Kelly Ella Maz Nautilus Port Douglas

Where to Eat in Cairns, Port Douglas & Palm Cove

Sure, the Great Barrier Reef is definitely the highlight of this area – but the stellar restaurants are a close second! The best meals I’ve had in Australia have all been in this region, so it’s only fitting that I created a quick guide on where to eat in Cairns, Port Douglas & Palm Cove. One word of caution: make reservations a few weeks in advance. Restaurants book out quickly!

CAIRNS

Fresh Fish in the Marina

Cairns is a little too tacky for me, so I didn’t spend much time here – choosing instead to head straight to Palm Cove and Port Douglas. But, there is one “restaurant” in Cairns that cannot go unmentioned! Docked in the marina is a boat that sells the freshest seafood imaginable. I had the best oysters of my life here, and ate them while sitting on the boat at a table made out of an old surfboard. 

Kelly Ella Maz_Oysters


PORT DOUGLAS

2Fish

The best meal we ate on this trip was at 2Fish! We both had fresh local fish here, along with fresh bread, tasty salads and fantastic drinks. 

Kelly Ella Maz_2Fish

Watergate

This place has a very romantic setting with fire torches and trees surrounding the tables. We had the kangaroo and fresh snapper here – both were delicious. The service was also amazing here… which is unfortunately not common in Australia. (Let’s all take a moment to laugh a how blurry this image is – I was incredibly impatient and couldn’t wait to devour this fish!)

Kelly Ella Maz_Watergate

The Sunset Deck at The Court House Hotel

A great place to grab a beer and also home to some of the best potato wedges (chips?). If you need a mid-afternoon snack or late night food you won’t be disappointed here.

Kelly Ella Maz_The Court House Hotel Port Douglas

Mocka’s Pies

If you need a quick lunch this is the place to go. We tried three different pies here: crocodile, kangaroo and steak & mushroom. They were all fantastic and the pastry was incredibly light.

Kelly Ella Maz_Mocka's Pies

Zinc

We only ate dessert here – but OMG it was good. We had the lemon meringue pie and loved every bite of it.

Kelly Ella Maz_Zinc

Nautilus

Without a reservation we were unable to eat here – but this restaurant has shining reviews! We went up to check it out and the place is stunning with tables sitting amongst the trees. Very beautiful place!

Kelly Ella Maz_Nautilus Port Douglas


PALM COVE

The Pantry

This small restaurant serves up awesome fish and chips. The fish is coated in a Stella beer batter that’s incredibly light and full of flavour. Their outdoor seating with views of the beach make this the perfect lunch spot.

Tip: Try visiting any day but Sunday. On Sundays the street is closed for a market, and the stalls block your view of the beach.

Kelly Ella Maz_The Pantry Palm Cove