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 "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. NuNu Restaurant

    $$$

    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...Read More

  • 2. Ochre Restaurant

    $$ | CBD

    Local seafood and native and seasonal ingredients take top billing at this upscale yet relaxed Cairns institution that specializes in bush dining. Expect to find...Read More

  • 3. Whet Cafe, Bar and Restaurant

    $

    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...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Fish D'Vine and Rum Bar

    $$

    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 even cook your catch). The...Read More

  • 6. M Yogo

    $

    Offering refined dining in relaxed environs, Chef Masa puts a deft, modern-Japanese spin on classic French dishes at this restaurant that occupies a prime pier-front...Read More

  • 7. Manta Ray

    $

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

  • 8. Perrotta's at the Gallery

    $ | CBD

    This outdoor café and wine bar at Cairns Art Gallery serves sumptuous breakfasts as well as lunch and dinner. Lunch fare features a signature duck...Read More

  • 9. 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...Read More

  • 10. 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...Read More

  • 11. Déjà Vu Restaurant

    $$$

    Alfresco tables and Balinese-style dining pavilions flank an infinity-edge pool at this classy Airlie eatery,open for leisurely dining--and daytime swimming, if you desire. Here, the...Read More

  • 12. Fire

    $$$$

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

  • 13. Hanuman Cairns

    $$$ | CBD

    A flavorful addition to Cairns's dining scene, this restaurant in the Hilton Cairns does wonders with tropical produce and South-East Asian flavors. Moody violet lighting,...Read More

  • 14. Casmar Restaurant

    $$

    The ocean's bounty is the focus at this cosy upstairs restaurant overlooking the Palm Cove waterfront: try the seafood platter for two (A$90) with oysters,...Read More

  • 15. Mariners

    $$$

    This breezy, upscale eatery turns the local catch into fresh contemporary dishes: freshly shucked oysters, butter roasted Moreton Bay bugs, and king salmon all artfully...Read More

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