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Best place for Foodies - Cairns or Port Douglas?

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Sydney, Australia
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10 posts
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Best place for Foodies - Cairns or Port Douglas?

Hi,

We will be coming to North Queensland In August - we love eating out/great food. Wondering what the best option to stay is? Any restaurant recommendstions for a special occasion (my partners birthday)?

Thanks

Amy

Cairns, Australia
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1. Re: Best place for Foodies - Cairns or Port Douglas?

Port Douglas would appeal probably more to a foodie as small resort town rather than a regional centre like Cairns though in reality about the same, 90% of restaurants being pretty ordinary especially for prices charged, in all areas.

Need to have eaten somewhere last week to say what is good such is the transient nature of chefs up here!

In cairns along the boardwalk, pier is a never ending line of waterfront restaurants so one must serve some decent food though have not eaten at any..nice spot though. Tamarind in the casino is the top ranked restuarant of the year for Far North Queensland and I used to love Coco's at the International for Sunday brunch and I hate buffets. Have not been for a while though. Lots of Korean and great Japanese food. Resident TA foodie Galah likes the lunch spot upstairs above Mantra Esplanade.

Palm Cove NuNu and Trinity Beach Blue Moon.

Last ate at Thala Lodge up PD way, was okay, not bad, not great.. Nice setting. Others can give more recent reviews for PD. Last I had bucket of prawns at on the inlet there were horrid imported junk so check they have improved but do go for a glass of bubby at happy hour to see groper feeding.

Finally made it to farm gate market inside at the pier in Cairns yesterday. Loved it, very small but wonderful produce..cheap and gorgeous home made breads (ate half a loaf of bread yesterday lol), tableland coffees, teas, vegetables, fruits, honey, mungali falls dairy produce and home made cakes yum! Forgot to take money but still ended up with a quite a load for the grand total of $8! August may still be too early for tropical fruits but sure they will have some goodies to try. A must do for foodie.

The nature is better than both places combined so do not forget about that aspect!:)

Daintree
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349 posts
16 reviews
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2. Re: Best place for Foodies - Cairns or Port Douglas?

Both have a huge array of restuarant options. In the Port Douglas region there are over 100 places to eat! Everything from small cafes, to fancy restaurants.

Nice, special occassion restaurants in Port Douglas I would suggest:

Nautilus (still great food, lovely rainforest setting, very romantic, no kids under 8yrs),

Sassi at Bale (Italian) absolutely amazing food. Harrisons (Macrossan St). Michelin star chef. Foodies paradise.

Clements (French restaurant)

Salsa Bar and Grill (great restaurant, but generally is booked out every night- so busy).

Make sure you let the restaurant staff know that its a special occassion when you book.

Brisbane, Australia
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1,509 posts
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3. Re: Best place for Foodies - Cairns or Port Douglas?

I have to second a few of the suggestions you've already received:

NuNu at Palm Cove tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g261595-d107…

We also love Nautilus and Salsa in Port Douglas.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Best place for Foodies - Cairns or Port Douglas?

Thanks for all your great suggestions! Sounds fantastic!

Dont worry will definately enjoy the nature apects too..looking forward to it!

That market sounds amazing..

Amy

Cairns, Australia
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400 posts
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5. Re: Best place for Foodies - Cairns or Port Douglas?

That was Salted Vue, verdant, another Cairns restaurant which sadly bit the dust a few months back. Food and prices were great, always busy, have heard they tried to expand too quickly with other food ventures, not at a good time.

The new Jimmy Shu's Hanuman in Hilton Hotel, Cairns has been excellent on two occasions have tried it, as is Tamarind at Reef Casino.

It would be very hard to go past Sassi's at Port Douglas though for a special occasion meal.

Stord Municipality...
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6. Re: Best place for Foodies - Cairns or Port Douglas?

Hi

When is the farm gate market inside at the pier in Cairns open?? I`ll spend a week in Cairns, and would love to check it out

cheers

Cairns, Australia
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7. Re: Best place for Foodies - Cairns or Port Douglas?

Nowegiangirl,

The market is open Saturday mornings. It is only small as it has just started. All the produce can only come from within a 200km from Cairns so the produce will be seasonal. It was very good value, for eg 4 kaffir lime for $1, 3 red grapefruit $1, 4 avocado $2 and organic banana, very sweet $2.50 kilo. Also a seafood stand but was closed, maybe they ran out.

Also there is Rusty's market which is open several mornings a week but does not have the geographical limitation but does also sell lenty of local produce.

Port Douglas
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8. Re: Best place for Foodies - Cairns or Port Douglas?

if you go to cairns make sure you have yum cha at golden boat....yum yum yum

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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9. Re: Best place for Foodies - Cairns or Port Douglas?

my favourite restaurants in PD are Nautilus,Salsa and Bistro C.

Cairns, Australia
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2,838 posts
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10. Re: Best place for Foodies - Cairns or Port Douglas?

Farm gate market update,

Today bought European style bread (again) and ate half a loaf today (like last time ) plus I bought a Danish..wow someone can make pastry in Cairns ( hard to find that in Sydney!). Wonderful !

Find of the day though (found the bread maker last week lol) was Gallo Cheese. Not sure how I have missed this place on our numerous trips to the Tableland, maybe because they are wedged in a triangle on our road route. Very good cheese, loved the seven sisters and the Baci, OH liked the Hermitage.

http://www.gallodairyland.com.au/index.html

Also bought starfruit, passionfruit, dragonfruit,organic banana, lime, potatoe, corn, beans and gourmet sausages ! Passed on the red claws, they were still alive and kicking, have to get over that squirmish!

So wonderful bounty all sourced from less than 100km away, next week may try the coffee and Mungali Dairy Yoghurt and some local honey.

Hard living in paradise !