As we discussed in our recent post, ‘Why We Consider the Sunshine Coast a Must-Visit’, the Sunshine Coast really has so much to offer and here are 7 Great Reasons Foodies Will Love the Sunshine Coast Food Scene.
The Sunshine Coast has long been popular with families and those who love the great outdoors because of its relaxed and friendly vibe, as well as the breathtaking scenery and adventure opportunities that await. However, it isn’t often regarded as much of a foodie destination, but I’m here to tell you just why it should be.
Buderim Ginger and Ginger Factory
Ginger is cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world. China and India lead the world in fresh ginger production with a global share of over 50%. In comparison to leading ginger producing nations, Australia is a relatively small producer. Australia’s contribution represents less than 1% of global production. However, Buderim Ginger has earned global recognition for producing the World’s Finest Ginger.
From a small farming community in the pre-World War 1 days to one of the world’s finest ginger producers, food processors and tourist destinations, Buderim Ginger is a long-standing and proudly successful Australian business.
When the Second World War cut ginger supply from China, sales of the Buderim produced crop soared. As a result of this, five Buderim farmers met together in an old blacksmith’s shop and formed The Buderim Ginger Growers Co-operative, which is today known as Buderim Ginger.
The Ginger Factory has been around for 40 years and is still going strong. Occupying a nine-hectare site at Yandina, on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, it is the world’s largest operating ginger factory within a themed tourist attraction that promotes ginger and associated products.
Be sure to check out the Ginger Shop, which boasts the largest selection of Buderim Ginger products in the world! We highly recommend trying the Buderim Ginger Beer and Dark Chocolate Ginger.
The natural beauty, healthy lifestyle and wonderful produce available on the Sunshine Coast attracts many top chefs, so it’s no surprise we have brilliant cooking schools and classes. Particularly in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands, there is a world of foodie delights just waiting to be discovered.
Tamarind Cooking School
The Tamarind Cooking School offers the opportunity to learn the intricacies of a range of cuisines from expert chefs in a state of the art cooking school, overlooking inspirational gardens in the heart of a beautiful rainforest. They offer two styles of cooking classes – long and short course demonstrations. Amongst the long course options are French, Italian or Thai classes. If a two-hour short course is more your style, they offer a range of classes including fast food for friends, BBQ, dessert, bread, or dumplings.
The Spirit House
Whether you’re a competent cook or simply want a basic understanding of Asian ingredients and cooking methods, a hands-on Spirit House cooking class is a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and have an enjoyable day out which includes lunch/dinner and wine.
The Eumundi Markets are now the biggest art and craft market in Australia. The market has grown to more than 600 stalls and boasts an annual visitation of 1.6 million people. Beyond the handmade products, with the ethos of “make it, bake it, grow it, sew it, it is also a great spot for foodies.
The markets are full of goodies like laksa, calamari, paella, quality coffee, chocolate, great cakes, old fashioned lemonade, and so much more.
They are open on both Wednesdays and Saturdays, but make sure you get in early.
Fine Dining and Award Winning Restaurants
Not only is the Sunshine Coast full of wonderful produce, but also great venues where you can enjoy the produce cooked to perfection.
Some of the Sunshine Coast’s most renowned restaurants include The Long Apron, Wasabi Restaurant & Bar, The Tamarind Restaurant, The Spirit House Restaurant, and Ricky’s River Bar & Restaurant, amongst numerous others.
Awarded two Chef Hats in the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Queensland Good Food Guide, two Chefs Hats in the 2015 and 2016 Australian Good Food and Travel Guide Chef Hat awards and ranked in the Top 100 Restaurants in Australia by The Australian Gourmet Traveller, The Long Apron continues to deliver European-inspired menus with flair and élan. Friendly, personal service adds to the relaxed atmosphere and there’s even the opportunity to get together and share a delicious meal as a group over our French Table.
Wasabi Restaurant and Bar is a multi-award winning Japanese fine dining restaurant located on the Noosa River.
The current menu led by Executive Chef and co-owner, Zeb Gilbert is designed to showcase seasonal produce from their farm at Honeysuckle Hill, other regional ingredients and the amazing seafood caught daily from the local fishing fleet. Wasabi hopes to try and provide a better platform in Australia for lesser-known seafood and the techniques used to prepare them.
Specialising in Modern Asian cuisine that tips its well-deserved Chef Hats awards to Western presentation and palates, The Tamarind’s menu effortlessly combines sweet, sour and spicy flavours with fresh local produce to create original and innovative taste sensations. The perfect meeting of the traditional and the new, every dish evokes the vitality of Asia and the warmth of Spicers Tamarind Retreat.
The Tamarind recently received one Chef Hat in the 2017 Brisbane Times Good Food Guide.
Romantic dinners, partying with friends in a private courtyard, or celebrating weddings and special occasions – Spirit House is a perfect recipe for a dining experience to remember. Set in lush tropical gardens nestled around a tranquil pond, at sunset Spirit House turns into a magic wonderland which will take your breath away.
Award winning contemporary Asian food, friendly staff and enthusiastic chefs have made the Spirit House a destination for lovers of all things Asian.
With the bountiful grazing land around the Sunshine Coast, it is no wonder that the Sunshine Coast is also home to a couple of exceptional cheese factories. One of which is, Maleny Cheese, a multi-generation family owned business based in Maleny.
Maleny Cheese has a strong core value of sourcing fresh regional whole milk from small local dairy herds, alongside other sustainably sourced ingredients.
One of the founders, Markus Bucher is a Swiss Master Cheese Maker and saw and opportunity of making dairy products from the first-class milk available in the area. Beginning with just cow milk products, they have now expanded their product range by sourcing local Water Buffalo milk and Camel milk too.
When in Maleny, a visit to their factory and cafe is a must for cheese lovers. The cafe offers a variety of meals and snacks and the opportunity to sample their cheese and yoghurts. If you want to see the cheese and yoghurt being made first-hand, visit during Monday to Thursday.
For something a little different with a little kick, we recommend trying their wasabi cheddar.
It would be hard to find a town on the Sunshine Coast that is more charming than Montville.
Chocolate Country prides itself on being the highest quality chocolate producer in the region. They exclusively use Belgian chocolate, and source only the finest natural ingredients, using local products wherever possible to create a delicious array of chocolates.
Their Chocolatiers work in store to hand-make an extensive range of artisan chocolates in small batches to ensure freshness, producing unique products that both look and taste divine.
To taste a variety of their delicious chocolates, we highly recommend getting their tasting platter!
Moreton Bay Prawns
Moreton Bay is home to numerous prawn varieties, including Banana Prawns, Bay Prawns, Endeavour Prawns, King Prawns and Tiger Prawns.
If you want to experience these fresh from the sea, Mooloolaba Fish Market is a great place to go. It is the Sunshine Coast’s largest seafood market offering the biggest range of fresh and cooked seafood, and local wild caught seafood unloaded fresh daily from their wharf.
Nothing beats the taste of fresh juicy seafood by the sea!