Food & Drink

14 Of The Best Hawthorne And Bulimba Restaurants

By Victoria Patapan

Nestled on the leafy banks of the Brisbane River, Bulimba and its nextdoor neighbour, Hawthorne are home to a suite of international flavours just waiting to set your tastebuds alight. Spread down iconic Oxford Street and well down neighbouring Hawthorne Road, there's a literal world of flavour here, and it seems to get tastier every month. 

From tantalising Thai to all things Mexican, here at Urban List we've eaten our way through them all—here are our top picks for the Hawthorne and Bulimba restaurants to add to your list.

Melrose

1/37 Oxford Street, Bulimba 

Filling in for your annual trip to Bali, Melrose is a welcome addition to Bulimba’s bustling Oxford Street. The Indonesian-inspired eatery comes complete with a fully retractable roof, wicker chairs, and plenty of greenery, and you’ll need to book ahead to tuck into epic curries and other spicy eats while you take in the breathtaking sunset vibes. Once you've had an early dinner, stay for another cocktail at the bar next door. 

Mexicali 

142 Oxford Street, Bulimba 

Stepping into Mexicali, you can instantly tell this taqueria hails from the Goldie—who else would have the audacity to open a rooftop Mexican eatery where vibrant interiors are as irresistible as the margs and tacos? Speaking of, the menu here is crammed with scrumptious house-made corn chips, grilled corn, Baja-style fish, birria and al pastor tacos, and blue swimmer crab tostadas just to name a few. The margaritas are simply perfect, with a few faultless variations including spicy coconut, strawberry, and passionfruit. You’ll often see DJs parked up for Sunday sessions, and cheap tacos on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Do we even need to mention their bottomless package?

Downtown Istanbul 

276 Hawthorne Road, Hawthorne


Image credit: Downtown Istanbul | Instagram

If you’re a fan of family-sized feeds, book yourself a table at Downtown Istanbul. Their share plates are a highlight of their Mediterranean menu, featuring all your fave Turkish dips, breads, sauce and pastry. Once you’ve filled up on the first course, order a plate from their char grill menu, and treat yourself to a selection of lamb, adana and chicken shish. Top it all off with a serve of traditional Turkish delight, featuring real rose petals and fresh berries, and you’ll be booking a trip to Turkey soon after. 

Cartel Del Taco 

290 Hawthorne Road, Hawthorne 

The passion project of two Mexican ex-pats, taqueria and bar Cartel Del Taco is a slice of Mexico right here in Brisbane. Adorned in Mexican art, the fire engine red spot dishes up authentic tacos alongside other dishes with a traditional twist like chicken tostadas, lamb barbacoa shanks and soft caramel lava cake. As much a bar as an eatery, the drinks list has a big focus on tequila, best sampled in one of their classic margs. 

Stella 

37 Oxford Street, Bulimba 

When it comes to Italian, every dish at Stella is a star-studded creation. The vibe of the whole restaurant undoubtedly gives coastal Italy, with dishes to match. Under the umbrellas outside is the perfect spot to perch for a long lunch featuring delicious wines that pair perfectly with bangers like the spaghetti with Ballina king prawns, heirloom cherry tomatoes, chilli, garlic, stracciatella and pistachio. You can even book a bottomless lunch inspired by the Mediterranean perfectly paired with two hours of drinks every Friday to Sunday from 12pm-3pm.

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Izakaya Haiiro 

5/265 Hawthorne Road, Hawthorne


Image credit: Izakaya Haiiro | Instagram

Welcome to the modern world of Izakaya Haiiro, a fusion of Japanese tradition and cutting-edge culinary innovation right in the heart of Bulimba. Dive into a sleek izakaya where every dish is a bold harmony of textures and flavours—think crispy tempura and skewers grilled to succulent perfection. With an atmosphere that hums with quiet luxury and a sake selection to match, Izakaya Haiiro is not just a meal—it's a thrilling adventure perfect for a mid-week refresh. Our recco is the wagyu steak cream udon—you just have to try it for yourself.

Sugo IT 

3/190 Oxford Street, Bulimba 

Make cheat day worth it with a meal at one of Brissy’s top contenders for the perfect pizza. Sugo IT offers a tonne of Italian classics, but there’s no passing up their wide range of traditional, sugo-base pizzas.  Chow down on crispy polenta bites as you soak in the scent of freshly cooked dough wafting out onto the footpath, and count down the minutes until your meal is ready. Sweeten the deal with a modest selection of wines from Australia, New Zealand and Italy, and whisk yourself away to the seaside streets of Tuscany. 

The Oxford Taphouse 

77 Oxford Street, Bulimba

Now The Oxford Taphouse is something to talk about - a cosy watering hole with six rotating taps dedicated to showcasing the very best beer and cider Australia has to offer. Known to locals as the Ox, they’ll even throw in the occasional Kiwi brew to keep patrons on their toes. The Ox’s taps are accompanied by a full menu of food, wine and cocktails, not to mention a cheese and charcuterie board for those keeping it classy. 

Luckie’s Kitchen

4/210 Oxford Street, Bulimba 

Image credit: Luckie's Kitchen | Instagram

Upon entry to Luckie’s Kitchen it comes as absolutely no surprise that the owners are two hospo veterans. It's hard not to get excited just sitting there—from the playful interiors to the A1 customer service, it’s invigorating to sit in a restaurant that simply knows what it's doing. Now, when we saw our cocktails approaching with rubber duckies floating in them, the deal was sealed—and the IG story slayed. The menu boasts Cantonese flavours, all promised to come with a side of good fortune. Yum cha gets dished up from Friday to Sunday from 11:30am, and it's well worth the week-long wait. 

Oxford 152 

152 Oxford Street, Bulimba

Can’t pass up a cheeky pub feed? Score yourself a steak and a parmi at Oxford 152, the local go-to for after work drinks and social catchups. Located right in the heart of Oxford Street, punters will enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday night as the main bar transforms into a popular nightlife venue with bands and DJs to keep you entertained until 4am in the morning. Talk about all-day service. 

Ambrosia & Co 

5/180 Oxford Street, Bulimba

Inspired by the Greek word for ‘food of the gods,’ we can confirm: Ambrosia & Co lives up to the hype. The Mediterranean-style cafe, bar and grill has a dish for every occasion, making it the perfect crowd-pleaser when dining with picky eaters. Whilst you can eat in for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it’s their relaxed evening menu that’s earned a special place in our hearts. There’s simply no passing up their soulvaki platter or prawn saganaki, not to mention their mouth-watering gyros. Finish off with the feta cheese, chicken salt and special sauce fries for a few extra carbs.

Il Molo 

1B Oxford Street, Bulimba


Image credit: Il Mono | Facebook

Perched right on the river, Il Molo is a prime example of dinner with a view. A resident of Oxford Street for over five years, Il Molo provides a refined Italian dining experience in a sleek, industrial setting. Their menu is a who’s who of Italian classics done well, from aranciniand feta stuffed silician olives to mooloolaba prawn linguine and margherita pizzas. Wash it down with an ice cold Aperol spritz and enjoy the water views.

Pawpaw Asian Kitchen 

2/216 Riding Road, Balmoral 

If you haven’t paid a visit to Pawpaw by now (sister venue to the Woolloongabba fave), get out from that rock you’ve been under and treat yourself to some of the best cuisine in Brisbane. Inspired by the exotic flavours and experiences gracing South East Asia, Pawpaw Asian Kitchen combines the best elements of its owners' other venues into one delightful, ambient setting. The neon green lights and towering plant life will draw you in, where you’ll be greeted by a menu filled with traditional and contemporary Asian eats. We recommend the island roasted duck curry for a tropical taste you’ll soon be obsessed with. 

Mucho Mexicano 

274 Hawthorne Road, Hawthorne 

Gather a group of your closest amigos and amigas, and book yourself in for a fiesta special courtesy of Mucho Mexicano. Known as one of Brisbane’s best Mexican restaurants, guests can choose from a list of delicious antojitos, comidas, tacos, nachos and more. The restaurant also offers daily deals so you can get the most bang for your buck, whilst treating your taste buds in the process. Our top pick is $15 magarita mondays, the delcious and extensive list of margies pair perfectly with your favourite taco toppings. 

Looking for more places to add to your list? Head here:

Image credit: Melrose | Grace Elizabeth Images

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