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. A Touch of Salt

    $$

    This Modern Australian eatery fits the bill: location (riverfront), service (impeccable), ambience (relaxed), food (exciting and flavorful), and wine (top-flight). The menu is a carefully...Read More

  • 2. CC's Bar & Grill

    $$$ | CBD

    In a city that loves a steak, this is probably the best of them. CC's Bar & Grill sources most of its beef from farms...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Bommie Restaurant

    $$$

    With sail-shaped tables, chic Eames chairs, and marina views, Bommie has a sophisticated, upmarket ambience perfect for a special celebration. It's the ideal setting for...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. JAM Corner

    $$

    This fine-dining restaurant sources terrific organic and tropical produce for its Modern Australian menus, which change seasonally, but always feature fresh seafood and premium Australian...Read More

  • 8. 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...Read More

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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

  • 11. 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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