Why Burleigh Heads is the coolest suburb on the Gold Coast right now

For cool restaurants from top chefs, trendy bars and unique shopping, head to Burleigh Heads on your next Gold Coast holiday.

View from Burleigh Heads National Park in Queensland, Australia
  • Craig Tansley
  • March 2020

This once sleepy surf village is having its moment as the Goldie’s epicentre of tasty eats, cool bars and chic boutiques. Here's where to go to eat, drink and shop in Burleigh Heads.

Threeworlds

So much more than a music shop, inside you’ll find hoops, juggling clubs and the occasional unicycle as well as drums, guitars and ukuleles. Also hosting beginner African drumming and ukulele classes, this store aims to inspire fun in all ages and connect the community.

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Emte Boutique

Just because you’re in a surf town doesn’t mean you have to wear Billabong. James Street has become a mini fashion hub, largely thanks to local girl Emma Stevenson who has revolutionised the way Gold Coasters think about dressing. Find the best local jewellery and accessories here.

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Restaurant Labart

One of Sydney’s most innovative chefs, Alex Munoz Labart (ex-Monopole) packed his bags and moved north to open this Parisian-style establishment. It doesn’t need a water view – the signature dish barbecue king prawns with garlic prawn butter and capers is enough to draw people in.

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Lockwood

Who says the Gold Coast only has surf clubs? Showing just how far the beach city has come, this hidden bar requires a text message for access (how very Melbourne). Enter via a red door and velvet curtain into a 1920s Prohibition-style speakeasy with more than 70 whiskies above the bar. (And of course there’s no website.)

0488 111 030

Burleigh Pavilion

Where the beautiful people go – the Gold Coast hotspot sits right out over the waves of Burleigh’s famous break. There’s room for 600 people and the terrace features four-metre-high ceilings, festoon lighting and views north past the lights of Surfers.

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Sean Scott Boutique

Sean was an electrician, until he realised the spark missing in his life; now he is one of the country’s pre-eminent landscape photographers. He started by selling his own water photography shots at markets, now his gallery has everything from canvas prints to abstract multimedia artwork and streetwear for sale.

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Rick Shores

It has been voted Queensland’s number one restaurant but it’s actually not the food that’s the most remarkable thing here. You would be hard-pressed to find an eatery in Australia built closer to the surf. With the jewel-like green and blue sea as your backdrop, enjoy a meal of pan-Asian flavours from fresh, locally sourced produce. Be sure to sample the signature fried bug rolls.

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 A table of food in Rick Shores Restaurant in Burleigh Heads
Just a stone's throw from the water, Rick Shores serves sought-after pan Asian dishes.

Iku Yakitori Bar

There’s no front entrance – head to the Justin Lane back alley and open an old recycled wooden door, then step on in to this mini Tokyo. You’ll find surfers sitting around a dimly lit whisky bar and Japanese chefs standing behind glass cooking food over smoking binchotan charcoals. Is it moody? You be the judge.

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