We’ve been lucky enough to call Brisbane home for eight years now - and in the last three or four years I’ve become obsessed with finding the best places to eat and drink. It’s become a really fun hobby, and I always love recommending places to people.
With that in mind I wanted to share some of my favourite places to eat, drink and be merry in Brisbane. It’s a reasonably big city (hush now all you Sydneysiders - I know it’s smaller than Sydney) so I’ve decided to divide it into suburbs. I’ll also do my best to keep it updated as I discover new places (and say farewell to old ones).
Pre P.S. Most of the photos are going to be from Instagram as I rarely take my big camera out when it’s not an event - so apologies in advance for the photo quality.
South Bank is one of THE places Brisbane Tourism tries to spruik to tourists as being the place to go, and you know what? They’re kind of right to do that.
Of everywhere in Brisbane, South Bank reminds me the most of Adelaide, lots of casual dining and sidewalk tables, perfect for people watching whilst sipping a delicious beverage. I’ve seen a lot of places come and go in my eight years in Brisbane (RIP Fifth Element), but this is the current list of my absolute faves.
Ole is the place to go if you want to eat all of the tapas. It is a bit pricey, so it truly is best to go with a bunch of friends to help share the bill. If you want something more casual, next door is their Sangria Bar. It has a great range of sangrias and a smaller range of tapas, making it perfect for after work drinks. Be warned though - the sangrias will knock you on your arse, so consume responsibly.
The Plough is pretty much an institution in Brisbane, it’s been around since 1864 (which is quite old by the Australian standard for pubs) and has gone through many a facelift over the years. I’ve been kicked out of it more than a few times for getting a bit rowdy on a Sunday, but I’m sure you’ll be much better behaved. It’s the perfect place for a casual drink with friends and some solid pub food.
Personally, I would recommend going to Mucho Mexicano on two occasions:
On a Tuesday for all you can eat tacos
For breakfast on the weekend
I can say with absolute certainty that you won’t be disappointed on either occasion. Though definitely book a table for All You Can Eat Tacos because it definitely fills up quick.
This one of my favourite “special date” spots in Brisbane. It’s a small restaurant serving (not surprisingly) French cuisine. It has a good mix of well known classics and surprise offerings, and the food is always top notch. As a Francophile I’m always looking for places to replicate my experience in Paris, and this place definitely makes the grade. Take someone special.
Housed in the old South Brisbane police station, Little Big House is a reasonably new pub in South Bank, having only opened in 2018, but it’s fast become one of my favourites. It’s got lots of tables to gather around and the drink selection is unusually excellent. After a few early misses, the food menu has definitely found its stride and has a good mix of classic pub fare and inventive new ideas.
This is a place I wish I could visit more often, because I love New Orleans themed everything (don’t worry - it’s on the list to visit one day). I’ve never eaten there… I think… Possibly I had a late night snack once? But the cocktail menu is great and the ambience is excellent.
The other French restaurant on my favourites list, Aquitaine is less of a cozy French bistro (like French Martini) and more of a classy Michelin star vibe (without the star by the way in case you were worried about the price). We had a particularly wonderful Bastille Day dinner at Aquitaine last year which was amazing from beginning to end.
After dinner walk over to Stokehouse Q for some post dinner drinks whilst looking out over the Brisbane River. Every time I go here I’m reminded how insanely lucky I am to have ended up in Brisbane. It’s nowhere I ever expected to make my home, but having a glass of wine and looking out over the city twinkling on the river, makes me so incredibly greateful.
Long awaited newcomer Munich Brauhaus is everything you expect from the name. Lots of German beer, lots of pig based meal options and waitstaff dressed in dirndls and liederhosen. It’s a really fun place to go for dinner with friends (just make sure you have an empty stomach - the food portions are enormous).
No night is truly complete without a stop at Max Brenner’s for a hot (or cold) chocolate. I still remember the first time we went there and I was blown away by the lines that will form just to get their sweet treats.