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18 Family-Friendly Gold Coast Restaurants We Fell In Love With

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You will never run out of places to eat on the Gold Coast. It may be known for its theme parks and sandy shores, but it’s culinary scene is not to be scoffed at.

If there’s one word that sums up the Goldy the best, besides FUN, it would be options!

Australia’s east coast is the fastest growing region in Australia, and with that, the restaurant scene is forever evolving. There are literally hundreds of restaurants, cafes, breweries, eateries, and bars with a dish and a price point for everyone.

One moment I’m bare foot and dressed in board shorts and a singlet sitting on a plastic chair at the humble kiosk underneath a surf club, the next I’m fine dining at the Versace Hotel.

When you’re traveling with kids, the hardest part about planning a trip if finding where to eat. We get that, we’ve had a few meltdowns trying to find a place that pleases mum and dads more innovative taste, whilst still has chicken nuggets for the fussy eaters.

If this sounds like your family, then keep reading to discover our fav family-friendly restaurants in the Gold Coast that we think your family will love.

Family-Friendly Gold Coast Restaurants

During our two week stay on the Gold Coast, we ate in a variety of places for breakfast, lunch and dinner and they were mostly family-friendly and casual in setting.

We have personally visited most of the places we recommend in this guide with our two kids, and would happily go back, or have included suggestions from our readers, friends and family!

1. BAZAAR at QT Hotel

dessert store

I try to avoid buffets these days as I can’t help myself from over-eating, which is never a good thing, but BAZAAR at the funky 5* QT Hotel in Surfers Paradise is not just any buffet. It has a market place concept with literally something for everyone with fresh produce in endless quantities.

My fave is the seafood station, and I also love how the Asian chef steams up dumplings to order. There’s also a BBQ guy, wood-fired pizza, pasta, and a great salad bar.

There’s only one problem at Bazaar – holding your kids back, and yourself, from the AMAZING dessert bar with all these miniature cakes and slices staring you in the face.

Just when you thought you we’re getting out of there relatively healthy…

2. Niche & Co

One reason we go to Niche & Co is because their menu is mostly vegan and entirely healthy, which is also 100% gluten free, and Caz has a gluten intolerance.

As well as catering to our dietry needs, we also enjoy the taste of the food and always order a coffee with almond or coconut milk.

They serve award winning acai bowls and were the winners of the 2021 Travellers Choice Award on Trip Advisor.

If you have a sweet tooth, their salted caramel banana pancake stack is out of this world! It’s the perfect place to go for breakfast. Plus, they have kids-sized meals as well.

3. Greenhouse Canteen and Bar

We like to think that Greenhouse Canteen and Bar is completely healthy, plant-based and vegan, and for the most part it is, but their slogan is “plant focused whole food sometimes naughty, mostly nice“, which may be a nod towards their delicious cocktail menu!

There are plenty of healthy options that taste great, and it’s a cut above most cafes in that regard so we continue to go back.

We like the food, the housemade lemonade, and the relaxed environment. You can’t beat the location in Tallebudgera Valley, surrounding the restaurant with greenery and nature.

And they have high chairs for kids, which is always a bonus.

4. Social Eating House + Bar, Broadbeach

This is where you should end up for breakfast or lunch after Kurrawa Beach, which has some of our favorite Gold Coast walks and an amazing park where the kids can run around and play.

At Social Eating House, you’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into your friend’s house, with a relaxed, easy-going atmosphere, although the decor is modern and sheek.

They basically walk the line between casual and fine dining, but don’t worry about it being too fancy for kids – their motto is “dining amongst friends” and you feel that connection when you visit.

They serve amazing craft cocktails, and fresh seafood – from natural oysters to catch of the day fish. They also have small plates for kids.

5. Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club

Currumbib Surf Club, Gold Coast, Australia

If there’s one thing Queensland does really well on the casual food front it’s their Surf Clubs.

Being fully licensed and offering breakfast, lunch and dinner right on the beach we always seek them out as they make for a great family dining option. Good food at reasonable prices.

Currumbin Surf Club is a locals fave and just look at these views. We ate here on a weekend and it was crowded (it’s not the biggest of clubs) but that also shows its popularity and the food servings were large and tasty.

6. Rainbow Bay Surf Club

Rainbow Bay Surf Club, Gold Coast, Australia

The Surf Club at Rainbow Bay sits on iconic Snapper Rocks which is a famous surf break and holds the annual Quiksilver Pro Surfing event. You’ll notice famous surfing memorabilia throughout the club.

Besides being super casual with great food (they have $10 meal deals throughout the week) the balcony provides one of the best sunset views on the Gold Coast all the way over to Surfers Paradise.

Not hungry? At least come here for a sunset drink!

7. Burleigh Beach Kiosk

sandwich on a plate on the beach

We love the Burleigh Heads neighborhood and were staying in the caravan park just up the road from the Surf Club.

If you’re looking for a casual spot right on the beach for breakfast or lunch, grab a seat at the Kiosk downstairs.

The veggie burger was impressive, and forget about the food for a second, check out the view.

8. Southport Surf Club

food on a plate

Southport Surf Club or Surf Club Main Beach, has a great location right on Main Beach and the big deck allows you to make the most of the views.

Possibly the best food out of the surf clubs mentioned (my clam chowder was to die for) and it’s an easy stroll from Surfers Paradise if you’re staying in this end of town.

9. Il Barocco Restaurant, Imperial Hotel

woman holding a drink and smiling

We went on a date night at the Versace Hotel, now known as The Imperial Hotel. It had been a long time since Caz and I had been on a date night, and thanks to my parents being in town they had the kids sleep over at their apartment, we could wine and dine at the Il Barocco Restaurant.

We started with a sunset drink over the broadwater followed by dinner in the chic and elegant dining room.

We had a 3 course meal deal from the a la carte menu, but they also have a seafood buffet with some of the freshest seafood in Goldie, and it’s this that diners come for.

Of course it was stylish and contemporary, not the typical place you’d go to with your kids, but if you’re looking for somewhere for a special occasion, consider a table here.

10. Sandbar Surfers Paradise

If you’re looking for a weekend brunch spot, don’t miss Sandbar Surfers Paradise, a family-friendly, tavern style restaurant serving pub food and excellent craft beers.

Not only do they have the largest selection of Gold Coast beers, but they also have a menu for “little nippers” featuring pizzas, burgers, kid’s sized pasta, and horray, chicken nuggets!

They have a relaxed atmosphere with a beachy theme, and you can dine outside on a warm day.

11. Vapiano Soul Boardwalk

We didn’t go here seeking a meal, but a drink, but we know that Vapiano Soul Boardwalk is the place to go for great deep dish pizza and tapas.

Vapiano Soul Boardwalk was first recommended by one of our readers as a great place for Italian food in Surfers, and it doesn’t disappoint.

So we went, and we keep coming back. The pizzas are made fresh to order and they also have gluten-free pasta and crust, and they can also make many options plant-based.

The house-made tomato sauce on the pizza and the garlic bread are next level!

12. BSKT Café

We stumbled upon BSKT Café (short for Biscuit) in Nobby’s Beach on our walk from Burleigh to Surfers Paradise.

It’s one of the few cafes that has stood the test of time, having been founded in 2013 and is still as popular today as it was over 10 years ago.

Upstairs is a yoga studio, but downstairs they serve up healthy produce, most of it gluten and dairy free, and good coffee!

13. Any Beach for a BBQ or Picnic

picnickers Burleigh Point, Gold Coast, Queensland

The Gold Coast really looks after it’s public spaces and provides free BBQ’s, great kids playgrounds and nice grass areas at most of its beaches.

Grab some supplies for a BBQ or picnic and have a budget friendly get together.

14. Ze Pickle

When it comes to burgers, the place to go is Ze Pickle, which has some of the tastiest burgers in the whole East Coast.

They opened in 2012 and is run by three locals, who wanted to offer something unpretentious and fun, where you can enjoy a craft beer, good company, and a mouth-watering burger.

Well they succeeded in that front! Whether you want a veggie burger or a fully loaded meat-filled bun, everyone in the family will enjoy these tasty treats!

15. The Village Markets

You can never go wrong with a trip to The Village Markets, held on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month in Burleigh Heads.

They have been operating since 2008, and showcase some of the best and most creative small businesses and franchise in the area.

It’s not only a great place to pick up fresh, local food but also teach your kids about the importance of supporting small, indie businesses.

You can also find a variety of food trucks serving up street food classics, such as the ever popular gyoza dumplings.

16. The Organic Farmers Market

It doesn’t get fresher than The Organic Farmers Market in Miami, which has a “picked yesterday” promise on its fruit and veg produce.

Operating from 6:00am to 11:30am every Sunday from Merrimac State High School, this is the place to go for the freshest, farm to store, organically grown produce.

17. Rick Shores

You won’t find a restaurant with more accolades than Rick Shores in the Gold Coast.

With chef’s hats in the Australian Good Food Guide in both 2018 and 2019, in both food and wine categories, there is something to quench every appetite on Rich Shores menu.

The menu is serves up pan-asian cuisine for an affordable price, and they also have a set menu for those who can’t choose between dishes on the a la carte menu!

Despite its reputation as being one of the best Gold coast restaurants, it has a great atmosphere that feels relaxed and tranquil. It also has amazing ocean views.

18. Hurricane’s Grill & Bar Surfers Paradise

If you’re looking for a brilliant steakhouse in the Gold Coast, you will love the steak frites and pies at Hurricane’s Grill & Bar Surfers Paradise.

Featuring a contemporary interior with hanging lightbulbs and rustic wood furnishings, it feels relaxed and comfortable, and the perfect setting to enjoy views of the ocean.

Adults will love the selection of BBQ meats and burgers. A favorite on the menu is the char-grilled octopus or the grilled prawns.

The kids menu has fried chicken strips and chips, pasta, burger, or fish and chips.

Tours of The Gold Coast

Do you have tips on places to eat on the Gold Coast? Share your favorite spots in the comments.

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