Food and Wine 14 February 2017

A Visitor’s Guide To Where To Eat and Drink in Brisbane City

Brisbane CBD is a popular stop for an overnight business trip or a few leisurely days of shopping, and sight-seeing. But navigating the River City’s grid of one-way streets and hidden laneways can seem a little puzzling to an outsider. When it comes to hunting down that early morning caffeine fix, a grab-and-go bite, or late night tapas and martinis on foot you need not panic.

This dining guide to Brisbane City will equip you with local insider tips, so you’ll be strutting the streets in search of that coffee or champagne in no time. There’s no need to hail an Uber or taxi, these Brisbane hot spots are all within walking distance.

Find the best coffee in Brisbane CBD

The most important meal of the day? Coffee. Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, the promise of that first cup of coffee is what really gets you out of bed. After you’ve enjoyed a slow morning at your Oaks hotel of choice, seek out your second flat white, latte, cappuccino or long black at one of the best coffee spots in Brisbane CBD. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourites in a guide here.

Group of friends walking along the Brisbane City Markets

Try Korean food on Elizabeth St

Where are Brisbane’s Korean restaurants located? Almost all in the CBD. For a quick and tasty lunch, head to Elizabeth St where you’ll spot local favourites Madtongsan II, Maru, and Wara Wara. Here you’ll be able to order colourful bibimbap bowls, rice dishes, kimchi, beef stews, stone hot pots and even Korean barbecue, which you grill at your own table.

Grab a cheap lunch at the markets

If it’s a Wednesday, make tracks for the Brisbane City Markets. Once a week the fresh produce and street food market pops up in Redcliff Place (at the George Street end of Queen Street Mall) with dozens and dozens of curious and delicious stalls. Pick up a freshly squeezed juice and wander the markets meeting the producers and picking up goods for the week (and a sweet treat for later) before finding your cheap lunch of choice.

Eat by the riverside

Sitting beneath the Story Bridge, the Howard Smith Wharves precinct is a riverside parkland dotted with some of the city’s coolest spots to eat and drink. If you’re staying at Oaks Aurora Tower, make the short walk over to Felon’s Brewing for a craft beer, try Mr Percival’s for a sunset cocktail, or enjoy a leisurely lunch or dinner at Yoko, Stanley or Ciao Papi.

Locals sitting beneath the Story Bridge while drinking cocktails with spectacular view of Brisbane City

Seek out a great steak by the gardens

There’s something about being in the middle of a CBD, surrounded by suits, that makes one crave a steak. Just near the City Botanic Gardens, Walter’s Steakhouse is an old world brasserie with spectacular interiors that will take you back in time. Arrive early for a martini in the front bar before taking your pick of steak. The house specialty is an Australian grain-fed porterhouse.

Kick on with cocktails

Brisbane CBD is home to some of the city’s best and most awarded cocktail bars. Venture down Burnett Lane where you can hop between three of the best – Super Whatnot, Death & Taxes and Alba Bar – enjoying cocktails and snacks as you go. Then pop into multi award-winning bar The Gresham for a chic drink or two and choose from a library of top shelf whiskeys and rums.

If you prefer terraces with views to laneways and underground drinking dens, take yourself to the WET Deck to enjoy views over South Bank, or to Sixteen Antlers Rooftop Bar for city centre views. 

Locals enjoying cocktails and snacks at the WET Deck with views of the city centre.

Go out dancing with live music

Hidden behind a door tucked down a laneway, Brooklyn Standard is the place to go for live music, American craft beer and a boogie. A hop, skip and a jump from the Oaks Aurora Tower, this New-York-style basement bar brings in a rotating line-up of local musicians and bands six nights a week. Alternatively, try Doo-Bop Bar with two lounges where there’s live music five nights’ a week.

Oaks Hotels & Resorts offers the choice of 11 apartment-style properties located throughout Brisbane, including the CBD, Bowen Hills, Woolloongabba and Milton.