Pick of the Precinct | Paddington

By AJ James
2nd May 2015

Ahhh, the inner city nook of Paddington. It’s leafy and green, the shops are the perfect hybrid of hip and quaint, the dogs are friendly and it’s just a stroll from the CBD. Not to mention (for those of you interested) the schools are good.

No wonder it’s one of Brisbane’s most in demand suburbs to take up residence. The “FOR SALE” signs are soon plastered with SOLD stickers, and those spare rooms advertised on gum tree, quickly snapped up. (I know because I rented mine out within 3 hours of listing.)

Yep, Paddington’s hot. And partly because of the offerings, the awesome Paddington cafes, the even better Paddington shopping, and the blurred line that falls between it and Rosalie—meaning you get those good spots in ‘Paddington’ too. It’s like the blur existing Fortitude Valley and New Farm. But with less junkies.


Tall Short is now very much an institution and a lovely way to kick off the day, with many familiar faces calling in for their caffeine hit before heading elsewhere for the 9–5. The gingerbread biscuits sitting on your saucer will steal your heart. And the staff at this Paddington cafe are gems.

Anouk is one of the Paddington greats, and one of the first additions to Given Terrace. Owner Justine runs a tight ship, the cake cabinet will see your cravings sky rocket and no matter your order, you will be well thrilled.

Seven words for Grappino’s. Veal scallopini with funghi (fancy mushrooms) and buttered fettuccine. Get there. With a bottle of Chianti, how else would you spend those Winter date nights?

Paddington Deli is a haven for all delicious things. Whether you’re eating in breakfast, taking away lunch, or picking up a little wheel of cheese for weekend eating, satisfaction comes assured.

Middle Eastern focused Paddington café, Shouk is a real favourite with those hip university students who are either in one of the many share houses or lodging blissfully with the ‘rents. The house made granola is super nutty. And very good.

For those in the know, Il Locale, tucked away on the border of Rosalie and Paddington, is ridiculously yum. The pizzas at this Paddington restaurant are super special and they have a way with a wood oven. And meatballs.


How good are those apple whisky drinks at Lefty's? And they’re even better when there is a beard-heavy band serenading you from the stage.

Iceworks is one of those solid spots where you can perch up at the high tables, order some snacks and, as some would say, ‘talk shit’ or ‘chew the fat’ for a few hours.

The Caxton: for the times you feel like drinking rum in a plastic cup in a car park after match at Suncorp Stadium. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Remy’s was the café formerly known as Rogue Rennard, but now it’s a dive bar, and an excellent addition to Paddington’s after 5pm scene with those in walking distance taking up residence for a night of good brews and bites.

Somehow sitting and drinking in the front yard of Kettle and Tin feels like home. Whether that's a good thing or highly concerning aside, the drinks here are lush.


Pamela’s Pantry is a Paddington institution. From wall to wall it’s packed with every good home cooked meal you could hope to inhale from salmon and potato patties, ridiculous good meat pies and the BEST chocolate cake. Comfort take away food lives here. 

Olive Home carries a slew of delights both for the self, and the home. And for such a tight space, it’s all so well merchandised. You’ll want to get everything, and make both your wardrobe and that of your home super fancy.

Rosalie Gourmet Market is arguably Brisbane’s best $50 food shop. A $50 food shop being one where you go in, and just plan to buy, say, some nice full cream milk but come out with every other type of dairy food imaginable of an unsurpassed quality. Money well spent. 

There is nothing quite like (or as bright as) Happiness Place in Brisbane. Out the back is filled with party trimmings and hilarious gift cards, while super neon and rather uplifting items for the self and others can be found when entering.

If you're after something very Don Draper-esque gents then you best see the good folk at Harry Henry. Good suiting, and other manly things live here. 

And for the ladies, you need to get to Miss Henry. Their windows always look slick, and they've got a host of stylish threads for any location. 

Continue your shopping at Side Street we're you'll find jeans from Cheap Monday, and other ‘trendy’ brands. 

Beauty & Fitness

For my money, In Therapy is one of Brisbane's best salons and they carry out their rather divine treatments with some of the best products around including Dermalogica on the face, and OPI on the nails.  

From spin class to boxing, Lang Park PCYC run some pretty intense classes, so it's the place to go when you've been had a few too much of the cake centric opportunities Paddington affords. Alternatively if you'd like to sweat it out in your own time then Fit n Fast is your spot. 

If your core needs a little strengthening and your shoulders some old school Pilates style straightening then best book into Movement Principle. Unlike other Brisbane studios you won't be limited just to the reformer machine, with their space fitted out with all sorts of good gadgets. 


Go to Casablanca to end your night out in far from elegant style. You can sing karaoke to the early hours and then get some chicken chippies (!) from Dirty Harry’s when en route home.

Park in the streets surrounding the stadium (but not on game day) and get down to the river loop. Starting from the Go Between Bridge, then head towards the city. Double back once you pass QUT strolling through South Bank before passing QAGoMA and taking the Grey Street Bridge back.

Image credit: Daniel Maddock

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