Italy’s best-loved dessert, Tiramisu (literally meaning ‘pick me up’) was named for its energising layers of marsala-soaked sponge, creamy mascarpone and coffee—interesting, considering we’d argue that most of us know it today as the last nail in the food-coma coffin brought on by an Italian feast. Either way, we'd never say no to a good one.
And luckily, we’ve no shortage of spots to sink our teeth into its mushy layers here in Brisbane, either—from the most traditional of recipes to the most contemporary, plates of tiramisu dot our city north to south.
Comfort eating at its finest, here are 15 places to indulge in Brisbane’s best tiramisu.
Standing strong in Woolloongabba since 2008, 1889 Enoteca might not be pushing any culinary boundaries when it comes to tiramisu, but that’s kind of a compliment. No deconstructed tiramisu insight, no maraschino cherries, no shaved white chocolate—just good old tiramisu proper, served stacked in a crystal glass kind of like you’d expect at one of those so-tacky-they’re-cool dessert bars in little Italys the world-over. Except delicious.
It’s hard to save room for anything at this iconic riverside spot, but we suggest you let the stunning city views distract you from nabbing the last four-cheese arancini ball and bite of ricotta gnocchi so that you’ve got more room for the finale. Popolo doesn’t stray too far from the classic rendition and why would they with this slab of cocoa, espresso liqueur, savoiardi and mascarpone perfection?
If you like your tiramisu classic but with a good kick of booze, Massimo’s tiramisu is for you. Layers of coffee liqueur-soaked savoiradi biscuits and creamy mascarpone will knock your socks off after your seafood-heavy Italian fest. It's the perfect way to finish off date night at one of Brisbane's prettiest restaurants.
Howard Smith Wharves
With a penchant for fresh, flavoursome fine Italian food comes an obvious spot for tiramisu on the menu, as is so at the riverfront Ciao Papi down under the Story Bridge. If you like your tiramisu with a side of serious water views and top-notch wines, here you’ll find all three in copious amounts, and all equally satisfying.
Michelin star-worthy Chef Enzo might be known for his creative, boundary-pushing Italian fare, but when it comes to Vine’s tiramisu, the classic formula needs no messing with. Dig a spoon through the top layer of soft cocoa powder and scoop up mouthful after mouthful of homemade savoiardi, Italian liqueurs, espresso and vanilla mascarpone cream.
Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers
New Farm, Paddington and South Bank
You are probably already very familiar (some might even say in a committed relationship) with Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers pillowy gnocchi, and maybe even their iconic cannoli, but you haven’t lived if you haven’t tasted their tiramisu. Only the finest savoiardi biscuits are bathed in just the right amount of coffee, the freshest mascarpone cream and a touch of Tia Maria.
Olive & Angelo
With a garden-like outdoor dining area that makes for the perfect long and lingering twilight dinners, the menu at Olive & Angelo doesn’t stray too far from the timeless favourites. Their tiramisu is no exception—layers of mascarpone cream, sponge, coffee and chocolate for the win.
You say Beccofino, we say Julius Pizzeria—it’s all good, and you’re covered on both sides of the river with this iconic duo’s Italian style trifle made with coffee, mascarpone and sponge finger biscuits.
Persone in Brisbane Quarter isn’t all pizza, pasta and seafood. In fact, the tiramisu at Persone is essential eating—even if you’re full after downing an entire bowl of pappardelle al ragu. If you’re smart, you’ll have a room booked upstairs at W Brisbane to roll back to once your plate is licked clean.
If you’re still deciding on your first course, slice up Brisbane’s best pizza here.
Image credit: 1889 Enoteca, Ciao Papi, Olive & Angelo