Meter Maids may not have Gold Coast City Council blessing anymore, but you will still find them beachside signing calendars, in the middle of winter. The glitz, spray tans and schoolies of the Gold Coast aren’t going anywhere soon, either, but if you’re looking for a low-key Queensland escape, without sacrificing luxury, the following addresses might help you find a quiet corner in the sun.
Eat & Drink
Q1 Tower, Surfers Paradise Boulevard & Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise.
+61 7 5504 6466. absynthe.com.au
The Gold Coast’s only five-star fine-dining restaurant, helmed by a two Michelin-starred chef, Meyjitte Boughenout, serves a refined and creative fusion of modern French and Australian cuisine in an intimate, contemporary room. The exclusive cognacs and desserts - such as the strawberry souffle, strawberry and vodka marmalade, and yogurt and honey ice-cream - are standouts. Voted Queensland’s Best Restaurant five years in a row by Australian Gourmet Traveller - and it’s only been open six years. Boughenout is planning an elite culinary academy to open late next year.
Moo Moo The Wine Bar + Grill
2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach.
+61 7 5539 9952. moomoorestaurant.com
This slick steakhouse is the exclusive restaurant supplier of Australian Black Wagyu - a prized new cattle breed from Tajima Genetics, which has taken 12 years to perfect. The award-winning restaurant also has a 350-strong wine list to help you match the perfect drop to the finest beef in the country.
Marine Parade & Hythe Street. Miami.
+61 7 5572 5529.
Part-owned by cycling legend Robbie McEwan, this breezy coffee spot across from Miami Beach serves Brisbane-based Merlo Coffee – voted Australia’s favourite coffee in the 2012 Foxtel LifeStyle Food I Love Food Awards.
Bazaar @ QT Gold Coast
+61 7 5584 1200.
An interactive marketplace open dining room that serves the best breakfast buffet in the Gold Coast and evening offerings of Asian, Mediterranean, meat and seafood.
MBD (Manolas Brothers Delicatessens)
Shop 17a/19 Albert Avenue, Aria Building, Broadbeach.
Opens from 6am seven days a week
+61 7 5538 8223. m-b-d.com.au
Voted best delicatessen and cafe on the Gold Coast for the last five years. There are a multitude of sweet treats to tempt at the counter and the walls are bursting with continental imports - from squid ink pasta sauce to Spanish almond nougat.
Lauxes On The Park
Shop 1/2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach.
+61 7 5531 5555. lauxes.com.au
Guaranteed to get more than a little animated late into the weekends, this cocktail bar is a great place to start the night with a Champagne flute in hand. Visit midweek for a mellow aperitif. The clientele ranges from 30-50.
Shop 2, Oracle North, 12 Charles Avenue, Broadbeach.
+61 7 5570 2166. osushi.com.au
See & Do
Brickworks Centre, 107 Ferry Road, Southport.
+61 7 5591 2944. ferryrdmarket.com.au
Daily 8am-6pm, public holidays 9am-5pm. Produce section closed Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day.
This shopping arcade is a morning jaunt for foodies and browsers, with 13 food outlets and vendors and a range of homewares retailers. Artisanal bakery Flour uses Old World techniques to make traditional 100 per cent organic sourdough and lighter, long-ferment yeast breads.
Sea Temple Surfers Paradise
8 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise.
An oasis of tranquility and privacy, in an unexpected locale.
QT Gold Coast
7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise.
A new brand of contemporary hotel design - with splashes of surfside colour and a nod to Miami’s South Beach.