Is there anything finer than a sunny day, a waterfront table and nowhere else to be? The long lunch is a well practiced art form in Noosa and it’s any wonder, with a five-star line-up of dining spots to choose from, all bathed in the beauty of the sea.
Turn lunch into an all-day event at these six standout Noosa restaurants with water views.
Bistro C, Noosa Heads
Book ahead to secure your spot outside or by one of the oversized windows to experience Bistro C at its best. Spilling onto the beach boardwalk, the space is awash in blonde timbers, rattan and white.
While breakfast is perennially popular here, a long lunch is when the place truly comes alive. The menu is laden with the type of nosh you crave when you’re sitting mere steps from the lap of the Pacific – a coconut chicken salad, Mooloolaba tiger prawn tostada and succulent calamari are never-fail choices.
Kick off with a plate of Pacific oysters topped with wakame and sesame ponzu – perhaps with a clink of Veuve – and wash it all down with a watermelon lychee margarita as the afternoon catches up with you.
Sails, Noosa Heads
So close to the beach you can almost feel the salt spray on your cheeks, Sails reopened in 2021, fresh from a refurb of Netanya Resort.
With a new menu yet to be announced, you can bet the sandcrab lasagne will still make an appearance, as it has done for close to 20 years. The enduring popularity of this signature dish is testament to Sails’ head chef Paul Leete, who has been overseeing proceedings for more than 23 years.
With three cellars housing one of the largest wine collections in Australia, a preference for organic growers, and 180-degree views, it’s also pretty clear why you’d never want to leave. Stuck on the menu? Don’t miss the house smoked trout butter smothered on charred ciabatta, and the Moreton Bay bugs.
Rickys River Bar and Restaurant, Noosaville
At Rickys River Bar and Restaurant, the produce that directs the menu isn’t just local, but most comes directly from the company’s own Maravista Farm.
With vegetable plots, citrus groves, honey bees, Nindooinbah Ultra Black cattle, and more than 20,000 macadamia trees there’s plenty of beautiful, organic produce for the picking. In a sustainable, circular economy, the restaurant's food waste is then sent back to the farm for compost. And the local connections don’t stop there with side plates by local ceramicist Kim Wallace and organic sourdough from nearby Tanglewood.
With the glass doors thrown open to shimmering Noosa Sound, the best long lunches here involve devouring Noosa scallops as you sip your chardonnay and watch the boats pass by. To make a real entrance, arrive at the private jetty via ferry, water taxi or gondola and don’t be surprised if you stay until the sky is painted pink and the sun slips away.
Noosa Waterfront Restaurant, Noosaville
Tucked well away from the hubbub of Hastings Street on a quiet stretch of the Noosa River, Noosa Waterfront Restaurant is authentic Italian with a Noosa twist. Incorporating the freshest of local produce, from Fraser Isle Spanner Crab to Noosa Red Tomatoes, much of what they don’t buy in is picked fresh from the kitchen garden.
Whether you set aside an afternoon and indulge in the six-course degustation or pop a bottle of Champagne and treat yourself to a caviar experience, everything on the menu is executed and served with class.
Noosa Boathouse, Noosaville
Don’t wait for a special occasion to book a table for lunch at the glass-fronted bistro, Noosa Boathouse. With three levels of dining offering sweeping views up and down the Noosa River – so close to the action you can see the fish swimming in the water below – it’s hard to find a comparable lunch spot.
Tuck into a plate of Hervey Bay scallops with sea urchin butter or slow-cooked Queensland beef cheek with a tamarind dressing, or take decision making out of the equation completely and go for the four-course Feast menu.
Sunshine Beach Surf Club, Sunshine Beach
You can expect all your regular pub fare at the Sunshine Beach Surf Club but you should also expect fresh salmon poke bowls, pork belly nasi goreng, and a vegan ‘parmy’ with plant-based slaw. As good as the menu is, the views dished up from the two decks of the recently rebuilt club are what it’s all about.
If you’re dining with littlies in tow, send them to the foosball table when they start to get restless and take advantage of the courtesy bus to avoid all designated driver negotiations completely.
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