The 10 Best Restaurants in Townsville, Australia

If you love steak, you'll love IMC Steakhouse.
If you love steak, you'll love IMC Steakhouse. | © bucks134 / Shutterstock
Photo of Hayley Simpson
Writer30 June 2018

Townsville may be known as a laid-back tropical city, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in fine dining restaurants. There are restaurants specialising in modern Australian cuisine; steakhouses serving the best steaks in town; and restaurants that plate the best local seafood. Here are the 10 best restaurants to dine in when visiting Townsville.

A Touch of Salt

Restaurant, Australian, $$$
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Riverside dining at A Touch of Salt
Riverside dining at A Touch of Salt | © A Touch of Salt

A Touch of Salt is a family-owned and operated casual fine dining restaurant in Townsville. Established in 2005, the restaurant’s name is a play on the family’s surname, Brine. A Touch of Salt is open for lunch on Friday, and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. The kitchen team uses top-quality seasonal ingredients to create modern Australian dishes, such as smoked pumpkin congee, kangaroo mignon and saltbush baked lamb. A Touch of Salt also has al fresco waterfront dining and air-conditioned comfort inside, which is necessary for Townsville’s hot summer days.

Michels Restaurant

Restaurant, Australian, French, $$$
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A summer staple at Michels
A summer staple at Michels | © Michels Restaurant

“Michels’ mission is to use the best local produce to create the perfect Australian-French connection.” This is highlighted in must-try dishes like baked escargots, seafood bouillabaisse and blackened Atlantic salmon. The tasting menu at Michels Restaurant features only gluten-free items as well. The team at Michels Restaurant admits you shouldn’t leave without sampling the flambé baked Alaska either. There’s also pumpkin pie and banoffee crème brûlée on the dessert menu. The wine list features wines from France, Italy and premier Australian wine-growing regions.

Longboard Bar & Grill

Bar, Restaurant, American, Mexican, Australian, Fusion, $$$
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Stunning views from Longboard Bar & Grill
Stunning views from Longboard Bar & Grill | © Hayley Simpson

Longboard Bar & Grill is a local favourite, thanks to its location on the headland at The Strand. Sit on Longboard’s deck and soak up the ocean and Magnetic Island views. The beach and surf-themed bar and restaurant has a menu that acts as a fusion of Australian, American and Mexican flavours. This includes dishes like Baja fish tacos, as well as their signature buffalo wings and southern fried chicken burger. Complement your meal with a tropical cocktail or Australian craft beer.


Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, Australian, $$$
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Sea views at the Cbar
Sea views at the Cbar | © Cbar

You’ll find Cbar next door to Longboard Bar & Grill on The Strand, one of Townsville’s most popular attractions. The restaurant is open from breakfast until dinner every day. For breakfast, sample the mango and buttermilk pancakes or the French toast. The lunch and dinner menu includes starters to share, burgers, tasty salads, seafood options, vegetarian choices and other main meals. The Cbar cocktail list is also enticing, with a strawberry and jalapeño margarita taking centre stage.

Waterview 169

Restaurant, Australian, $$$
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The wine lounge at Waterview 169
The wine lounge at Waterview 169 | © Waterview 169

Waterview 169 is a relatively new establishment on Townsville’s favourite foodie street, Palmer Street. The menu includes a lot of seafood dishes, such as confit salmon, black garlic barramundi and herb-crusted coral trout. There’s also an extensive cocktail menu, a kids’ menu and daily promotions at Waterview 169. Purchase two classic main meals on Tuesday and pay for only one; or reserve a table for two on Thursday to receive a complimentary drink on arrival.

Donna Bionda

Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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If you’re craving Italian food in Townsville, check out Donna Bionda. The restaurant serves authentic Italian with a modern twist. The dinner menu includes antipasto, an extensive list of wood-fired pizza and pasta dishes, and delicious desserts. The Donna Bionda pizza includes mozzarella and slow-cooked ragu. Donna Bionda also has lunch specials, and offers two-for-one pizzas on Tuesdays.

Pier Restaurant

Restaurant, Australian, Seafood, $$$
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The Pier is definitely Townsville's most waterfront restaurant
The Pier is definitely Townsville's most waterfront restaurant | © Hayley Simpson

Located literally on the water overlooking Castle Hill and Townsville’s Breakwater Marina, Pier Restaurant began as the Barge Inn in the 1970s. Today it’s owned by the Charles family, who are passionate about serving the best North Queensland produce, including the freshest local seafood. One of the restaurant’s signature dishes is its hot and cold seafood platter. The platter is filled with oysters, star anise dusted calamari, fish, bugs, prawns, salmon and scallop tartare. An unforgettable meal with an unforgettable view.

Shaw & Co

Bar, Restaurant, Australian, Steakhouse, $$$
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Inside Shaw & Co
Inside Shaw & Co | © Shaw & Co

Shaw & Co has recently revamped its menu, which now focuses on serving the best steaks in Townsville. There are eight steaks to choose from on the menu, all coming from farms across Australia. There are also ‘herbivore’ options, a beef ‘n’ bread lunch special and small plates. This industrial-chic bar and restaurant in Townsville’s City Lane has also installed plenty of television screens, so you never miss an important sporting match.

IMC Steak House

Restaurant, Australian, Steakhouse, $$$
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Rare steak
If you love steak, you'll love IMC Steakhouse. | © bucks134 / Shutterstock

IMC Steak House showcases the “excellence of Australian farmers from Cape York to Cape Grim.” The steakhouse is serious about providing the best quality and best value produce. This means their menu prices reflect current movements in the Australian Cattle Market and Beef Market, and may end in odd numbers. The steak menu at IMC Steak House includes an assortment of cuts and weights. There is also a menu for the kids, and fish and chicken dishes as well.

JAM Restaurant

Restaurant, Australian, $$$
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Jam Corner, Townsville
Dining at JAM | © Roslyn Budd / JAM Restaurant

Opening in 2010, JAM Restaurant was quick to become a favourite with residents and visitors alike. The award-winning restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the week. It specialises in modern North Queensland cuisine and seasonal ingredients. A menu highlight includes the three-course, whole roasted duck indulgence for two people. JAM Restaurant also does a nighttime degustation menu and a luncheon special, where guests receive a drink with their one-, two- or three-course meal.