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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
    Mi Piace Espresso Bar
    #1 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 130 reviewsTripadvisor (130)
    $ - $$ | Cafe, Australian
    119 Sheridan Street Opposite Munro Martin Park, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
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  • #2
    Cruze Coffee
    #2 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 411 reviewsTripadvisor (411)
    $ | Cafe
    105 Grafton St, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #3
    Snoogies
    #3 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 238 reviewsTripadvisor (238)
    $ | Cafe, Healthy, Australian
    82 Grafton St Between Lake and Grafton streets, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #4
    Cairns Burger Cafe
    #4 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 553 reviewsTripadvisor (553)
    $ - $$ | American, Fast Food, Australian
    15 Aplin St, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #5
    Trinity Beach Kebab House
    #5 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 131 reviewsTripadvisor (131)
    $ | Fast Food, Middle Eastern
    1 Rabaul St, Trinity Beach, Cairns, Queensland 4879 Australia
    Read More »
  • #6
    Devine Gelato
    #6 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 965 reviewsTripadvisor (965)
    $ |
    Shop 3 5 Aplin St, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #7
    Gelocchio
    #7 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 725 reviewsTripadvisor (725)
    $ | Italian
    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 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 382 reviewsTripadvisor (382)
    $ | Cafe, Australian
    64A Shields St, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #9
    Dundee's at the Cairns Aquarium
    #9 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 400 reviewsTripadvisor (400)
    $ - $$ | Australian
    5 Florence St Cairns Aquarium, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #10
    Piato
    #10 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 493 reviewsTripadvisor (493)
    $ - $$ | Seafood, International, Mediterranean, European, Greek
    1 Pierpoint Road Shop G4A, The Pier Marina, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #11
    Tha Fish
    #11 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1530 reviewsTripadvisor (1530)
    $ - $$ | Seafood, Contemporary, Healthy, Australian
    Shop g7b Pier Pt Rd, Pier Shopping, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • Fusion Art, Bar & Tapas
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 447 reviewsTripadvisor (447)
    $ - $$ | Spanish, Contemporary, Fusion
    12 Spence St Shop 5, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #12
    Vitalia's Italian Restaurant
    #12 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 394 reviewsTripadvisor (394)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Pizza, Mediterranean, Sicilian, Southern-Italian
    Shop/G9 Pier Point Rd, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #13
    Bang and Grind
    #13 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 707 reviewsTripadvisor (707)
    $ | Cafe, Australian
    Shop 8 14 Spence St, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #14
    Blackbird Laneway
    #14 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 243 reviewsTripadvisor (243)
    $ | Cafe, Australian
    67 Grafton St Oceana Walk Shop 13, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #15
    Marinades Indian Cuisine Cairns
    #15 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 585 reviewsTripadvisor (585)
    $ - $$ | Indian
    43 Spence St, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #16
    C'est Bon Restaurant Francais
    #16 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1039 reviewsTripadvisor (1039)
    $$ | French, European, Gastropub
    20 Lake St, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #17
    Wawawa Izakaya
    #17 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 196 reviewsTripadvisor (196)
    $ - $$ | Japanese, Sushi, Fusion
    92 Lake St, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • #18
    Waterbar & Grill Steakhouse
    #18 of 593 Places to Eat in Cairns
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1721 reviewsTripadvisor (1721)
    $ - $$ | Steakhouse, Australian
    Pierpoint Shopping Centre Pier Shopping Centre, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »
  • JaffleHead
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 271 reviewsTripadvisor (271)
    $ | Fast Food
    39 Lake St, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
    Read More »

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