Great Barrier Reef Travel Guide

Australia  #2 in Best Beaches in Australia
Credit

Courtesy of Jeff Hunter/Getty Images

What to Eat in Great Barrier Reef

Most visitors head to Cairns when they want to explore the reef, so it's hardly surprising that one of Queensland's most diverse dining scenes can be found here. Popular eateries include the French-inspired C'est Bon Restaurant Français, the Indonesian-focused Bayleaf Balinese Restaurant and Tha Fish Restaurant, where local seafood staples like fish and chips, seared tiger prawns and grilled Moreton Bay bugs (small lobsters) are on the menu. Travelers can also enjoy an array of local brews at Cairns' Barrier Reef Brewing Co.

For those who plan to linger farther south in Townsville, Australian restaurants like A Touch of Salt, JAM and IMC Steak House are available. Aussie dishes served throughout the city include grilled barramundi (a type of seabass native to Australia) and roasted lamb, and craft brews can be savored at Townsville Brewing Co. A few specialty restaurants, such as Chico Rio (a Brazilian dining venue) and GYO Japanese Tapas Bar Restaurant, are located in Townsville as well.

Travelers visiting the Whitsundays will find the bulk of the islands' eateries on Hamilton Island. Because of its proximity to the water, Hamilton Island offers a variety of seafood-focused restaurants, including Bommie (which is part of the Hamilton Island Yacht Club) and Mariners Restaurant (located within the Hamilton Island Marina complex). Australian pub grub and Asian and Italian fare are also available.

Find the Best Restaurants in Great Barrier Reef

  • #1
    Cruze Coffee
    #1 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 385 reviewsTripAdvisor (385)
    $ | Cafe
    105 Grafton St, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #2
    Devine Gelato
    #2 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 925 reviewsTripAdvisor (925)
    $ |
    Shop 3 5 Aplin St, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #3
    Snoogies
    #3 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 195 reviewsTripAdvisor (195)
    $ | Cafe, Australian
    82 Grafton St Between Lake and Grafton streets, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #4
    Cairns Burger Cafe
    #4 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 409 reviewsTripAdvisor (409)
    $ - $$ | American, Fast Food, Australian
    15 Aplin St, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #5
    Fusion Art, Bar & Tapas
    #5 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 392 reviewsTripAdvisor (392)
    $ - $$ | Contemporary, Fusion, Australian, Wine Bar
    12 Spence St Shop 5, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #6
    Dundee's at the Cairns Aquarium
    #6 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 152 reviewsTripAdvisor (152)
    $ - $$ | Australian
    5 Florence Street Cairns Cairns Aquarium, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #7
    Gelocchio
    #7 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 697 reviewsTripAdvisor (697)
    $ |
    9/93 The Esplanade (50 metres up Aplin street From Esplanade-Aplin corner, walk up Aplin, 50 metres on the left., Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #8
    Waffle On Cairns
    #8 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 334 reviewsTripAdvisor (334)
    $ | Cafe, Australian
    64A Shields St, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #9
    Vitalia's Italian Restaurant
    #9 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 269 reviewsTripAdvisor (269)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Pizza, Mediterranean
    22-24 Palm Street cnr Palm Street and Bouganvillea street, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #10
    Mi Piace Espresso Bar
    #10 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 76 reviewsTripAdvisor (76)
    $ - $$ | Cafe, Australian
    119 Sheridan Street Opposite Munro Martin Park, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #11
    Trinity Beach Kebab House
    #11 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 96 reviewsTripAdvisor (96)
    $ | Fast Food, Middle Eastern, Turkish
    1 Rabaul St, Trinity Beach, Cairns, Queensland 4879 Australia
    Read More »
  • #12
    C'est Bon Restaurant Francais
    #12 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 964 reviewsTripAdvisor (964)
    $$ | French, European, Cafe, Pub, Gastropub
    20 Lake St, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #13
    JaffleHead
    #13 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 245 reviewsTripAdvisor (245)
    $ | Fast Food, Cafe, Australian
    39 Lake St, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #14
    Blackbird Espresso by Coffee NQ
    #14 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 230 reviewsTripAdvisor (230)
    $ | Cafe, Australian
    Shop 13 Oceana Walk Oceana Walk Arcade, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #15
    Apex Milk Bar
    #15 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 284 reviewsTripAdvisor (284)
    $ | Fast Food, Diner, Australian, Street Food
    24 Hoare St Manunda, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #16
    Prawn Star
    #16 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 895 reviewsTripAdvisor (895)
    $ - $$ | Seafood, Healthy, Australian
    Pier Point Rd Marlin Marina, E31 Berth, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #17
    Piato
    #17 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 326 reviewsTripAdvisor (326)
    $ - $$ | Seafood, International, Mediterranean, European, Greek
    1 Pierpoint Road Shop G4A, The Pier Marina, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #18
    Bang and Grind
    #18 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 645 reviewsTripAdvisor (645)
    $ | Cafe, Australian
    Shop 8 14 Spence St, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #19
    Tha Fish
    #19 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1304 reviewsTripAdvisor (1304)
    $ - $$ | Seafood, Contemporary, Australian, Soups
    Shop g7b Pier Pt Rd, Pier Shopping, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #20
    Mr Soy Boy
    #20 of 727 Places to Eat in Cairns
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 310 reviewsTripAdvisor (310)
    $ - $$ | Chinese, Filipino, Malaysian, Asian, Thai
    463-465 Mulgrave Rd Earlville, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »

Explore More of Great Barrier Reef

When purchasing from our site, we may earn commissions. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The 6 Best Sedona Jeep Tours

Take a rollicking ride through Sedona's natural beauty in a rugged SUV.

Holly JohnsonJuly 16, 2019

The 12 Top Florida Keys Beaches

Relax on the sandy shorelines from Key West to Key Largo.

Gwen PratesiJuly 15, 2019

The 15 Best New Orleans Walking Tours

Take on the Big Easy with a stroll through its streets.

Lyn MettlerJuly 15, 2019

The 8 Best Charleston Ghost Tours

Experience the Holy City's history and haunts on one of these excursions.

Holly JohnsonJuly 12, 2019

The 5 Best Oahu Helicopter Tours

Tour this picturesque island from the air on one of these excursions.

John RodwanJuly 11, 2019

The 15 Best Los Angeles Tours

Maximize your time in Los Angeles with the insider tips and historical context provided by the best local tours.

Kyle McCarthyJuly 3, 2019

The 15 Best Las Vegas Tours

See a different side of Sin City – its attractions go beyond gambling.

John RodwanJuly 2, 2019

The 10 Best San Diego Boat Tours

Explore this coastal city's sights with a relaxing boat excursion.

John RodwanJuly 1, 2019

The 15 Best Nashville Tours

Engage with the city's country roots on one of these tours.

Lyn MettlerJune 28, 2019

14 Top Finger Lakes Wineries to Visit

Head to upstate New York's winemaking region for scenery, history and lots of vino.

Kyle McCarthyJune 27, 2019