It’s only after sunset that Brisbane really comes out to play. With beer gardens, jazz bars and unique restaurants galore peeking out from every corner, it can be hard to decide where to spend your precious evenings. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Luckily, we’ve taken the time to round up the best of the best of Brisbane’s night-time eats and drinks …. including a DIY ice cream sandwich bar.
Located down an alley in the hustle and bustle of West End, Brisbane Brewing Co is anything but dodgy. If sipping on a cold one brewed behind the bar while munching on the classic Westender burger, complete with a beer battered and deep fried pickle in a brioche bun, sounds like the perfect evening, then Brisbane Brewing Co is about to become your new best friend. Whilst a killer beer garden, with ample outdoor seating and industrial-chic décor, is Brisbane Brewing Co’s main claim to fame, their location in the heart of West End makes it the perfect dinner stop before exploring the rest of the area. Just don’t forget to try one of their home-brewed craft beers while you’re at it.
New kid on the block Doo-Bop Jazz Bar combines two of everyone’s favourite things: live jazz music and a kitchen that’s open until the wee hours of the morning. Downstairs at Doo-Bop is home to a speakeasy-esque bar and jazz stage, while the upstairs is reserved for your dining pleasure. Menu highlights include duck and cashew spring rolls, barbeque chicken wings with blue cheese dipping sauce and pecorino croquettes with serrano ham. But the real star of the show has to be Doo-Bop’s constantly changing line-up of local and international jazz talent. Don your best flapper gear and get those toes tapping for the complete Doo-Bop experience. Brisbane, you spoil us.
A cocktail-bar-come-dessert-heaven Cowch is your one-stop-shop for all things sweet and nice. Located on Grey St, the iconic South Brisbane foodie precinct, Cowch is a quirky cow-themed dessert bar that serves up some of the best desserts in Brisbane. Think a gourmet ice cream bar, dessert pizzas, ice cream burgers, churros and cocktails with toasted bananas. And don’t even get us started on the cookie pancake stack, topped with crushed Tim-Tam and Oreo. Cowch is basically a sugar playground for the young and the not-so-young in the heart of South Bank. How can you go wrong?
So Brisbane might have a thing for vintage vibes and we are not mad about it. Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall is situated smack bang in the middle of Caxton Street, and all the eateries therein. For a unique dining experience you just can’t go past it. Stepping into Lefty’s is like stepping back in time to bars of ages past, complete with chandeliers and murals fit for a sailor’s bicep. Live music is the name of the game for Lefty’s, while a poppin’ menu – which includes such beauties as pulled barbeque chicken po’boy with vodka sauce and bacon wrapped padron peppers – will leave gleefully happy. Insider tip: make your way upstairs to the Mermaid Bar for a chance to sip on a selection of over 70 varieties of rum. You can thank us later.
If stunning views over the Brisbane CBD, an extensive drinks selection and a satisfying menu sound like the perfect Saturday night, we’d like to introduce you to Eleven Rooftop Bar. Taking up the entire eleventh floor of a Fortitude Valley skyscraper, Eleven is a rooftop bar for the more refined patron, (you won’t see any beer-chugging competitions or thongs here). The menu, while pricey, delivers on quality with such dishes as wild mushroom tortellini with truffle oil and butternut pumpkin puree or strawberry cheesecake with ginger cinnamon crumb. Plus the views are just perfect for watching the sun go down with a good glass of red in hand. Trust us, if budget allows, you don’t want to skip this one.
Okay, so if fancy rooftop bars aren’t really your style. How about a classic fish and chips dinner overlooking the Brisbane River and the CBD? Enter River Quay Fish, a casual riverside restaurant serving up premium seafood in South Bank. All your fish ‘n’ chip classics are on offer, alongside such items as whiting tacos, topped with red cabbage slaw, and Portuguese stew - oven baked fish with chorizo, tomato, potato and shallots. Plus each menu item comes with a recommended vino pairing, so you know that River Quay Fish isn’t messing around. Oh and did we mention they also offer takeaway, so you can take your feast to a quiet spot along the river and enjoy Brisbane’s balmy evenings on your own terms. Don’t mind if we do.
What if we told you that Brisbane is home to its very own 24 hour pancake joint and that it’s located inside a converted church? The Pancake Manor on Charlotte Street is this and more, serving up enough varieties of the humble pancake to have your waistline growing just thinking about them. We’re talking pancakes topped with orange segments and Grand Marnier sauce, chocolate pancakes served with chocolate ice cream and homemade chocolate sauce (So. Much. Chocolate.) And black forest pancakes drizzled in cherry brandy sauce. The little ones will also be pleased with the creatively-shaped offerings, which include a pancake with a marshmallow face and mini pancakes with strawberry jam and sprinkles. The midnight munchies have never looked so appealing.
How about a DIY ice cream sandwich parlour? Mister Fitz, located throughout Brisbane, allows you complete creative control over the creation of your dessert. The process starts by picking two cookies to serve as the foundation of your monstrosity, next you pick an ice cream flavour - from amongst such goodies as coffee and Oreo and pink sea salt and caramel - and then you get to pick a topping. Mister Fitz has everything from sour gummy worms to fruit loops on offer in the toppings department, so everytime you visit you get to bless your tastebuds with something new. The Mister Fitz on Grey St is open until 11pm and serves as the perfect stop after dinner at South Bank. Because who are we kidding? There’s always room for dessert.
While the Pig ‘n’ Whistle has multiple popular locations throughout Brisbane, each worth a visit, the one on Brunswick Street has a beer garden that’ll leave you figuring out how to move in without any of the staff noticing. Hundreds of twinkling fairy lights and lush green vines cascade over wooden outdoor seating, while the exposed brick interior adds an old-world charm to the whole venue. The menu keeps things charmingly British, with steak and Guinness pie and homemade Lincolnshire sausages, served with Yorkshire pudding being just a few of the highlights. Oh and did we mention that the Pig ‘n’ Whistle is usually hopping with live music come the weekend? Saturday plans are now sorted.
Having an eatery open for dinner in the Brisbane CBD is a rare find in itself, but one that has a killer menu and great live entertainment is just icing on the cake. That’s where Jimmy’s on the Mall comes in. Open 24 hours and located literally in the middle of Queen Street Mall, this modern Australian pub is known for its constantly changing roster of local musicians and mouth-watering grub. Think wagyu beef lasagne, mushroom and truffle arancini balls and one Instagram-worthy charcuterie plate. With two levels to choose from, you can kick back with a craft beer on the upper deck while you watch the world go by or tuck in to dinner while being serenaded by a local maestro. If you head to Jimmy’s on a Friday night, you can also enjoy a spot of shopping at nearby Queen Street for the perfect night-cap. Now that sounds like a win-win to us.