The Sunshine Coast’s Flourishing Foodie Culture

By Michele Dale

The Sunshine Coast is fast gaining a reputation as one of Queensland’s flourishing foodie destinations. A playground for all types of food lovers – from coffee connoisseurs to fine diners – the region’s restaurants and cafés take us on a journey to all corners of the globe.

At RWC Noosa & Sunshine Coast we have the privilege of working with some of the region’s most outstanding hospitality businesses through our sales, leasing and property management services.

From Caloundra to Noosa in our broad area of operation, a range of cuisines are represented – including divine Asian fusion experiences, authentic Latino-inspired culinary creations, European-style bistro dining, American southern culture and modern Australian cuisine.

Visitors and locals alike are spoilt for choice by a bevy of breakfast and brunch options and a generous portion of lunch venues by day. When the sun goes down, inventive cocktail bars and casual, contemporary and fine dining restaurants offer innovative, quintessential Sunshine Coast food experiences.

The region’s food and beverage scene has grown up in recent years, with more sophisticated offerings, restaurant/bars, microbreweries, niche menus, funky street food and plentiful laidback cafés that have become institutions in their communities.

The most striking feature of the restaurant and café sector is the celebration of all things local. As one of Australia’s most dynamic locations for new food and agribusiness, foodies are treated to innovative and satisfying menus abundant with local fruit, vegetables, herbs, meat, dairy and freshly caught seafood.

We go around the region to explore our most recognisable coastal hospitality locations and highlight the features of some of the venues RWC Noosa & Sunshine Coast has partnered with in recent years. These are just a few of the wonderful businesses we have the pleasure of dealing with.


The traditional home of fine dining in the region, the resort town’s Hastings Street offers a plethora of fine dining experiences and higher end operators catering to tourists and locals.

“Noosa’s Hastings Street stands as the unequivocal heart of fine dining on the Sunshine Coast, boasting a vibrant culinary scene that continually evolves,” says RWC commercial property consultant David Brinkley.

“The allure of Hastings Street is its picturesque setting combined with an array of quality restaurants and cafés. While long-term traders have set the scene, new players coming in keep the strip interesting and dynamic.”

Season Restaurant

Season is the ultimate beachfront restaurant offering uninterrupted views over Noosa Main Beach and Laguna Bay. Using the freshest local seafood and produce from across the Sunshine Coast, Season has created a vibrant modern Australian menu with hints of Asian flavours. This year Season celebrated 20 years of operating in this iconic Noosa location. 

Season has just released a new summer menu with some classics from across the years. It’s daily from 11am until late for lunch and dinner with the only exception of Christmas Day.

Known for: signature local yellow seafood curry with fragrant lemongrass rice, coconut braised beef short ribs with salted chilli, pomegranate and ginger gin and tonic, chilli margarita, stunning views and attentive staff.

Boardwalk Bistro on Hastings

Designed to take full advantage of the breathtaking views of the ocean, the sound of crashing waves, the glamorous atmosphere that is Noosa and the laid-back vibe of the beachfront, Boardwalk Bistro on Hastings is perfect for a relaxed dining experience. The menu features seasonal, sustainable and ethical produce sourced from like-minded farmers, producers and artisans both in Noosa and around the country.

Indulge in Oysters Happy Hour and enjoy $2 oysters from 3.00-4.30pm daily. Bookings are required. Boardwalk Bistro is open daily over the festive season from 6.30am until late.

Known for: delicious breakfasts, oyster happy hour, seafood cooked to perfection, all day dining, local craft beer and gin, a friendly beachside vibe.

Little Sparrow

A new kid on the Hastings Street block in 2023, Little Sparrow is a cosy café serving award-winning coffee by day that transforms into an authentic Greek seafood haven as the sun goes down. For a sophisticated evening out with friends or a dinner date, select from their small plates, share plates, sides and salads designed to excite the senses.

Known for: breakfast Greek omelette, Kadaifi prawns made with Mooloolaba king prawns, deconstructed pork souvlaki, delectable desserts and insta-worthy dining experiences.


The Junction is without a doubt the trendy place to be, with funky, innovative Melbourne-esque bars and restaurants, a vibrant nightlife and a relaxed community vibe.

“Growing Noosa Junction as a destination in its own right is something we’ve been working on for the past 8-10 years in partnership with the business community, Noosa Junction Association and property owners,” says David Brinkley.

“It has become the location of choice for new bars and restaurants and where many of the cool bars and live music venues are going. It’s been the locals’ playground for a while now, and we’re starting to see tourists catch on and head there from all over the coast for an easy and fun meal, drinks and music.”

Somedays Pizza

Offering a menu centred on quality, sustainability and organic/biodynamic farming, Somedays Pizza sources mostly from local and top Australian and Italian farmers, artisans and producers. Their clean, environmentally-friendly menu is not only good for you but pretty much guarantees you’ll return for more.

Known for: beautiful wood-fired pizza with fresh, quality ingredients, seasonal plates, natural wine, craft brews, artisan spirits, curated cocktails, good times and the occasional disco!


Nestled among the chic watering holes and cutting-edge restaurants in Arcadia Street, BIRD has drawn a solid following with its straight-out-of-the-charcoal free range rotisserie chicken. A modern take on a beloved classic, BIRD has a captive audience of regular locals and has gained quite a following from Aussie and international tourists.

Over the festive season, BIRD Noosa Junction will be closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day, while Hastings Street will be closed on Christmas Day.

Known for: mouth-watering charcoal roast chicken, house-baked French baguettes, chicken and gravy rolls, family feasts, chicken Caesar salad.

Pucca Restaurant and Gin Bar

A modern, coastal Euro-Indian restaurant and boutique gin cocktail bar, Pucca sources premium local ingredients to offer an original take on southern coastal Indian cuisine with European inspiration. The best way to try the mouth-watering fusion of cultures, flavours and cuisines is the 3 or 4 course feast menu. Don’t forget to reserve a table … this hidden gem is deservedly popular!

Known for: Dad’s puchkas, spanner crab samosa, buffalo shin masala, cheeky long lunches, gin jams, BYO Tuesdays, family-friendly dining and events.

Theo’s Social Club

Under new ownership, Theo’s Social Club has built a reputation as a welcoming, world-class neighbourhood wine and cocktail bar and honest food – think pasta of the day based on fresh, seasonal produce, charcuterie, cheese boards and weekly specials. Ideal for a drink before dinner, sunset cocktails, casual dining or a nightcap. They don’t take reservations so walk on in and find a seat.

Known for: casual and friendly ambience, impressive and diverse wine list, seasonal cocktails, grazing plates, plant-based boards.

Christmas trading hours: Closed Sunday 24 to Wednesday 27 December, reopening on Thursday 28. See Facebook for new trading hours from December 2023.

Culinary Noosa by The Culinary Academy

Every meal you savour at this school-restaurant supports The Culinary Academy students on their hospitality journey. Their mission is not just about education; it’s about redefining the standards, pushing boundaries and nurturing the next generation of industry leaders. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, students serve up their delicious creations at affordable prices. Check Facebook for the schedule and weekly menu. The restaurant will be closed for term break from 12th December until 15th January.

Known for: friendly and enthusiastic staff, fabulous food, value for money, weekly changing fixed menu, usually with a choice of two mains and two desserts.


Diners are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining in Noosaville and it’s fair to say dining along Gympie Terrace and its surrounds has really stepped up in terms of quality and variety in recent years.

Since the iconic China Jade restaurant closed after 25 years in 2023, the biggest question on everyone’s lips is what’s next for the venue. David Brinkley offers a sneak peek.

“We’re excited to have found a local operator with another restaurant along Gympie Terrace who was seeking the right venue for a modern Chinese-Cantonese restaurant which is expected to open by Christmas!” David said. See below for details.

Bandita Mexican Restaurant & Bar

A modern and casual wood fired Mexican cantina and bar showcasing a bounty of local ingredients and producers from across the sunny coast. Cooked over locally sourced and organic firewood, the menu is proudly not  authentic Mexican and designed to be shared (or not!). Ideal for sunset drinks and food for any occasion. Can’t decide? Try the ever-popular set menu.

Known for: street corn, reef fish ceviche, fish tacos, vego options, great cocktails, Mexican spirits, unbelievable views to Noosa River and a fun local neighbourhood vibe.

Chinadina Eatery and Take-away – Opening 21 December

It’s official! Noosaville’s newest restaurant, Chinadina is opening on Thursday 21 December for a month-long soft opening for a small number of bookings. Chinadina will feature a refined Cantonese menu inspired by Hong Kong cuisine. The delectable selection includes Peking duck, Chiang Mai dumplings, dim sum, char sui kingfish, pipis with fried vermicelli – the list goes on. Chinadina will offer a banquet menu for lunch and dinner as well as a $35 special including a drink at lunchtime. Yum cha will be served every Sunday.

Chinadina is suitable for families, offering many of the traditional dishes you’d find at a Chinese restaurant plus there’s a dedicated kids’ playroom at the back. Or indulge in a more formal dinner with a full banquet. The choice is yours. Book online via the website.


Known for its charming vibe, village atmosphere, picturesque hikes and epic mountain bike trails, Tewantin is entering a new phase as an emerging location for foodie experiences. RWC commercial property consultant Rachel Cadamy believes the main strip, Poinciana Avenue is on the verge of something big as newer businesses catering to a younger demographic begin to balance the original retailers and eateries.

“It’s a really exciting time for Tewantin, with a new bar Nickels and Dimes now open at 115 Poinciana Avenue, featuring a large alfresco deck and beer garden, and an independent Japanese and sushi restaurant also opening up before Christmas. These will join the already thriving Zabé Espresso Bar and many more,” Rachel said.

“Currently we have a beautiful space at  The Atrium which offers a mix of office, medical and retail. As these new food and beverage operators enter the market bringing in more pedestrians and local traffic, we can expect to see spaces like The Atrium snapped up and momentum grow. We’re strategically placing businesses that uplift the main strip and complement rather than compete with each other.”

Zabé Espresso Bar

If you’re looking for the cool kids (and their furry friends), chances are you’ll find them at Zabé Espresso Bar. You can tell a solid café when the folks in lycra make it their own and Zabé Espresso Bar is the café of choice for local cyclists.

Known for: fabulous coffee, artsy vibe, breakfasts and burgers, loaded soft tacos and café library.

Nickels & Dimes

Nickels & Dimes, Tewantin’s newest venue, Nickels & Dimes opened early in December to a full house. The “soft” opening turned out to be a lively celebration for this classy-rustic-cool American-inspired watering hole. It seems the entire community was waiting to see what owner Liam Martin, who owns several bars in San Francisco, would do with the former ANZ bank building and it doesn’t disappoint. Nickles & Dimes is always set up for good times, good music and great conversation, with a beer garden, plenty of seats at the bar and pop-up windows looking out onto Poinciana Street.

On the menu, you’ll find bar comfort food with a southern twist – think southern style crispy fried Korean wings, tacos, burgers, ribs and brisket. Nickels & Dimes is a welcoming space for everyone, a relaxed and casual place where you can chat with the bar tender … and the person next to you!

Nickels & Dimes is currently open on Wednesday and Thursday from 2pm-10pm, Friday and Saturday from 2pm-12am and Sunday from 1-8pm.


While Peregian Beach and Coolum have very different vibes and cater to distinctive markets, we’ve combined them due to their close proximity.

Coolum tends to feature more local and convenient food establishments for families and holidaymakers, while Peregian Beach offers something for everyone, including an abundance of breakfast and lunch options.

“At Peregian, there’s an emphasis on local, fresh, sustainable and healthier dining options because there is demand for it,” says RWC commercial property agent Tracey Ryan. “Breakfast time has a pumping vibe with surfers and local people enjoying the coffee and ambience in various cafés along the beachfront.”

Mariella Mexicantina

Immerse yourself in the vibrant flavours of Mexico at Mariella Mexicantina. Their menu embraces regional Mexican flavours whilst embracing local seasonal influences. Fresh and flavourful, Mariella serves traditional/modern Mexican street food “antojitos ” (little cravings) artisan agave spirits, natural vino and of course cervezas (beer). This is a great place to enjoy a meal with friends and a cocktail or two.

Known for: incredible tostadas, baja fish tacos, “black magic” mushroom tacos, pimento soft shell crab, Tommy margaritas, gorgeous vibe and super-friendly staff.


One of the most bustling and well-known restaurant and café locations on the Sunshine Coast, Mooloolaba has undergone a reimagining in recent years. This family-friendly waterfront location was buoyed by the transformation of The Wharf precinct, which now attracts almost 2 million visitors annually.

RWC Noosa & Sunshine Coast commercial property consultant Tallon Pamenter said the most successful operators were those that catered for both regular locals and seasonal tourists.

“We can expect to see a resurgence of Mooloolaba Esplanade in the coming years on the back of several key projects. The new Pavilion rooftop bar extension with its Mediterranean style and stunning 180-degree ocean view which is set to open early to mid 2024, along with new 4.5 star AVANI hotel, the proposed Aria hotel and the foreshore revitalisation project will continue to raise the bar for innovation and diversity in dining.”

Tank Riviera Bathhouse and Day Spa

Tank Riviera Mooloolaba is a unique entertainment concept that combines five-star wellness with high-end hospitality. Tank features a lux Mediterranean bathhouse, day spa, day club, champagne bar and waterfront restaurant. If that isn’t enough, there’s a vintage champagne boat that allows guests to experience the beauty of the Mooloolah River to take their day-cation to the next level. It’s the ultimate experience offering packages from one hour to a full day of pampering and indulgence.

The Tank Bathhouse and Day Spa is currently offering a 5hr Ultimate Summer Special that includes the champagne cruise, gourmet brunch, 90-minute bathhouse, sauna, steam, 60-minute treatment and departure drink for only $440, or check out their festive season events (including New Year’s Eve) at

Known for: 7-dish degustation brunch, long luscious lunches, tapas lunch and bathhouse deal, special occasion celebrations, pampering packages and amazing massages.


Ocean Street in Maroochydore is known for its vibrant restaurant, bar and nightclub scene, with many new venues popping up to leverage the success of this energised precinct.

The nearby Cotton Tree Esplanade is undergoing a transformation as the construction of new residential projects has brought more owner occupiers and potential customers to the area according to RWC Noosa & Sunshine Coast commercial property consultant Adam Morley.

“Cotton Tree is definitely a location to watch. Wedged between Sunshine Plaza, the new Maroochydore CBD, the ocean and river, this neighbourhood is coming into its own. A wider variety of food and beverage options is starting to bring people to the area to enjoy a meal or drink, the casual vibe and river views,” Adam said.

“In the years ahead, new businesses will see the potential of this location and tenancies will be upgraded to reflect the changing demographic. I expect more recognised brands will move into the area or established businesses will choose Cotton Tree to open up second or third locations.”

Cotton Tree Beach Bar

Experience the signature beachside vibe of Cotton Tree Beach Bar overlooking the glorious Maroochy River. This locals’ hangout is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee or smoothie after a swim, a craft burger for lunch, shared plate for dinner or a cocktail and snack in between. The fresh, vibrant menu is full of flavour and variety, with the kitchen open from 7am until after dinner every day.

Known for: eggs benny, breakfast smoothies, calamari salad, Mexican Monday, Tradies Tuesday, Friday burger nights, gluten free options, pina coladas.


Known as the city of beaches, Caloundra’s food and beverage scene features plentiful relaxed beachside cafés, award-winning breweries, a handful of up-market restaurants and loads of family dining options.

The holiday hotspot has seen a resurgence in recent years owing to its proximity to Brisbane, influx of new residents from Sydney and Melbourne, and the growth of Aura according to RWC Noosa & Sunshine Coast commercial property consultant Josh Harris.

“We’re starting to see some really good local operators doing well on Bulcock Street and the Esplanade. With new developments like Bianco coming online over the next 12-18 months, we’ll see more new dining experiences and higher end restaurants and retailers entering the market,” Josh said.

Meanwhile, Moffat Beach has developed into a thriving food and drink destination that buzzes with activity seven days a week thanks to its ocean views, great coffee, funky cafés and innovative eateries, most of which have been revamped in the past few years.

TIDES Waterfront Dining, Caloundra

TIDES is a Caloundra institution, a high-end restaurant serving seasonal fresh produce and locally caught seafood in a chic space with spectacular views over Pumicestone Passage and the Glass House Mountains. Elegant and sophisticated, nothing is too much trouble for the friendly and attentive staff. The carefully selected wine list has won awards from Australia’s Best Wine Lists. TIDES has just launched a new summer menu – check the website for details.

Known for: seafood tower, seafood chowder, finger lime oysters, sunset views, Monday to Friday lunch specials, romantic dinners, celebration events and excellent wine menu.

The Thirsty Beaver

The go-to place for steak, pasta and ribs. The Thirsty Beaver’s brand menu focuses on “low and slow” meats from their new red dirt smoker. The venue is a hit with locals and visitors alike and packed for lunch every day thanks to their $20/$25 lunch deals. No fancy dress code, no airs and graces, just cheeky, fun, casual dining, delicious modern Australian cuisine and a great selection of craft beer. The Thirsty Beaver is open from 11am – 9pm, 7 days – it will be closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Known for: low and slow 18-hour pork ribs, sensational burgers, house-made pasta, friendly staff and kid-friendly meals, daily specials.

Moffat Beach Brewing

A vibing venue ideally located overlooking the rolling surf of Moffat Beach with delicious meals paired with award-winning beers. There are dedicated breakfast and all-day dining menus celebrating seasonal local produce. Moffat Beach Brewing took out 2023 Brewer of the Year from Beer & Brewer magazine. Catch local musos performing “live between the tanks” every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening. The weekly tap list is published on the website.

Known for: award-winning craft brews, cracking dishes, brisket burgers, buffalo wings, beach views and trivia nights.

If you’re looking for something to do over the festive season or keen to share a meal with visiting friends, get along to one of our local Sunshine Coast cafes, bars or restaurants and show them your support. 

From the team and RWC Noosa & Sunshine Coast, wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday enjoying the beautiful food and locations that the Sunshine Coast has to offer.

To get in touch with our team in 2024, contact call us on on +617 5474 7600.


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