Great Barrier Reef Restaurants

Typically, restaurants on Barrier Reef islands are part of each island's main resort, so many resorts' rates include some or all meals. Some larger resorts have a range of restaurants, with formal dining rooms, outdoor barbecues, and seafood buffets; some have premium dining options for which you pay extra. Dress is generally "island casual." Some upscale restaurants—such as those on Hayman Island—require men to wear jackets for dinner and frown on flip-flop sandals. On the mainland you'll find plenty of casual, open-air restaurants, serving mainly Modern Australian–style meals that showcase seafood and regional produce. With a few notable exceptions, Cairns, Palm Cove, and Port Douglas are your best bets for upscale dining.

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  • 1. Fire

    $$$$ | Australian

    This elegant restaurant, refurbished in rich ruby hues, is the resort's culinary showpiece. Its imaginative dishes are built around premium...Read More

  • 2. Manta Ray

    $ | Eclectic

    This could be the island's best all-round dining establishment. It's great for breezy alfresco lunches, sunset drinks on the deck, and wood...Read More

  • 3. Mariners

    $$ | Seafood

    This breezy, upscale eatery turns the local catch into fresh contemporary dishes: artfully arranged sashimi, house-made tagliatelle marinara...Read More

  • 4. Ochre Restaurant

    $ | CBD | Australian

    Local seafood and native ingredients take top billing at this upscale yet relaxed Cairns institution that specializes in bush dining. Try the...Read More

  • 5. Vivo Bar and Grill

    $$ | Australian

    Diners at this classy beachside eatery enjoy Coral Sea views framed by palms and melaleucas along with Mod Oz dishes. Housemade muesli and freshly...Read More

  • 6. Whet Cafe, Bar and Restaurant

    $ | Australian

    Stylish and hip yet comfortable, Whet Cafe, Bar and Restaurant draws visitors and locals with its outdoor deck, perfect for long lunches, sunset...Read More

  • 7. Cairns Night Markets Food Court

    $ | CBD | Fast Food

    The food court in these lively, night owl–friendly markets offers something for every palate, from Korean BBQ to sweet-and-sour chicken, sushi...Read More

  • 8. Fish D'Vine and Rum Bar

    $ | Seafood

    The menu here showcases seafood in all its forms—from beer-battered fish-and-chips to seafood chowder and wild-caught barramundi (the chef will...Read More

  • 9. NuNu Restaurant

    $$ | Australian

    Sexy suede lounges, intimate banquettes, and unbroken views of the Coral Sea make lingering easy at this Palm Cove eatery. The menus showcase...Read More

  • 10. Perrotta's at the Gallery

    $ | CBD | Australian

    This outdoor café and wine bar at Cairns Regional Gallery serves sumptuous breakfasts and brunches. Lunch fare includes warm duck and roast...Read More

  • 11. Restaurant M Yogo

    $$ | French

    Occupying a prime pier-front position, Restaurant M Yogo offers refined dining in relaxed environs. Chef Masa puts a deft, modern-Japanese spin...Read More

  • 12. Temple of Tastes

    $$ | Asian

    Knowledgeable staff, an impressive wine and cocktail list, and a torchlit waterfront terrace are among the many reasons to dine at this excellent...Read More

  • 13. Watergate Restaurant & Lounge Bar

    $ | Australian

    Atmospheric indoor-outdoor dining, attentive service, and a well-stocked bar are nice, but the primary draw at this relaxed restaurant is the...Read More

  • 14. Déjà Vu Restaurant

    $$$ | Australian

    Alfresco tables and Balinese-style dining pavilions flank an infinity-edge pool at this classy Airlie eatery,open for leisurely dining–and daytime...Read More

  • 15. Hanuman Cairns

    $$$ | CBD | Asian

    A flavorful addition to Cairns's dining scene, this restaurant in the Hilton Cairns does wonders with tropical produce and South-East Asian...Read More

  • 16. Casmar Restaurant

    $$ | Australian

    The ocean's bounty is the focus at this cosy upstairs restaurant overlooking the Palm Cove waterfront: try the seafood platter for two (A$90...Read More

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