Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia, lives up to its name

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I recently headed to the absolutely gorgeous Surfers Paradise in Gold Coast, Queensland. About an hour-and-a-half plane flight north of Sydney, Surfers Paradise is, not surprisingly, known for its vast abundance of beaches that are so clean and pristine.

Surfers Paradise Gold Coast

On a Monday, they’re relatively empty, too, in this place popular with tourists who come for weekend trips.

Surfers Paradise Gold Coast Queensland Australia

I was only there a couple days but was thrilled to dine at Glass, a stunning waterfront restaurant with a classily cool interior.

Glass Surfers Paradise Gold Coast

The meal was magnificent, one of my favorite pasta dishes I’ve had. The sun-dried tomato arancini starter ($13.9 AUD) with mozzarella and gremolata was tasty — perfectly fried little balls of risotto heaven ideal to share for two.

Glass Surfers Paradise Gold Coast

All the tapas sounded fantastic, from the wild mushroom and truffle croquettes and tempura zucchini flowers, to the panko crumbed eggplant wedges. If I were to go again, I would probably split several tapas dishes.

For my main, I got a veggie rigatoni ($28.9) drenched in a tasty tomato sauce, with zucchini, onions, cherry tomatoes and heaping hunks of feta cheese. Every bite was amazing, and the portion was impressively huge for a fine dining restaurant.

Glass Surfers Paradise Gold Coast

The squid ink seafood risotto ($31.9) was another generous portion and came with calamari, shrimp, fish, lobster and scallop. It was a seafood lover’s heaven and smelled marvelous.

Glass Surfers Paradise Gold Coast

Service was impeccable, from host to server to food runner. I loved the Alkoomi reisling ($9.5), which was a sweetly wonderful pairing for the pasta and arancini. I went to Glass because of a recommendation from my cab driver, and now I’m recommending it to you.

I’d love to come back to Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast for more water activities and fine dining. It’s got an upscale San Diego vibe, which I enjoyed. Learn more here.