South Bank restaurants are really having a moment right now. Years ago, when we thought of South Bank we pictured (a lot of) tourists, Expo 88 and maybe the odd Brisbane restaurant or two.
Yet South Bank has really upped its cool-factor in the last few years. Now it not only boasts million-dollar views of our city’s ever-evolving skyline but one of Brisbane’s best restaurant line-ups.
From top-notch seafood on the river to the best Italian this side of the Mediterranean, to pimped-up pub fare and fine dining moments, we've put together your go-to hit list of the best South Bank restaurants.
The Charming Squire
Calling all beer lovers, The Charming Squire is here to lift your spirits with a slew of good brews on offer. Tucked away in the Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre, this expansive light-filled space serves up bar favourites like pizza and slow-roasted meats, perfectly paired with your pick of small-batch craft brews—bottoms up.
South Bank Beer Garden
Another one for the brew connoisseurs, South Bank Beer Garden are serving the good bites and good times all year round. Cosy up for an intimate dinner or settle into the outdoor beer garden for a sun-soaked sundowner. With an array of flavoursome share-plates on offer, this is casual dining at its finest.
Suki’s incredibly fresh poke bowl menu is the long-awaited food trend we’ve been waiting for. Exploding onto the foodie scene in Melbourne, Sydney and even Perth, this healthy Hawaiian dish has been given a loving modern twist courtesy of Suki, and is just the healthy, delicious and nutritious antidote we need to Brisbane’s burger food coma.
Ole & Sangria Bar
Let's be real, it's sangria season all year round. You'll be wrapped to know that South Bank is also home to a dedicated sangria bar dishing out pitchers of this perfect tipple and festive moments all around. There are seven (SEVEN) sangria varieties on offer and they're all best enjoyed with a plate of tapas—or ten.
Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers
You had us at gnocchi. Australia’s first official dedicated gnoccheria landed in South Bank last year and our carb-loving tastebuds couldn't be more excited. Take your pick from a serious selection of pasta goodness, featuring flavours like wild mushroom and truffle, slow cooked bolognese or pesto. Yup, we're officially drooling.
Just in case you wanted another Italian option (who doesn't?), Popolo is popping off with modernised versions of the classics, served in a sociable share-plate style. Take a seat under the iconic neon sign, scout out some riverside views and consider your evening sorted.
River Quay Fish
Bringing together stellar riverside views and fresh as fish, River Quay Fish is delivering some of the best modern seafood in Brisbane. We recommend taking on this one during sunset, where an array of twinkling city lights will set the mood for the evening. Pull up a chair on the patio and take your pick from their extensive craft beer list, experimental cocktail collection and moreish seafood menu.
Catering to all your coffee cravings, and your foodie fantasies at that, Denim Co. is a quirky café serving up your regular caffeine hit paired with the breakfast of your dreams. We're particularly taken by their insane hot chocolate selection featuring thick, glossy mounds of molten chocolate. Pair this with a plate from their dedicated dessert bar and let the sugar coma commence.
For a whimsical French moment minus the expensive plane ticket, book in at Aquitaine along the waterfront. The perfect venue for that special celebration, the team here serve scrumptious South-West French-inspired cuisine. From classic to contemporary dishes, take your pick of the a-la-carte menu or go all-in with the degustation.
Hop & Pickle
Hop to it, tucked away down Little Stanley Street is an outfit offering all the comforts of pub food pimped to the max. With a menu slinging their signature deep-fried pickles (a must-try) alongside seasonal dishes and a holy-grail Sunday roast, we promise your bellies will be more than satisfied after a meal at Hop & Pickle.
A meal at Ahmet's will easily transport you to Turkey. From the vibrant and colourful decor to the traditional menu favourites, here is where you find true, authentic Turkish food in Brisbane. Alongside abundant banquet menus, you can also expect live music and belly dancing to show up on occasion.
With a name like ‘The Jetty’ it goes without saying that this is THE seafood destination to hit up in South Brisbane. Think oysters with fresh lemon and a crisp white wine—and that’s just to get you started. This is another ‘make use of this top-notch view’ kind of place so you won’t be disappointed if you’re here during the sunlight hours.
A meal at Mucho Mexicano are what dreams are made of. Free-flowing margaritas, pitchers of sangria, hearty bowls of guac and tonnes of taco options on offer, what more could you want? Well, let's not forget to mention the stack of nachos, enchiladas and churros on the menu. Plus, they do an all-you-can-eat taco Tuesday—we'll see you there.
Get around Greek street food at South Bank favourite, Zeus. Serving an array of dazzling dishes starring Australian-Hellenic flavours, you can expect everything from a selection of dips to hearty pita wraps and slow-roasted meats. Hot tip: try their latest creation the Zorba the Chip Pita, a fluffy pita stuffed with chips, tzatziki, feta and mustard mayo—you won't regret it.
Nestled amongst Grey Street is a vibrant Cantonese-style eatery serving you a flavour punch from every angle. Their tasty sharing-style menu encourages experimenting and exploration, taking your tastebuds on a journey from spicy steamed buns to moreish dim sum.
Image credit: Zeus