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Your guide to the Cairns Esplanade Dining Precinct

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TNQ Writer

The iconic Cairns Esplanade has had a major makeover. Enjoy a new and improved esplanade dining experience by visiting the Cairns Esplanade Dining Precinct.

For those dream views

Bask in lagoon views at Oak & Vine

Enjoy fresh, airy vibes at Whiskey & Wine by Crystalbrook

Enjoy cocktails and seafood at Calypso Club

With gorgeous views all around on the Cairns Esplanade, the only way is up – literally! Get high and mighty and head upstairs to rooftop bar Oak & Vine to enjoy stunning views of the Esplanade, lagoon and beyond whilst you munch on share plates and sip signature cocktails. Or head to Whiskey & Wine at the playful and modern Crystalbrook Flynn hotel. Watch the award-winning cocktail connoisseurs mix up a treat, then head outside to enjoy with a side of Coral Sea views.

Experience the coastal charm of Calypso Club, a lively rum bar at Crystalbrook Riley since October 2023, offering delectable seafood and cocktails. Immerse yourself in laid-back elegance, grooving to tunes inspired by lazy days by the coast.

To catch up with mates

Boardwalk Social is social by name and nature

Rattle n Hum offers hearty meals and woodfired pizzas

You don’t need to don your glad rags for dinner on the esplanade, there are plenty of casual dining options to catch up with mates. Those looking for a pub vibe with a tropical edge can find it at Rattle n Hum, which can satisfy even the most ravenous of appetites. Or if you’re feeling a bit exotic, take your tastebuds on a culinary trip to the Bavarian Beerhouse and enjoy traditional Bavarian food with a stein of German beer. Want a more casual dining option with a slightly dressier vibe? Boardwalk Social by Crystalbrook is the cool kid on the block, offering gourmet food, good vibes and live music.

For the taste of Italy

Buon appetito at Flynn's Italian

Choose from an array of delicious dishes at La Pizza

Italian food is always a crowd pleaser and the Cairns Esplanade Dining Precinct is home to two little slices of Italy in the tropics. The newly opened Flynn’s Italian by Crystalbrook offers signature Italian dishes that wouldn’t feel out of place on Nonna’s kitchen table – think lasagna al forno or melanzane. If a piz-za your heart is craving something doughy, look no further than the aptly-named La Pizza, which has been locally owned and operated for 25 years. You won’t struggle to find this spot, the mouth-watering smell of freshly baked pizza dough will stop you in your tracks.

For something quick & easy

Joy between two buns at Grill'd

Opt for quick & easy at Schnitz

If something quick and easy is on the menu, head to Grill’d for a burger that is hearty and healthy in equal measure. Alternatively, pop next door to Schnitz for a spectrum of schnitzel options ranging from a schnitzel burger to a true blue Aussie parmi, with your choice of protein including chicken, pork, beef or vegan. Eat in, or takeaway to enjoy dining al fresco next to the lagoon, the choice is yours.

For something sweet

Ice cream at Gelocchio

Churro Time

If you’re craving a sweet treat, the Esplanade Dining Precinct will make you feel like a kid in a candy store. Make your way to the night markets to Churro Time for a scrumptious churro with your choice of topping, washed down with a bubble tea. Or head through the night markets to the Abbott Street entrance for an array of dessert options, including crepes, lollies and all-natural watermelon sorbet. Ice-cream lovers can head to Baskin Robbins, or head to the locally-owned Gelocchio, which serves 100% natural ice cream, including the iconic ice cream or sorbet on a stick.

For Asian flavours

The Abbott St end of the night market offers a range of Asian eats

Spice up your life – and your tastebuds – with a sumptuous Asian meal. Combine gourmet Northern Thai food with some of the best views of the newly-refurbished esplanade at Iyara by Sakare and sample culinary delights like stir fry prawns with chilli jam and caramelised crispy pork hok, washed down with a Tom Yum cocktail (trust us!). If you’re in more of a grab and go mood, head to the Night Markets (both Abbott Street or Esplanade entrances) for street-style Asian food, including Bahn mi and pho.

Stay a little longer

Take a sunset dip in the lagoon

Browse a range of stalls at Cairns Night Markets

Now that you’ve satisfied your hunger, it’s time to stay on the Esplanade and explore a little more. Let your stomach settle and work off your dinner with a trip to the Night Markets and browse a range of souvenirs, jewellery and more. After all, shopping does count as cardio! If fresh air is calling you, take a stroll along the Esplanade boardwalk and breathe in the stunning views of the sunset over the Coral Sea, or even take a dip in the iconic Esplanade Lagoon. Extra points for sunset swims.

Le Petit Chef & Friends Visual Feast

Le Petit Chef & Friends

For a truly unique culinary adventure, enjoy a lavish four-course meal prepared before your very eyes by a chef no taller than your fork. Le Petit Chef & Friends is a theatrical display, utilizing cutting-edge 3D projection mapping to tell stories through visuals and special effects right on your plate. Ideal for a romantic date night or larger gatherings, it ensures an unforgettable work event or party for all.

This immersive feast is available at DoubleTree by Hilton Cairns for a limited time, running every Friday and Saturday night from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, from June 1st until the end of October.

Why not spend the whole weekend?

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