Restaurants in Cairns

When it comes to eating out Cairns offers a wide choice of different cuisines, ranging from French and Italian to Australian, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Thai, and Filipino.

In terms of culinary standard and setting, the choice is no less varied, all the way from economical backpacker eateries to elegant and sophisticated venues catering for the discerning palate.

Here is a small sampling of what’s on offer.

 

 

 

Tamarind

 

35- 41 Wharf Street
(07) 4030 8897
Cuisine: Australian, Asian Fusion

This restaurant is part of the Reef Hotel Casino and serves contemporary Asian food with an emphasis on Thai cuisine. Can get noisy on a Saturday night after 9pm (due to the band) so best to book early on Saturday nights. Atmosphere is elegant but casual with romantic lighting.

 

Spoons

 

4/46 Aplin Street
(07) 4031 1110
Cuisine: Contemporary

An unassuming café on Aplin Street, great for breakfast and lunch. Good service and very good, fresh salads (try the Caesar salad).

 

Salt House

 

6/2 Pier Point Road
(07) 4041 7733
Cuisine: Australian

Great atmosphere but quite noisy. This waterfront restaurant is a good place to soak up the atmosphere of Far North Queensland while gazing out across Trinity Inlet. Stunning views and very good food (especially the steaks).

 

Sushi Paradise

 

 

115 Grafton St
(07) 4028 3452
Cuisine: Japanese

This is arguably the best sushi in Cairns, with complimentary soy, wasabi, and ice tea. The sushi is freshly made and is constantly being replenished to keep up with demand. It gets very busy at lunch time and there’s sometimes a queue outside the door. So best to get there before midday.

 

Ganbaranba

 

20 Spence St
07-4031-2522
Cuisine: Japanese

Has all the atmosphere of an authentic Japanese noodle bar. Indeed, it’s so authentic that the (Japanese) staff may have difficulty understanding you. Great place for ramen! There’s not much seating so this is primarily take-away.

 

Bellocale

 

 

62 Shields Street
(07) 4051 7777
Cuisine: Italian Seafood

This is a small restaurant, ideal for a couple’s romantic dinner. Probably the best of the Italian restaurants in Cairns. Try the Seafood Marinara.

 

Hanuman

 

Hilton Hotel Cairns/34 Esplanade
(07) 4051 6075
Cuisine: Indian, Thai

Although this restaurant is part of the Hilton Hotel the prices are quite reasonable. Great atmosphere and delicious food – Indian cooking at its best. The naan bread is superb.

 

Ochre Restaurant

 

 

43 Shields Street
(07) 4051 0100
Cuisine: Australian

All the ingredients used in this restaurant are sourced locally, in Far North Queensland. Specializes in emu, kangaroo and crocodile flavoured with Australian native herbs.

 

Waterbar & Grill Steakhouse

 

Pier Shopping Centre/Pier Point Road
(07) 4031 1199
Cuisine: Steakhouse, Seafood

Fantastic location – great to sit on the deck and watch the yachts at the marina as you dine. Wonderful views! Excellent steaks and beautiful potato mash.

 

Cha Ba Thai spicy

 

 

49 Grafton Street

(07) 4051 6390
Cuisine: Thai

Excellent Thai food on a par with Bangkok restaurants. The vegetables in their curries are fresh and you don’t need to worry about the food being too spicy – you can choose anywhere from mild to hot.

 

 

C’est Bon

 

20 Lake Street
(07) 4051 4488
Cuisine: French

Authentic French restaurant with French-speaking staff. Not too expensive – the lunch menu is great value. Fills up quickly in the evenings so definitely make a booking.

 

Dundee’s

 

3/1 Marlin Parade
(07) 4051 0399
Cuisine: Australian Seafood

One of the most popular restaurants in Cairns, with a lovely atmosphere and beautiful waterfront views. Not as noisy as some of the other waterfront restaurants. Great food.

 

Piccolo Cucina

 

26-36 /17 Abbott Street
(07) 4051 5137
Cuisine: Italian

This restaurant has been part of the Cairns culinary landscape for several decades – as good as eating in Italy.

 

Corea Corea

 

 

79 Abbott St
(07) 40316655
Cuisine: Korean

Unassuming décor but fantastic Korean food…at a very reasonable price. Try the beef rib soup!

 

Ihaw Ihaw BBQ/GRILL

 

7/35 Lake Street
(07) 4041 3559
Cuisine: Filipino

Excellent and very affordable Filipino food. Try the Lumpiang Sariwa. Only open for dinner Thurs to Sat.

 

Marinades

 

 

43 Spence Street
(07) 4041 1422
Cuisine: Indian

Of the various Indian restaurants in Cairns, this is perhaps the best, serving authentic Indian food. The Chicken Tikka Masala is excellent!

 

 

 

 

 

Bayleaf

 

Corner Lake & Gatton Streets, Cairns North
(07) 4047 7955
Cuisine: Balinese

Award-winning restaurant with authentic Balinese atmosphere. Specializes in banquet-style menu comprising many small dishes of beef, pork, chicken and seafood. Don’t miss the corn fritters!

 

Tandoori Nights

 

Sheridan St & Grove St, Cairns North
(07) 4041 6955
Cuisine: Indian

Delicious Indian food at affordable prices.

 

 

 

 

El Mundo Tapas

 

3/124 Collins Avenue, Edge Hill
(07) 4032 0550
Cuisine: Tapas, International

Fascinating and tasty menu which changes each month with a focus on a particular country. Can get crowded quite quickly so book early.

 

Linga Longa (formerly The Naked Nut)

 

120 Collins Avenue, Edge Hill
(07) 4032 2136
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Australian

The walls of this restaurant are decorated with portraits of famous people, who (like Franco, the owner) have balding pates. Hence this restaurant’s former name, the Naked Nut. This suburban restaurant is located about 15 minutes drive from the city. Great food!

 

 

 

 

Krokodillos

 

459 Varley Street, Yorkey’s Knob
(07) 4055 7099
Cuisine: International

This Yorkey’s Knob restaurant serves delicious food, either dine-in or home delivery. Very popular with locals.

 

Yorkeys Knob Boating Club

 

25/29 Buckley Street, Yorkey’s Knob
(07) 4055 7711
Cuisine: Australian

Great location for a memorable dinner, watching the yachts at their moorings as dusk gathers. Popular venue with locals.

 

 

 

  

L’Unico Trattoria

 

 

75 Vasey Esplanade, Trinity Beach
(07) 4057 8855
Cuisine: Italian

Located on the seafront at Trinity Beach, this restaurant offers spectacular views. The pizza and pasta are both excellent.

 

 

 

 

Paperbark at Kewarra Beach

 

Kewarra Street, Kewarra Beach
(07) 4058 4000
Cuisine: International

A spectacular setting under a rainforest canopy and surrounded by paperbark trees, just a short stroll from the beach. Great for a romantic dinner! The food is excellent.

 

 

 

 

Far Horizons

 

 

1 Veivers Road, Palm Cove
(07) 4055 3000
Cuisine: International

This is one of the most beautifully located restaurants in Cairns. Dining by candlelight with full linen under coconut palms just metres from the beach, with the sound of softly breaking waves. As you would expect with these prices, the food is excellent.

 

 

 

 

Thai Coins

 

371 Mulgrave Road, Westcourt
(07) 4054 2252
Cuisine: Thai

Excellent food at an affordable price. Can get quite cramped so make sure you have a booking. Try the Ginger Chicken and Pad Thai!

 

 

 

 

Pearl Garden

 

578 Mulgrave Road, Earlville
(07) 4033 1328
Cuisine: Chinese

This Chinese restaurant is a fair hike out of town (at Woree) but the décor and atmosphere are great, as is the food.