Restaurants and Bars - Eat and Drink
Brisbane has a very good assortment of restaurants. The CBD tends to have the highbrow, awarded and more expensive options around Paddington, New Farm and West End, where talented chefs are happy to experiment and their cool-cat clientele are happy to support them. You’ll find the cheaper but no less appealing options around The Valley. Aside from these main areas, it’s not uncommon to turn a corner in a random suburb somewhere and discover a quaint little traditional French restaurant (for example) that’s as good as any. It’s that kind of vibe.
Brisbane City and Spring Hill
- Beach House Bar & Grill A large bar with large meals; they have $10 steak nights and such. It's good if you're on a budget.
- Il Centro Famed for its signature Sand Crab lasagne, it is one of the most popular Italian restaurants in Brisbane, and also amongst the priciest.
- Little Tokyo The oldest Japanese restaurant in Brisbane and under the same ownership for over 40 years. You'll find authentic food and decor at upper-range prices.
- Moda An award-winning restaurant with a huge selection of wines and a varied menu, including seafood, duck, rabbit and pork cheeks. By no means cheap, but amazing food. Wedding Anniversary?
- Restaurant Two This Modern Australian restaurant is located across from the Botanic Gardens, and is widely regarded as one of Brisbane's best. Very good eats and tres expensive! Try the suckling pig for $55 a head.
- Urbane One of the best fine dining restaurants in Brisbane, serving unconventional but innovative food. Typical Brisso and just brilliant.
Fortitude Valley & New Farm
- Garuva Hidden Tranquillity Restaurant Low-lighting, floor seating and ambient music make this an intimate restaurant; every table is enclosed by a sheer curtain. Asian food and cheap cocktails. Can’t go wrong on a first date.
- Campos This cafe/coffee roaster is located behind the popular James Street Market. Look for the sign that points the way around the building. The coffee is awesome!
- Fatboys Cafe This is the cafe portion of Ric's Bar, located on Brunswick St Mall. It serves some of the best value-for-money breakfasts in Brisbane from $4!
- Freestyle Tout A popular dessert restaurant located in the Emporium.
- Green Tea Restaurant Good authentic Vietnamese food at a reasonable price.
- King of Kings A Brisbane institution for yum cha, with decent food and prices.
- James Street Market It’s not a restaurant, but a yuppie grocery where you will find all the food and drink you need.
- Thai Wi-Rat Cheap and cheerful authentic regional Thai-Laotian cuisine. No WiFi or rats on premises luckily.
- Taj Mahal Amazing Indian cuisine located opposite Village Twin Cinemas. It caterers to the Indian Cricket Team when they're in Brisbane. Say no more.
- Vespa Pizza Savour a slice in the cosy atmosphere of the fairylight-lit courtyard outside, or spread out in the booths inside. It delivers to local area on Vespa scooters, hence the name.
- Continental Cafe Well executed quality food with a friendly atmosphere, worth leaving the city for! Watch out for the offal specials on Tuesdays. As in they're good, not the impending bus sort of "Watch out!"
South Bank and Woolloongabba
- Ahmet's Turkish Restaurant A Turkish restaurant featuring belly dancers on weekends. It's one of the most popular and busiest restaurants in the South Bank precinct, although the painstaking quality of the kitchen means a longer than usual wait for food. Do not expect to be in and out in less than an hour.
- Brisbane German Club Located directly opposite The Gabba stadium, this restaurant/bar offers a wonderful range of authentic German cuisine and beer for very reasonable prices.
- Green Papaya Serving inspired French-influenced Northern Vietnamese cuisine. A wonderful choice for dinner.
- La Kasbah A long established restaurant that serves a combination of French and North African cuisine.
- Norman Hotel Along with the Breakfast Creek Hotel, this place possibly has the best steaks in town. Its slogan is "Brisbane's worst vegetarian restaurant". It's worth going just for that line!
- Desmond and Molly Jones This cute cafe has exposed brick walls, a hodge-podge of vintage seating and excellent iced chocolates.
South Brisbane and West End
- Lefkas Taverna A Greek restaurant with very nice food. Takeaway available.
- Makanan Indonesia Excellent authentic Indonesian fare at unbeatable value.
- Mondo Organics An Italian restaurant serving delicious organic produce.
- The Forest Cafe For cheap and delicious vegan food.
- Tukka This restaurant creates unique and innovative Modern Native Australian cuisine. Pricing is at the upper range, but worth a visit.
- Paladar Fumior Salon A must for lovers of Cuban coffee, culture and cigars. The bright red exterior makes it easy to find once you are in the area, very cool joint.
- Three Monkeys This eclectic cafe is an enchanting maze of exotic furniture, fabrics and nooks, winding through the ground floor and garden of a converted Brisbane house. It's been an icon for over 20 years, and you can enjoy meals, desserts and of course, tea and coffee, there seven days a week. Not to be missed!
This little suburb is just 2 km from the city and has some worthy restaurants.
- China Sea Located on the Coronation Drive end of Park Road, with scrumptious Chinese food at upper-range prices.
- Rue de Paris A mostly outdoor cafe, filled with European ambiance and serving some of the best coffee in the city.
- Royal Thai Orchid
- The Lure This highly awarded seafood restaurant is located in the Coro Hotel.
- Gambaro's It has both a seafood restaurant and a long-established seafood takeaway section. A Brisbane institution.
- Montrachet A super fantastic French bistro specialising in Lyonnaise specialties and regarded as one of Brisbane's best. Reservations are a must and it's not open weekends.
- Sultan's Kitchen Fresh and tasty Indian cuisine with good service. It usually fills quickly and does a roaring take-away trade, so get in early.
- Urban Grind This small cafe has a BYO food policy, great coffee and free WiFi. It is committed to being climate neutral and uses organic milk.
- Anouk A fantastic breakfast cafe. On weekends its popularity means that you may have to queue for seating.
- Breakfast Creek Hotel Famous for its steaks; it's a Brisbane institution in a beautiful old pub. Recommended.
- Jetty Kiosk A hidden gem of a cafe tucked away behind the Manly Baths swimming pool. Sit over the water enjoying a drink, dessert or meal, and admire Moreton Bay. It's very well-priced and so peaceful. Open seven days until 4pm.
- Efes One Turkish Restaurant A traditional Turkish restaurant in Albion with a friendly atmosphere. Belly dancers on Friday and Saturday nights. Brisso loves its belly dancers, eh?
Brisbane's drinking and nightlife scene is separated into distinct areas, the main ones being the same as the food areas; the CBD, The Valley and West End. Anyone planning a night on the town should be aware that after 3am no more patrons are allowed into pubs and clubs, and you can’t smoke in any Brisbane hotels, clubs and cafes.
- Belgian Beer Cafe It caters for a more upmarket clientele, with a "boutique" style to its all-Belgian-sourced beers. It also serves meals, with a particular favourite being traditional Belgian mussels.
- Down Under Bar If you are studying in Brisbane or just backpacking, this is the perfect bar for meeting people. It's below Base Central Backpackers. Delightfully cheap and nasty.
- Exchange Hotel A very popular bar which sees people stream in after the cheap drinks finish at the nearby Victory and Port Office hotels, usually around 11pm. The second floor is an open-air roof bar which is pretty cool.
- Fridays A very popular nightclub with a bar and restaurant, and views over the river.
- The Port Office Hotel It has a trendy bar downstairs and a dance floor upstairs. It's a popular spot and crowed with students on Thursdays.
- Rosie's Live A fun live music venue with alternative, metal and student nights. There's bands and DJ's on every night, and if you're not into thrash music give Fridays a miss.
The Valley is a unique area of Brisbane. It caters to the live music scene and simply everyone in Brisbane has ended up there on some night out or other. Through the 1960’s and 70’s it was the centre of Brisbane's criminal underbelly, whilst developing its personality as the eclectic and bohemian hub of the city. A large number of Brisbane's hippest clubs are located in The Valley, but it can get a bit crowded and loutish. Because of this, some of the creative epicentre of Brisbane has moved to other areas of the city, such as West End and Paddington. There is a huge array of bars and clubs to choose from and a night out in The Valley will be fun, if not a little raucous!
- Alhambra Lounge A stylish laid-back lounge which plays house music and is popular with the young professional and student crowd because of its good atmosphere and cocktails.
- Birdee Num Num It has an ok atmosphere, playing mostly commercial dance music with a student and backpacker clientele.
- Bowery Bar A small and chic New York inspired bar. Smart dress code and amazing cocktails.
- The Empire An alternative dance club with a long balcony overlooking busy Brunswick St. It's less pretentious than other dance clubs in Brisbane - although no less expensive.
- GPO A bar and nightclub situated in a former Post Office; a trendy spot with great tunes.
- Mana Bar A video gaming bar! If you're not at the bar trying out the unique cocktails then you'll definitely be playing the video games. A first for Australia, where geek meets chic! Casual/smart casual dress code.
- The Met The biggest club in Brisbane and host to many international DJs. It has an amazing decor and many different rooms to explore, and although it's a bit expensive, you'll find a huge variety of people inside.
- Ric's The Valley's hipster institution! It has live music most nights and includes Fatboys Cafe, a popular restaurant serving breakfast, steaks, pizza and pasta.
- The Wickham A gay and lesbian dance club with outdoor seating and drag shows most nights.
- x&y Bar One of the least pretentious venues in The Valley, there is no strict clothing policy and you're likely to get in so long as you're wearing shoes, long pants and a shirt. It plays a variety of music including live bands and DJs.
- Cloudland A mega-club with a retractable roof, 10 metre waterfall, 5,000 plants and a glass bar made from thousands of glass balls threaded by hand. So, you know, the usual. It caters to a very upmarket, sophisticated crowd, so wearing your coolest clothes is a must to get in. It kinda looks like a set for a James Bond movie, look out for him and Pussy Galore!
This bohemian district, popular with the locals, offers a few hip clubs, intimate restaurants and a very laid back atmosphere. It's less crowded than The Valley or the city, and makes for a relaxed night out.
- Lychee Lounge Sensually inspiring cocktails and a beautiful crowd in an intimate setteing. Purrrrr.
- Hi-Fi Bar A live music venue; great for seeing local bands and some internationals ones too.
- Tongue & Groove A restaurant and bar catering for vegetarians. The friendly bar has live local music five nights a week, from reggae to funk, jazz, blues and dance.
- Uber An opulent, sophisticated and funky restaurant/bar/lounge with a dance floor. Very classy.