Great Barrier Reef Restaurants

Typically, restaurants on Barrier Reef islands are part of each island's main resort, so many resorts' rates include some or all meals. Some larger resorts have a range of restaurants, with formal dining rooms, outdoor barbecues, and seafood buffets; some have premium dining options for which you pay extra. Dress is generally "i
Typically, restaurants on Barrier Reef islands are part of each island's main resort, so many resorts' rates include some or all meals. Some larger resorts have a range of restaurants, with formal dining rooms, outdoor barbecues, and seafood buffets; some have premium d
Typically, restaurants on Barrier Reef islands are part of each island's main resort, so many resorts' rates include som

Typically, restaurants on Barrier Reef islands are part of each island's main resort, so many resorts' rates include some or all meals. Some larger resorts have a range of restaurants, with formal dining rooms, outdoor barbecues, and seafood buffets; some have premium dining options for which you pay extra. Dress is generally "island casual." Some upscale restaurants—such as those on Hayman Island—require men to wear jackets for dinner and frown on flip-flop sandals. On the mainland you'll find plenty of casual, open-air restaurants, serving mainly Modern Australian–style meals that showcase seafood and regional produce. With a few notable exceptions, Cairns, Palm Cove, and Port Douglas are your best bets for upscale dining.

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  • 1. A Touch of Salt

    $ | Australian

    This Modern Australian eatery ticks all the boxes: location (riverfront), service (impeccable), ambience (relaxed), food (exciting and flavorful...Read More

  • 2. Bayleaf Balinese Restaurant

    $ | CBD | Indonesian

    Dining in the open-sided restaurant or alfresco under the light of tiki torches, you can enjoy some of the most delicious, innovative cuisine...Read More

  • 3. Beach Almond Beach House

    $$ | Seafood

    This low-key eatery's simple beach-shack setting on Palm Cove's seafront underplays the freshness and flavor of its Modern Asian food. Seafood...Read More

  • 4. Fire

    $$$$ | Australian

    This elegant restaurant, refurbished in rich ruby hues, is the resort's culinary showpiece. Its imaginative dishes are built around premium...Read More

  • 5. Harrisons

    $$ | French

    A classic "Queenslander" with a lovely outdoor cocktails area shaded by century-old mango trees and fine-dining inside, Harrisons impresses...Read More

  • 6. Manta Ray

    $ | Eclectic

    This could be the island's best all-round dining establishment. It's great for breezy alfresco lunches, sunset drinks on the deck, and wood...Read More

  • 7. Mariners

    $$ | Seafood

    This breezy, upscale eatery turns the local catch into fresh contemporary dishes: artfully arranged sashimi, house-made tagliatelle marinara...Read More

  • 8. Ochre Restaurant

    $ | CBD | Australian

    Local seafood and native ingredients take top billing at this upscale yet relaxed Cairns institution that specializes in bush dining. Try the...Read More

  • 9. On The Inlet Seafood Restaurant

    $ | Seafood

    Choose your own live mud crab from holding tanks at this much-lauded seafood restaurant fronting Dickson Inlet. Watch yachts dock as you sit...Read More

  • 10. Salsa Bar & Grill

    $ | Australian

    Rub shoulders with local foodies on the deck of this lively waterside institution that serves tropical Modern Australian fare. The large wooden...Read More

  • 11. Vivo Bar and Grill

    $$ | Australian

    Diners at this classy beachside eatery enjoy Coral Sea views framed by palms and melaleucas along with Mod Oz dishes. Housemade muesli and freshly...Read More

  • 12. Whet Cafe, Bar and Restaurant

    $ | Australian

    Stylish and hip yet comfortable, Whet Cafe, Bar and Restaurant draws visitors and locals with its outdoor deck, perfect for long lunches, sunset...Read More

  • 13. Amici

    $$ | Italian

    A classic Italian-style eatery with a crowd-pleasing menu of antipasto, pasta, seafood, and traditional dishes, family-friendly Amici also whips...Read More

  • 14. Bamboo

    $ | Asian

    This lovely pan-Asian establishment overlooks a tranquil Japanese garden with rock pools, waterfalls, and a teahouse. Menu choices include Thai...Read More

  • 15. Barnacle Bill's Seafood Inn

    $ | CBD | Seafood

    Complete with netting and mounted, shellacked fish on the walls, Barnacle Bill's is an Esplanade institution, serving fresh, mainly local seafood...Read More

  • 16. Bommie Restaurant

    $$$ | Australian

    With sail-shaped tables, chic Eames chairs, and marina views, Bommie has a sophisticated, upmarket ambience and smart-casual dress code (collared...Read More

  • 17. Cairns Night Markets Food Court

    $ | CBD | Fast Food

    The food court in these lively, night owl–friendly markets offers something for every palate, from Korean BBQ to sweet-and-sour chicken, sushi...Read More

  • 18. coca chu

    $ | Asian

    Hamilton Island's only Asian eatery, coca chu appeals to all comers with its relaxed vibe, Catseye Beach views, busy Sunday yum chas, and a...Read More

  • 19. Easy Cafe

    $ | Australian

    Tucked away in an arcade off the main strip, Easy Cafe whips up relaxed breakfasts, brunches, and light lunches, drawing a sociable mix of travelers...Read More

  • 20. Fish D'Vine and Rum Bar

    $ | Seafood

    The menu here showcases seafood in all its forms—from beer-battered fish-and-chips to seafood chowder and wild-caught barramundi (the chef will...Read More

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