In November my husband and I went on a quick trip to the Gold Coast for our tenth anniversary (since we got together, we’re only up to our fourth wedding anniversary). I was really excited to explore a new part of Queensland. We’ve lived here for eight years, and we really haven’t explored much of this place we’ve made home, and I’m hoping this is the first step to changing that!
For a lot of people, when they think of the Gold Coast they think glitz, glam, bikies and Schoolies. I was determined to seek out a different side of the Gold Coast, and I’m happy to say I think I succeeded!
We stayed in Broadbeach, which is a bit further down from Surfer’s Paradise (what most people think of when they think of the Gold Coast) and cusps on the more suburban parts of the Gold Coast.
I will say - if/when we go back to the Gold Coast I would probably stay even further down the coast in Miami (no, not that Miami) or Burleigh Heads. All of the breweries we visited were down that way, and it had a lot more of that classic “Aussie beach town” vibe.
Pre P.S. We stayed at Ocean Pacific Resort. It’s a little more pricey than what I might normally have gone with (I mean it was our anniversary after all) but it was worth every penny. I can’t say for sure but I’m pretty sure it’s family run (it definitely had that vibe). It didn’t have a lot of the fancy bells and whistles that you’d find in bigger resorts (restaurants etc) but it was well cared for with a nice pool and spa and the rooms were really lovely.
Pre P.P.S. Despite me bringing my DLSR I mostly took pictures with my phone, so apologies for the photo quality.
Little Mermaid has the chilled out vibe of a beachside cafe that has been running since surfboards were invented. It’s somewhere the locals go for brunch, or for a Sunday session. The brunch menu has a great mix of options to suit everyone and part of the reason we went more than once was because there were multiple things I wanted to try! I definitely recommend the breakfast burger or the haloumi mushroom stack.
It’s a good thing you could walk straight past Bam Bam if you weren’t looking for it because if it was more obvious it would be constantly packed. As it is it has a bit of a cult status; Margot Robbie even started her hen’s day at Bam Bam! The croissants take three days to make, and they are worth it. They also make a variety of dangerous looking pastries that taste as good as they look (there’s nothing worse than food only looking good “for the ‘gram”).
We didn’t eat anything here - but word on the street is they do cracker bagels. We did stop here a few times for coffee, and it was really good - so if you’re a coffee addict like us, it’s worth it just for that.
The Loose Moose has the kind of food that you need to skip lunch to make room for. The menu is full of hearty burgers, ribs and loaded fries; essentially comfort food at its finest. The ambience is really fun and friendly, it was a great place to start our Gold Coast adventure!
Roosevelt Lounge is the exact opposite of its brash, loud sister; Loose Moose. The max capacity is probably barely 50, and if it gets too full they close the door (though if you ring the doorbell they might let you in - as we discovered on Saturday night). It’s the kind of place you go with a few friends or a lover for some fancy drinks and maybe some snacks. The bartenders are incredibly knowledgeable, and you feel so classy sitting on a plush red velvet stool sipping your drink and people watching. Also they have a live saxophonist every night which really adds to the ambience.
Soho Place really is hidden in plain sight. It’s behind an unassuming red door that looks like a London telephone box, in amongst Thai massage places and pharmacies. It’s the last place you expect a cute speakeasy style bar to be - which is probably the point. Decorated in an homage to everything London, it’s a fun place to go for pre-drinks or an evening with friends. It’s officially the first “small” bar opened in the Gold Coast (aka a bar with no requirement to serve food) - but I hope not the last!
Honestly, Double Zero doesn’t need me to sing its praises. I think every other foodie magazine and website out there has already said everything that can be said about this top notch pizzeria. It’s even officially approved by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana as selling true Neapolitan pizza! We went here for our anniversary dinner and it was a fantastic experience from start to finish. The wine list is incredible, the service is polite but not overbearing and of course there is the pizza. As my husband said, I could eat just the pizza dough without any topping, it’s that good! Even better is we had a great view of the kitchen, so I could watch the chefs preparing and cooking the pizza.
A mini brewery tour…
I’m really hoping we will be able to go back to the Gold Coast soon and do a proper brewery tour, so this is just a little taster. We spent an afternoon further south in Burleigh Heads doing a mini brewery tour. We started at Black Hops which is a tiny taproom in an industrial complex. They do a great range of beers and occasional ciders, the staff are really friendly (and know everything about their beers). Plus as a nerdy business person I love that they’re doing their best to share how they’re creating a craft brewery as just three lads in Queensland.
We also checked out Granddad Jacks, a distillery down the road. I love gin, and it is a beautiful space where you can go to chill out, have a drink and listen to some music. Pets and kids are welcome, and they even have a barber cutting hair in one corner of the distillery!
I’m sure you’re wondering what we ate to help line our stomachs for all this tasting. In probably the most genius business idea I have seen, Wholly Smoke is a small BBQ smokehouse that runs out of a small kitchen in the local area. If you’re at one of the participating breweries or distilleries you can text a food order over to them, and they’ll bike it over!
Most licensed venues have some requirement to provide food (as part of liquor licensing laws) but having a kitchen is a lot of work. Having Wholly Smoke supply food makes it easy for them to build their business and means the breweries and distilleries don’t have to worry about bringing in food trucks or having a kitchen onsite.
I found this little adventure incredibly inspiring to see how these businesses are working together to create a community in Burleigh Heads, and it’s the reason I really want to go back and explore properly.