While the beach always beckons, the beauty of Surfers Paradise is that it has the best of both worlds: ocean views on one side and a river on the other that is home to some of the newest and coolest venues in the city. Live entertainment, tapas and cocktails can all be found down by the river so why not enjoy some eats and beats, riverside this weekend.
Helm Bar & Bistro Surfers
Best for: family dinners and casual lunches
With views over the Nerang River and Chevron Island, Helm Bar and Bistro aptly plays on its name and puts you right at the helm overlooking serene waters with sunsets on order every evening. Only difference being, you have a beverage in hand and an eclectic menu that combines casual classics with share plates and fresh seafood. The nautical fit out is not your usual cliché sea theme either. Instead, Helm ups the ante with a sleek and modern feel that cleverly captures ship features in pastel mints and blues, whites and woods. The open layout and floor to ceiling glass windows means you get to look out at the water from practically any area of the bar and bistro, but the outdoor deck seating is the obvious choice in the warmer months to make the most of the sun. In fact, nothing says Gold Coast summer more than a fresh bucket of prawns topped with lemon wedges onboard Helm’s deck. The menu is a nice in-between of what you would find at a friendly surfside club, just a little more gourmet. Chilled prawns, oysters, tempura soft crab, grilled salmon and more can all be served up on a wooden paddle for a seafood feast to share, while the more robust options from the smokehouse and chargrill menu will have you tucking into slow cooked beef brisket and hickory smoked pork ribs. The casual vibe of Helm sets the tone for a family dinner as well, and Pirate Pete’s Kids Menu caters nicely to the little ones. To really set the tone throughout the week, the bar is home to some of the best live music acts around. Couple that with some fruity custom cocktails that literally taste of summer, like the Strawberry Woo Woo or the Helm’s Tropics, and all aboard for a great evening. And if you’re a sports fiend and can’t bear the thought of missing out on any action on an afternoon out, pull up a stool and enjoy a range of sports showcased live on flat screens. Helm Bar & Bistro Surfers captures the best of a lazy summer day in an atmosphere that is both chic and familiar all at the same time.
Cocoon Ultra Lounge Bar & Dining
Best for: Sunday sessions, champagne & bar menu bites
Perched riverside on the end of Cavill Avenue, Cocoon delivers on the luxury party atmosphere complete with a red carpet on entry and decked with white day beds under the sun. Catching glimmers from the water, the rays reflect off the nearly all-white themed fit out. From the wooden white deck to the nest-like pendant lights resembling – you guessed it – silken cocoons, the atmosphere oozes a high-end island party on a balmy night. Book a day bed around sunset and stay and play for the rest of the evening in the Ultra Lounge, and you have yourself a perfect Sunday session. Carefully crafted cocktails and an extensive sparkling wine list caters to budgeters and big spenders alike, which is ideal because a bottle of bubbly definitely lends itself to the vibe of Cocoon. The dining menu has been simplified to share plates and Cocoon’s popular pizzas. The latter is lovingly put together by an Italian chef who has well and truly mastered the art of authentic pizza bases with quality toppings simplified in the best kind of way, like the Don Guiseppe with crushed Marzano tomato and oregano, black Kalamata olives, imported Spanish anchovies and Soppressata (Italian dry salami). Cocoon also pride themselves on their selection of share plates that can take you from Japan to Italy in a couple of bites and are designed for enjoying among friends steadily and continuously. It’s a collage of food favourites with Arancini balls hiding salty prosciutto and oozing Brie Parmesan cheese, to the well-loved chicken karage served with Japanese mayonnaise and a squeeze of lemon. Classy vibes, great drinks and delicious bites – this is one cocoon you won’t want to leave.
Howl At The Moon
Best for: After work drinks, live entertainment & karaoke
Alfresco dining, sunbeds, a delicious tapas menu designed by Guy Grossi, world-class live entertainment and a spot of karaoke, and you’ll be howling at the moon along with the rest of them by the end of a long working week. Surfers Paradise was in need of a let-your-hair-down-and-sing kind of venue, and Howl At The Moon has delivered with a location that is both quintessentially Surfers Paradise yet new and exciting at the same time. Right on the river, Howl captures the open air vibes and takes it indoors. The atmosphere is akin to stumbling upon a vibrant, tucked away bar while holidaying in the Greek Islands. Two grand pianos set the scene, with the piano players encouraging full participation from willing patrons. Book the private karaoke rooms in advance and let the fun times begin, and if you need some Dutch courage first, then a visit to the custom cocktail menu will assist. The Coconut and Banana Tiki with Captain Morgan’s spiced rum, banana liqueur, coconut water and lime is like summer swimming on your taste buds. The carefully crafted tapas menu keeps you coming back for more, with fresh ingredients married simply for the best kind of combinations. From the little tastes of Italy provided in the pizza and pasta tapas to the pure Aussie BBQ sliders there will always been something to snack on between songs. It’s riverfront entertainment, inhibition free, so let out the inner wolf.
Helm Bar & Bistro Surfers,
30-34 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217
Cocoon Ultralounge Bar & Dining,
58 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217
Howl At The Moon,
58 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217