How to find the best food on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast

Want to know where to find the best producers, markets, restaurants, cooking schools, events, wineries and brewers on Queensland's Sunshine Coast?

It’s all it the new interactive Sunshine Coast Food Trail where you can turn your food dreams into reality.

The Sunshine Coast Food Trail will play detective and highlight food finds from the Glass House Mountains in the south to the Hinterland and Mary Valley in the west, and north to Noosa and the Gympie region. That’s one big food bowl!

"Since moving to the Sunshine Coast three years ago and recently filming the region for SBS Coastal Kitchen, I have been amazed at how the area has expanded both its food scene and variety of produce over recent years,” said award-winning chef, Peter Kuruvita from Noosa Beach House.

“We have incredible and abundant seafood, a huge variety of ethical organic produce being farmed covering everything from nomadic chickens, macadamia’s and indigenous bush tucker to camel milk. The producers are passionate and the local community incredibly supportive of them.

“All this, along with a thriving and expanding restaurant scene and food and wine festivals throughout the year, have really cemented Sunshine Coast on the culinary map. Oh, and the surf and beaches aren’t bad either!"

It's almost 50 years since the Sunshine Coast officially took its name and morphed from a rich agricultural destination based originally on sugar cane, pineapples and dairy for well over a hundred years, into a region that grows everything from feijoas and snails to ginger, macadamias and world-renowned seafood.

Of course, everyone wants to eat what they grow so there’s also been an expansion of high-quality restaurants, cooking schools, food events, wineries and breweries.

With the Sunshine Coast’s ease of access and relatively compact space, the drive trails can be designed to suit anything from a half-day ‘taste’ to a multi-day ‘buffet’.

“From the region’s earliest days, the Sunshine Coast has been synonymous with food. It was a great dairy region,” said Simon Latchford, CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast.

“Now we have some of the finest cheese-makers, Buderim Ginger was an early pioneer and now we have an incredible range of Asian-inspired cooking schools, and of course our coast is a fishing haven, and Mooloolaba and Tin Can Bay prawns and Noosa mud crabs are now established as favourite menu items for chefs around the world.

“Vibrant markets such as Eumundi and the Noosa Farmers Markets have allowed specialist producers to blossom, and with that has come a wide range of ‘hatted’ restaurants, wineries, breweries, coffee roasters and food attractions.”

Peter Kuruvita says, “I am so lucky to call the Sunshine Coast home and excited to be able to share the fresh flavours of the local produce on our menu at Noosa Beach House.  Tropical and coastal, like my usual playground of Sri Lanka and the Pacific, the range of produce is diverse and the producers are passionate about the environment and sustainability. Combine this with the spices and techniques of my travels and we have something for everyone to enjoy.”

The new Noosa Beach House menu is full of flavour, with dishes including duck breast with eggplant, sprouts, onion rings and Hollandaise sauce; slow cooked lamb loin with smoked potato, broccoli, egg and oyster emulsion; Wagyu Sirloin served with braised fennel, garden peas, croquette and red wine jus and a striking beetroot curry with pickled red onion, baby target beets and goats cheese.

Standout Sunshine Coast seafood dishes include a Sri Lankan snapper curry, with tamarind and aloo Chop; Mooloolaba prawn hopper with blackened corn, paneer cheese and spiced coconut; and local yellow fin tuna with water spinach, kara boondi and chilli oil.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Tourism Queensland to explore the Sunshine Coast Food Trail.