Maroochydore’s Best Restaurants

  • 4 Mar 2024
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The sun is shining, the water is glistening…and your stomach is grumbling.

Abort the shopping spree or midday beach dash immediately, and escape to a place where the food is fresh, the drinks are ice-cold, and the vibes are totally right.

From lavish spreads washed down with cocktails to jam-packed meat plates and pints of beer, grab your favourites this autumn and pull up a chair at 7 of Maroochydore’s best waterfront restaurants for a casual lunch.

TGI Fridays

If you haven’t already, it’s time to introduce the tastebuds to TGI Fridays. Pumping out melt-in-your-mouth steaks and fingerlicking ribs that have been slow-cooked, flame-grilled then doused with your choice of sauce, it’s no surprise this American bar and grill is a favourite among big eaters. Add to that their loaded potato skins and whisky-glazed chicken strips and the only place you’ll be heading after a long lunch here is straight home for a blissful, food-coma induced snooze.

El Camino

Consider this sprawling indoor-outdoor joint the fun house. All you have to do is bring the crew and El Camino will dish out the atmosphere, epic meals and those invigorating margaritas that’ll leave you thinking you’re lunching on some beach in Mexico. Whether you binge on fresh, chargrilled fajitas or hit your stride with a mixed plate of tacos, launching into a bowl of guacamole first-up is a necessity.

Betty’s Burgers

The claim of “best burgers on the Sunshine Coast” gets thrown around a lot. But get down to the nitty-gritty of it — fresh, pillowy buns, an ample amount of delicious filling and crisp salad — and it’s clear that Betty’s Burgers still takes the crown. Perfect for those impromptu lunches, where your hair is still dripping from the beach and the only make-up you have on is an SPF lip balm, this now-famous local burger chain takes feeding you very seriously. Order the crispy chicken with ol’ Betty’s special sauce and don’t forget a side of golden shoestring fries.

Yum Cha Cuisine

Graze until the hunger subsides, and then graze some more when you plonk down for a long lunch at Yum Cha Cuisine. Carve out an hour or two to unwind under the oversized umbrellas and dive into a plethora of flavour-packers, like prawn dumplings, barbecue pork buns, crispy skin roasted pork and fried noodles. And the best bit? You don’t have to pick favourites, because you can have them all.

Nguyen Brothers

When the Vietnamese cravings kick in, there’s one place you can rely on for made-to-order nosh. While it may not be your usual long lunch scenario, grab a bite to eat Nguyen Brothers and nibble or slurp your way through your choice of pho, vermicelli noodle salad topped with crispy tofu or wok-fried lemongrass beef, or a simple but delicious bánh mì. This is fuss-free dining at its best, so shorts and thongs will do just fine.

Thai Thyme

Quiet and tucked away from the flow of shuffling shoppers, sneak into Thai Thyme for a food-fuelled day date where the meals are plentiful and the service is top-notch. Catch up between mouthfuls of pineapple fried rice, sweet basil prawns and some of the tastiest satay chicken you’ll have ever wrapped your mouth around — for the picky eaters, you’ll be happy to know it’s chicken breast! And, while you won’t be able to see much of the water outside while you lunch, a romantic stroll (handholding is optional) around the Riverwalk once you’ve devoured an impeccable feast of Southeast Asian cuisine should do the trick.

Little Red Dumpling

If dumplings are your love language, then take your long lunch buddy straight to Little Red Dumpling where they dish up luscious little parcels by the minute. Hold onto your seat and bite into the Szechuan style pork dumplings with the housemade chilli sauce, the pan-friend wagyu buns or the veggie steamed buns in sweet soy chilli sauce. If you’ve been dumplified and are still peckish, the braised beef noodle soup, finished with an ice cream bun will hit every corner.