From dedicated dessert bars to matcha-themed cafes to an entire dining precinct made out of shipping containers, Brisbane is no country town when it comes to foodie experiences. But with so many to choose from, where do you even start building your to-taste list? Ah, the eternal conundrum. Well, don’t you worry about a thing, friends, because we’re here with the inside scoop on the 10 best foodie experiences in Brisbane. All you have to do is take your pick.
Brisbane is blessed with temperate weather for the majority of the year, so you can bet dining outside or near the outside is big on everyone’s list of things that are great about our little ol’ city. Stokehouse Q, located in the ever-popular South Bank precinct, takes this to a whole new level and we are completely on board. Stokehouse Q’s main dining room features floor to ceiling windows opening up to one killer view over the Brisbane CBD - the perfect accompaniment to a lush Saturday lunch. With a menu highlighting the best of Queensland’s produce, it’s hard to go wrong. Just don’t forget to grab a cocktail (or four) from Stokehouse’s extensive list. We won’t tell if you don’t.
Cowch is the kind of place that happens when you merge a five-year-old’s idea of the perfect dessert menu with the beauty of alcohol. Claiming the title of dessert cocktail bar (we’ve never heard such magical words), Cowch is about to become your new best friend if you have even the beginnings of a sweet tooth. Think dessert pizzas, a completely customisable ice cream bar, Tim-Tam themed pancake stacks and salted caramel espresso martinis. Factor in the quirky cow-themed-yet-still-chic décor and you can definitely see why Cowch has won the adoration of Brisbaneites everywhere. Don your best fat pants and enjoy, friends.
Everybody loves food and everybody loves a good walking tour, so you can bet a combination of the two is pretty dang fun. Enter Foodi, the legends behind a series of guided walking tours that will see you sampling the best eats around Brisbane. The current tours available include those with a focus on craft beer, chocolate, Asian street food and even a West End day safari covering the best tastes of the Southside. The tours are designed around the food you’ll get to sample but they also pass quite a few of Brisbane’s landmarks. Having a tour of Brisbane AND getting to eat your way through one of Brisbane’s suburbs? Now that sounds like the perfect afternoon.
New kid on the Caxton St scene, Fritzenberger, has been making waves in Brisbane foodie circles since their opening. Home-brewed beer and a killer selection of burgers are really only the beginning (although Brisbane certainly shines in the burger department). Imagine specialty loaded frites with candied bacon and the mother of all desserts: the ice cream burger. This bad boy features a chocolate ice cream patty, strawberries, raspberry ketchup and custard sandwiched between two sweet milk buns. And here you were thinking that your standard Fritzen burger, combining grass-fed Australian beef, aged cheddar and house-made Fritzensauce, couldn’t get any better. What will those crazy kids think of next?
Sinmei Tea, located in bustling Paddington, is a tea room with a twist. Specialising in matcha-flavoured cakes and sweets, Sinmei brings the flavours and tea ceremonies of Asia straight to Brisbane’s doorstep. Word to the wise: go for the matcha lava cake or sizzling matcha brownie with a green hot chocolate to sip on. If matcha is not really your thing, you could always indulge in an earl grey angel cake or the classic scone with jam and cream. You know what to do, guys.
A foodie guide to Brisbane wouldn’t be complete without sharing at least some of the drool-worthy Asian dishes our fair city calls its home. Fat Dumpling is the crème de la crème of dumplings in Brisbane (controversial opinion, we know) and is a must-taste for any foodie worthy of the name. Tucked away in a street-inspired no-fuss eatery on Brunswick St, Fat Dumpling is all about serving up authentic Chinese dumplings for the good of the world. The pork xiao long bao are mind-blowing, while the steamed vegetarian dumplings pack a flavour punch. Just don’t forget to order the peach spring rolls for dessert – they might actually be sent from heaven.
Okay guys, if you’re headed to Brisbane you need to make sure that Eat Street Northshore is at the top of your to-taste list. Eat Street was the place that birthed the doughnut ice-cream cone, chocolate loaded fries and gourmet popcorn and they have no intention of slowing down anytime soon. This shipping-container based area features cuisine from every corner of the world, fair prices and the chance to stuff yourself silly while supporting Brisbane’s local chefs. Basically, you and Eat Street are guaranteed to be a match made in heaven. Trust us on this one, just do it.
Hidden down a laneway in West End is one of Brisbane’s most relaxing brewing companies and beer gardens. The well-named Brisbane Brewing Co. is probably the only place in Brisbane where you can ask for a cold one and watch it be brewed in front of you behind the bar. Then all you have to do is order yourself a beef brisket chorizo and smoked tomato hoagie, topped with hop feta and apple slaw, and kick back in the outdoor beer garden as the sun sets over the city. Life is so hard sometimes, ya know?
A well-guarded secret by Brisbane locals, Brew is just too good of a spot not to share (sorry Brisbaneites, it had to be done). Brew, located in Burnett Lane off Queen St, is a café-come-casual-restaurant-come-wine-bar and it’s just as good as it sounds. By day, Brew can be found dishing up brunch favourites like avo on toast, served with ricotta mousse, and health-infused brekkie bowls. By night, or more like mid-afternoon, things get a whole lot more gourmet. Think popcorn chicken burgers, craft beer and a swell selection of vino. Don’t even get us started on those happy hour deals. Actually, on second thought, Brew is too much of a gem to share; we’re keeping this one for ourselves.
So you’ve successfully eaten your way through all of the best of Brisbane’s foodie experiences, now what? Why, picking up the ingredients for your own home-cooked feast from the weekly Jan Powers Farmers Markets of course. Taking place every Saturday in the lush surrounds of Powerhouse Park, the Jan Powers Farmers Markets are dedicated to selling the freshest local produce and artisan food goods, so you can whip up a feast to remember. Offering everything from freshly baked bread to locally-cut meat to the perfect jam doughnut, you can easily pick up the ingredients for a 5-course meal your tastebuds will thank you for. The hardest part is deciding which dish to make. Correct answer: all of them.