Given the luxurious, tropical atmosphere of Port Douglas, it’s not surprising that there are dining experiences to match. A far cry from the sleepy fishing village of years gone by, there is now a huge host of high end, modern, and adventurous restaurants offering a selection of different cuisines.
Port Douglas also reaps the rewards of its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and the abundance of fresh seafood available. Luckily seafood goes hand in hand with the tropical, al fresco holiday vibe of the town and is exactly what most holiday makers want to eat. For this reason it takes pride of place at many of the restaurants here, with the perfect cocktails and views to complement them. Local specialities include oysters, prawns, mud crab, and scallops.
As if this wasn’t enough, Port Douglas is also just a short distance away from the Atherton Tablelands, a rich agricultural region providing some of the best quality meat in the area. As a result, you’ll find superb quality produce on the menus that hasn’t travelled far to get to your plate.
However it’s not all candlelit dinners and sunset views! Families and groups are just as welcome, and whether you’re after a leisurely brunch, a quick pizza, or a family feast, you will definitely find something to suit your tastes and needs.
Enjoy your meal accompanied by the sights and sounds of the rainforest at Nautilus
Since you’ve come all the way to the rainforest, it would seem silly not to take advantage of the chance to wine and dine right in the middle of it. Nautilus Restaurant is right in the middle of the lush tropical trees, tucked away along a hidden path leading from the centre of Port Douglas. This elegant dining restaurant has catered to some pretty special guests in the 60 years it has been open, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, who had their wedding reception there in 1977. You may not find the cheapest meal you’ve ever had, but for a special treat and superb location this is a great spot. The cuisine is Modern Australian, with plenty of seafood and tropical inspired dishes, and you can choose from a variety of tasting, degustation, or à la carte menus.
On the Inlet
Sit back and watch the sunset and enjoy seafood straight off the boats at this waterside restaurant
For a delicious, laid back, and friendly meal, On the Inlet could be your answer. This restaurant is perched right on top of the water in an open plan, al fresco style, allowing you to admire the view over the water. The restaurant specialises in top quality local seafood, whether it’s in pasta, in a bucket, or on the signature giant seafood platter. There’s no better spot to sit with a bottle of wine and watch the yachts and fishing boats sail past. What’s more, if you have kids, there’s a great children’s menu, and they will be delighted to watch the feeding of George the giant groper which happens every day from the waterfront.
Hi Tide Café & Restaurant
Let the view do the talking at Hi Tide Café & Restaurant
Hi Tide puts you right at the centre of the action, situated just a stone’s throw away from some of the most popular accommodation on the esplanade. As the only licenced restaurant in Port Douglas that overlooks Four Mile Beach, you can sit back in the comfortable outdoor seating and take in the sunset, green waters, and swinging palm trees. This spot is ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just a coffee before you hit the beach. The menu offers fast, good sized meals showcasing local produce. A special feature on the menu involves cooking fresh meat or seafood on a hot stone that’s brought to your table.
Silky Oaks Treehouse
Enjoy some food and drink in the middle of the rainforest canopy at Silky Oaks
If you’ve sampled the sunsets and dined under the trees, but still feel there’s more enjoyment to be had, then the Silky Oaks Treehouse might just be your answer. This quite literally takes it to another level as you can enjoy exquisite, local produce from the spectacular setting of a treehouse, raised high up in the rainforest canopy itself. Based close to the Mossman Gorge at the exclusive Silky Oaks Lodge, the treehouse restaurant is a 30 minute drive in your Port Douglas car hire. The cuisine is Modern Australian with an Asian twist, and absolutely everything is made in house. This one might be best saved for a special occasion, but you’ll be sure to remember your experience for a long time afterwards.