2021 has been almost as crazy as 2020—but things have slowly been looking up, even if the year is almost over. One thing we are looking forward in the last few months of wild ride though, is the epic restaurants, bakeries and cafes that will be hitting Brisbane before the new year—because if all else fails, we can just eat our feelings, right?
Here’s the top shelf Brisbane openings we’re most looking forward to checking out before the year is out.
Cartel Del Taco
Tacos, tacos and more tacos—that's what Hawthorne newcomer Cartel Del Taco will be all about when it lands in mid-January. Promising authentic Mexican street food, cocktails and beers served up in vibrant, 1980s style taqueria featuring plenty of fiery red, Cartel del Taco will do most of their cooking on a spit grill imported all the way from Mexico. Expect to be so overwhelmed by taco flavour options that you'll panic order one of everything and stay tuned for an official opening date here.
Taking over a tiny space on Stanley Street with room for just 35 diners is Clarence, a modern Australian bistro from an ex-chef and ex-front-of-house manager of Nineteen at The Star. Swapping fine dining for a neighbourhood vibe, the cosy venue will be all about local produce dished up in interesting ways—think pigs head terrine, veal sweetbreads with sweetcorn and caper and grouper with globe artichoke. They're planning on a late January opening and you can stay up to date here.
Just when you thought James Street couldn’t get any tastier, Simon Gloftis, owner of Hellenika and SK Steak & Oyster, has announced he’s opening another high-end restaurant together with co-owners Kelvin Andrews and Theo Kampolis. Taking over a spot on the street level of The Calile Hotel (which used to host the hotel’s lobby shop), Sushi Room will be a moody, Japanese fine diner, with a fit out designed—of course—by Richards & Spence, the architects behind the hotel itself. Offering up an exquisite sushi and sashimi menu as well as a handful of classic Japanese dishes, the new venue’s pride and joy will be a lengthy omakase menu that will set you back a cool $300 a head—but will undoubtedly be like nothing you’ve ever tasted before. Frankly, we’re excited, and you should be too—stay tuned for their opening early in 2022.
If you haven’t heard of Mamak, all you need to know is that it’s one of Melbourne and Sydney’s top spots for Malaysian food, with a top notch menu of roti, curry and satay—and they’re coming to Brisbane. Landing on Charlotte Street in the CBD in 2022, the fourth Australian venue will be sticking closely to their award-winning formula—a minimalist, red-hued venue and budget-friendly dishes that are served up uber quick. An official opening date has yet to be announced, but stay tuned for updates.
Cordelia Sourdough Bakery
There’s no denying that we love a good specialty bakery, and a new one is coming to Brisbane in 2022 that will send smashed avo on sourdough lovers into a tailspin. The team behind Superthing, West End’s gloriously pink bakery and croissanterie, and NYC Deli’s bagels are opening a new bakery dedicated entirely to sourdough in South Brisbane, and we are excited. Far from just baking up regular loaves of plain sourdough (though you can definitely expect plenty of that), Cordelia Sourdough Bakery will be slinging the loaves in flavours of all kinds, from rosemary and olive to dark rye. Handcrafted using decades-old starter cultures, the sourdough loaves will be joined by doughnuts, baguettes and other baked goods that you can eat in or take away. The bakery will be opening sometime early in the new year, so stay tuned.
If you’re a pizza lover—and let’s be real who isn’t?—then you’re probably familiar with Pizzantica. You know, New Farm’s beloved pizza truck turned pizza joint that just so happens to be one of Brisbane’s best pizza spots. Well saddle up, because they’re opening a new flagship pizza joint, this one in Wilston. Antica, as it will be named, is currently under construction but here’s what we know so far. They’ve imported a pizza oven literally from Italy, so there’s that. Plus, Antica promises to serve up the finest traditional southern style pizza. Their full menu is yet to be released but we’re sure to be seeing some classics from Pizzantica. To stay up to date with their opening, follow them right here.
Simon Gloftis, who you should know from Hellenika and SK Steak & Oyster, has announced he will be opening a third James Street eatery, this one just across the street from The Calile Hotel. Taking over the site where Chow House formerly resided, the new venue—dubbed Sunshine—will be much more relaxed than his other two, focusing on casual Mediterranean eats in a chilled environment. Designed as both a spot to grab-and-go a lunchtime salad or sit down and dine with a bottle of wine, Sunshine is still a fair way off, but we’ll have more details soon. In the meantime, you can stay tuned for updates here.
Brass Tacks Bakery & Deli
If you haven’t heard of The Pie Hole, you’re clearly not a pie lover—this pop-up bakery and pie delivery service bakes up epic crusted creations that will have you drooling on sight. And soon, they’ll be dishing up even more drool-worthy goodies when they open the doors on Brass Tacks Bakery & Deli Goods together with fellow Albion makers Lady Bouchon Cakes. We don’t have too many details for you just yet, but we do know that the new bakery and deli will be the place to score everything from baked goods and desserts to cheese, antipasto and charcuterie, as well as fresh sandwiches and salads. Though the exact location hasn’t been announced, we’re going to take a wild guess and say this newcomer will probably be landing at Craft’d Grounds, which is looking mighty close to being ready to open these days. Stay tuned for more details, or follow Brass Tacks for updates here.
If you don’t know the name DAP & Co, you definitely know the heavyweight hospitality group’s venues—The Gresham, Walter's Steakhouse and Popolo Italian Kitchen & Bar are all in their portfolio. And now the group is set to add another impressive site to their lengthy list, taking over Naldham House in the CBD (you know it, it’s the big old white building near Eagle Street Pier, which used to house the Brisbane Polo Club) with plans to transform it into a multi-level restaurant and bar. They’re keeping pretty tight-lipped about the details for now, but with DAP & Co behind it, you can bet this will be one to keep an eye out for.
Baker D Chirico
Newstead just keeps getting tastier, but the next addition to the ‘burb is a serious feather in the cap of the burgeoning Gasworks precinct. Dan Chirico, the man behind Melbourne’s Baker D Chirico, is moving to Brisbane—and he’s bringing his incredible bakery with him. Landing sometime around April this year, the third location for the group will feature the bakery’s iconic curved timber ceiling as well as artisan baked goods Baker D Chirico is known for. Stay tuned for more details soon
You’ll find the best new openings of 2021 here.
Image credit: katielmasters/flickr