13 Best Restaurants in North of Cairns, Great Barrier Reef

Harrisons

$$ Fodor's choice

A classic "Queenslander" with a lovely outdoor cocktails area shaded by century-old mango trees and fine dining inside, Harrisons impresses with deftly executed dishes that showcase fresh seafood and small-batch ingredients, sourced locally. There's a six-course tasting menu at A$95 per person, A$145 with matched wines, and on the wine list, you'll find plenty of good mid-priced antipodean drops and a smattering of French ones.

22 Wharf St., Port Douglas, QLD, 4877, Australia
07-4099--0802
Known For
  • has won multiple awards for its dining experience
  • North Queensland crayfish with truffled hollandaise
  • Modern Australian menu with a British twist
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Reservations essential

NuNu Restaurant

$$$ Fodor's choice

Sexy suede lounges, intimate banquettes, and unbroken views of the Coral Sea make lingering easy at this Palm Cove eatery with the region's best and freshest produce. Select from small plates or larger share portions, which include the likes of kimchi butter-poached reef fish, sugarcane-smoked duck, and Sichuan eggplant.

On The Inlet Seafood Restaurant

$ Fodor's choice

At this much-lauded seafood restaurant, modern Australian dishes put the focus on fresh North Queensland produce and seafood, which is delivered direct from local fishing boats. You can choose your own live mud crab from holding tanks, or down the sunset special---a generous bucket of prawns and a choice of Aussie beer or wine.

18–20 Wharf St, Port Douglas, QLD, 4877, Australia
07-4099–5255
Known For
  • <PRO>dining on the deck</PRO>
  • <PRO>terrific wine and cocktail list</PRO>
  • <PRO>family-friendly atmosphere and kids menu</PRO>
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted

Recommended Fodor's Video

Salsa Bar & Grill

$$ Fodor's choice

Rub shoulders with local foodies and enjoy intimate dining after sunset on the large wooden deck of this lively waterside institution that serves tropical Modern Australian fare. The dinner menu offers something for everyone, from kingfish ceviche to herb-crusted wild barramundi, to a seafood laksa that utilizes plenty of the local produce.

Whet Cafe, Bar and Restaurant

$ Fodor's choice

Stylish and hip yet comfortable, Whet Cafe, Bar and Restaurant draws visitors and locals with its outdoor deck, perfect for long lunches, sunset cocktails, and romantic dinners. It has Modern Australian food using regional and seasonal ingredients and friendly service, and is a fully self-sustained, off-grid operation.

27 Degrees

$

Ah, 27 degrees. It's pretty much the perfect temperature, isn't it? (When we're talking Celsius.) And it's also pretty much the perfect café when you're in Palm Cove and need a coffee and a decent breakfast. 27 Degrees is a classic, with friendly service, city-quality coffee, and a menu of health-conscious Aussie brunch favorites such as acai bowls, granola, smoothies, and more.

1 French St., Palm Cove, QLD, 4879, Australia
0401-391--698
Known For
  • brunch favorites
  • high-quality coffee
  • health-conscious snacks
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues.

Beach Almond

$$

This low-key eatery's simple beach-shack setting on Palm Cove's seafront underplays the freshness and flavor of its modern Asian food. The small but satisfying menu is full of fresh spins on favorite dishes from around Southeast Asia, and seafood is the specialty here.

145 Williams Esplanade, Palm Cove, QLD, 4879, Australia
07-4059–1908
Known For
  • two-person seafood platter
  • butter prawns
  • Asian-fusion menu

On The Turps Bar & Restaurant

$

At this open-air restaurant in the Daintree rain forest, wallabies, bandicoots, and musky rat kangaroos might join you at the table as you tuck into a Mod Oz meal that highlights local, seasonal ingredients including fresh seafood, and wines from the well-stocked bar. On The Turps also does "tropical continental" breakfasts and varied, good-value lunches, as well as leisurely morning and afternoon Devonshire teas.  Arrive early for a dip in the creek, a rain forest stroll, or a spa treatment.

Sassi La Cucina + Bar

$$

Those craving traditional Italian cuisine utilizing fresh North Queensland ingredients should make themselves a booking at Sassi, a lively, friendly eatery with plenty of outdoor dining space on the main drag. The menu here has all of the hits---spaghetti con le vongole, seafood linguine, and the like---along with a solid wine list featuring plenty of Italian varietals.

4 Macrossan St., Port Douglas, QLD, 4877, Australia
07-4099--6744
Known For
  • Italian favorites done well
  • spaghetti with clams
  • excellent wine list
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues., Reservations recommended

Sparrow Coffee

$

Sparrow is all about good coffee. There's very little else on sale here except Port Douglas's best flat white or espresso, with an excellent range of alternative milks for those who can't do dairy. Couple that with friendly service and you have the perfect morning pit-stop.

Temple of Tastes

$$

Knowledgeable staff, an impressive wine and cocktail list, and a torchlit waterfront terrace are among the many reasons to dine at this excellent resort restaurant that is paddock-to-plate dining. You can expect generous servings of fresh Modern Australian food infused with Asian and South Pacific flavors.

5 Triton St., Palm Cove, QLD, 4879, Australia
07-4059–9628
Known For
  • Thai red duck curry
  • cheese platters
  • gluten-free and vegetarian options
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Reservations essential

Vivo

$

Enjoy Coral Sea views framed by palms and melaleucas along with Mod Oz dishes at this classy beachside eatery. Diners come for the mix of Southeast Asian and Australian breakfast favorites; the duck salad and battered coral trout at lunch; and seafood with seasonal produce at dinner.

Watergate Restaurant & Lounge Bar

$$

Atmospheric indoor-outdoor dining, attentive service, and a well-stocked bar are nice, but the primary draw at this relaxed restaurant is the food, which highlights the freshest local ingredients. Enjoy reef fish and prawns straight off Port Douglas's fishing boats, and seasonal fruit, vegetables, and herbs from the Atherton Tableland.