Wondering where to find some tasty treats in tropical Palm Cove? We share some of our favourite eating hot spots over race weekend.
Palm Cove in Tropical North Queensland is a popular holiday destination and it’s a hive of activity over Ironman weekend, hosting the swim start and bike transition. We have visited a few times over the years and last Ironman triathlon festival weekend we based ourselves there rather than Cairns.
One downside of dining in this area is you do pay tourist prices and although there are a lot of restaurants on the one strip along the beach, we didn’t feel like there were lots of options when you are dining out for every meal. During our last visit in 2016, we had time to scour most of the beachfront strip and discovered a few gems to grab a tasty meal, early morning coffee, smoothies and cocktails.
I am a morning coffee drinker so when traveling I need to find the hot spots for coffee – and a green smoothie if I can find it! I had no problem finding both of these at the Chill Cafe. They have a great selection of tasty juices and smoothies, as well as great coffee from a friendly barista. This cafe is always buzzing from morning to night and has something for everyone when it comes to food, also offering beer on tap and some tasty tropical cocktails in the evening. It’s a great place to meet fellow triathletes all enjoying the warm air and beach view through the palm trees. Some nights there is a live band to enjoy too.
Other coffee stops we enjoyed were Coffee Haven which is situated down the end of the cafe and hotel strip towards the jetty, and Espresso and Co.
If you like a traditional Italian pizza, as many triathletes do, then Portofino is the place to go. I love that they also do Gluten Free bases – not sure what the Activated Charcoal ones would taste like! I suggest you book HERE especially over race weekend.
If you would like a celebratory breakfast, lunch or dinner post-race, we enjoyed Vivo’s. Breakfast has an Asian touch, dinner offerings include tapas plates and there are lots of seafood dishes options.
We love Japenese food so were excited to discover Kushis where we enjoyed a great meal on the balcony looking over Palm Cove including a super cold Japanese beer from the tap.
A few other places we didn’t get time to enjoy but also look like they are worth a visit include Jack & Shanan’s which also has the Espy Bar and some amazing looking desserts, beachfront restaurant Nu Nu which is open throughout the day and into the night, Temple of Tastes at Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort & Spa which seems to be best for a celebratory lunch or dinner, and the Greek Taverna El Greco. Of course, The Surf Club is the perfect family option that won’t break the bank.
My final tip for the kids (big ones too) is to make a stop at Scoops to enjoy a homemade gelato or sorbet by the sea.
We also suggest asking fellow competitors and their families to discover the best eating spots at the time, as they do change over the years. Go where the crowds are and check the prices before being seated – you can easily walk away with a big bill in Palm Cove but it’s such a magical setting you can justify it once in a while.
Where have you had great food and drinks in Palm Cove?