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A guide to dining in Cairns...


As locals that live in Cairns, we are very lucky to have the widest range of restaurant cuisines in a regional country area of Australia, yes that’s right, there are over 38 different types of cuisine here so whether you want a big steak grown locally or you want Indian, Mexican, Japanese, Chinese or Vietnamese it’s all here plus more. The reason is that the Cairns community attracts many creative and artistic groups and with that over many years, we seem to have had lots of small boutique cafes and restaurants start up. What’s even better is that due to our backpacker visitors that Cairns, restaurants range widely in price from very good value to too expensive.

So as locals that live here, we’re happy to recommend this list below of Cairns Restaurants that we have eaten at many times. There is fine dining, breakfast, cafes and a spread of different nationality cuisines, so we hope you enjoy eating where we eat.



Dundee's Restaurant on the Waterfront

Open 7 days for coffee & cake, Lunch and Dinner, Dundee's Restaurant has a tropical, relaxed atmosphere. One of the best “Cairns Waterfront Dining” spots is Dundee's Restaurant on the waterfront in Cairns. We serve the finest steaks from the grill, seafood, pasta's and Australian specialist foods. Located beneath Cairns Harbour Lights Hotel - 3/1 Marlin Parade, Cairns. Phone (07) 4051 0399

Ochre Restaurant - Modern Australian

A modern and unique Australian menu available for lunch and dinner daily. Ochre Restaurant specialises in fresh local seafood, Australian game, native bush foods, premium Australian produce and regional Australian cuisine. Cairns dining at its best…Ochre Restaurant is the most highly awarded restaurant and catering company in Cairns. Located 6/1 Marlin Parade, Cairns. Ph: (07) 4051 0100

Bushfire Flamegrill

Barbecue, Brazilian, Modern Australian. For a unique and exciting dining experience in Cairns dine at the Bushfire Flame Grill, it's open 7 days a week for dinner. The Bushfire Flame Grill has skewers of meats that are slow roasted on a triple decker open flame churrasco grill. Carvers will circle your table offering seasoned and marinated selections. Located at The Esplanade & Spence Street Cairns QLD 4870. Ph:(07) 4044 1879

Salt House Restaurant & Bar

Modern Australian, Seafood, Tapas. Salt House offers a space that is glamorous, funky, chilled-out, progressive, stylish, calming, lively and welcoming all at once. Features an outdoor cocktail bar surrounded by flowing ponds and fire features and a glowing bar which showcases local and visiting bands 4 nights a week. Located at 6/2 Pier Point Rd, Cairns. Ph: (07) 4041 7733

Hanuman Restaurant

Asian, Indian, Thai, Nonya. Hanuman Restaurant overlooks the Trinity Inlet and has an exotic and luxuriant mood. A visit to Hanuman Cairns will tantalise all the senses before wowing the taste buds. The rich, dark tones in the furnishings combine with intriguing artworks and ceramics from south-east Asia. Located at Hilton Hotel Cairns, 34 Esplanade. Ph: (07) 4052 6786

Lillipad Cafe

Breakfast/Brunch, Coffee, Vegetarian, Vegan. The Lily Pad Cafe has a funky, friendly, casual setting where you can enjoy a coffee, snack or full meal. Open daily for breakfast and lunch they serve generous sized meals made from local produce at a reasonable cost. Located at 72 Grafton St, Cairns. Ph: (07) 4051 9565

Caffiend Cafe

Breakfast/Brunch, Coffee, Vegetarian, Vegan. Caffiend is great food an great service in a unique atmosphere with events such as barista courses, coffee appreciation courses, live music and art features. Open for coffee, cakes, all day brekky and lunch. A funky little cafe located in an alley at 78 Grafton St, Cairns. Ph: (07) 4051 5522

Mama Coco Cafe & Cake Shop

Breakfast/Brunch, Diner, Organic. Serving coffee, cakes, sandwiches, pies and seasonal foods. They sell wholesale cakes, snacks and boutique food. Owned by a brother and sister, this Cairns cafe offers friendly and helpful service as well as great food and coffee. Located at 4/196 Mulgrave Rd, Westcourt. Ph: (07) 4052 1226

Marinades Indian Restaurant

Marinades restaurant serves authentic Indian cuisine and is very popular with Cairns locals as well as visitors. Open for lunch and dinner with a contemporary and pleasant atmosphere with reasonable prices. Many people have said this is the best Indian restaurant in Australia. Located in the heart of the city at 43 Spence St, Cairns. Ph: (07) 4041 1422

Tamarind Restaurant

Tamarind is an award winning restaurant offering a contemporary fusion of asian and western cuisine. Their exciting menu changes regularly to reflect the seasons and embracing the freshest of regional produce. A carefully selected Australian wine list complement the Cuisine to create a truly sensory dining experience. Located in the Reef Hotel Casino at 35/41 Wharf Street, Cairns. Ph: (07) 4030 8897

Grill'd Burger Restaurant

Healthy Burgers, Modern Australian, Vegetarian. Grill'd restaurant strives to use the finest freshest ingredients, have the friendliest staff and the most delicious, healthy burgers. They offer gluten free options and thick cut chips. Located at 77 Esplanade, Cairns. Ph: (07) 4041 4200

Treasure Court Seafood Restaurant

Two blocks only from Cairns markets, this new restaurant has the reputation of having the best seafood and best chinese chefs in town. On entering check out the live seafood tanks with pricing written in both English and Chinese. These must be the biggest lobsters and mud crabs available, very impressive. Staff are very friendly and accomodating. Choose the banquet menu or the full selection. The banquet has about 8 dishes including San choy bay with Peking duck, Seafood and bean curd soup,shredded chicken with marinated jellyfish , Peking duck pancake, Mongolian lamb, stir fried mixed vegetables, stir fried chicken fillet with Szechuan chilli sauce together with fried rice. There is a big selection of Australian wines- and the house red wine is McGuiggan Malbec-. A fair range of beers also available. The Hotel Cairns, Corner of Florence and Abbott Streets,Cairns QLD 6-12 Florence Street, Cairns. Phone +61 7 40511999 Open 7 days Lunch 11am to 3pm Dinner 5pm to 11pm 15% OFF for take out food