Burleigh Heads is beautiful by day and just as spectacular at night. It boasts some of the best restaurants, cafés and bars on the Gold Coast, bringing a range of outside influences and cultures from around the world to this thriving, laid back beachside suburb. Here are a few hidden gems for you to try when you are next looking for a great meal in Burleigh Heads.
Osteria del Mare
2/1718 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Osteria del Mare is an authentic Italian restaurant and pizzeria serving fresh pizza and pasta made by hand daily using the best local and imported ingredients from Italy. The pizza dough is naturally risen for up to 48 hours and cooked on stone giving the dough a delicious light texture and traditional taste.
A great way to try a variety of flavours is to order the ‘The Short Board Pizza’. This pizza lover’s delight is served on a board with your choice of three toppings. Some of the crowd favourites include the Del Mare with tomato, mozzarella, prawns, calamari, scallops and garlic and the Tartufo with mozzarella, mixed mushrooms and truffle paste.
Tuna lovers need to try the ‘Tuna Carpaccio’, thinly sliced tuna smothered in chef’s secret dressing and served with hot pizza balls for dipping. Another winner is the popular ‘Ravioli Ai Funghi’, mouth-watering handmade ricotta and parmesan filled pillows of pasta smothered in a fresh mixed mushroom and cream sauce.
1712 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Pink Monkey Bar and Grill offers a modern dining experience in the heart of Burleigh Heads, serving mostly Mediterranean style food and shared dishes accompanied by sensational cocktails. It is the perfect place for a long lunch or an afternoon sundowner with views of Burleigh Heads from the rooftop restaurant and bar.
Seafood lovers need to try the freshly-shucked Sydney rock oysters with finger lime dressing and the Coral Coast Barramundi served with peperonata and Salsa Verde. This fish is accompanied by a very tasty but not overpowering mix of capsicums, onions, tomatoes and a good splash of quality extra virgin olive oil. This dish is a fabulous representation of the Coral Coast.
Follow this up with the passionfruit vanilla whipped cheesecake with passionfruit curd served with mandarin granita. This dessert is light, refreshing and very morish and a perfect ending to a fabulous meal.
1a/1638 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
This family owned and operated Italian restaurant serves up traditional northern Italian cuisine. Chef Fabio and wife Federica use organic grains which have been lovingly stone milled on site to produce a highly digestible and less processed product.
Their freshly made soft and fluffy potato gnocchi with porcini mushroom and truffle sauce served in a baby wheel of pecorino cheese is not to be missed. It’s the perfect marriage of cheese and truffle served with melt in your mouth gnocchi.
Hot tip: Chef Fabio hosts a monthly Italian experience where he presents a cooking show using his imported ‘Big Pan’ accompanied by live music.
1730 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
The 5 course Japanese omakase menu (leave it up to the chef), changes weekly using seasonal ingredients from small local suppliers. Iku boasts an extensive range of whisky, sake and cocktails that are available both in the restaurant and in their hidden bar, accessible via the Justin Laneway entrance. It’s definitely the perfect place to visit for an authentic Japanese Yakatori experience in Burleigh Heads.
On the night of our visit, we had the pleasure of sampling the confit salmon served with a side of scallop and udon salad as part of our omakase menu. This melt in your mouth salmon was sensational and perfect with a sake sour cocktail from their very interesting cocktail list. Our Chicken Yakatori is perfectly cooked on skewers over prized Japanese Binchotan charcoal.
Hot Tip: Japanese whisky fans need to try the whisky tasting flight which includes their very own whisky blended in house.
11 Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
There have been some new and exciting changes to Pepe Italian in Burleigh Heads. The décor has had a bright and fresh facelift and the menu is now a little less mainstream with a range of delicious new dishes all prepared with a southern Italian influence.
The Byron Bay Burrata served with zucchini and heirloom tomatoes is the perfect starter, especially when accompanied by the Pepe Pampelle Spritz. Lobster lovers should not miss the best-selling homemade black squid ink tagliatelle served with a sweet juicy lobster tail bathed in a rich seashell bisque. It’s like a taste of the sea on a plate.
Hot Tip: Check out the local’s hour every Friday and Saturday from 5pm-6pm and treat yourself to special priced cocktails, wines and beer.
Images by @sensorysavours