Damn if West End isn’t a foxy suburb. Every free nook seems to be crammed with some such delight and it feels like there’s something new on every corner. With such a glut of choice it can be heckin difficult to sort out the really stellar joints so we decided to cast a discerning eye on the general mélange of taprooms and feasteries that comprise the West End sprawl.
The results are in and here is your definitive guide to the best restaurants, bars and cafes in West End. Keep it handy on your next trip to the 'burb.
You won't just love Superthing for their baked goods and brunches, you'll also fall in love with their pastel pink decor, complete with a neon lit pastry rolling room you can view through glass walls and cosy pink booths to get comfy on. As for the food, you'll be hard pressed to choose between the incredible line-up of baked goods or the lenghty list of breakfast dishes—so you'll just have to get both.
Named for the hazy dawn after a night of regret, these guys are masters of getting you back on your feet. Their all day menu is an eclectic motley featuring breakfast carbonara, eggs benny, and even a fancy version of a McMuffin. Basically, whatever you're hangover poison, Morning After has you covered.
If you’re a fan of eggs benny, you’ll want to give brekky at Suburban a go. Here they mix up breakfast staples with the likes of brunch nachos and the option to replace toast with a slab of chicken schnitty in your eggs benny—but if meat’s not your style, you can order from their dedicated vegan menu.
Take your taste buds on a trip to Pie Town to experience the most buttery, flaky pie crusts in all of Brisbane. On the savoury side, think chicken pot pie, pepper steak, and cheeseburger pies, while the sweet menu offers up treats like strawberry rhubarb, bourbon pecan and key lime. Can't decide? Get a tasting plate and try them all.
They may be all about wholesome feeds, but you certainly won't think you're tucking into a healthy breakfast at Miss Bliss. Take a seat in their greenery-covered courtyard or inside the cottage style dining room and indulge in the likes of vegan cocao hotcakes or Israeli baked eggs—all without an ounce of guilt but all the flavour.
Lokal + Co
These guys are our Nordic reps in the West. Crafting modern dishes from fresh, seasonal ingredients, Lokal + Co’s offerings include breakfast like potato waffles and chilli scrambled eggs alongside some piquant curveballs like their breakfast tagine. Décor-wise, Lokal + Co really nails it with clean lines and rose gold fittings you'll want to 'gram on the spot.
You won’t find a rigid list of dishes on Plenty’s social, and that’s the whole point. They’re always looking for ways to reduce waste and promote sustainability, so their daily offerings reflect the seasonal selection of the freshest local produce. That isn’t to say that they have nothing constant, there’s always slammin’ coffee flowing as well as plenty of refreshing bevs ideal for a summer arvo.
Spruiking sustainability and locally sourced ingredients, Grown Café isn't just one for the vegos, though their plant-based ethos resonates through their modest menu. Dig into house-made hash, scrambled tofu and brioche French toast for breakfast, or drop by for dinner feeds like housemade gnocchi or red lentil dahl.
NYC Bagel Deli
Wary of inauthentic bagelries your breakfast? Never fear; these guys are the real McCoy. If you fancy yourself a bagel with ‘the lot’ check out the flavour-packed Club, otherwise you can’t go wrong with NYC's classic cream cheese shmear.
Knock back tacos and tequila flights at Mama Taco, an authentic homage to Mexican cuisine. Everything from the tortilla to the mole madre is made from scratch on-site, so you’re guaranteed maximum flavour payoff. Wash it all down with a marg and you’ve had the perfect night out.
This is one club you’ll wanna be a part of. West End’s all-new foodie hot-spot promises to fill that void in your life (and in your stomach) with the tastiest pasta in town. Head on down to Pasta Club and twirl your fork around ribbons of creamy spaghetti carbonara with a delicious pear-and-hazelnut torta caprese for dessert.
Ever since the adorable animated Pixar short about a steamed bun coming to life, we’ve had bao on the brain. Thankfully, Mr Bunz is here to deliver, with a fresh, no-fuss approach to creating fluffy buns ready for consumption. Stuff yourself with crackling pork and crispy chicken bao, but be sure to save room for the peanut butter parfait bao as a sweet finisher.
Ehden Bar and Kitchen
If you’re craving a Mediterranean getaway, save yourself the 20-hour flight and book a table at Ehden Bar and Kitchen. Head on down for oyster happy hour and slurp down freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters for $1.50 a pop—your bank balance will thank you for it.
For authentic homemade Mexican cuisine, you’ll want to dip your chip in El Torito’s delicious menu. This fave West End restaurant has been around for as long as we can remember, so you know it's good. The decor is simple, the fajitas are sizzling and the combos are seriously good value.
Little Red Dumpling
If you're a dumpling fan, no doubt you know all about Little Red Dumpling. At the West End venue, you can devour a plate of your favourite steamed dumplings drenched in Mr Zhong’s secret sauce before finishing up with an adorable piggy bun that’s almost too cute to eat. Almost.
Run by local Hare Krishnas, Govinda’s is a vegetarian restaurant offering the most affordable and altruistic feeds in Brisbane. Their feast meal more than lives up to its name with jasmine rice, vegetable curry, vegetarian koftas and tomato chutney. A deadest steal at 12 clam.
As the only place in Brisbane to find authentic Philly cheesesteaks, PJ's Steaks is the real MVP. They offer a couple of variations on the melty sub, as well as hoagies, hot dogs, onion rings, and some of the best fries going.
Bird’s Nest Yakitori
Everyone seems to have their own way of doing chicken but when it comes to coal-grilled skewers Bird’s Nest’s is the only name in the game. As Brisbane’s premier yakitori spot, they’ve set a benchmark for the tastiest chicken going, and flaunt some of the most creative uses of the bird we’ve ever seen. We highly recommend swinging by for a bincho grilled don rice bowl for lunch.
Trang Vietnamese Restaurant
Responsible for introducing most of Brisbane to the joys of phō, Trang is a firm favourite of West End and darned reliable for authentic Vietnamese. Expect all your very favourite traditional dishes done spectacularly well.
Chop Chop Chang's
Covering everything from bar snacks and street food, to spicy curries and button-popping banquets, Chop Chop Chang's is your reliable stop for flavour-packed satisfaction any time of the day. Their Pan Asian offerings have never let us down and really raise the bar for fusion.
Wet your whistle with a fine whiskey at Cobbler in West End. Boasting a range of over 150 whiskeys from around the world, it’d be rude not to sample them all...just maybe not in one sitting.
For vintage vibes that feel right at home in Brisbane’s hipster hub, knock back a boutique cider in the comfort of The End’s leather lounges. Checking out their layered timber bar is the only excuse you need to order another drink.
The Boundary Hotel
West End’s most iconic watering hole is looking pretty snazzy after it’s 2018 makeover, but has managed to maintain those classic pub vibes we all know and love. Down a bevvy with a meal from The Boundary’s rooftop bar—the only one in West End.
Fancy yourself a gin connoisseur? Do yourself a favour and pay a visit to Bosc. This boutique bar offers an unrivalled choice of gins, not to mention a carefully curated selection of fine wines. For the spirit drinkers, be sure to make your way through the cocktail list—we hear it’s one of their specialties.
Take a trip to the south Pacific with a visit to West End’s Jungle Bar. The Polynesian-inspired oasis is the perfect summer drinking hole, transporting you away from the winds of winter to a tropical island paradise. Sit back, relax and order up—the pina coladas served in a pineapple are spectacular.
If you like your bars lush, green, and full of gin, then boy, have you hit the jackpot. The Covent Garden is nothing short of a botanical oasis, and is stocked with over 170 different types of craft gin to match your every whim. What more could you ask for?
Catchment Brewing Co.
Catchment Brewing Co. is the perfect place to catch up over Friday afternoon drinks. The delicious meals pair perfectly with the quirky wine list, but the craft beer and ciders are the real stars of the show.
Brisbane Brewing Co.
Taking over an entire laneway off Boundary Street, Brisbane Brewing Co. elevates their brewing operation with perfect snacking accompaniments like classic pub grub and cheeseboards to go with the tides of ale.
Looking for more options? Check out where to eat in South Bank here.
Image credit: Superthing, Larissa Drazic for Urban List, Cobbler