There’s something about going home to Australia that reverts me back to being a child. I want to eat lollies, chips, hot chips, red rooster cheesy nuggets, pies, sausage rolls, chicken parmies, egg & bacon rolls – you know all the good stuff. I then get torn by wanting all the amazing stuff that’s being done in “grown up” restaurants and cafes: the different veggies and amazing flavour combos, fusion food and just all out great produce. My solution seems to just be over eating.
Anyway, Cairns turned out to be a place to indulge in the delight of Aussie cafes for breakfast and then getting more than my share of chicken parmies- it’s important to find out who has the best!
The Lillypad Cafe
The first thing we did when we got to Cairns was ask our taxi driver where the best brekkies are, specifically the bacon & egg rolls. His number one pic was the Lillypad, which he claims have the best and biggest omelettes in town. It wasn’t exactly an answer the bacon & egg roll question, but a local recommendation is not to be ignored!
The website boasts “eat like you’re on holiday” which I think it a pretty good statement when you see the dishes come out. For some unknown reason, neither Jax nor I ordered an omelette. I ended up getting the Paris style eggs which is some sauté veg, a poached egg and blue cheese. It was nice, but I think a little too much oil in the veg and slightly too much cheese. I like the concept though so will be doing it at home. Jax opted for the Bennie which she rated as average.
Overall I’d say the place sits in the good side of average, what was great, was that you can have any dish in a half portion (which was still huge). Why don’t more places do this!!! I love it. I could try way more places. Of course I’d spend more as it’s never half the price, but I don’t care!
Meldrum’s Pies in Paradise
There’s no way you go to the country and not have a pie! It’d be blasphemy! Side bar: is Cairns the country? It is to me!
But Meldrums is THE place for pies. Do not expect a big selection at the end of the day (which is when we went- normally they have heaps of choices) but whatever you get it’ll be amazing. Jax got the chicken one (winner) and I oddly got a Mexican pie. Why? What a dumb move! It was actually nice, but not the pie I was looking for. My only real regret, not getting back for more pies. The pastry was perfect and they had great meat inside.
Nestled down on the waterfront, this brewery is very popular. They do good, and a lot of people were eating but we just stopped for a drink. I think we did it to make Al jealous as he loves breweries. There was a big ship in port so we didn’t stay, it was a one and done.
Oh my god, you do not want to miss this place! Unless you have a shellfish allergy, then it’s best to avoid 😂 Here you are going to settle into some communal seating ON A BOAT! Ok it might not be that exciting for you, but I love the concept. Then you’re going to stuff yourself with seafood. Just seafood. Don’t be shy ordering, remember, there’s no such thing as too much. Besides, seafood is good for you!
Rather than take the obvious choice of a seafood platter, we selected off the menu (maximizing our quantity!). We opted for oysters, prawns and bugs and they were ace. The prawns were the weakest, but still amazing. It’s a simple place letting the natural flavours of the food take over. Then after, you can grab one of their T-shirts. Who doesn’t want a Prawn Star T-shirt. Honestly, I think this place is the best meal in Cairns.
This was an early morning stop for us on our way to great barrier tour. It’s in a great location and is a typical little cafe. Took forever to get our peanut butter toast done though. I literally had to go and chase them to do it.
This place looked good when we were walking around so decided to test it out, and I’m glad we did. It’s a great breakfast cafe. we opted to share the morning glory (making sure we would have room for lunch!) and it was definitely big enough for the 2 of us- we just added another egg. Turns out breakfast splitting is quite a good idea!! They also had a picked chili condiment thingme which we had to buy. I’ve used it since I got back, not hot but still nice.
Ok, basically every breakfast place we went to was in the same part of town, but they all looked great! Candy was very popular! In the theme of trying not to over eat in the morning we split a bacon and egg roll (I know! I did not eat enough of these this trip) and this wonderful veggie loaded plate full of greens (and old school hash browns)
The Cotton Club
Ok I’m counting this even though it was Uber eats. Our room was really nice, and sometimes a little Netflix and delivery is just the right thing to do. Plus, we were able to get all the naughty comfort food needed 🥰. I’m talking, chicken parmie, loaded fries and a pumpkin and feta salad for balance! Ummmm…… then we also ordered, from another place, wedges with sour cream & sweet chilli. We needed them!!!
It was all so good!! Great parmie, highly recommend.
The Crown Hotel
One final wedges before we headed off. No time for anything else, there was barely time for these. Who am I kidding, there’s always time for wedges!! This is a typical pub, with a good patio. I’m sure everything would end up pretty yummy
So, there are plenty of delicious looking restaurants around, and we definitely ran out of time to try everything. The thing you need to know: the produce is great. Good produce = good food.