A Northsider’s Guide To The Southside

By Siobhan Taylor
23rd Dec 2016

best cafes southside

Here at The Urban List we are no strangers to the northside vs. southside debate, and for most Brisbanites it’s a never-ending contest that often disintegrates into an uncivil dispute.

I like to think I’m a bit of a savant when it comes to the discussion, having grown up south of the river and relocated to the northern suburbs as a teen. So with my personal expertise and knowledge, I’d like to present the best spots on the southside, from the perspective of a newly instated northsider. 

Cafes And Bars

Jam Pantry


With their delicious homemade condiments, ever-changing seasonal menu, and charming and welcoming atmosphere, Jam Pantry is a Brisbane favourite. Head in this festive season to savour their Christmas inspired menu, ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, for cinnamon pancakes with baked plums, basil and peach salad, and lavender and nutmeg panacotta.

Café O Mai


Café O Mai seamlessly fuses traditional Vietnamese cuisine and modern Australian flavours for a truly unique breakfast. Where else in Brisbane can you order brioche French toast along side traditional pho and Bahn Mi? Add a strong, chilled Vietnamese coffee on the side and I promise you’ve found yourself a new brekky fave.



We all agree that Sunnybank is the ultimate Asian-food hub, but did you know this also includes dessert? Surabing does the best Singboo in Brisbane, with each bowl a decadent delight. If you’re a Nutella fiend like myself, you’ve got to try their Nutella Singboo. Life changing.


West End

If you can’t tell, I’m a bit of a nut for unique, quirky brekkies, and no one does quirky quite like Billykart. They take the humble waffle and amp it up to 100; crispy potato, horseradish hollandaise, hot smoked salmon, and poached eggs. Billykart have secured themselves as one of my favourite Southside brekky haunts.

Locavore Café


Locavore used to be my local spot, my very own ‘Central Perk’, and it still pains me that I’ve moved so far away from their delish breakfast tacos. With a menu that focuses on sustainable, traceable produce, I guarantee it’s worth the drive from the Northside.



We Northsiders love to brag about our proximity to nightlife-hotspot The Valley, but the Southside is by no means missing out. Adding their own quirky and eclectic feel to the bar scene, Padre is the kind of bar where you can kick back with friends, board games, and burgers and (for just a moment) forget the cost of the Uber ride home.



The Southside has a bit of a monopoly when it comes to art and culture. QAGoMA, Queensland Art Gallery and QPAC are all within walking distance of each other (and also within walking distance of another hub, Southbank, which makes a nice segue…)


Since Expo ’88, Southbank has been a Brisbane icon. Whether it’s the free fitness classes, Night Noodle Markets, live music at Sunday Sessions on the Green, or the plethora of amazing restaurants and bars, there’s really nothing on the Northside that compares.

Westfield Garden City

Although I live within easy distance of Chermside and the CBD, I still make the hike out to Garden City for my retail therapy. With over 400 stores (including all the big brands and endless boutiques) as well as some special cafes and restaurants, Garden City is a nirvana for anyone with $$$ to burn.


Brisbane’s Southside provides easy access to Gold Coast beaches such as Rainbow Bay, Burleigh Heads, Currumbin, and also dog friendly beaches such as Palm Beach. Add to that the easy ferry ride to Stradbroke Island, or the cruisey drive down to Byron for the many musical festivals, and you’ve got no shortage of sandy destinations for even the most discerning beach bum.

Prefer to revel on the Northside? Read our southsiders guide for the northside.

Photo Credit: Ariana Gillrie

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