For those of you who aren’t sure what poke is, let alone where to order a poke bowl in Brisbane, the word poke is Hawaiian for ‘cut into pieces,’ referring to the delicious raw cubed fish (kind of like ceviche), served traditionally over a bowl of rice and salad. Poke has since made its way all over the world and thankfully it has found its way onto plenty of Brisbane menus. With each hot spot providing its own special twist, from Japanese-inspired to vegetarian poke bowls, you'll want to try all of these!
Oh and by the way, it’s pronounced poh-kay not poke. You’re welcome.
Bulimba, Newstead and South Bank
Now that winter is merely a distant memory, you might be looking for something other than a steamy bowl of pho come lunchtime—and Suki's poke bowl menu can deliver. Less of a sit-down situation and more of a speedy in-and-out takeaway venue, Suki is about to level-up your lunch game. There are a few flavour combinations to choose from but we highly recommend building your own extreme clean or healthy-ish bowl from scratch. Pro tip: always ask for the secret Suki sauce.
Newstead and West End
Boasting two locations in Newstead and West End, Cheeky Poke is where to go for fresh to death seafood. They source their produce sustainably from sister company, Fresh N Wild Fish and serve up drool-worthy bowls topped with everything from salmon to octopus and prawn. If you’re not into seafood, don’t worry, they still have an extensive menu with proteins like wagyu beef, pork gyoza and mushrooms. Their West End location is housed within a shipping container on Boundary Street, making it the perfect spot for a quick bite while the Gasworks digs is much larger with exposed-brick blue walls, neon signs, and extensive cocktail menu, perfect for a boozy lunch or dinner.
Raw + Rice
Raw + Rice is all about redefining sustainable and healthy takeaway options. By sourcing local ingredients to lower their carbon footprint and fish that are ethically caught, they’re taking a mindful approach to delivering fresh and healthy food to your plate. Tucked away down California Lane in The Valley, the space is simple and elegant with grey concrete walls, white 70s-inspired breezeblocks and light timber. Our favourite bowl? You can’t go past the soy tofu.
These guys aren’t reinventing the wheel here, but if you’re chasing a damn tasty poke bowl to takeaway, hit up Poke Co in West End. This small hole-in-the-wall delivers a knockout meal every time and with options like Loco Moco Beef and teriyaki chicken you can’t go wrong. If you’re not feeling a super clean bowl they’ve also got hot dog style rolls with all the poke goods packed into a soft fluffy bun. That’s what we call a win-win.
Build your own bowl of goodness at this spot for poke bowls in the city or take the pressure off and ask for one straight off the Malolo menu. You can’t go wrong with the Mr. T featuring Queensland king prawns or the O.P.P. served up with melt-in-your-mouth 20 hour slow-cooked pulled pork. Along with their poke menu they also have a super affordable brekky menu that’s also well worth a try. Bacon, egg and cheese on a Japanese milk bun for just $6.50? Yes, please.
Found within the stunning new Brisbane Quarter in the city, Aqua serves up fresh Japanese poke bowls in the Brisbane CBD Monday through to Friday. With gorgeous river views this new foodie destination has got to be one of the best spots in the city to grab a healthy lunch or after-work bite (Aqua poke keeps their doors open until 11pm on Thursdays and Fridays—winning). Design your own bowl from the salad bar or just nab one of the Aqua faves, either way.
Image credit: Cheeky Poke, Amy Higg for Urban List