Put down the beach towel, this is one road trip you do not want to pack your swimmers for.
There’s so much to eat, drink and generally stuff your face with in Brisbane and beyond, that we couldn’t help but want to plan our own ultimate foodie road trip.
From the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast, our ultimate foodie road trip is 300kms of mouth-watering deliciousness for which stretchy driving pants are a must.
So next time you find yourself with 6 days to kill, some extra petrol money and a serious case of hanger, we know just what you should do with yourself.
Starting the trip on a leisurely Saturday, we’re heading north to the Eumundi Markets for a day of local produce, cooking demos and market eats. You could start the road trip on a healthy note, with some juice and Yogi Bliss bircher muesli, but we’d be going straight for the jam doughnuts and calamari, plus some baked treats for later.
Once you’ve had your fill, jump in the car and head for Noosa Heads. You might need a brisk walk along the beach before dinner, because Rickys’ tasting menu awaits, with 6 courses of contemporary Australian fare.
After a night at Tingirana, take in a quick breakfast at Bistro C, but don’t linger over your coffee and pulled pork with sweet potato hash too long, because you don’t want to be late for a cooking class at Spirit House! Learn some new skills to wow your friends with when you get back home and finish of with a flavoursome Asian feast for lunch.
Next stop, Mooloolaba, where designer shopping along First Avenue is calling (unless you reallllly want to hit the beach). If you need a change from fine dining, The Good Bar fits the bill, with burgers so good you’ll need to make a booking. Wrap your hands around The Transcendence, stuffed with beef brisket and slaw, with a side of mac ‘n’ sweet baby cheesus.
Hopefully the food baby has settled overnight in one of Ocean’s luxury sweets, because your eyes will be bigger than your stomach when you find yourself at TOME Coffee Shop. Cakes, pastries and doughnuts galore will prove irresistible, with wild fillings and insta-worthy toppings – good thing you can pick up extras for the drive to Brisbane!
Walk off the carbs with a wander down James St once you’ve checked into the Emporium Hotel in Brisbane (and brushed the crumbs out of the car), stopping by Scrumptious Reads and Taste Kitchen Emporium for delicious goodies that won’t add to the waistline – cook books and one-of-a-kind kitchenware items. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, hit the New Farm Deli for some cheese and snacks and head to New Farm Park for a picnic. Don’t go too hard though, you’ll want to be sure you have plenty of room left for dinner at Middle Eastern inspired Gerard’s Bistro. The slow roasted Wagyu brisket and a side of crisp chicken skins should conquer any remaining hunger. If not, the Valley bars are calling!
On your way down the highway further south, stop by The Jam Pantry in Greenslopes for a creative breakfast from the ever-changing blackboards, and maybe Flour & Chocolate for a salted caramel-filled gonut driving snack. It’s ok, you’ll have plenty of time to digest while you wind the car through the twisting roads of Mt Tambourine. Make a stop at Witches Chase Cheese Company for a few wheels of Misty Mountain Blue and Triple Cream Brie and pair it with a few boutique liquors from the Mt Tambourine Distillery.
But don’t stop to drink it yet (you can take a break for a picnic with the cheese if you must), it’s time to hit the glittering lights of the Gold Coast! Check into the QT and nab some parking for the car, you won’t have to go far for dinner, the Stingray Lounge with it’s Mexican flavour is just down stairs. Back up on your ocean view balcony, you can finally break into the liquors, hopefully with a mixer or two.
You know what a luxury hotel stay means: buffet breakfast time! QT’s Bazaar Restaurant is legendary, and you won’t leave without a food baby. Which is good, because it means you’ll have plenty of carbs in you to soak up the beer on a Pickled Pig Brewery tour. After a bit of shopping at the newly renovated Pacific Fair and a light (LIGHT) second breakfast at Paddock Bakery, of course. Pickled Pig’s brews are all organic, and you’ll see just how their made on a tour through the boutique brewery.
Now it might be time to take the car back to the hotel and jump in a cab before the designated driver gets carried away. With eclectic Greek wines on offer at Hellenika, it will be hard to resist pairing them with eats like pork and lamb meatballs wrapped in crepinette and sweet walnut cake with halva ice-cream. Afterwards, hit up The Cambus Wallace, a hip, boat-themed bar for cocktails like Siren’s Kiss, with vodka, apple brandy, Fireball cinnamon liqueur, apple juice and bitters.
Now it wouldn’t be a trip to the coast without at least one stop for fish and chips and ice cream. Stop by Elk Espresso in Broadbeach for a coffee, then head to The Strand in Cooloongatta, where a plethora of fish and chip shops await. Feel free to feed some to the seagulls, because there’s one last treat on this foodie road trip! Gelato Messina are the rock stars of the ice cream world, and we’re finishing the trip on a sweet note with an epic dessert from their brand new dessert bar! Yes, yes you can get extra sprinkles.
Best hit Press’d for a juice detox when you get home to Brisbane. You’ll be needing it.
Words by Ranyhyn Akui