Restaurants Your Dad Likes

By Phil Swan
7th Aug 2013

Dads are an interesting specimen aren't they? It generally has to be a pretty special occasion for a Dad to actually want to go out to dinner (and it's an even bigger deal if it's to somewhere outside of the postcode he lives in).

When they are dragged out of the house by their teeth, dads generally like frequenting the same old haunts they've been going to for the last 15 to 20 years. If it's got a seafood buffet, the best steaks in Bris, or a menu with the lot, there's a fair chance it's right up your dad's alley.

With Father's Day just around the corner, we've compiled a list of Brisbane restaurants your Dad will love. You won't find any tav's or $10 schnitz's in this list, though—we've spared no expense when it comes to treating our dads. But, let's face it, he's probably going to end up paying anyway!


The name Gambaro is synonymous with the Brisbane seafood scene. Starting off as a fish 'n' chip shop on Caxton Street in the '50s, this family owned and run business is still kicking goals 60 years later. The restaurant now towers over two-storeys and is pretty much dad heaven. Gambaro is known for its sensational, locally sourced seafood, and they know their way around a steak, too!

Enjoy Inn

Dads have been enjoyin' the Enjoy Inn (classic dad joke) for over 20 years now.

Many a dad would have frequented this spot for a cheap eat back in the day—lining the stomach before a big night on the tinnies. The menu actually hasn't changed too much from when it first opened. The produce is of a high quality and the service is always on point.

Little Tokyo

Dads can be pretty fickle when it comes to eating Asian food—it's gotta be traditional and authentic. Little Tokyo, in Spring Hill, ticks both of these boxes. It also ticks the box of being Australia's oldest Japanese restaurant. Fact.

Mosey into the shoes-off dining area where you can sit on the floor and watch the chef prepare your meal before your very eyes.

Cha Cha Char

Two Chas, one Char, ten different cuts of high-quality pasture and grain-fed beef.

Cha Cha Char has owned the high-end steak sector in Brisbane since opening day. Frequented by suit-clad gents from the surrounding office buildings, it can sometimes be hard to get a table, so make sure you book. It would be a miSTEAK not too (yep, we went there).

e'cco Bistro

Arguably one of Brisbane's best restaurants, e'cco pride themselves on a no-nonsense approach to their bistro—letting the food do the talking. No tablecloths, relaxed wait staff, and, on paper, quite a simple menu. But, the end result will knock your socks off. e'cco celebrated their 18th birthday this week and it's easy to see why they've stood the test of time—a safe bet for a special dinner any dad would be happy with.

Il Centro

This is the spot your Dad takes your mum for their anniversary night. Famous for its sweeping views of the Brisbane River and The Story Bridge, and its delicious Italian meals, it's no wonder Il Centro has stood the test of time. If Dad is going to shell out $45+ for mains, there'd better be plenty on their plate and it better be delish. Il Centro is all over it.


This might be a newie for dad, but we predict Moda will soon become a firm favourite. Spanish flavours, generous portions, and lots of great wine make this a winner in anyone's book. Grab some share platters, crack a bottle or three, and enjoy one of Brisbane's best restaurants.

Summit Restaurant and Bar

Dad's can be cheap bastards. Yep.

Sitting at the highest restaurant in Brisbane, with city views in the distance while devouring a 300g rump steak, you'd be surprised to know that Summit Restaurant at Mt Coot-tha doesn't have a main over $40. Shout your dad lunch or dinner here and he'll think you've spent an arm and a leg.


This family-owned restaurant has been the go-to for traditional Italian in Brisbane for nearly 30 years now. The menu is extensive, not expensive, and they do everything exceptionally well. We predict he'll go for the spaghetti and schnitzel combo and, well, who can blame him?

Breakfast Creek Hotel

The words iconic and institution get thrown around a lot when we talk about well-known restaurants in Brisbane. The Brekky Creek takes this to a whole new level. Serving up some of the best steaks in Brisbane, and one of the last remaining pubs in Australia to serve beer out of wooden kegs (very important), you'll have no issue getting your Dad here for dinner (although we can't promise the same for getting him home).


Think Stokehouse is too fancy for ol' pops? Think again. Successfully combining a stylish and casual atmosphere, South Bank is setting the benchmark for good restaurants with great food (in a location that's hard to beat). Push dad toward the Rainbow Trout.

Lab Bar + Restaurant

Tucked away inside the Treasury Casino, Lab Bar + Restaurant is a rose among thorns.  The menu at Lab is of the highest standard—every type of meat you can think of, and not a salad in sight, just as papa likes. And if he disappears during dessert, never fear, he's probably just gone to throw a couple of goldies down the throat of a pokie or two.


Brents sits outside the hustle and bustle of the CBD, residing in a cute little refurbished Queenslander in Toowong. Outside they have their own garden— home to beehives, fruit, vegetables, and herbs, which are all used daily in meals. Brents is famous for hearty, delicious, French-inspired food, an excellent wine list, and impeccable service. Dad will love.

The Vietnamese

It's long been the home of Vietnamese food in Brisbane, and this family run business is still thriving 20 years since opening. And it's no wonder. The Vietnamese has one of those never-ending menus that dads love. We suggest ordering a banquet so that there's plenty to choose from. And don't forget to bring your own beers!

Is there any we've missed? Where does your Dad enjoy going out to dinner?

Image Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

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