Seaban, Port Douglas, Queensland © @catseyestyle
9 of the best restaurants in Cairns and Port Douglas
Fresh seafood, ocean views and good vibes; Queensland’s north tropics serve up quite the fare, with the ambience to match.
By Amy Fraser
Cairns and Port Douglas are known for their relaxed way of life, great food and spectacular views, and that’s exactly what you’ll get when dining at one of their best restaurants. From succulent seafood fresh from the ocean to locally sourced meats with African infused flavours, you won’t fall short of a great meal in this area. Here’s our top picks to get started.
Where: 1 Veivers Rd, Palm Cove
Located on the dreamy shores of Palm Cove is the award-winning NuNu Restaurant. Enveloped by palm trees and mesmerising views of the Coral Sea, NuNu is as relaxing as it is delicious. Offering scrumptious breakfasts, lunches and dinners – there’s plenty of time to enjoy their modern-Australian menu during your stay in Palm Cove.
Where: 26 Wharf St, Port Douglas
If Queensland was a restaurant, it would resemble Salsa. Enjoy good vibes, fun cocktails and vibrant fare, all under the roof of a beautiful open-aired Queenslander in Port Douglas. Who wouldn’t want to roll off the beach and sip dragon fruit mojitos while tucking into mouth-watering Thai chicken spring rolls? Combing international flavours with local favourites, head Chef Goran Zonai’s menu doesn’t disappoint.
Dundee’s Restaurant on the Waterfront
Where: 1 Marlin Parade, Cairns
If you’re seeking fresh seafood with the views to match, Dundee’s Restaurant on the Waterfront is the place for you. Take a stroll along Cairns’ picturesque boardwalk and stop for a nourishing lunch, or reserve a table for dinner and soak up views of the Marlin Marina, Trinity Inlet and majestic mountains while the sun goes down. Serving up everything from local seafood to pasta and crocodile skewers – there’s something for everyone at Dundee’s.
Where: 35-41 Wharf St, Cairns
For a slice of fine dining in the tropical city of Cairns, Tamarind’s a popular choice for locals and tourists alike. Boasting a South-East Asian-inspired menu featuring Queensland’s best seasonal produce, the food here is teeming with flavour. Start with lobster straight from the ocean, before enjoying Tamarind’s famous whole crispy baby barramundi served with a sticky chilli and garlic sauce.
Where: 62C Shields St, Cairns
Well-crafted pasta, fresh seafood and Bellocale’s casual ambience are the ingredients for a perfect evening. Treat your tastebuds to everything from buttery lobster ravioli to South Australian Angus beef, or go all-in and finish with the ‘death by chocolate’ dessert. If there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that this outdoor dining room is one not to be missed during a visit to Cairns.
CC’s Bar and Grill
Where: 163 Abbott St, Cairns
If you’re a meat-eater, there are few places that beat the drool-worthy menu at the Crystalbrook Collections’ CC’s Bar and Grill. Combining exquisite seasonal produce with flavours of the Australian outback, their hearty dishes will leave you wanting more. A taste of their steak is a must – sourced directly from Crystalbrook Station, it’s a melt-in-your-mouth affair. Pair it with your favourite pick from their extensive wine list, finishing with a beautifully decorated signature cocktail – tropical style.
Where: 3/28 Wharf St, Port Douglas
Feeling thirsty for the Mediterranean? Grab a sangria, tuck into tapas and let the evening’s sunset wash over you at Port Douglas’ Seabean. Dishing up the flavours of the Mediterranean amid the vibrant buzz similar to that of Barcelona, this lively restaurant is the ideal spot to top off an epic day at the beach.
Waterbar and Grill
Where: 1 Pier Point Rd, Cairns
Known for its scrumptious organic meat, the Waterbar and Grill is the place to go for a melt-in-your-mouth steak infused with exotic flavours from Africa and Portugal. The food here won’t just excite your tastebuds – order the Espetada for an epic presentation of delicious skewered beef. Pair it with the spectacular views of the marina and you’ve got a picture-worthy evening.
Osprey’s Restaurant at Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Where: 5078 Captain Cook Hwy, Oak Beach
It’s not every day you can enjoy a fine meal surrounded by not one, but two World Heritage-listed sites. Sitting between the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, the lush Ospreys Restaurant offers arguably the most awe-inspiring views in Port Douglas. Relax among the treetops for lunch or dinner and enjoy their vibrant menu comprised of local seasonal produce.