Popular Types of Restaurants on the Gold Coast

Have you ever had the problem of not knowing where to eat? You’re not alone. With so many types of restaurants lining the Gold Coast, it’s hard to know where to start.

After a long hard day at work, there is nothing harder than deciding where to go for dinner, especially when the Gold Coast has so many types of restaurants to choose from. The Gold Coast is littered with beautiful restaurants in almost every cuisine you could think of, making your decision even harder. 

To help next time you find yourself struggling to decide what to have to have to eat, we’ve put together a list of the most popular types of restaurants on the Gold Coast.

Photo by Shawn Ang on Unsplash

10 Most Popular Types of Restaurants on the Gold Coast 

1. Italian restaurants.

Who doesn’t love a good Italian meal. While many of us associate this cruisine with pizza, pasta and cheese, lots and lots of cheese, there are so many more Italian meals to be enjoyed. 

To start your meal, you can’t go past crispy arancini. Traditional arancini will melt in your mouth, filled with a cheesy risotto-like filling. If cheese isn’t your favourite, give the bruschetta a try. Bruschetta is a fresh classic Italian entree, with fresh diced tomato, onion and basil laid on freshly stone-baked bread, drizzled with olive oil.

For something a little different, you can’t go past bottarga. Otherwise known as the truffle of the sea, bottarga is the roe sac of a fish. When paired with spaghetti, bottarga makes the perfect simple pasta dish — one that is often overlooked. To find this dish, you’ll likely have to visit the higher-end restaurants on the coast.


2. Japanese restaurants.

From Surfers Paradise to Palm Beach, the Gold Coast is lined with delicious Japanese food. In my opinion, the Gold Coast has some of the best Japanese restaurants in Australia — and I’m not just talking about sushi trains. There are some hidden gems serving the perfect crispy, yet tender, karaage chicken, unagi and even fugu. 

For the brave, fugu is a traditional Japanese fish, which must be prepared in an exact manner to avoid causing serious health complications for those consuming the meal. If you’re looking for a Japanese restaurant on the Gold Coast serving Fugu, you may have to call ahead as this delicacy can be hard to find.


3. Thai restaurants.

The Gold Coast has a plethora of Thai restaurants, each boasting delicious and authentic dishes. They have all the local favourites such as Pad Thai, spring rolls and Tom Yum Goong. 

One of the lesser known types of Thai foods on the Gold Coast is Larb. Essentially a meat salad, Larb is a traditional Thai dish found in most restaurants made up of minced or finely chopped chicken, duck and sometimes pork tossed in sliced onions and basil. 

If you’re a dessert fan, arguably the most underrated dish on the menu at your local restaurant is sticky rice with mango. While traditionally you likely wouldn’t pair these items together, the creaminess of the rice and sweetness of the mango compliment each other beautifully.


4. Vegan restaurants.

Vegan restaurants have grown in popularity in recent years. Even if you aren’t vegan, you can enjoy some of the delicious menu items. 

One of the most popular vegan restaurants on the Gold Coast serves exclusively vegan ramen and bao buns, and take it from me, it tastes amazing! For those looking to try their hand at vegan food for the first time, or simply looking to decrease their meat consumption, you can’t go past vegan lasagna, a classic boa bun or smoothie bowls. Most of these options are available at your local vegan restaurant on the Gold Coast.


5. American restaurants. 

American restaurants have all the gloriously greasy and cheesy meals you can imagine. Think wings, burgers and fries (AKA chips), apple pie and so much more. There are plenty of American restaurants around the central Gold Coast, but some of the best are in Broadbeach. 

One American dish you can’t go past is cornbread. Made with cornmeal, this dish is typically served as a starter. For those looking to celebrate Thanksgiving in November this year, we highly recommend trying your local American restaurant’s pumpkin pie!


6. Chinese restaurants.

Who doesn’t love a sneaky Chinese takeaway dinner mid-week? You can’t go past traditional dishes such as chow mein, spring rolls and kung pao chicken. But what about trying some of the less popular dishes? We’re sure you’ll be delighted by the hidden gems you find.

We recommend trying your local Yum Cha restaurant, if you’re after something different. They offer a wide range of traditional dishes, perfect for sharing with friends and family. One of the most underrated Chinese dishes is congee. Traditionally eaten for breakfast, congee is made from mushy rice topped with either savory or sweet toppings.


7. Mexican restaurants.

Mexican restaurants are one of the most popular types of restaurants on the Gold Coast at the moment, with some of the best being found at Robina and in Nobbys Beach. You really cannot beat good Mexican food, including tacos, nachos and, of course, margaritas. 

However, those who aren’t a fan of spicy food often avoid this cuisine, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Many Mexican restaurants now offer mild options across their whole menu.

If you haven’t tried Birria, you’re missing out! Not overly popular outside of Mexico, Birria is a meat stew, traditionally made from goat or mutton cooked and spices. Second on the list of must-try mexican dishes is chilaquiles. Chilaquiles are made by deep fried tortilla, salsa, egg, cheese, chicken and sour cream all served like a salad in a bowl.


8. Greek restaurants.

Greek food has a reputation for being heart healthy, with plenty of olive oil, fish, lean meat, vegetables and grains in most dishes. Some of the most popular dishes available at Greek restaurants on the Gold Coast include Gyros and Souvlaki. Gyros are a popular street food in Greece, made from meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, salad, Greek yogurt and chips, all wrapped in a thick pita bread.

For those looking to be a little more adventurous with their cuisine, try Taramasalata. Taramasalata is one of many classic Greek dips. Made from pink or white fish roe, potato and olive oil, this dip is best served with freshly baked bread. 

Another highly recommended Greek option is moussaka. There are variations of this dish found across the Mediterranean, however the traditional Greek recipe contains sauteed eggplant, minced lamb, tomato, onion and garlic topped with a thick layer of bechamel sauce and cheese.


9. Seafood restaurants.

Australians love their seafood — well most of us anyway. There is nothing better than local and fresh seafood on a Sunday afternoon on the water. While most Australians tend to stick to the classic fish and chips, there is a whole world of weird and wonderful seafood dishes available at our local restaurants you must try.  

For those looking to try something new, try your hand at Tuna Fish eyes. While traditionally served in Japanese bars, this delicacy is slowly making its way to Gold Coast seafood restaurants. Although having never tried Tuna eye myself, it’s often referred to as tasting a little like calamari.


10. Indian restaurants.

Indian food is arguably the most underrated cuisine on the Gold Coast. It’s one of my personal favourites — who can say no to crispy naan and creamy butter chicken for dinner! 

Often known for its intense flavours, some may shy away from the delicacy out of fear of the spice. However, there is no need. There are plenty of Indian dishes boasting loads of flavour, without the heat.

If you’re not a fan of spice, give Malai Kofta a try. Known as one of the creamiest Indian curries, it boasts deep fried balls of potato and paneer served in a creamy tomato based curry. Did we mention it’s also vegetarian?


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      Katrina Stapleton

      Senior Digital Content Specialist

      Katrina Stapleton is a Senior Digital Content Specialist at Localsearch with a background in social media and marketing. Although most of her experience lies in the entertainment sector, Katrina has written content for a vast array of industries including tourism, hospitality, retail and property development. Katrina is an avid dog lover, who finds a way to weave her fur-baby, Mylo, into most conversations. Aside from being a self-confessed bookworm, Katrina can often be found checking out the Gold Coast's latest coffee nook, paddle-boarding or baking up a storm in her free time — all with Mylo by her side, of course! As a Senior Digital Content Specialist, Katrina enjoys sharing her knowledge and passions on the Localsearch Blog.