Miami Beach, Mermaid Beach, and Nobby Beach are adding lifestyle cred to previously overlooked patches of the Gold Coast. Read on to discover where to find the best dining, shopping and holiday fun in the Gold Coast’s coolest neighbourhoods.

Miami, Gold Coast

One of the best spots to soak up this suburb’s hip new vibe is Miami Marketta, a live music venue, creative hub and outdoor dining venue. Delicious sweet pies from The Whoopie Lady and pillowy gua bau packed with tempura crab and Asian slaw from Lucky Bau, shared tables, funky bars and talented local artists make Miami Marketta the place to be. The street food market comes alive on Friday and Saturday nights but you can also drop in during the week for handmade leather bags and accessories at LaKoa, chic homewares at Reinvented Treasures and vintage inspired fashions at Love Street.

Soak up the vibe at Miami Marketta

Miami Marketta

If you’re after something for breakfast or lunch, head to Paddock Bakery, an 80 year old cottage that has been converted into a bakery-cum-cafe. Try a classic bacon and egg roll or indulge your sweet tooth with a choux bomb sundae with hot Nutella fudge. On Sunday mornings you can stock up on nature’s bounty at the Gold Coast Organic Farmers Market which sells nothing but the freshest, guaranteed Certified Organically grown seasonal fruit and veggies.

Nobby Beach, Gold Coast

You will find everyone from hipsters to health nuts and families at Nobby Beach, a trendy cafe and dining precinct with a laid-back vibe. Start your day at BSKT Cafe, one of the Gold Coast’s most picturesque beachside cafes, which strives to make the world a healthier place with nutritious and delicious food. Don’t miss the Taylor Swift smoothie made with Himalayan salted caramel protein, coconut ice-cream and caramelised coconut syrup. You can always work it off on the walking track that leads to the picturesque North Burleigh Hill lookout.

BSKT Cafe

One of the restaurants that started the Nobby’s food revolution was Hellenika. It used to be a secret spot favoured by locals-in-the-know until the restaurant scored a tasty review in The Australian. While getting a table is more challenging these days, those who persevere are rewarded with authentic home-style Greek cuisine with a modern twist. Think tangy taramosalata, chargrilled octopus and house-made halva ice-cream for dessert.

Hellenika

Quench your thirst at Bine Bar & Dining where you can top off your weekend with 50c wings and craft beers between 4-6pm. For something more stylish, there is The Cambus Wallace, a cocktail bar and live music venue. Named after the ill-fated Cambuswallace, a wooden sailing ship which sank in sight of port in the late 1800s, this moody cocktail bar provides a safe haven for rum and whisky lovers on stormy nights (or any other night for that matter).

The Cambus Wallace

Bine Bar & Dining

Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast

Experience the fun of The Social Markets held from 4pm to 9pm on the first and third Saturday of the month at the Mermaid Beach Bowls Club. With barefoot bowls, great live music, food, drinks and funky fashion stalls, you can make a night of it. Putt Putt Mermaid Beach offers an entertainment option which is so kitsch it’s cool. By day the three novelty courses are a big hit with families but at night hip twenty-somethings play until 10pm. Alfred’s Apartment, an eclectic 60s-inspired store featuring a boutique, diner and an old-style barber shop, offers a delicious taste of the past. Around the corner another retro-inspired cafe, Vintage Espresso, serves up wholesome breakfasts such as French toast served with berry compote, coconut yoghurt and toasted almonds.

One of the newest spots at Mermaid Beach is Etsu, an ‘izakaya’ that serves drinks and food (think of it as a Japanese pub). Funky pop culture references abound, the music is pumping and the shared plates of gyoza, sashimi and tempura will have you coming back for more. If you are craving some serenity after all that fun, you can find your chi at the Australian School of Meditation and Yoga which runs numerous classes throughout the week.

Disclosure: The writer has been a regular Gold Coast visitor long before these suburbs became hip. Her favourite is Nobby Beach because it used to have a chairlift.