The eating and drinking scene is looking good in Queensland’s capital. In fact, Brisbane restaurants are some of the hottest in the country. It’s not surprising then, that many top chefs and restaurateurs are choosing Brisbane as their second outpost. The city is quickly becoming a desirable site for second-city expansion for many Melbourne and Sydney restaurants. This sunny state is doing some exciting things when it comes to food. Check it out!
Some like it hot, or haute for that matter, and judging by the calibre of restaurants in the central business district, it’s clear that Brisbane likes it haute, with many fine dining restaurants clustered around the Botanic Gardens and Riverside (Eagle Street Pier) precinct. Big names include Restaurant Two and E’cco, but hot on their heels comes a stellar lineup of other notable restaurants such as Aria, Customs House, Urbane and Pony Dining. Brisbane’s fine-dining scene is smokin’ hot, but that’s not to say you can’t find a cheap and cheerful restaurant amongst the city skyscrapers too, you most certainly can! Chilli & Spice is located within the Little Asia precinct, near Elizabeth Arcade, and in this little pocket you’ll also find hole in the wall Japanese and Korean eateries, perpetually packed with students and those looking for great budget finds. Mid-range gems can also be found within the CBD such as the oh so popular, Public on George Street.
South Bank, New Farm and the Fortitude Valley are the popular food pockets in this area, still close to the city, but not quite in the thick of all the city hustle and bustle. Have a swim, cocktails and snacks at Bacchus while you listen to live music around the pool on a Sunday, or take a group of friends to Gerard’s Bistro for a Middle Eastern meets European share plate feast. Mecca Bah, Mighty Mighty and Cloudland can also be found in the area, each with their own unique style and flare. Best New Restaurant in 2014, the Foraging Quail sits not too far away in New Farm offering a delightful shared style degustation menu with modern Asian influence.
Well known for its booming breakfast scene and perfect espressos over on the northside, this area of Brisbane also has a few restaurant gems that you can visit come nightfall. Avid Japanese fans will love the tasty fare at Sono Japanese in Hamilton, sister location of Sono’s in the CBD, with an outstanding six-course tasting menu with perfectly matched wines. Northside icon in Ascot, Baguette Bistrot & Bar has all your French favourites such as triple fromage souffle, escargots and foie gras, while Ruggers Restaurant and Fiamme Trattoria are worth the trip to Albion for a delicious dish.
There are a whole host of restaurants in Brisbane’s South with the most popular eating and drinking pockets located in South Brisbane and West End. Located on Boundary Street, West End’s lively alfresco streetscape and main thoroughfare, is Spaghetti House, which does a great job serving Italian comfort food. While Greek Club and Era Bistro are popular local haunts for food and drink enthusiasts in the South.
Top culinary foodie suburbs in the East are without doubt Camp Hill, home to popular fine dining and Modern Australian gem, Restaurant Rapide. In Cleveland you’ll find the likes of The Courthouse, Sunshine on the Bay, The Lighthouse and Emu Point Garden Bar & Restaurant, and Mount Gravatt, Manly and Carindale have a few little gems of their own. The options are endless!
Over in the wild wild west lies Milton, Ashgrove, Paddington and Toowong. Libertine on Petrie Terrace delights Brisbane diners time and time again with traditional Vietnamese street food and dishes with a French influence, Covet Bar is the perfect intimate eatery for a low-key, no fuss kind of dining experience, while Thai Chinpala in Ashgrove tantilises taste buds with bold, flavoursome, authentic thai.
Author: Georgia Smail, dimmi Chief Food Writer.
Image source: Gordita