On the east coast of Australia sits one of the continent’s biggest cities, Brisbane. As a city with a true variety of flavors and cuisine, Brisbane restaurants are diverse and innovative. Much like London or Paris, Brisbane is a city based around a river, appropriately named Brisbane River. The city can be mapped out into neighborhoods, each with their own style, and this includes food.
Standout Brisbane Restaurants in CBD
Brisbane River winds up and down like the Thames in London. It forms two peninsulas, or points of land surrounded mostly by water. The left peninsula contains Brisbane City, also called Brisbane City Business District, or CBD. The area contains most of the city’s skyscrapers, a modern landscape that features the Eagle Street Pier. CBD is a great place to explore when looking for delicious Brisbane restaurants. Novel eateries are always popping up, whether you’re hungry for Asian-style food, burgers, or Italian cuisine.
Blackbird Bar & Grill
Chef Anthony Donaldson, who spent 10 years cooking alongside top chefs in London, heads up the kitchen here. The menu, which is subject to change, currently features tasty and unique items like Buttered Banana Prawns, Brisbane Valley Quail with grilled sweetcorn and chickpea fritters, and Slow Cooked BBQ Lamb Shoulder to share with the table. The restaurant is situated on the riverfront, with 180-degree views of the Brisbane River.
Address: Riverside Centre, 123 Eagle St, Brisbane City
Located in Queens Plaza in Brisbane City, this restaurant features authentic dim sum and dumplings that are to die for! Casual yet modern, the dining environment is reminiscent of 1930s street-style dining in Shanghai, and the food is well-priced. The friendly staff recommends the restaurant’s signature Xiao Long Bao, though the whole menu is delicious, and you can get anything from braised pork belly to stir-fried noodles.
Address: LG 23/226 Queen St, Brisbane City
For another affordable option, try the NYC-inspired eats at Red Hook. The theme doesn’t stop at the menu, with the eatery located in an alley, with a window open from the bar to take orders from people outside. Right outside is a bunch of seating, so no worries there! They offer wonderful burgers, tacos, and other street food, as well as American and Australian beers and cocktails.
Address: 3/88 Creek St, Brisbane City
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Best Brisbane Restaurants in Fortitude Valley
To the north of the Brisbane River, you’ll find the trendy and ever-growing area of Fortitude Valley, affectionately known as the Valley. The area is a mash-up of old and new, with many heritage sites situated next to new stores and restaurants. This is where Brisbane’s Chinatown is located, featuring the best (and cheapest) Chinese cuisine, alongside great shopping. But the place to go for food is definitely King Street. Situated at the center of the Valley, this street has quickly grown to become the go-to spot for restaurants in Brisbane.
Located on the popular King Street, Il Verde makes an effort to provide amazing dishes without high prices. Its affordable Italian food is very popular, with many people visiting just to try the Cheese Wheel Special, a four cheese pasta dish that offered every Tuesday. The staff is super friendly, and the restaurant uses fresh and sustainable ingredients for a modern Italian dining experience.
Address: 2 King St, Bowen Hills
An Award-Winning Brisbane restaurant, Gerard’s Bistro is a highly-recommended fine dining experience located in Fortitude Valley. The menu features dishes from the Maghreb, or Northwest Africa, and the Middle East, already making it a very unique restaurant for Brisbane. They use locally-sourced ingredients and put a modern twist on traditional dishes.
Address: 14/15 James St, Fortitude Valley
This Thai restaurant is honestly worth visiting simply for the chic design and open layout. The restaurant has two levels with lots of communal seating, and the style continues through the menu. sAme sAme has an extensive menu with raw oysters, curry dishes, noodles, and more. Don’t forget to try the interesting desserts, like the Peanut Butter Parfait or Coconut Panna Cotta.
Address: Shop AM3 Ada Lane, 46 James St, Fortitude Valley
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Tasty Brisbane Restaurants to Try in West End
The West End of Brisbane is more laid-back and highly residential. The weekend markets are some of the biggest draws in the area. Try the Davies Park Market, which is well-known for its food stalls, as well as the fresh produce and craft offerings. From small cafes to family restaurants, the West End has a good place to eat in every nook and cranny.
Lokal + Co
The West End’s more relaxed feel is evident in how many small cafe-style places to eat there are. But they all have their own style, and Lokal + Co is definitely unique. If it’s not obvious by the name, this restaurant is heavily influenced by Nordic eats. Using local produce, they make delicious and healthy food at great prices, along with some truly unique items, like strawberries and cream dumplings or halloumi crumbed chicken schnitzel. Also a great place to stop for some good coffee, tea, or smoothies.
Address: 6 O’Connell St, West End
Another more casual, yet delicious option, Wrapture is known for their wraps, if you couldn’t tell from the name. A good option for brekkie (breakfast) dishes, it is a family-run business, established in 2009. There’s a huge range of options for vegetarians, and they also offer gluten-free and vegan options. The drinks are highly recommended, and you can grab a wrap filled with anything from bacon and eggs to satay chicken and pineapple!
Address: 71 Russell St, West End
Chop Chop Chang’s
An airy, industrial-style restaurant, Chop Chop Chang‘s has family-style seating along with spots at the bar. Serving pan-Asian food influenced by the street food stalls and markets throughout Asia, it’s a great place to stop in for snacks and a beer, or a full meal. Just a look at its snack menu shows the uncommon food options, with offerings like pickled watermelon rind and kimchi cucumber pickle.
Address: 185 Boundary St, West End
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Best Brisbane Restaurants Found in South Bank
Containing the southern coast of the Brisbane River, the South Bank area is filled with great green space. There are constantly outdoor events going on, and the streets are always bustling. Situated right next to the river, Streets Beach is a beautiful, sandy area frequented by families and visitors. Spend a day in the area doing outdoor activities, then wander nearby to some of the best restaurants in all of Brisbane.
This is another one of Brisbane’s upscale restaurants. An award-winning establishment, GOMA dishes are both delicious and beautifully plated. The Australian-inspired menu features a la carte options, as well as”The Exhibition” menu, a planned multicourse meal with wine pairings offered. If you are looking for a true dining experience and don’t mind the price, GOMA Restaurant is the place to go.
Address: Gallery of Modern Art, Stanley Place, Cultural Precinct, South Brisbane
Mado Turkish Restaurant
Located right near Streets Beach, Mado Turkish Restaurant offers authentic Turkish dishes, with a great atmosphere and belly dancing shows. The food is homemade and comes in great serving sizes, and many people recommend the Turkish bread and dips. This is a great option if you are looking to get away from the more modern and trendy restaurants throughout Brisbane.
Address: 1-3/15 Tribune St, South Brisbane
Hop & Pickle
Hop & Pickle offers what you’d expect as pub grub, but what matters most is the execution. And this place delivers. Whether you are looking for chicken wings, a burger, or something similar, it has a surprising amount of variations, so you’re sure to find something you’ll like. Hop & Pickle‘s laid-back atmosphere promises great food and service, with no surprises.
Address: 6e Little Stanley St, South Brisbane
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Top Brisbane Restaurants in Woolloongabba
This Southern Suburbs district is home to Brisbane Cricket Ground, known as the Gabba, but it also has a growing dining scene, with fine dining restaurants and trendy smaller places. The name is said to be of the local Aboriginal dialect, though the meaning is still debated. Experts believe it means either “whirling waters” or “fight talk place.” Either way, it’s quickly growing into a more popular area of Brisbane.
A super popular modern Roman restaurant, 1889 Enoteca is known for its handmade pasta and substantial wine offerings. The restaurant is beautiful inside, with brick walls, chandeliers, and wine shelved all over. Beyond the decorations, the pasta is said to be very authentic and have great flavor.
Address: 10-12 Logan Rd, Woolloongabba
A newer restaurant in Brisbane, Detour was founded in 2017. Offering an innovative dining experience, the menu is all shared plates and almost completely gluten-free. The menu is split into two categories: omnivore and herbivore. The staff aims to have an inclusive menu with dishes that incite conversation between everyone sharing them. With its contemporary approach to dining, Detour is already a super popular restaurant in Brisbane.
Address: 11 Logan Rd, Woolloongabba
Paw Paw Cafe is a fantastic place to go for brunch or lunch. It has a large menu filled with amazing food options and standout drinks. Breakfast options are served until 3 p.m., with plates like raspberry white chocolate pancakes, pork belly omelette, and, of course, eggs Benedict! The dinner menu is smaller, and focused on Asian-inspired cuisine, but is just as tasty.
Address: 898 Stanley St E, Woolloongabba
Brisbane is an attractive destination for any variety of tourists. But everyone needs to eat! Whether you’re there for business, culture, or adventure, any one of these sites is sure to improve the quality of your stay.