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Cairns is a beautiful coastal city with a balmy tropical climate so it is a perfect destination for outside dining. Not surprisingly, many visitors to the city go in search of Cairns restaurants where they can enjoy delicious food with glorious views.

As a very international city Cairns has a wide range of restaurants offering diverse cuisines. You can pretty much find any type of food.

However, if you’re visiting for the first time you’ll probably want to dine somewhere with views of beaches, palm trees and the ocean. These are the best places to head to:

1. the pier/harbour lights


The boardwalk area that goes from the marina along Trinity Inlet has many good restaurants to choose from.

If you love prawns you should definitely head to the Prawn Star –  a trawler in the marina, which serves buckets of prawns off the back of the boat.

Tha Fish is also good for seafood.

Other good options are Dundees, The Boat Shed, Water Bar & Grill and The Salt House.


2. esplanade


There is a string of restaurants along the Esplanade so take a wonder along and take your pick.

You can’t go wrong with the pizza’s at Villa Romano, and there is a range of other options.



3. kewarra beach resort


beach shack at kewarra beach resortEvery Friday night and Sunday lunchtime the Kewarra Beach Resort serves oven-fired gourmet pizzas on the beach.

It is hugely popular so you need to book ahead (since its outside, it sometimes gets cancelled if it’s raining).

There are few places in Cairns where you can actually dine with sand between your toes. Friday nights are especially popular with families because mum and dad can actually eat decent food and relax while the kids dance to live music and run amok on the beach.


4. trinity beach


One of the nicest places to eat in Trinity Beach is L’Unico.

This popular little spot with the locals has a lovely wide-open verandah with wonderful views across the ocean. It captures the breezes during the hot summer months so it’s a good spot for lunch without the need for aircon.

Food-wise, they do a simple, good value Italian lunch.


5. palm cove


Palm Cove is a great spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Nu Nu’s is just about the only restaurant which is right on the beach under the palm trees and it is a popular venue. The food is pretty good but its not the cheapest place to eat.

A more budget friendly option is the nearby Chill Cafe, which is on the corner at the southern end of Williams Esplanade. It has a really great ambience and is a favourite for breakfast and lunch.

The white Queenslander style building with wraparound verandah’s is Vivos – a favourite breakfast spot with locals.

Towards the northern end, seafood restaurant, Beach Almond is great for dinner.


**Please note that the Cairns restaurants scene has the habit of being very changeable so it pays to ask around.

Top photo thanks to Tourism & Events Queensland