Brisbane Restaurants, Cafes

In the not too distant past Brisbane was seen as poor cousin to other Australian cities, viewed as provincial and behind the times. But no more! These days it has five-star restaurants, cool bars and quirky cafes to rival the best anywhere.

Here are some of the best:

To shake up your idea of a great cocktail bar, make a booking at tiny Anise in the evolving neighbourhood of New Farm. Sip on absinthe, nibble on gourmet snacks or top quality meals, and know you’re at the epicentre of Brisbane cool.

For a terrific lunch or dinner out with friends, head to Isis in funky Fortitude Valley. Verity Byth, Chief Experience Officer for NeoNeighbourhood.com says it delivers “a close-to-perfect combination of the elements of great urban living: relaxed and sophisticated decor, food that is clearly the result of great attention to detail, and floor service that’s smooth and personal”.

For a café that nourishes mind and body you can’t go past Riverbend Tea House. Its outdoor deck and shady ‘tree-room’ make the most of Brisbane’s tropical climate. The food is terrific, and the café adjoins the acclaimed Riverbend Books, so you can browse your latest literary find while you eat.

If it’s an alfresco getaway in the middle of the city you’re yearning for, go straight to Watt Modern Dining. The menu has something for everyone (even a martini with weekend breakfast, if you’re up for it!) and the lush riverside location can’t be beaten.

When it comes to cool urban cafés, James Street in buzzing Fortitude Valley is the place to be. At the bottom of the hill you’ll find Cirque Café. All the breakfast favourites are on offer, the coffee is worth seeking out, and everyone, no matter how newly arrived, looks right at home.