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.
If you haven’t heard of Guy Grossi, he’s only one of Melbourne’s most iconic chefs, not to mention a well-known media personality who’s appeared on multiple cooking shows. And now, with four restaurants under his belt—Grossi Florentino, Ombra and Arlechin in Melbourne and Garum in Perth—Grossi is bringing his particular brand of hospitality to Brisbane, opening Settimo in the CBD. Landing inside The Westin, Settimo will be inspired by the ‘fresh and romantic cucina and culture of the Amalfi Coast,’ featuring Italian flavours and a lengthy wine list of local and international drops. We’ve got a while to wait, as the venue isn’t opening until summer, but you can bet we’ll let you know when it does.
Rosmarino was one of our favourite new openings of 2021, so we are mighty excited for the arrival of its sister venue, Etna, due to open right around the corner in the Stewart & Hemmant Building in the Valley sometime in September this year. While Rosmarino focuses on refined Italian cuisine, Etna will be a little more casual and all about the pizza, with plenty of wine to pair with them. Stay tuned for an official opening date here.
Ever heard of chifa? Let us fill you in: this Chinese and Peruvian fusion fare is huge in Peru, combing classic East Asian flavours like ginger and soy sauce with traditional Peruvian ingredients like potato and pineapple to create stir-fries and rice dishes. And it’s coming to Brisbane in the form of Casa Chow, a new venue from Jared Thibault and Vince Lombino, the duo behind Sasso Italiano. Joining its sibling venue in Woolloongabba’s South City Square, Casa Chow will be a breezy, high energy bar and eatery with a lengthy list of Pisco Sours to pair with traditional chifa dishes, and you can expect the doors to swing open very soon.
Brisbane coffee kings Bellissimo, who are also the team behind cliffside dining spot Joey, are opening a new restaurant in Bulimba by the name of Besitos. Cafe by day and fine dining spot by night, Besitos will be in the same industrial space as their Oxford Street roastery, with the menu changing over to a Mediterranean-inspired list of small plates come nightfall. Coming out of the open kitchen will be dishes like flame-cooked wagyu steak, toothfish tacos and emu tartare, just to name a few. You can book a table from 21 July.
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 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.
The space once occupied by OTTO before its migration across the river to South Bank has been empty for a while, but that’s set to change come October, with the opening of seafood restaurant and outdoor bar, BOS. Brought to us by a team that includes Adrian Richardson—yes, the Adrian Richardson of Good Chef, Bad Chef fame—BOS will be all about steak, seafood and pasta at approachable prices, served up in a sleek interior. The bar, meanwhile, will be just outside on the patio with impressive river views, decked out in huge booths where you can sip champagne and nibble on Moreton Bay bug rolls. Intrigued? Us too—stay tuned for more details.
The crew behind some of our favourite Brisbane venues—Pawpaw Cafe, Melrose, Darvella Patisserie and Mons Ban Sabai—are about to add yet another to their belt, with the Venzin Group soon to open Citron. Bringing Mediterranean-inspired dining to the Bayside, Citron will offer breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks, with a fit out reminiscent of the Mediterranean coast. There’s no firm opening date yet, but you can expect to be booking a table sometime this spring. Follow their progress here.
Love Brewdog but not the trek to their Murarrie brewery? Well you might be happy to hear that the Scottish brewers are opening a second Brisbane location, this one in the heart of the Valley. Taking over a heritage-listed building on Brunswick street opposite Valley Metro, the new venue will be a three story behemoth, featuring a bar, a beer hall and a function space. Aesthetically, you can expect more cosy heritage vibes rather than sleek industrial airs, while the dining menu will be similar to that of DogTap. And of course, the iconic brewery’s own beers will dominate taps. They’re talking about a spring opening, so stay tuned.
Fresh off the back of the expansion of their Paddington restaurant and wine bar, the Nota team are set to open a brand new venue, this one down a laneway in Newstead. Tucked down a laneway off Longland Street, Allonda will be an airy, two-story venue with a sleek, modern vibe in comparison to Nota’s heritage feel. The menu, however, will be similar to the OG restaurant’s Euro-inspired fare, featuring plenty of small and large plates of seafood, pastas and meats. We also hear there’s going to be a burrata bar showcasing fresh cheese and produce, which, as lovers of burrata, we are all for. And of course, there’ll be plenty of wines and cocktails. Allonda is aiming for an October opening, stay tuned here.
With Naga Thai having closed its doors due to the closure of the entire Eagle Street Pier precinct, owners Andrew and Jaimee Baturo, head chef Suwisa Phoonsang and General manager Gizem Temizkan were left twiddling their thumbs—so what were they to do but open a new restaurant? Enter, Tillerman, a glam new seafood restaurant set to open just next door in Riparian Plaza, in the former home of Kingsleys. With a menu influenced by everywhere from the Spanish coast to the Fijian islands, seafood will be the MVP here, heroed in dishes that let the produce shine through while you enjoy river views. Tillerman is set to open on 30 August, and are already taking bookings—check them out here.
You’ll find Brisbane's best new restaurants of late here.
Image credit: Urban List