port douglas restaurants watergate

Blog Post

A guide to Port Douglas restaurants

TNQ Writer

Eat your way around Port Douglas as local food blogger Foodvixen shares the ultimate guide to Port Douglas restaurants.

Head one hour north from Cairns along the windy but spectacular Great Barrier Reef Drive and you will find the idyllic sea side town of Port Douglas. At the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef, Port Douglas is loved by locals and travellers from afar for its blend of luxury and laid-back holiday vibes. Port Douglas also boasts a thriving foodie scene, with a plethora of feasting options to fill your bellies after a hard day’s sightseeing in Tropical North Queensland. From family friendly to fine dining, we’ve done the hard yards for you and compiled the best restaurants in Port Douglas to suit any occasion.

For the family

Enjoy pub classics at Rattle N'Hum

Rattle N’ Hum

‘Rattle’ as it’s so affectionately known amongst those in the know, offers a relaxed and family friendly atmosphere that ticks all the boxes. Plenty of yummy pub style menu options for the entire family and serving sizes that hit the spot make Rattle N’Hum a go-to. What’s more, the large selection of wood fired pizzas and dedicated kids’ menu is sure to keep the whole tribe happy.

Port Douglas Yacht Club

Situated a stone’s throw away from Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, Port Douglas Yacht Club is famous for its old school charm and casual atmosphere. Sit back and relax with an icy cold drink while the kids enjoy a meal of locally caught fish and chips. With plenty of room for the kids to run around, you can always count on ‘The Yachty’ for good food, good people and good times.

For a romantic date

Enjoy a romantic rendezvous at Watergate

Watergate

Stylish and sophisticated with a cracking wine list and service to match, the Watergate is the perfect place for a romantic rendezvous in Port Douglas. Modern Australian Cuisine is the name of the game at this classy yet unpretentious eating house. Feel the love with a pre-dinner aperitif in the lounge before settling into a tempting three course dinner. Secluded from Macrossan Street just behind Rotary Park, The Watergate Restaurant and Lounge Bar is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Melaleuca

Treat your significant other to Melaleuca’s polished service and culinary delights beneath the mango trees. Seafood reigns supreme at this breezy low set Queenslander just off Macrossan St. Think Tempura Bug Tails and Pan Seared Daintree Barramundi complete with expertly selected wine pairs to complement each delectable dish. Order Melaleuca’s Signature Dessert Platter to impress your special someone and top off an exceptional evening.

Salsa Bar & Grill

If you’re looking for a date night with a menu that’s tantalising and relaxed in equal part, point your tastebuds toward Salsa Bar and Grill. This must-visit venue has been a Port Douglas icon for over 26 years and has an eclectic menu that seriously lives up to its iconic reputation. Settle down on the relaxed verandah and sink your teeth into culinary delights such as linguini pepperincino and bush spice rubbed kangaroo fillet.

For the taste of the world

Tuck into the taste of Barcelona at Seabean Tapas

Star of Siam

Whether the popular Pad Thai is your thing or the flavoursome Tom Yum Goong you’re sure to curb your Thai cravings at Star of Siam. The menu of classic entrees, soups, salads and curries offers generous portions and top value for money. A popular haunt for both locals and visitors, it’s recommended that you book to avoid any disappointment.

Seabean Tapas

Located across from the St Mary’s By The Sea, Seabean serves up tantalisingly tasty tapas plates from late afternoon, well into the evening, five days a week. Sharing is the name of the game at this charming little tapas bar with a menu right out of Barcelona. Take a trip to the City of Counts with authentic Spanish delicacies like Lamb Albondigas, Cider Braised Chorizo and Boquerones or enjoy a traditional Valencia style paella. Service is efficient and friendly without being intrusive and overbearing and they have fine selection of sherries, Spanish wine and sangria. Whether you’re dining solo or with friends, come for the Spanish style snacks and stay for the sangria.

Sassi La Cucina

This hot little Italian number offers al fresco dining street side under the umbrellas or inside in air conditioned comfort. Whether it be for lunch or dinner, satisfy those Italian food cravings with authentic dishes from mouth-watering burrata to heavenly tiramisu at Sassi La Cucina. Open 7 days from 12pm, bookings are a must.

For dinner with a view

Osprey's is the epitome of dinner with a view

Ospreys at Thala Beach Lodge

While not exactly Port Douglas, Osprey’s is just a short 10 minute drive south – keep your eyes peeled for the stunning coconut plantation. At this world-class restaurant it’s easy to get distracted by the panoramic views but the food is just as breath taking. The a la carte menu changes seasonally and places a huge emphasis on locally and ethically sourced ingredients. Picture yourself with a glass of chilled wine in hand, kicking back on the breezy deck with 180-degree views of the Coral Sea. Now that’s livin’! Call ahead to book for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The Tin Shed

Perched right on Dickson’s Inlet, The Tin Shed has arguably some of the best ocean side views this side of the Daintree. Part of the community since 1877, this place is a local’s favourite for a bucket of prawns and a few sundowners while watching the procession of reef goers returning from their adventures. Honest drink prices, friendly club patrons and staff make the Tin Shed a great spot for lunch or dinner that won’t hurt the hip pocket.

Hi-Tide by the Beach

Situated a hop, skip and a jump from the beach, Hi Tide is the only licensed restaurant overlooking the stunning Four Mile Beach. Order the Blue Spanner Crab and Black Garlic Butter Pappardelle if you’re feeling a tad decadent or Hi Tide’s Signature Chowder, stuffed with Australian pipi’s, tiger prawns and crocodile for something a little different. If you’re looking for something classy but a little more casual then this cosy beach side eatery is surely the place for you. Tip: Book a table on the front deck for a view of the beach.

For gourmet eats

Nautilus has been a Port Douglas icon for over 65 years

Nautilus

A unique dining experience awaits you at Nautilus, which comprises not only exquisite food but top-notch service. Established for over 65 years, this open-air restaurant tucked away in a magical rainforest setting is a Port Douglas icon. You can choose from the a la carte menu however the 5 course or 7 course degustation are highly recommended where you will find each heavenly course better than the last. Open for dinner Tuesday – Saturday, bookings are a must.

Zinc

Zinc puts a fresh twist on Modern Australian fare with a well-sourced menu showcasing fresh local seafood, meats, tropical fruits and vegetables. Their Signature Cocktail list features not one but three locally distilled gins to wet your whistle after a hard day exploring the Great Barrier Reef. The Bar Menu runs all day from 2pm and they also have a dedicated plant-based menu. Pro tip: Be sure to check out the impressive aquarium in the bathroom.

For a relaxed get together

Smokey Pint

A relative newcomer to the Port Douglas dining scene this new kid on the block is a real hidden gem. With American BBQ style restaurants having firmly cemented themselves in the culinary scene down south, Smokey Pint has introduced the first Texan style BBQ fare to the sea side town of Port Douglas. Low and slow cooked beef brisket, ribs and pulled pork are sold by the pound with an array of tasty sides though it’s not just the delectable slow cooked meats that keep locals coming back for more… Cool vibes, ice cold local beers and an unpretentious atmosphere make this place a winning trifecta.

The Mexican

At The Mexican they treat every day like Taco Tuesday! Buzzing with people at any time of the day you might be hard pressed to get a table at this hot little number come sundown. Founded by a husband-and-wife team back in 2015, The Mexican is where full flavour and freshness ups the ante on your classic Mexican fare. Bookings are essential!

Taste the tropics

From the Atherton Tablelands to Mission Beach, Tropical North Queensland is one giant food trail.

Lake Barrine Devonshire Tea cafe Atherton Tablelands
Atherton Tablelands
Food trail highlights on the Atherton Tablelands

Foodies take a deep breath and prepare your tastebuds for tantalisation. Here’s how to get your foodie fix on the Atherton Tablelands.

Read more
Nu Nu Palm Cove
Palm Cove
Eat your way through these Palm Cove Restaurants

Taste the flavours of the north in the seaside village of Palm Cove, where restaurants take pride in local produce, fresh flavours and providing a warm tropical welcome served with an icy-cold drink.

Read more
crystalbrook whiskey and wine flynn
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Your guide to the Cairns Esplanade Dining Precinct

The iconic Cairns Esplanade has had a major makeover. Enjoy a new and improved esplanade dining experience by visiting the Cairns Esplanade Dining Precinct.

Read more
Sing Sing Espresso coffee cafe
Cairns & Northern Beaches
10 Cafes in Cairns for great coffee

With such a vibrant foodie culture, finding the best cafes in Cairns can be overwhelming. Fuel your caffeine addiction with these local favourites for a guaranteed quality cup of coffee.

Read more
mangoes at rusty's market
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Mango is on the menu in Cairns this summer

With tropical fruit in peak season, summer is the ideal time to indulge in local produce including the summer favourite, mango. Here’s where you can get a mango fix in Cairns.

Read more
Friends enjoying seafood platter at Prawn Star Cairns
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Seafood lovers’ guide to Cairns

As the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is teeming with an abundance of restaurants offering fresh, local catches and exceptional seafood. Find the stand-out seafood dishes in Cairns below.

Read more
Walkabout Cultural Adventures crab
Tropical North Queensland
Mudcrab to mangoes: your guide to eating local in Cairns

From earthy bush tucker and exotic fruits to ocean-caught seafood and a biodynamic dairy farm, Tropical North Queensland offers up a menu with a unique ingredients list.

Read more
Foxys Bar Fitzroy Island
Tropical North Queensland
Best waterfront bars in Tropical North Queensland

Beaches and bars are a match made in heaven – especially in the tropics, where any excuse to down a cool beverage is welcomed. Here are some of the coolest waterfront and beach bars Tropical North Queensland has to offer.

Read more
ellinjaa falls - summer great campaign
Tropical North Queensland
10 cool ways to cool down during the wet season

It’s no secret that it gets a little warm in Tropical North Queensland during Summer but with it comes the Wet Season. This is one of the best times to visit as the rainforest shakes the dust from its leaves and the rivers, creeks and waterfalls are at their best. Here are ten cool ways to cool off during Summer:

Read more
Lukure Caff Paninis
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Your guide to vegetarian & vegan friendly restaurants in Cairns

You’ll find most cafes and restaurants around Cairns include quality meat-free dishes. The following eateries however, hero plant-based food. Here’s where to eat vegan and vegetarian food in Cairns.

Read more
Tropical North Queensland
How to explore the region’s food bowl

Get a taste for adventure exploring the region’s food bowl on a drive around the Atherton Tablelands and Cassowary Coast.

Read more
nectar port douglas
Port Douglas
Port Douglas breakfast & brunch spots to tuck into

If your holiday hobbies include eating and thinking about the next time you’ll be eating then this list of bucket list breakfasts is worth waking up for. From mouth-watering breakfasts to boozy brunches, brekkie in Port Douglas is anything but your standard bacon and eggs.

Read more