Savour the Sunshine Coast

With an all-year growing climate, you can simply taste the sunshine in locally grown produce.

With a bountiful harvest from both land and sea, Sunshine Coast is a haven for foodies seeking fresh, healthy and delicious food. The quality of produce has attracted a superb line-up of culinary stars, plus a delectable assortment of excellent food trails and artisan producers.

Learn something new and expand your own culinary talents with one of the region's renowned cooking school experiences, where you can learn from the best, have fun with friends and explore the bounty of this region.

Discover tomatoes in a rainbow of colours, salad leaf in every shade of green, fragrant pineapples, giant sweet potatoes and perfect papayas.

Innovation in every menu

The main towns of the Sunshine Coast - Noosa, Eumundi, Coolum, Mooloolaba and Caloundra - have become a magnet for top kitchen talent. Culinary legends, such as Peter Kuruvita and Darren Simpson, appreciate the area's glorious lifestyle and constant supply of locally-grown ingredients. At any time of the day you can find a divine food experience, often with an equally magnificent view.

Noosa's Hastings Street food scene changes out regularly, however you only have to do a quick search online to see who's scoring five stars. From morning coffee with a pastry to fine dining degustation, you can expect a high standard of innovation and execution. For a more bohemian food experience, the hinterland village of Eumundi has an easy going culinary attitude that embraces the town's long-standing alternative lifestyle culture. And wherever there's a beach patrol you can count on a corresponding surf club with a menu of classic Aussie eats – fish and chips, chicken parmie, seafood platters and every kind of burger.

For a hands-on tour of Sunshine Coast tastes, check out The Cooking School in Noosa, an offshoot of award-winning Wasabi Restaurant & Bar. You'll cook with produce grown at the school's own farm.

A multitude of markets

Farmers' markets are excellent places to shop when you're doing a self-catering kind of holiday. Every stall is overflowing with the bounty of the land - tomatoes in a rainbow of colours, salad leaf in every shade of green, fragrant pineapples and strawberries, giant sweet potatoes and perfect papayas. You name it, Sunshine Coast grows it. There are also artisan foods of every description - olives, cheeses, spreads, nuts, jams, honey and all the other titivations that make meals exciting.

Apart from shopping, markets are an inspired way to solve the problem of breakfast or lunch. Along with produce, bakery and artisan ingredient stalls, there's always a tempting assortment of street food providers. You can eat crepes, omelettes, pastries, sausages, roti, hot dogs, souvlaki, pizza, samosa, churros and more. Eumundi even does a hempburger, if you want a talking point for your Facebook page.

Many of the markets happen on a Saturday or Sunday, including Pomona, Eumundi, Beerwah, Caloundra, Maroochydore, Peregian Beach and Noosa. Eumundi Markets - which has a huge arts and crafts focus - is also open every Wednesday from early until 1:30pm.

Crafty beers and locally-roasted coffee

Sunshine Coast's craft beer scene is brilliant, to say the least. You can explore the various brews at your local bar or go straight to the source - the breweries themselves. Brouhaha in Maleny definitely deserves your attention, because it's a restaurant as well as a brewery. The food is beer-friendly and there's a kids' menu too.

Not far from Maleny is Montville, where there's another charming restaurant-meets-microbrewery - Wild Rocket at Misty's. And if you're really serious about brewery discoveries, venture into the industrial area of Maroochydore to find Sunshine Coast Brewery. Their tasting menu stretches to 10 beers or more.

Coffee is a Sunshine Coast strong point. There are several local roasters, including Little Cove Coffee and Clandestino in Noosa, and the Columbian Coffee Company in Mooloolaba. A perfectly chilled bottle of Clandestino's cold drip coffee is the ultimate refreshment to take to the beach.