This is the big one. We’re known to talk a big game but this actually is the big one. The definitive list of Brisbane’s top 50 restaurants according to us and qualified by a single criterion of knee-weakening, pants-unbuttoning deliciousness.
I won’t lie to you, it was damn hard to curate a neat and tidy list of just 50 places that could faithfully represent the segmented market. How would our favourite trusty takeaway stack up against that place we always go to treat ourselves? It wasn’t easy, but we think we managed to whittle down a list of our top 50 places that always deliver.
In no particular order, here are the 50 restaurants in Brisbane well worth every cent:
1. 1889 enoteca, Woolloongabba: food in Roman style, and wine in Roman quantities.
2. Stokehouse Q, South Bank: when I say that something ‘brings the stoke’ this is the actual place where all the stoke comes from.
3. The Smoke BBQ, New Farm: the most tender meats ever smoked to succulence.
4. Grown Café, West End: delicious and refined dishes you won’t even notice are plant-based.
5. Allium, New Farm: inventive, refined French dishes.
6. Bird's Nest Yakitori, West End: celebrating every part of the bird, from the beak to the feet.
7. Gauge, South Brisbane: creative dishes to remember.
8. Aria, Eagle Street Pier: Matt Moran’s Queensland baby is every bit as magical as the OG in Sydney.
9. e’cco Bistro, Newstead: Brisbane institution of dining excellence.
10. Harveys Bistro + Bar, New Farm: if you live in Bris, chances are you’ve definitely been here. Like, multiple times.
11. Red Robin Supper Truck, Morningside: permanently parked and serving what might be the best wings in Brisbane.
12. Beccofino, Teneriffe: the most coveted Italian in the inner suburbs.
13. Happy Boy, Spring Hill: enough delicious Chinese to satisfy your entire extended family.
14. The Wolfe, East Brisbane: beautifully executed contemporary dishes repping it for the Eastern burbs.
15. Malt Dining, CBD: get the brownie. Just do it.
16. Coppa Spuntino, CBD: treat yourself to some European knock-offs at the temple of aperitivo.
17. Hello Please, South Brisbane: hip, spicy Vietnamese, served in the open air.
18. Vaquero, Albion: fine dining with a flair of Spanish cuisine means in-house charcuterie and an outstanding feed.
19. Tocco Italiano, Newstead: headed by a Michelin-starred chef, this Italian bistro is where your Italophilic fantasies are made real.
20. King Tea, Paddington: bountiful tapas that won’t bust ya.
21. GOMA Restaurant, South Brisbane: dishes that look almost as good as the current exhibition.
22. Rogue Bar and Bistro, Newstead: food that looks better than you do.
23. Cheeky Poké, Newstead: hell bent on turning the poké trend into a classic.
24. Saké, Eagle Street Pier: fine dining Japanese has no equal.
25. Electric Avenue, Woolloongabba: whether bistro dinner or bar snacks, these guys have the eats on lock.
26. PUBLIC, CBD: if you’ve never had a garnish of dead ants you’re seriously missing out.
27. Greenglass, CBD: casual, classic French and the best wine list going.
28. Esquire, Eagle Street: the pinnacle of degustation dining.
29. Urbane, CBD: Ever wondered what a three-hatted dinner tastes like? Check it out for yourself at Urbane.
30. Sichuan Bang Bang, Kenmore: the delights of their dynamic Sichuan cuisine has been charming Kenmore locals for literally forever.
31. Bacchus, South Bank: nowhere better to party like the Romans.
32. Gerard’s Bistro, Fortitude Valley: shareable and majestical Middle Eastern.
33. Reef Seafood and Sushi: what is says on the can.
34. OTTO Ristorante, CBD: when Italian goes fancy.
35. Ol' School, South Brisbane: the fresh new look of fish and chips.
36. Madame Rouge, Fortitude Valley: the French bistro fresh out of a film set.
37. Just Earth, West End: coffee and breakfast with a conscience, and the homey vibes of your best mate's sharehouse.
38. Montrachet, Bowen Hills: classic French food and décor straight from the Belle Époque.
39. Jellyfish, CBD: the freshest seafood and waterfront views.
40. Drum Dining, Newstead: the shareable style and off-the-charts cheese selection makes long lunches a snap.
41. Curryville, Morningside: suck it up, Northsiders. It’s worth the drive.
42. Longtime, Fortitude Valley: cocktails, curries and good times.
43. Quan Thanh, West End: hot contender for hottest phō in the city (that is ‘sexy’ not ‘spicy’, for those wondering).
44. Ben’s Burgers, Fortitude Valley: picturesque and quintessentially delicious burgers every time.
45. Taro’s Ramen, CBD: known internationally as some of the best ramen outside of Japan.
46. Bar Alto, New Farm: dinner and a show and a sweeping view of the river.
47. Carolina Kitchen, Morningside: faultless American.
48. Neighbourhood Pizza, Kenmore: where the cool kids get pizza.
49. Luigi’s Italian, West End: a classic and quirky Italian bistro, staged on what looks like a forest clearing.
50. Madame Wu, Eagle Street: long lunches on the river and drink pitchers perfect for sharing.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson and Yaseera Moosa for The Urban List