pasta. Moffat Beach Brewing Company in Moffat and Copperhead Restaurant & Brewery in Cooroy have also been buoyed by the success of Brouhaha and the local boutique beer obsession and the Imperial Hotel in Eumundi has started regular brewery tours, too.
Maleny is also home to Spicers Tamarind Retreat, where chef Daniel Jarrett writes Asian flavours into the menu. Enjoy som tom (papaya salad), marinated market fish and prawns roasted in chilli paste at this Asian-inspired piece of heaven in the hills, which is set to host the first-ever Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival on February 11.
The Long Apron at Spicers Clovelly Estate is another Sunny Coast institution where Michelin-trained chef Chris Hagan delivers food heavily influenced by European technique at the provincial-style estate. The achingly hip Altitude in Montville – which has consultant chef Matt Golinksi at the helm – has also helped take the perception of dining in the Hinterland to new heights, offering a restaurant with rooms and sweeping views out over the Sunshine Coast and escarpment.
The best Sunshine Coast bars
The bar scene on the Sunshine Coast is set to explode largely thanks to the revitalised The Wharf Mooloolaba. The newly completed The Dock Mooloolaba is a sprawling space that includes three separate bars and a 250-degree views of the water.
As the sun slips lower in the sky, 313 Social feels more Melbourne than Mooloolaba, with the laneway hang attracting the Coast’s cool kids thanks to a clot of pinball machines, pool tables and a half-pipe.
Mooloolaba’s Dirty Moes is all about communal tables and killer cocktails, while the Sunset Bar at Noosa Boathouse is one of the best spots to bask in the sunshine on the coast, glass of Pimms in hand.
The new burnished bar is dark and ambient and decorated with fat lanterns and Buddha heads that exude the ambience of Asia. Ask the whip-smart staff to indulge your penchant for black pepper chicken wings and a filthy martini. Further south, and it seems the subterranean bar in Nambour named The Basement was designed with built-in patrons who were already fans of the Your Mates Brewing Co.. the brand behind the business.
Bison Bar is another notable opening in Nambour, with the beautiful Art Deco-inspired cocktail lounge drawing a cool-kid cohort. End the day the Sunshine Coast way, with a sundowner on the veranda of the low-key Alexandra Headland Surf Club.
Published 18 January, 2018