Brisbane’s emerging laneway cultureWhile Melbourne has long enjoyed a reputation as the trailblazer of Australia’s laneway culture, there’s no doubt about it – Queensland’s capital of Brisbane is giving its southern-state counterpart a run for its money when it comes to establishing a hip laneway culture all of its own.
For many Brisbane locals, it’s no secret that the city has more than a handful of cosy enclaves from which to meet, shop, dine, relax and celebrate the city’s culture and arts – some are steeped in history, while others have joined the laneway scene more recently.
And for visitors to Brisbane who are also looking to discover and get acquainted with the city’s monopoly of hidden laneways, we’re rounded up a few of the best to get you started.
Well and truly the pioneer of Brisbane’s laneway culture, Burnett Lane is up there among the city’s most frequented laneway haunts. Once a prison exercise yard, Burnett Lane – named after colonial surveyor James Burnett – has been transformed and is now the ‘in’ place to enjoy an early morning coffee (our pick – Felix Espresso), drinks and tapas at Brew Café & Wine Bar, or a night cap at Super Whynot. Take a moment to appreciate the unique overhead lighting, and permanent art installation by artist Elizabeth Woods, which runs the entire length of the Lane.
With a central city location, Gresham Lane has certainly made its mark on Brisbane’s laneway scene, garnering a strong following of foodie fans that appreciate its diverse gastronomic offering. From New York-style street food at Red Hook, to slider buns and other Japanese delights at Ichiban Yakitori, or an after-work whisky at one of Brisbane’s best bars, The Gresham – be sure to make a stop at Gresham Lane morning, noon or night.
Located off Margaret Street, the once forgotten space that is now Spencer Lane has become perennially popular with scores of lunchtime and after work patrons, looking for a tasty meal and tipple at one of its unique drinking and dining destinations. The Urbane Group has cemented its position on Spencer Lane, with four sister bars and restaurants that are tucked away from the bustle of the city, including The Euro, The Laneway, Urbane and Euro Garden – each is distinctly different, but all share an ethos for being ‘green’, using herbs from a communal herb garden, and homemade honey from the rooftop beehive.
Possibly the hippest of the city’s laneway scene, a steady stream of Brisbane’s uber-cool flock to Winn Lane in the heart of Fortitude Valley, which promises a treasure trove of fashion, books, art, music, coffee and great food. Currently undergoing a makeover, this bustling creative hub is home to the likes of Bens Burgers, fashion label House of Cards, boutique salon Lawless, and vintage store Sunday Social.
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