Three meals in Noosa
Think of Noosa and a few things spring to mind; the glorious stretch of sand and surf that is Main Beach at Noosa Heads, the hustle of Hastings Street with its upmarket boutiques and homewares shops and the tropical climate. Noosaville, about seven kilometres west up the Noosa River, is quite a different proposition. It’s quieter, cheaper, feels less touristy despite the many resorts and it’s easier to park. There’s lots to explore either way and for that you’ll need sustenance. These three places will get you through a day.
‘From bean counter to bean roaster’ is how this former accountant now coffee pedlar and his wife, an ex-teacher describe their new life. They roast about 500 kilos of beans in the shop every week and it’s good stuff. Tea drinkers in coffee-centric places are often neglected but the leaf teas they serve here are just as good as the coffee. Win, win. It was a little hard to get excited about the food on offer but that doesn’t seem to worry the caffeine-fuelled customers streaming through the place.
Address: Shop 4/205 Weyba Road, Noosaville. Telephone: +61 7 5440 5422
If there’s one meal that feels ‘iconic’ in Noosa it’s an iced bucket of prawns (AUD $44.90) and a bottle of rosé (La Vieille Ferme – AUD $40) overlooking the beach at the surf club. Half a kilo of these Mooloolaba monsters with cocktail sauce is a great lunch for two (pictured) but there’s the kilo option if you’re starving (AUD $64.90). They’re fat, firm and utterly perfect. Shelling them yourself means you get to suck those umami-rich juices out of the heads too. You’d be mad not to.
Address: 69 Hastings Street, Noosa. Telephone: +61 7 5474 5688
Although I’m nominating this Noosaville riverside favourite as the dinner option, it’s open all day with continuous service. Fans of feted chef and owner, David Rayner, have been known to let their long lunch morph into afternoon drinks with bar snacks and then dinner. The flexible menu allows that kind of behaviour. There’s a light touch to the cooking, plenty of seafood, elegant salads, housemade pastries and ice creams and the emphasis on local produce is non-negotiable. Add to that a good drinks list with friendly, informed service, and you’ll see why punters might settle in.
Address: 1/201 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville. Telephone: +61 7 5470 2224