The checklist of 2017 Gold Coast openings

2017 was a BIG year of things happening in our beloved beachside city. You may counter that things happen every year on the Coast, true, but 2017 was absolutely packed to the brim and (just quietly) 2018 looks set to follow suit.

Because happenings are what we’re all about, we wrote MANY stories on local openings, events and general good times and we thought we’d do a little recap on the venues we visited that opened in the last 12 months.

Without further adieu, here are the 65 (see, BIG) venues we had the pleasure of sampling in 2017.

Mei Wei Dumplings
Reminiscent of hawker-style street food, Mei Wei Dumplings brought some quite unique flavours to The Star. Think steamed dumplings, refreshing bubble tea and flaky, custardy egg tarts. YUM. Where: The Star Casino, Broadbeach

N3 Tapas Bar
Offering a vast modern fusion share plate menu, with dishes from around the world, N3 Tapas Bar’s focus is on fresh, local ingredients and it shows. Each dish offers unique flavour combinations and there’s an abundance of options including street food, small bites, small and large share plates and a banquet menu. Where: Shop 33 Marina Mirage, Seaworld Drive, Main Beach

Heven-yah Gelato
Using fresh fruit, the highest quality Belgian chocolate, fresh honey and traditional ingredients, Heven-yah’s gelato and sorbets gave the Coast a fresh injection of culture. Since the heat wave looks set to stay, pop on in ASAP. Where: Shop 2/2387 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach 

The Lake Brewhouse
Canadians make good foods y’all. Lucky for Varsity Lakes, 2017 saw the opening of its very own micro-brewery complete with Canadian-inspired eats overlooking the lake. Where: 235 Varsity Parade, Varsity Lakes

Arnie Ziffel
Bringing finger-lickin eats and after work beats to Surfers Paradise, Arnie Ziffel quickly became a firm favourite. They offer 50c chicken wings in MANY a delicious flavour and happy hour every day of the week so it’s not hard to see why. Where: 3/15 Orchid Ave, Surfers Paradise (opposite the Hilton)

That Blue House
The Cooly (then) newbie opened in an actual big blue house just steps from Coolangatta Beach and offering up the goods in the form of wholesome fresh breaky and lunch dishes and quality post-surf, pre-work lattes. Where: 5 Dutton Street, Coolangatta 

San Sebastian
Bringing traditional Spanish tapas to Palmy was San Sebastian, a compact little space serving huge flavours, tasty cocktails and live music galore. Try the Pinxtos, bite-sized finger foods you won’t find anywhere else on the Coast. Where: 1089 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach 

Honey Bee and Saint
The brightly eye-catching cafe, on the corner of Seabeach Ave, has been serving up fresh baked treats, healthy sandwiches and wraps, all made in house since early 2017. Get there for a fresh, homestyle meal and a friendly smile. Where: Out the front of the Motego Motel at 2395 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Espresso Bonsai
The cute little cottage style café pays homage to its former glory, in name and appearance, with abundant greenery offsetting the fresh natural styling. Unique coffee styles are the name of the game including pour overs and everyone’s favourite Blackboard Coffee beans. Where: 66 Thomas Drive, Chevron Island

Mr Bengel
The youngest sibling of Justin Lane and Harry’s Steak Bistro, Mr Bengel made himself known in Palm Beach to rave reviews. The premise is simple, fresh food made delicious and steamy cups of coffee you’d sell your little brother for (just us?). Anywho. Where: 1099 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Pepè Italia
Ohh authentic Italian food how we love you. The little Burleigh beauty gave us Nonna’s recipes and wow did the locals get on board. Pizza, pasta, wine, the works, and it’s all good. Where: 11 Connor Street Burleigh Heads

Wiener Haus
Your favourite wieners got a permanent home in 2017 after a few gypsy years spent exploring local events from the back of a truck. No doubt you’ve sampled the goods once or twice already but there’s plenty more where those bad boys came from. Where: Stocklands Burleigh Heads (next to Nook Espresso)

Comuna Cantina
Pacific Fair’s South American-style foodie space is the perfect spot for Insta-worthy eats in the form of share plates and the prettiest of cocktails. Spend the morning shopping up a storm then stop in for lunch. Where: Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach

Greendays
A balmy Balinese oasis, hidden away in Bundall is Greendays. The pavilion-style building is the perfect setting for a leisurely brunch or late lunch and the extensive menu allows you to keep coming back for more. Where: Cnr Bundall and Ashmore Rds, Bundall 

Steampunk
Top quality share plates and next-level cocktails are the name of the game at the Surfers Paradise venue named after a fantasy Victorian era subgenre. It’s decked out with all kinds of interesting gadgets and machinery and it’s a guaranteed good time. Where: 3113 Surfers Paradise Blvd (opposite Billabong), Surfers Paradise 

Wildernis Bar & Restaurant
A Mediterranean-inspired space with wide windows opening out to reveal the beach below, and tons of natural light, Wildernis Bar and Café became the Coast’s new go-to for communal dining and cocktails. Perfect for summer Sunday sessions. Where: Upstairs on the corner of the Gold Coast Highway and Eighth Ave, Palm Beach

Serabar Burleigh
Vegans, vegetarians and those who appreciate meat-free morsels rejoiced when new eatery Serabar opened in Burleigh, taking superfoods to a whole new level. It’s healthy, wholesome food, cooked with love and it’s good. Where: Underneath Ambience on Burleigh, Burleigh Heads

GC Republic
Burgers, fried chicken, beers and cocktails are the name of the game at this Broadbeach space bringing a while new feel to the Coast’s burger scene. Said foods are made right in front of your eyes and we haven’t met one yet we didn’t love. Where: Shop 3/22 Surf Pde, Broadbeach

The Coffee Deck
With loaded muffins, homemade cakes and treats and delicious local coffee, this colour-filled space is sure to be a hit. Offering all day breakfast and a few lunch options plus a specialty hot chocolate (!) menu, we think you’re gonna love it. Where: 5 Admiralty Drive, Paradise Waters

Paper Cup Coffee
Open for breakfast and lunch, grab yourself a coffee or takeaway sweet treat or settle in amongst the plants for an acai bowl or breaky bagel. It’s the perfect little spot for a before work cuppa or midday escape from the madness. Where: 201 Ferry Rd, Southport

Social Brew
The new venue (there’s one in Burleigh too) also offers a picnic basket option where you can order from the website and have a basket made up to enjoy while gazing lovingly at the sparkling waterway (or your companion, whatever). Where: 34 The Esplanade, Paradise Point

Harajuku Gyoza
Broadbeach welcomed the beer stadium and gyoza bar with open arms and it’s been full steam ahead ever since. There’s plenty of Japanese craft beer on tap and more flavours of gyoza than you can poke a chopstick at. Where: Broadbeach Mall, Oasis Shopping Centre, Broadbeach 

The North Room
Coastal European, share-style dining came to Mermaid Beach and weren’t we glad it did. Beautifully prepared, seasonal dishes are a feast for your eyes and your tastebuds at The North Room. Hot tip: don’t go past dessert. Where: 2527 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Espresso 151
Healthy food and exercise are a pretty solid combo on the Gold Coast so it seemed like a no-brainer when Espresso 151 opened in Burleigh Waters. Serving Campos coffee, healthy eats and a few naughty treats, the café shares a warehouse-style space with Elevation Fitness for some good old fashioned shredding then scoffing times. Where: 151 West Burleigh Rd, West Burleigh

Beachside Pavilion
Drop your anchor for a sweet seafood spread in Broadbeach. Beachside Pavilion occupies the space in Oasis Shopping Centre that used to be Alto’s but now bring you tasty seafood and a balmy ocean breeze. Good times. Where: The beach end of Oasis Shopping Centre Mall, Old Burleigh Rd, Broadbeach

Beleza Food House
The Burleigh venue is a traditional Brazilian restaurant bringing all the flavours of Brazil to Gold Coast. It’s a high-energy space with huge plates of food, cooked traditionally and ensuring you get a good sampling of their favourite dishes. Where: 2/1957 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads

Poké Poké
They quickly took over the world, and the Gold Coast then (hooray) we got our very own poke bowl dedicated restaurant. The quirky, colourful space is dedicated to healthy bowls of salad-like combinations along with curry bowls, smoothies and the like. Where: Cnr Alfred Street and Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Nude Sisters Wholefood Kitchen
Raw treats and vegetarian eats came, saw and conquered Mermaid Beach thanks to two girls and really good idea. Healthy food made delicious is what’s up and you don’t need to be on a new year health food kick to enjoy it. Where: 3/90 Markeri St, Mermaid Waters

Soho Place Bar
The Coast’s first London-style bar (sans food) came in the form of Soho Place thanks to the guys behind Bine, Hideaway and Nobby’s Arc. The cocktails are a whole new level and you can order pizza (or Maccas or Thai food) to enjoy while you sip them. Where: Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach

Buffalo Sears Smokehouse, Whiskey & Brew
A huge selection of smoked meats, beers the size of your head and an impressive range of whiskey’s are the name of the game at Burleigh eatery Buffalo Sears. Don’t go past the Jim Beam Bourbon Glazed Pork Ribs. Where: 1 Ocean Street, Burleigh Waters

Knox Dining
The Surfers Paradise space brought healthy food with a twist to the mostly fast food laden suburb. It was created for those who are conscious of what they eat while still offering the comfort foods we know and love and all with a distinctive Asian twist. Where: Circle on Cavill, Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise 

Main Street Burger Bar
Fresh from Byron Bay came Main Street Burger Bar bringing us boozy milkshakes and the tastiest of burgers. Think organic soft rolls, 100% organic grass fed beef, free range pork, happy chooks, local eggs, and fresh seafood. Yep. Where: Shop GO.53, Oasis Shopping Centre, Victoria Ave, Broadbeach 

Lockwood Bar
A secretive, speakeasy den in the heart of Burleigh Heads, Lockwood Bar started a sophisticated drinking revolution. There are 140 hand-selected spirits, of which 70 are varieties of whiskey. The space boasts chill but also fairly fancy vibes and is the perfect spot for a pre-dinner drink. Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads 

Yamagen Japanese Izakaya
When QT revamps something, the result is nothing short of spectacular and this was exactly the case when Yamagen flung open their beautifully intricate new doors. The eatery pays homage to its traditional Japanese roots while introducing stunningly modern dining concepts. Where: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Ave, Surfers Paradise

Guilty Café
Home of the mega milkshake, Guilty Café brought all the sugary goodness to Currumbin Waters in 2017. We recommend the Sweet n’ Salty Caramel shake because a. Tim Tams and b. caramel popcorn. Enough said. Where: 174 Galleon Way, Currumbin Waters

Bao Burgers
They’re soft, silky and filled with the tastiest of goodness and luckily for Isle of Capri goers, BAO Burgers opened last year and they are serving some of the best baos around. Think a kind of Chinese sandwich made with a pillowy steamed bun and filled with anything from bacon and eggs to soft shell crab. Go. Where: Capri on Via Roma, 15 Via Roma, Surfers Paradise

Malt House
A gastronomy pub opened up at The Kitchens and those who frequent the area jumped for joy. The food is excellent and the frosty, cold beers are flowing so head on in, shop up a storm and reward yourself for your hard work with a beverage or two. Where: The Kitchens, Robina Town Centre, Robina

HAND Coffee
A little whole in the wall coffee shop appeared in Broadbeach serving up delicious blends and even more delicious jaffles headed by two guys with a passion for coffee beans. Broadbeach is now the new Melbourne so do what you will with that. Where: Shop 1A, Niecon Tower, Victoria Ave, Broadbeach 

Goccia Italian Pizzeria
A traditional Italian Pizzeria opened its doors in Mermaid Beach and let us praise the Gold Coast food Gods. The menu is filled with all your favourites boasting fresh, traditional ingredients and some of the best food you’ve ever tasted. Where: 2375 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach 

The Roosevelt Lounge
Swanky sophistication moved into Broadbeach thanks to the good folks who brought you The Loose Moose. The Roosevelt Lounge is velvet-curtained, dark wood decadence serving up a theatre-themed extravaganza of molecular mixology (cocktails) and an antipasto plate to die for. Where: Next to The Loose Moose, 75 Surf Pde, Broadbeach

Door 50
Mermaid Beach got itself a new caffeine-slinging venue in the form of Door 50 in late 2017. The café offers a simple breakfast and lunch menu made up of quality foods and of course, some cheat day treats for those of you who don’t mind the sweeter things in life. Where: 50 Peerless Ave, Mermaid Beach

Poké Face
Build your own bowl at the Robina Town Centre venue or, if that seems hard, choose one from a menu filled with healthy and super tasty options. We vote the Common Love Story because a. name game is strong and b. it’s got snapper sashimi, beets, shredded carrot, edamame, radish with roasted sesame dressing, tobiko and toasted coconut. Where: The Kitchens, Robina Town Centre, Robina

The Scottish Prince
She dropped anchor in Palmy and brought all your whiskey-loving, cheese board fantasies to life. The bar is the star of the show, packed with over 150 varieties of whiskey taking up 90% of the shelf space. The dinner menu is share-style and it’s all the good things in the world. Where: 1176 Gold Coast Hwy (under 8th Ave Terrace), Palm Beach 

Nightjar
Bringing a bit of bada$$ to Burleigh was Nightjar, a Scott Imlach original where rules aren’t a thing and tattoos are encouraged. Good time cocktails and general good times are the name of the game and we highly recommend you get down there and live a little. Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads (you’ll hear it before you see it).

Retros Cocktail Lounge
Party like it’s 1999 in Surfers Paradise thanks to Retros, a cocktail lounge dedicated to old school beats and busting a move. Fish bowls are always a fun time so grab your gang and get down there. Where: 5-7 Orchid Ave, Surfers Paradise 

Manhattan on Hope
From here on in Hope Island shall be known as the Hamptons of the Gold Coast. Oozing sophistication and an enviable waterfront existence, it’s the out-of-the-way destination you really should visit more often for tasty eats and water views. Where: Shop 18, 10 Santa Barbara Rd, Hope Island

Zi Espresso
Zi Espresso opened to tickle the tastebuds of those of you who spend your working days in Southport and have been in dire need of some quality caffeine. Speciality coffee has never tasted so sweet. Where: Shop 2, 149 Scarborough St, Southport

The Pastry Emporium 2.0
Sweet treats make everyone’s lives better there’s no doubt about it and in particular, those from The Pastry Emporium. Adrian and his team opened a second venue in Mermaid Waters in late 2017 and we all happily said seeya to our boring, no sugar diets. Where: Shop 2, 90 Markeri St, Mermaid Waters 

Greenhouse Canteen & Bar
Following in the footsteps of the Miami sensation, came Coolangatta’s own vegan eatery, Greenhouse number two. The food is to die for (except you won’t die because, veggies) and there are cocktails and desserts and good vibes and catch ya later hard-earned cash. Where: 1/140 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Francie’s Pizzeria
Coolangatta won 2017 as far as we’re concerned. There were lots of fun happenings and last (but definitely not least) was Francie’s Pizzeria dishing up the best pies (pizza) for miles. There’s also homemade hummus so, you know. Get there. Where: 102 Griffith St, Coolangatta 

Lord of the Fries
All vegan, everything landed in Surfers Paradise. There’s faux chicken burgers, crispy fries, onion rings (HELLO) and all the fast food-style eats, but in vegan flavour. The world’s gone mad. You’ll love it carnivores. Where: Paradise Centre, 8 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise 

Helena’s Espresso
Nerang got the homestyle goods in the form of Helena’s Espresso towards the end of the year. The beautifully designed space boasts homemade salads, bagels, all your favourite breakfast foods and of course, our beloved coffee. Where: 2-4 New Street, Nerang

Lost Palms Brewery
Miami got a brewery and they serve beetroot and Kombucha flavoured beers. Classic. It’s all bright colours and good times and in the perfect place for a late arvo swim followed by a local brewed beer or two. Where: 11 Oak Ave, Miami

Hail Mary
Mexi-eats are always a good idea and particularly when they can be found in Burleigh and washed down with an icy cold margarita. $6 tacos in all the most delicious flavours are the go at Hail Mary so there’s absolutely no excuse not to go. Where: 6/26 James Street, Burleigh Heads 

PappaRich
The authentic Malaysian chain hit Surfers Paradise and went absolutely gangbusters. It’s authentic Asian street food and it’s worth the trip. The Fish Head Noodle Soup is a must-taste made with yes, fried fish heads (delicious, promise). Where: 33/34 Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, Surfers Paradise

Zephyr Coffee Co.
Brew your own blend or sample one of theirs. The coffee creators opened up their Kirra doors with something a little bit different and caffeine lovers rejoice. Eat, drink and be merry while enjoying a balmy ocean breeze. Where: 1 Churchill Street, Coolangatta

Coffeediction
The idea behind Coffediction is simple; good food made sexy and what could possibly be better. You’ll find all your favourite eats on the menu but with a little added sparkle. It’s the perfect addition to the Southport precinct and they too, have magical milkshakes. Where: 56 Scarborough Street, Southport

Iku Yakitori Bar
In case you’ve never heard of a yakitori bar, the gist is this – yakitori quite literally translates to grilled chicken and no part of the chook will escape the Binchotan uncooked. Your foodie boundaries will be tested and you will love every bite. Where: 1730 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads

Mr PP’s Deli & Rooftop Bar
Mr PP’s Deli & Rooftop Bar is the long-awaited Southport venue that gave the suburb a whole new lease on life thanks to the combination of everyone’s favourite things – cheese and cocktails. It’s good vibes, good food and city views. Happy days. Where: 43 Nerang Street, Southport

Old Tom Restaurant & Bar
Broadbeach pays homage to the days of old with the launch of a new Prohibition-style bar. You’ll be taken back in time as soon as you set foot inside the dimly lit, London public house-esque establishment dedicated to gin and fine dining. Where: Shop 12-15 Victoria Ave, Broadbeach 

Cherry
The Star’s luxe new bar came just in time for summer with its golden trimmings and velvet armchairs. A signature seasonal cocktail menu is yours for the tasting with unique little additions such as Cherry Cosmopolitans (so good) by the expert mixologists you’ve come to expect at The Star. Where: The Star, Casino Drive, Broadbeach

Junk
The Asian street food venue opened in December and quickly made a tasty name for itself. You’re going to LOVE the menu, packed with goodies such as Crispy Peking Duck Spring Rolls, Chicken Katsu Baos, Black Bean Marinated Beef and Crispy Fried Gunpowder Chicken Ribs (bit of bang for your buck). Where: The Oasis Shopping Centre, Broadbeach

Suki Sushi
Jumping on the poke bowl bandwagon is Suki Sushi with bowls made up of marinated raw fish such as tuna, salmon and kingfish with an array of vegetables and dressings. Variations also include a selection of hot proteins including organic tofu, katsu-chicken and sticky beef. Where: Shop 1007, The Promenade, Robina Town Centre, Robina

Steele & Co.
Vintage Espresso was a local institution for many moons but with times a-changing as rapidly as they do these days, owner Chantelle Steele decided it was time for something new. The fresh venue offers tasty meals and $2 coffees from 6am to 7am weekdays. Where: Alfred Ave, Mermaid Beach

Kurrawa Surf Club 2.0
Kurrawa changed the surf club the game in a big way at the end of 2017. You may have noticed the (huge) sleek new building that slowly but surely made its presence known on Old Burleigh Road in Broadbeach. It’s fancy, the food is epic and the wine is on tap. Oh and there’s 360 degree ocean views. Where: Beachside on Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach

Hands up if you’re exhausted. Bye.

Words by Kirra Smith.

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