cairns restaurant guide info
- cairns city restaurant guide
- palm cove restaurant guide
- port douglas & mossman
- kuranda restaurant guide
- atherton tableland restaurant guide
- daintree restaurant guide
- cape york restaurant guide
- cooktown restaurant guide
- mission beach restaurant guide
- cairns restaurant guide directory
The city of Cairns and the surrounding region is renowned for its quality cuisine with influences from around the world guaranteeing visitors and locals alike are never short for excellent dining choices.
cairns city restaurant guide
The city of Cairns has a number of excellent restaurants covering cuisines as diverse as indigenous Australian, Japanese, French, Indian and Mexican all in the city centre.
Along the Esplanade, beginning at the corner of Shields St, is a gourmet diner’s paradise. There are a number of great seafood and modern Australian cuisine restaurants including Mangosteen’s and Kanji’s at the beginning of the strip. Next up is an excellent pub, Rattle ‘n’ Hum with a wood-fired pizza oven followed by a number of quick and cheap eateries with a nice sit down pizzeria on the corner of the Esplanade and Aplin St.
Across Aplin St is a very popular Italian restaurant, Villa Romana, and two great seafood eateries. Above Villa Romana is Casa De Mez, a combination of bar, club and restaurant specialising in Latin food, music and dancing.
Back on Shields St is the second major dining precinct in Cairns city with a number of restaurants running from Perotta’s at the Gallery on the corner of Shields and Abbott streets at Cairns Regional Gallery, passing Buckin’ Mex Mexican Restaurant and Sushi Train just off the mall on Lake St and then taking off from the Grafton St intersection.
The strip between Grafton and Sheridan streets on Shields St features a number of popular restaurants including Red Ochre’s modern Australian cuisine, Verdi’s Italian restaurant and some great Indian and other Asian cuisines.
A recent addition to dining in Cairns is the development of Pier Shopping’s waterfront dining strip on Pierpoint Rd, next to the Reef Fleet Terminal.
Starting with the Shangri-la hotel at the Marina’s Tides Bar & BLT there is a series of excellent eateries offering fine-dining at Mature Yogo, serving a degustation menu; excellent steaks at the Water Bar & Grill; top seafood at Nothing But the Fish; Italian at Donnini’s and quality brasserie cuisine at The Pier Bar & Grill.
Dotted throughout the city are some other excellent eating choices. On the intersection of Spence and Grafton streets are Yama Japanese Restaurant which offers some of the best sushi and sashimi in the city; diagonally opposite is Café China’s main restaurant offering a noodle bar and quality Cantonese dishes, with top dim sum also available.
The quality hotels in the city also offer a wide variety of dining options. The Reef Hotel Casino’s Tamarind is fusion Asian; the Cairns International’s Kingsfords offers Australian cuisine fused with Asian and Mediterranean flavours, Hilton Cairns’ Mondo Café & Bar is popular for its waterfront spot and quality casual international seafood cuisine.
palm cove restaurant guide
North of Cairns city the prestige holiday destination of Palm Cove is renowned for its quality dining options, particularly the restaurant at Sea Temple resort, Temple of Tastes, which features contemporary Australian cuisine flavoured with tastes of the Pacific and South East Asian region.
At the south end of Williams Esplanade is the great Italian restaurant Vivo Bar & Grill which has won a number of Catering awards.
Further along the strip are a great group of restaurants sitting under the umbrella of Peppers Beach Club & Spa including Lime & Pepper, Nu Nu, a modern Asian‑inspired Australian restaurant and Choc Dee, quality Thai cuisine in the lobby of the resort.
Also not to be missed is the venerable Sebel Reef House, regarded as one of the region’s best restaurants for many years.
For diners after a more casual meal, Palm Cove offers some great outdoor café and grill dining at Deli aDrift and super café grub is offered by Cocky’s at the Cove.
kuranda & atherton tablelands
For visitors heading up the range to the village of Kuranda there are some great casual dining options that cover the gamut from tasty pies to super healthy, and tasty, vegetarian options.
Built in 1923, Frogs Restaurant on Coondoo St in the centre of the village, remains one of the most popular dining options in Kuranda with quality Australian and international cuisine served up for very reasonable prices.
There is also a great Vietnamese eatery in the Kuranda Market and Forest Fusion, featuring Australian-Asian cuisine, is the main restaurant at the Kuranda Resort and Spa.
On the Atherton Tableland gourmets can find some real gems tucked away across the rolling hills in small townships and out of the way places.
Mareeba is renowned for its coffee, there are a number of great plantations between Kuranda and Mareeba that offer a nice break with coffee products and snacks available or check out Coffee Works on Mason St in Mareeba town, it also has handmade chocolate.
Although there are not many fine-dining options in Mareeba, there is a fantastic delicatessen of Italian origin, Angelina’s on Burns St, the main street of the town.
As an agricultural centre Mareeba also offers an interesting Food Trail Tour that visits a tropical fruit orchard, a macadamia plantation, a coffee plantation and a tropical fruit winery. Bookings need to be made at least one week in advance.
>> See our Food Tours section for more information
Another experience worth the trip is the lovely Devonshire Tea available at the Lake Barrine Tea House Restaurant at Lake Barrine on the Gordonvale Atherton Rd, the top of the Gillies Highway. Set on the banks of the lake, the teahouse offers snacks and full meals including massive breakfasts from 9am.
Further south is the township of Malanda, once home to a major dairy industry, gracious timber homes have been converted to quality B ’n’ Bs offering some great dining.
On the other side of Malanda is the hamlet of Milla Milla where visitors can experience the unique tastes of Out of the Whey, a charming café on the famous biodynamic dairy farm of Mungalli Creek. You can watch the organic products being made on the farm and enjoy their special Devonshire tea afterwards.
The centre of foodie culture on the Atherton Tablelands is the village of Yungaburra located north of Malanda on the Gordonvale Atherton Rd.
The Burra Inn, on Cedar St, is an award-winning restaurant that creates original dishes from local produce combined with Mediterranean, Asian and South-West American flavours. Closed on Tuesdays, it’s worth booking in advance if you are after a weekend meal.
The restaurant at the Eden House hotel and spa has been recommended by Gourmet Traveller for its contemporary country cuisine featuring modern Australian dishes and excellent seafood. Using local produce and the best from elsewhere, Eden House Restaurant is one of the region’s true gems.
For an authentic Swiss Italian experience and an entertaining night out, people flock to Nick’s Restaurant in Yungaburra. This place is an institution and is renowned for quality European tastes, live music and a friendly atmosphere. It is as popular with the locals as with visitors and can become crowded on the weekends, so it’s worth booking in advance.
port douglas & mossman
Like Palm Cove, the township of Port Douglas, north of Cairns, is home to a wide variety of luxury hotels, spas, resorts and their attendant high‑quality restaurants.
One of the longest standing and most famous is Nautilus Restaurant on Macrossan St in the centre of Port Douglas town. Tucked away among rainforest the 52 year old restaurant offers fine dining service with a relaxed tropical feel with an A la Carte menu, a 7 course Chef’s tasting menu and a vegetarian menu of tropical flavours and seafood. It also has an extensive wine list and has served some of the town’s most famous visitors like former US President Bill Clinton.
Other quality dining options include an outlet of 2 Fish Seafood Restaurant on Wharf St offering quality seafood cuisine, Fiorelli’s Restaurant & Bar at the Marina Mirage complex on the same street and Zinc in the Portico building on the corner of Macrossan and Davidson streets.
Zinc features modern Australian cuisine with excellent desserts available throughout the day and evening and a large selection of wines and liqueurs and view of the famous Four Mile Beach.
There are a number of other great spots around Port Douglas to dine including the Catalina Restaurant which has been running for 23 years set amongst ancient mango trees and offering French and Asian infused Australian cuisine.
La Cucina offers tropical Italian flavoured seafood and On the Inlet, directly on the ocean, offers fresh seafood flavours.
A recent addition getting rave reviews is Chef Mathew Wild’s Bistro 3 on the corner of Wharf and Macrossan streets that emphasises fresh caught seafood and Italian influenced contemporary cuisine.
Outside Mossman visitors can enjoy fresh local produce with contemporary Australian flavours at The Treehouse Restaurant in the Silky Oaks Lodge & Spa on Finlayvale Rd. It offers rainforest and river views and an excellent wine list.
daintree, cape york & cooktown
From the town of Mossman, north of Port Douglas, towards Daintree Village are a number of interesting dining options including cafes like the Daintree Cape Tribulation Crossroads Café on Daintree Rd, with home-made ice-cream, barramundi and tropical fruit; the High Falls Farm Riverside Restaurant in Whyanbeel valley offers tropical snacks from their exotic fruit orchard and Karnak Café and Gallery run by Diane Cilento offers art, craft and contemporary cuisine set in a spectacular rainforest amphitheatre.
The longest-established restaurant in the Daintree area is the Daintree Tea House Restaurant on the Mossman Daintree Rd. The restaurant serves local produce of the highest standard and is a member of the Restaurant & Catering Association and is part of the Tropical Food Trail.
For something a bit different gourmets can try Julaymba Restaurant & Gallery at the Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa. This restaurant is renowned for its great tropical Australian cuisine infused with ‘bush tucker’ (indigenous food) elements. Devonshire Teas are also available.
Papaya Café on Stewart St in the Daintree village offers classic Aussie pies or fish and chips or exotic crocodile wontons, sugarcane prawns or barramundi with green ginger. A popular spot, reservations are recommended but not essential.
mission beach restaurant guide
Perhaps the best known and longest-standing eatery in Mission Beach is the Shrubbery Taverna. Right on the beach at Mission Beach the taverna features brilliant Greek and Mediterranean cuisine in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Visitors rave about the service and quality of food and people head to Mission Beach just to eat there.
On the Wongalinga Beach side of Mission Beach a similar feel can be found at The Greek Tavern & Something Else, previously Raymond’s on the Beach, with its mix of styles and excellent desserts.
If visitors are famished after a hard day white water rafting, the Stag Tavern at Babinda is worth checking out for its excellent bistro meals and classics like fish and chips, gourmet burgers and steaks.
Further south if visitors are in Innisfail don’t miss Oliveri’s Continental Delicatessen’s massive lunch rolls and sandwiches, 60 cheeses, Italian prosciutto, salamis, hams, home-marinated olives and other Italian and European deli ‘must haves’ and fabulous coffee.