Where To Find The Best Street Food In Gold Coast
Australia's Gold Coast is famous for sandy beaches, surfing, and majestic national parks, but there's so much to do here that visitors often have trouble fitting it all in. On the eastern edge of the continent, near Brisbane, Gold Coast also features inland waterways and canals, so pretty much no matter where you go in the city, you'll have a water view. All this beautiful scenery helps to explain why the city receives over four million tourists annually.
Aside from a picturesque setting and some of the best hiking in Queensland, Gold Coast also has plenty of museums, theme parks, and galleries to keep you occupied. The beachy vibe in this coastal city is likely one of the main reasons that the street food scene here is thriving. Gold Coast restaurants offer counter service, food trucks, vibrant outdoor dining, and tons of culinary concoctions from around the world. It's safe to say that when you visit Gold Coast, you won't go hungry!
Before you embark on your culinary journey through Gold Coast, make sure you have both hands free for that burger or sandwich. Take your bags to a Bounce luggage storage facility, and you'll have peace of mind knowing your baggage is safe. Besides, you don't want to spill anything on your suitcase, do you?
The best street food vendors in Gold Coast
Social Eating House
Popular with some celebrities, Social Eating House is a can't-miss dining option in Broadbeach on Oracle Boulevard. They serve modern Australian fare including charcuterie, oysters, and king prawns. Social Eating House is known for its sharing plates and interesting combinations, like the lamb empanada with sherry caramel and the crispy eggplant with chili jam. You can opt for small plates or large bites depending on your appetite, and the meals are best-enjoyed al fresco on their patio. If you're not driving, they have a wine and cocktail list that will surely impress. All in all, this is widely considered one of the best Gold Coast restaurants.
For a tropical oasis in the heart of Broadbeach, head to Aloha. Perfect for Hawaiian-inspired fare and small nibbles, the Aloha Bar menu will have you coming back again and again. The cocktails and amazing food are enough to get you here, but they also provide free live music and offer specials on drinks. If you're not into sitting inside, grab a couple of tacos or bao buns and head to the beach for the perfect waterside picnic. The restaurant is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 6 pm to 1 am, so you can even stop by for a snack on your way back to your hotel.
Chop Chop Asian Street Food
Steps from the beach in a laneway under the Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel, Chop Chop Asian Street Food is the place to go for an incredible selection of food. The arcade is full of hawker stalls that sell different items from sushi to noodles to bubble tea. In all, there are 12 stalls to choose from and Bali in Paradise and Fragrance of India are particularly good. The area is a fabulous place full of tantalizing aromas that are ideal for escaping the punishing Australian sun. This is also a great place for kids due to the abundance of choices under one roof and an easy stop if you're exploring the rest of Surfers Paradise or Surfers Paradise Beach. The kids might enjoy a visit to the Korean Kitchen section of Chop Chop. Each table has a built-in gas grill to cook your food. Aside from the grill, they offer pancakes, bibimbap, and dumplings.
If you're in Gold Coast and get a hankering for some Portuguese food, you're in luck because Barraca makes this cuisine their specialty. It's a mobile food truck that can be found anywhere from Southport to Burleigh Heads with a simple menu that is anything but boring. One of the owners is of Portuguese heritage and their combined vast experience in the hospitality industry shows in their menu and in their beautiful truck. Try the Piri-piri Chicken Burger with a hint of spice or the Prego Brisket Burger for some of the most tender meat around. Barraca offers vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, so there is something here for everyone. The menu is constantly evolving, but one thing is for sure, regardless of what you order, your tastebuds will thank you.
The Frying Piggy
Another of Gold Coast's food trucks, the Frying Piggy is unsurprisingly famous for its selection of fried foods. Try the Cheeseburger Bacon Bombs, Southern Fried Pork Tenders, or Bacon Chips - this isn't just your regular pub fare. The chefs combine a love of American and Taiwanese food to dazzle diners daily in Harbour Town, and the emphasis is definitely on pork. The truck is usually parked adjacent to the Harbour Town Premium Outlets, but since it's a mobile business, it's better to check their website and social media accounts before you go.
The Italian Job
The Italian Job is another mobile food truck that specializes in catering for events like weddings, but they also frequent the Gold Coast markets, like Miami Marketta and The Collective. This truck is definitely a popular one, for its sandwiches and subs, chicken, and pasta. It's just all-around good food. They serve everything hot and fresh from a decked-out van, and you don't want to miss their desserts. They have fresh-baked cookies, tiramisu, and zeppoles, which are Italian donuts.
Papa Rolly's Wood-Fired Pizza
In keeping with the Italian theme, if pizza is on your mind, then you need to find Papa Rolly's food truck. With two Gold Coast restaurants, the Gemelli brothers know their wood-fired pizzas and tasty pasta. The pasta is handmade and the pizza is similar to something you would get in the birthplace of pizza - Naples. The truck can be seen all over town and also at various festivals and markets. They pride themselves on their mobile wood-fired oven and the recipes passed down from their Nonna.
We've done Italian, Portuguese, American, Tawainese, and Indian, so now let's focus on Mexican. Zicatela is a Mexican food truck named after a well-known Mexican surf break, and the mobile taqueria fits right in on the Gold Coast. Something that might surprise you is that they also have a wood-fired oven in their food truck. Cooking this way gives the amazing food a smokiness that you don't normally find in a breakfast burrito, fish taco, or wings. Zicatela offers some of the best street food in Gold Coast due to the flavor combinations, portability of the food, and the friendliness of the owners. They also do the circuit of festivals and markets and are often seen at Balter Brewing.
Where to find the best Gold Coast street food spots
The Miami Marketta is a vibrant year-round night market in the heart of the Miami neighborhood. The market lends itself well to street food with many food trucks parked here on the regular and live music often travels through the air. Over a dozen street food vendors call the market home permanently, and you can get everything from Turkish food to Thai food to Mexican to Greek food here. The Italian Job and Papa Rolly's are known to frequent the area as well. It's likely that a trip to the Miami Marketta is on your Gold Coast itinerary already, so just make sure you show up hungry.
Mermaid Waters and Mermaid Beach
Between the neighborhoods of Miami and Broadbeach, you'll find Mermaid Waters. This low-key beach area is known for some of the best street food in Gold Coast right on Mermaid Beach. The area offers Japanese fusion, Thai, burgers, sandwiches, and so much more. Any of the restaurants here offer great food at somewhat reasonable prices that you can take to the beach. If you happen to be hanging out at Mermaid Beach anyway, why not sample some of the nearby cuisines?
Palm Beach ranks as one of the best neighborhoods for street food in Gold Coast mostly because of one place, The Collective. The concept at The Collective is unique. The space is structured like a traditional food court you'd find in a North American mall, but The Collective offers more of an upscale feel while still managing to remain casual. The tables are in the middle and you choose your food stall from one of many. The food is served sharing style, and you need to book a table in advance. Not all the food arrives at the same time, but that's part of the fun. You can take a trip around the world without leaving Gold Coast and sample Mexican, Greek, American, and Japanese food in the same meal.
Aside from The Collective, you'll find vegan Mexican food, fish and chips, and burgers lining the streets in Palm Beach.
The Village Markets
On Sundays at the Burleigh Heads State School, The Village Markets pop up to delight patrons with unique and creative goods. Aside from clothing, housewares, and art pieces, The Village Markets draw the attention of many of the Gold Coast food trucks. You'll find food trucks with gluten-free offerings and a great range of food. Little Wahaca is often seen here serving its Latin American food out of a vintage caravan.
Street food festivals in Gold Coast
Gold Coast Harmony Festival
This event celebrates the many cultures that call the area home, and how can you celebrate culture without food? Many Gold Coast restaurants participate in this event full of multicultural performances, kid-friendly activities, and unique shops. Bring a blanket and set up your picnic area. Once settled, choose from any number of cuisines from around the world. The festival takes place in March at the Broadwater Parklands Marine Parade in Southport.
Gold Coast Food Truck Carnival
Also at the Broadwater Parklands on varying dates, the Gold Coast Food Truck Carnival welcomes roughly 25 different food trucks. This is one of the best ways to sample food from some of the food trucks that are based outside of Gold Coast since they travel here for the event. Particular favorites include Flavours of Eataly, Little Havana, and That Greek Truck. The event also features live music and DJs to keep the atmosphere fun and upbeat.
Food Truck Fest
Taking place annually in September, the Food Truck Fest is a family-friendly event held in Carrara. The festival starts at 4 pm and continues until 10 pm. It's ideal for an early dinner and there is no charge for entry. Food Truck Fest treats you to all your favorite trucks from Gold Coast restaurants in one place. There are over 40 different options with cuisine from all over the world and you can get everything from tater tots to teppanyaki to burritos. It's certainly a fun way to spend a Saturday evening.
Exploring Gold Coast and its surroundings is hard work, especially if you're into swimming, hiking, and surfing. Luckily, the abundance of Gold Coast restaurants and delicious street food will help you re-fuel. You can choose from a number of different cuisines as you stroll through the city or even individual markets. But, when it comes to the best street food in Gold Coast, only you know what flavors will suit your palate to a tee. Chances are, though, if you make your way through a few street food places, a new favorite will emerge quickly. Gold Coast boasts over 300 different food trucks alone so there's bound to be one that you'll love.