Tantrum-proof dining options will make your family holiday on the Gold Coast even more enjoyable. Both kids and parents rave about these six great establishments.
1. Hard Rock Café Surfers Paradise
Open 12pm - 9.30pm (Friday and Saturday until 10.30pm)
An institution for some, a novelty for others, one thing’s for sure, the Hard Rock Café is always a hit with kids. American inspired cuisine, with XXL burgers, thick shakes, and sundaes so tall they tickle the ceiling, take your children to Hard Rock Café and their eyes will grow as wide as their plates. For parents, the famous memorabilia, and in the GC it includes the likes of Kiss and Pink Floyd, is a must-see. The balcony allows for breezy alfresco dining over Cavill Avenue, and it is one of only few places where the kids menu includes vegetable options instead of chips. Sure, they’ll screw their face up at broccoli, but the huge on-site store, with all its cool rock gear will soon appease that.
FIND IT: Corner of Cavill Avenue and Surfers Paradise Boulevard.
2. Surf Life Saving Clubs, Surfers Paradise
- Breakfast (Monday - Friday) 7:30am - 12 noon
- Breakfast (Sat & Sun) 7:00am - 12 noon
- Lunch 11am - 4pm
- Dinner 5pm - until late
The nice thing about this one isn’t its glorious position on Surfers Paradise Beach, although that too is lovely. It’s the fact that by eating here you’re supporting the local Surf Life Saving Club and community. And with a great value menu focusing on casual Australian dining, there’s always a great meal to dig into. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there are weekly specials and all the crowd-pleasers, such as schnitzels and homemade pies. We recommend heading here for the daily buffet breakfast. Served between 7am and noon, adults pay $12AUD each, while for children, you only have to cough up $1 for every year they’ve been alive. Ie, if you’re sprog’s seven years old, you pay $7AUD. If you're looking to get out of Surfers-P, the eateries at both Northcliffe and Kurrawa Surf Clubs are worth taking a bite out of.
FIND IT: Corner of Hanlan Street and The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise.
3. Sandbar, Surfers Paradise
6am - 10pm (open for breakfast through to dinner) Friday and Saturday they close at midnight.
For something a little sophisticated, dress the kids up in their utmost fashionable threads and head to Sandbar. Akin to a Balinese beach-fronting bar, the décor screams seaside chic, and the menu is wholesome, healthy, and undeniably tasty. From classic burgers to light salads, there are also 120 craft beers and a cocktail list so great, mum will be fist-punching the ceiling. With live music, alfresco dining and a position just inches from gentle waves, it’s one of the most relaxed dining spots on the Esplanade. Beachside hangs for the whole family – take us there immediately.
FIND IT: 52 Esplanade, Surfers Paradise.
4. Montezumas, Surfers Paradise
- Monday - Thursday: 5.30pm - 8.30pm
- Friday & Sunday: 11.30am - 2.30pm/ 5.30pm - 9pm
- Saturday: 11.30am - 9pm
For an inexpensive, and undeniably cheery meal out in Surfers Paradise, step into Montezumas. A world of Aztec décor and authentic Mexican food awaits. Tucked down a quiet side street, you can sit both indoors and out, but we tend to find children love the bright, Latin-themed walls. It’s within walking distance of both Cavill Mall and the hubbub of Surfers Paradise, and if you drop by on a Thursday night, take advantage of the two-for-one deal on all main meals. Throw in a few of Montezumas Frozen Margaritas too and load the kids up with huge crunchy nachos... what kid doesn’t like a bowl of nachos!? Or they can have fun putting together their own sizzling fajitas.
FIND IT: Aloha Apartments, 8-12 Trickett Street, Surfers Paradise.
5. Groove Train, Robina
Monday - Sunday: 8am - 10pm
Anywhere that's called the Groove Train is worth checking out, right? With its industrial décor and chic, modern flare, you’d be forgiven for assuming it’s an adults-only venue. To the contrary, pint-sized punters are fussed over, with a comprehensive kids’ menu designed just for them. With over 100 unique dishes served all day long, it’s popular for an eggs benny on a Sunday morning, as well as its finessed menu of modern Aussie cuisine fused with Mediterranean flavours. It’s around-the-clock impressive. Better still, tables overlook the fountain pond at Robina Town Centre, and there’s a nearby playground for the kids to burn off some energy afterwards.
FIND IT: Shop 1011 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina Town Centre. It’s easier to drive here, so you’ll need a hire car. There’s easy parking in the centre’s car park.
6. Outback Jacks
Outback Jacks serve simple food served right. Specialising in all the usual favourites such as steaks, chicken and pasta, portions are generous – verging on gargantuan – and well-priced for the sizes you receive. It’s a casual feel-good establishment, full of Aussie character and a friendly, local ambience. Kids are well received, with complimentary ice cream with every children’s meal and there’s even kangaroo and crocodile on the menu if you have children with adventurous taste buds. With plenty of steaks and ribs to tuck into, Outback Jacks offers hearty, fuss-free cuisine for easy ‘grab the kids and go’ dining.
FIND IT: 2532 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach.
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