Gourmet cuisine, food from farm to table, organic produce and flavourful local fare; it can all be found along the waterfront with ocean views right in the heart of Cairns. No matter where you find accommodation, Cairns has gourmet dining from all around the world located nearby. The world class restaurants that line the esplanade and marina overlook lush parks and the sea. Enjoy a rich experience with a delicious meal with a cool sea breeze.
This Far North Queensland town has something to tantalise every tastebud including the local hot spots and tourist favourites. Ranging from A La Carte French cuisine to the famous modern Australian at Ochre.
Seafood is abundant and caught daily from the Northern tropical waters where everything seems to grow twice the size. More freshly grown produce is a stone’s throw away at Atherton Tablelands, which form the backdrop to Cairns.
For local produce, anybody in town will tell you to head to Rusty’s Market. You’ll find stalls of local farmers, organically grown produce, delicatessens, artisan breads and gourmet cheeses –it’s the place where locals and restaurants alike shop for the best produce in Cairns. Taking up nearly a whole city block, it’s well worth the look to wander the walkways and chat with friendly stallholders who are more than willing to discuss their products and the food scene in Cairns, from farm to table. The three days a week it is open, it always draws a crowd, make sure to get in early.
Cairns offers down to earth local charm with a friendly smile but when it comes to fine dining its restaurants rival the big cities of Sydney and Melbourne. With gourmet cuisine accompanied by amazing wine selections showcasing the best Australia has to offer, it’s restaurants create the most amazing taste sensations and food fusions.
C’est Bon – affectionately known by locals as ‘the fancy place’ – offers the mouth-watering French cuisine in elegant surroundings right in the heart of Cairns. Perfectly paired with the incredible wines they offer. It truly lives up to the hype it is known for.
Tamarind – showcases eastern flavours and an impressive wine list to match. The five star rated restaurant has been cherished for its complete dining experience with spectacular service and remarkable use of local produce.
If you’re interested in an all seafood experience, the highly rated seafood restaurants of Tha Fish and Dundee’s are right alongside the stretch of waterfront real estate known as The Pier. Dining here is the complete package and will delight all of your senses. Watch the boats go by with a chilled glass of wine in hand while your tastebuds soar.
Alternatively, mosey along the esplanade and take your pick from the multitude of cuisines on offer. The well-known Waterbar & Grill Steakhouse is also on The Pier, for those who would prefer something other than seafood.
Popular Esplanade Hangouts
Spanish Tapas, mouth-watering Italian, succulent seafood and sensuous steak, the Cairns locals have it all conveniently located in one long esplanade strip.
Grill’d – where you pick your perfectly made gourmet burger, freshly made to order right on the waterfront. Incredibly popular with locals and tourists alike to grab a quick bite. Plus, with the amazing rosemary fries that accompany the burgers, no wonder it’s so popular.
Prawn Star’s – enjoy a huge double tiered tower of tasty prawns, oysters and more fresh seafood caught straight from the boat you eat on. Prawn Star is recommended to all visitors to Cairns as the humble and fun dining experience.
Salt House – truly represents the best Cairns has to offer. Sit at one of its bars or chill at one of the massive cushions and relax while enjoying great food, wine and cocktails. Salt House is always full of locals from open to close, the atmosphere is electric from afternoon to night.
Lillypad – can only be described as food for your soul. Immensely popular and has been one of Cairns hottest spots for years. Brilliant breakfasts and lunches with funky art lining the walls. With a huge menu catering for a ton of veggie and vegan options, it’s the perfect fit for any group.
Botanic – Tucked away in the lush Cairns Botanical Gardens, this amazing open air café is a well-guarded local secret. Known for the best eggs benedict in Cairns, they make everything fresh from scratch using locally sourced organic produce to tantalise the tastebuds of even the hard-core food critics. Afterwards, enjoy a wander along the boardwalk through the lush tropical foliage.
The Conservatory Bar – Cairns’ premier wine bar is on par with some of Melbourne’s most distinguished, offering the biggest selection of wines in Cairns. Enjoy the special atmosphere where you meet new people and enjoy the live music.
Look no further than the waterfront pier and marina located at the end of the esplanade for a variety of bars and exciting spots to spend your Saturday nights, or any night for that matter.
The Pier – is a local icon set right on the waterfront, the best real estate Cairns has to offer. The huge wrap around veranda gives you plenty of space for your group to enjoy the scenery and experience lovely tropical paradise.
The Boatshed – is another waterfront wonder every local suggests to try out when in Cairns. The Boatshed has a huge range of wine, cocktail, mocktails and beer. Definitely try something new from their vast range and you might find a new favourite.
No matter what you are looking for when you visit Cairns, a short stroll along the waterfront esplanade will provide you with a wide range of mouth-watering options at an affordable price. Enjoy the beautiful sun setting vista from any one of the restaurants Cairns has to offer.