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In 2011, two hip Queensland baristas decided to bring quality coffee to the locals and the result is Canteen Coffee. Tucked off a laneway (how Melbourne!), Canteen has dark walls, found-wood furniture and even a bank of old cinema seats outside. Slurp down espresso-based coffees topped with silky-smooth milk and pick up some coffee beans to go.

The Justin Lane Pizzeria and Bar is an uber-trendy spot that sits incongruously beside the town’s greasy takeaway joints. Sit shoulder to shoulder with locals digging into thin-crust pizzas, topped with fancy ingredients such as buffalo mozzarella, serrano ham, smoked pork belly and local tiger prawns. If you want to see and be seen, opt for dinner at the bar in the front dining room that faces the beach. For dessert, try the red wine-poached pear with mascarpone or the hand-made ice cream. It is a sweet end to the real Gold Coast.

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