There are some secrets you most definitely should keep, like that you scratched your sister's car and it was you who ate your housemate's last Freddo Frog, but well hidden spaces that are great to eat, drink and consume cake in really isn't one of them. It's inhuman and frankly it’s mean.
Secret keeping is okay. But when it comes to the delicious action of consumption. It's not. And so we've rectified that. Enter Brisbane's best secret cafes, restaurants and bars found in our city.
The Walrus Club | Toowoong
It's dark and so many a type of rum to drink… Cue secretive behaviour. The Walrus Club also underground, so if you want your courting period (hey, it's a small town and everyone's got history), to be on the down low then this is your spot.
Greaser | Fortitude Valley
"After weaving its patrons through a back alley and fully functioning commercial kitchen, the dingy basement bar is revealed in its rebellious glory." Enough said. Not to mention, good drinks and good burgers abound at Greaser.
Brooklyn Standard | CBD
Unless you regularly take a stroll down Eagle Lane, which let’s be honest, most of us don’t, you probably haven’t stumbled across live music venue and bar, Brooklyn Standard. You probably should though, because their drinks are great, and their music is even better.
Super Whatnot | CBD
Away from the hustle and bustle of other CBD bustles you will hit upon the jackpot that is Super Whatnot. And with craft beers, a solid wine list and very addictive cocktails, you'll soon be in agreement that this is a place you need to spend serious time at.
The Junk Bar | Ashgrove
Hidden in suburban Ashgrove, between a Chinese/Thai restaurant and a formal dress shop, The Junk Bar is an easy-to-miss hole-in-the-wall that looks more like an alpine-wood cabin than a bar. To top it off, they have teapot gin. That’s a fruity gin cocktail that is served in a tea set. If that’s not enough to make you want to go looking for it, I don’t know what will.
Felix Espresso and Wine Bar | CBD
Rejoice! There is super fine nosh to be had in the CBD that's not at one of the restaurants near the river, and that's a beautiful and much more economical thing. There's been some good reinvigoration going on here, and if Felix Espresso and Wine Bar's humble mantra of, "We love making all our food from scratch using the best local and organic produce and wholefoods we can get our hands on", doesn't evoke good feelings, then nothing will.
Bean | CBD
Hidden down a laneway and a flight of stairs, Bean is easy to miss and hard to forget. The secluded café whisks you away from the bustling streets of the CBD, and takes you to a happy place filled with coffee, delicious food and ever-impressive artwork.
The Secret Garden Cafe | East Brisbane
Yes the name obviously implies that this is a secret spot. But what you don't know is the dreamy green nature of The Secret Garden Cafe in East Brisbane. And they have scones. SCONES.
John Mills Himself | CBD
It was as if John Mills wanted to play a game of hide-and-seek, except he was hiding a café and it was up to us to find it. Well, John, we’ve found it and we love it.
Fox & Rabbit Coffee Co | Paddington
Now if this were on a main road it wouldn't be a secret. But it's not. It's in a very suburban street tucked away, ergo the secret nature of Fox & Rabbit Coffee Co. Everything on the menu screams made with love and the melting moments (#bringbackbiscuits) are SO on the money and a throw back to the baking days of old.
LONgTIME | Fortitude Valley
The first time I went to LONgTIME I couldn't find it. It's that incognito. So much so that frequent diners share their "I couldn't see it" experiences like war stories. Whole cooked fish with crispy flavorsome additions come at me. Bug curry I will take one of you too.
Balfour Kitchen | New Farm
Most think that Spicers Balfour is a hotel. And it is. But the restaurant, The Balfour Kitchen, is open to the public, and the food is super. The menu is bursting with good things, and it's a place that needs more attention.
GOMA Restaurant | South Brisbane
Another winner that needs more attention is the GOMA Restaurant, a small restaurant tucked within at QAGOMA. Chef Josh Lopez has worked in some pretty fine kitchens, and has really hit his stride directing his own one. And a note, it's THE ONLY restaurant in an Australian gallery to be hatted. Take that southern states.
Image credit: Daniel Maddock