California Native | Image credit: Ariana Gillrie
Things are peachy south of the Brisbane River. We have the art gallery, museum and performing arts theatres all under our belt, we don’t have to deal with all hell breaking loose on Coro Drive on cue at 5 pm every day, and we are just that little bit closer to a land where bunny rabbits aren’t seen as pests, but cute and fluffy companions.
So, it goes without saying we also have some damn good places to eat out after a hard day’s work. Here are our picks for the best restaurants to eat dinner on the south side of Brisbane.
They say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Beccofino boys have (very welcomingly) interpreted this as, if you’re on a roll with restaurants, then just keep on going. Sister store Julius Pizzeria is the answer to southsider’s desperate pleas for that delicious wood-fired pizza and that famous, mouthwatering, damn good duck ragu. Sandwich it between a starter of the calamari and a dessert of the fried ricotta dumplings and you have yourself a night made in Italian heaven.
Billy Kart Kitchen
Every Friday Ben O’Donoghue opens his suburban sweetheart, Billy Kart Kitchen, for dinner. The menu changes monthly, and the line-up ain’t too shabby. July is the chef’s choice winter menu, with Moreton Bay squid noodles, venison loin, and steamed pear and golden syrup pudding on offer. The rest of the year sees French bistro Fridays in August, a spring-themed menu in September, Oktoberfest in October, a Mexican menu in November, and sweet summer fare in December to round the year out.
Red Robin Supper Truck
Gone are the days where all organisational hell would break loose if you were in the mood for a greasy cheesy, but your mate wanted a Thai green curry. The legends behind the Red Robin Supper Truck have heard the calls of the people, and responded with aplomb! Once a roaming food van and now housed in the backyard of the Southside Tea Room, RRST serves up a myriad of finger-lickin’ goodies the likes of wings with dirty mayo, hot dogs, Vietnamese salad, burgers and lamb ribs with pineapple salsa.
Greek on Cav
Opa! If you, like me, can’t wait for May to roll around every year so you can eat your weight in honeypuffs, Greek on Cav has you covered. They’ve got everything your heart desires: souvlaki, moussaka, pastichio, octopus, dolmades, spanakopita, haloumi, lemon potatoes, baklava, galaktoboureko, etcetera. But seriously. The honeypuffs. Get ‘em.
Crosstown Eating House
Nestled in the culinary hub of bars, restaurants and those quirky lampshade streetlights that is Logan Road are some seriously good dinner options, and Crosstown is no exception. Shout out to the saganaki cheese (YASSS), sticky pig wings, house ricotta gnocchi, pan roasted duck breast and 250g stockyard wagyu sirloin with hand cut chips.
Crosstown’s neighbours Canvas are famous for their cocktails, but they serve up pretty darn good dinner too. Pair your drinks with some tapas, pizza or hearty salads, or go with the food theme of the night if you’re feeling adventurous. Tuesday is tapas and tequila, Wednesday is ribs, wings and rye, Thursday is pizza, beer and wine, and the weekend offers up the ultimate combo: cheese and wine.
The Morrison Hotel
Did someone say steak?! If you’re in dire need of your red meat fix, Fiasco’s Steakhouse at The Morrison Hotel is calling your name. With a selection of 8 different cuts and a dry aged option, there is sure to be something here to suit any carnivore. And if you’re not that way inclined, there’s a woodfired pizza range and a huge selection of other mains, including salads and a fresh fish of the day. Pub dining at it's best.
South Side Diner
If you’re looking to dine on the south side, go to, um, South Side Diner (duh?). Bringing all of your wildest American food-related dreams to life, this South Bank pick serves up everything you’ve ever imagined eating in your fairy tale cotton plantation. Philly steak, corn dogs, quesadillas, jumbo fried chicken wings… and don’t leave without trying the mac ‘n cheese.
If the finger-lickin’ fried fare of southern America piqued your interest, the south side has you covered for sure. In a converted old corner store on a nondescript street in Coorparoo lies a haven of soul-food - Carolina Kitchen. Wings, ribs, and chilly cheese fries reign supreme here, as well as things called ‘hoagies’ (subs) which taste a lot more delicious than they sound.
Coorparoo continues bringing the Yankee ‘tude with new laidback eatery California Native. Feel those west coast vibes with the best of Mexican and American grub combined. Think burgers, tacos, and chowder alongside chilled cocktails, wine and beer.
So we’ve covered the deep south and the west coast of America—what about that humble little city on the other side of the country? Taking its name from the mean streets of New York City, 5 Boroughs serves up the usual suspects as well as a few surprise offers: gyoza, steamed buns and fish tacos, just to name a few. If you can get it in the Big Apple, you can get it at 5 Boroughs.
Shady Palms is a strong contender in Brisbane’s gastropub scene. With a menu offering a pork belly Waldorf salad, brisket burger, ceviche with avo smash, dirty fries, chilli lime octopus, Jamaican jerk chicken sliders and BBQ street corn, you’re probably not going to have room for dessert. But please try to—the caramel and sea salt homemade ice cream with spiced crumb, hazelnut praline and strawberry sauce looks to die for.
Do you ever wake up and think, “Hey, I would like to eat some sushi for dinner” at the exact same time you think, “Hey, I wonder where the Brisbane Lions players are dining tonight”? Of course you do, because that is a perfectly reasonable combination of thoughts to have. And, lo and behold, Sushi Kotobuki is the place where these two worlds collide. Their grub (especially the teriyaki chicken with udon noodles) is so good it brings allllllll the boys, including elite athletes, to the yard.
If a restaurant has entrees so tantalising that your entire table can’t choose between them and decides to order two each instead of a main because they just can’t live without trying them, you’re probably on to a winner. I would go to The Jetty just for their crispy calamari salad and gnocchi, but their wagyu beef burger, market fish and Angus fillet sounds pretty damn good as well.
West End’s prime pick for food made with organic, sustainable produce and a whole lotta love, Mondo Organics is renowned for its wholesome and inventive meals. The menu changes according to season and availability, and uses only the best local produce. If you do feel like cooking for yourself, check out their cooking school, which offers classes for all ranges of tastes (hello ‘Mondo Winter Desserts’ and ‘Wholesome Pizza and Pasta’, you’re calling my name).
Spice up your dinner life and check out what’s going on at Wandering Cooks basecamp. There are a bunch of events on offer every month (just check out the calendar on their website) and the site plays home to Thank Truck It’s Thursday every week, where Brisbane’s best food trucks congregate to bring you a night of dinner, drinks and sweet, sweet tunes.
Popolo Italian Kitchen and Bar
If, like Joey Tribbiani, you don’t share food, maybe give this one a miss. The dishes at Popolo are engineered around sharing with your friends, and they’re just too damn good to keep to yourself. Try the pumpkin and ricotta ravioli, pork and beef meatballs, pancetta-wrapped chicken, three-cheese arancini balls and a hot contender in Brisbane’s duck ragu race, the ragu d’anatra.
Fish Lane Bistro
Tucked away in the ghost of many Sunday sessions past is The Fox Hotel’s Fish Lane Bistro. Bringing quality Queensland produce to the table in gastropub form, these digs are the home to some seriously quality steaks, as well as Hervey Bay scallops, sandcrab spaghettini and Malay-style chargrilled chicken and green papaya salad, among other things.
Want more of the best restaurants on the southside? Here are five of our fave secret south side cafes!