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The southern-end of the Sunshine Coast, from Caloundra to Kawana, is teaming with casual sea-side bars and restaurants selling fresh, locally sourced cuisine and good times.
Featuring numerous locations, perfectly perched to catch the last rays of sun shimmering over the crystal-clear waters of the Sunny Coast – the hardest decision to make is which one!
We want to make it easy for you, so we’ve arranged the top eight absolute best restaurants and bars in the area right now for you to take your pick from.
Drift bar has all the ingredients for a great time, every time. Live music and events every week, a great selection of craft beer, wine and cocktails, ocean views and stone grill dining to compliment their modern take on a traditional pub feed. Located just a few paces from the Pumicestone Passage on the Bulcock Beach Esplanade in Caloundra, Drift Bar is complete with a beautiful outdoor dining area with large glass panels that enable you to enjoy your surroundings in all weather. While Drift is a local favourite late in the afternoons and into the night, they also provide a great breakfast and lunch service.
If beautiful and authentic Italian cuisine paired with great wine sounds like your kind of evening, then you must book into Amici restaurant (just around the corner from drift in Caloundra’s CBD). Earning itself a place in the top ten restaurants on the entire Sunshine Coast by Experience Oz, this cosy little venue is difficult to match. Local tip* try the linguine prawns or for the vegos the risotto vegetale cooked with red capsicum, roasted pumpkin, mushrooms, baby spinach, garlic & chilli in their famous napoli sauce.
We could not finish this list without mentioning the lovely strip of alfresco dining options in Moffat Beach. With a number to choose from, you really can’t go wrong. But we give it to the team at Moffat Beach Brewing Co due to their fresh menu choices and the fact that they are also the proud brewers of Australia’s best beer according to the Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show (RQFWS) Beer Awards. Banish your hangry with a serve of macadamia crusted chicken schnitty, sous vide beef cheek or duck ragout papperdelle- and leave room for dessert as the talented chef brings a serious cake game to his kitchen creations. For some of the best weekend vibes on the Sunshine Coast, head along from 4pm to 7pm Friday through to Sunday to enjoy live music from local talent performing “between the tanks”.
Taco Thursday’s, parmy Saturday’s and live music Sunday’s right on the waterfront along King Beach. As close as you can get to the water while staying dry, you couldn’t ask for a better location to kick back and enjoy a meal. Offering a number of great healthy options and a range of crafty burgers such as the vegans dream harvest plate and lemonade tempura fish burger Kings Beach Bar ticks every box when it comes to food.
This neat little Italian gem is tucked away behind the Kawana Shopping Centre. But don’t let the unassuming location get in the way of what we consider to be Kawana’s best kept secret. Known for their veal fillet scaloppine with northern rivers milk-fed veal backstrap slices, sautéed field mushrooms, lemon thyme crème, risotto bianco and fresh broccolini, Al Antica certainly up the ‘anti’ on their unique menu combinations. If your belly isn’t bursting with pasta or pizza, we recommend, no we insist, that you order their famous dessert tasting plate.
With its stunning lakeside location, Brightwater Hotel is regarded as one of the best pubs on the Sunshine Coast complete with functions area, sports bar, pool tables and lakeside outdoor dining options. This locally owned venue sets itself apart from most ‘pubs’ offering a vibrant menu which goes far beyond a simple parmy Although, they do these well too! Two menu standouts are the porchetta of free-range pork belly with roasted butternut, sauté greens, cashew puree and jus lie and Hervey Bay scallops, Morteon Bay bugs, Mooloolaba prawns alongside sofrito rice and glazed hollandaise. Yum! They also offer a courtesy bus service – how good!
The Wildflower is an award winning and exciting culinary experience located at the edge of Kawana lake. Featuring modern cuisine a relaxed décor and lake views this restaurant is the perfect spot for two or the whole family. Each wildflower meal is not only skilfully prepared but delicately plated – with gorgeous presentation guaranteed.
The Malt Shovel Taphouse is truly unique, equipped with a rotisserie which turns over perfectly tender slabs of meat such as the Pork Belly Porchetta spice rubbed, with crackling and apple slaw and rolled beef brisket coated with light mustard spice. One of the newest venues in the area, the Malt Shovel is also famous for their wide variety of craft beer featuring 40 taps serving 16 different beers on rotation AND they have live music playing Friday and Saturday between 5:30pm to 8:30pm and Sunday afternoons between 1:30pm to 4:30pm.