26 Of Brisbane’s Best Restaurants You Need A Reservation At Now

Order up!


By Dinushka Gunasekara | 3rd June 2022

Wining and dining was the passtime practically made for the Sunshine State, so it only makes sense that the Brisbane dining scene offers a plethora of ways to make it happen. From caviar-topped indulgences to casual spice-filled fare, and everything in between, we know you’re hungry so we won’t waffle – here are Brisbane’s best restaurants you need to secure a booking at, pronto!

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Montrachet

Bowen Hills

If there’s one thing that Francophiles and foodies can agree on, it’s that King Street’s Montrachet is a Gallic gift to the Brisbane dining scene. Offering a seasonal French menu that encompasses the evolution of the cuisine with innovative dishes and classics alike, the delicate layering of flavours is truly something to behold for your gaze and palate.

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SK Steak & Oyster

Fortitude Valley

An ode to the art of the long lunching, SK Steak & Oyster sits pretty on the ground floor of The Calile Hotel with intimate booths and structural design. It’s in the name here, where fresh seafood and red meat reign supreme, alongside an array of pastas, soups, and a potato menu. Renowned for their seafood platters with prawns, bugs, scallops, baked fish, and crumbed anchovies, they’re also arguably the home of the best martini in Brisbane.

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Biànca

Fortitude Valley

This 2021 newcomer has almost immediately climbed the ranks to be a crowning glory of the Brisbane dining scene. An Italian trattoria executed in aesthetically-pleasing peach accents, the James Street resident has perfected simple, classic Italian dishes while honouring fresh produce and seasonality. The menu of house-made-from-scratch dishes include delicious antipasti like kingfish carpaccio, drool-worthy mains like the lasagnette lamb ragu, and sweet treats to finish like the gelato served in a frozen lemon. P.S. Do yourself a favour and order the bread.

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sAme sAme

Fortitude Valley

Sizzling with spice and southeast Asian cooking at its finest, this modern Thai restaurant will have you feasting like royalty. The balmy and chic dining room offers an elegant take on street food, by throwing in dynamism and intricate flavours that highlight the cuisine’s many quirks. Using authentic ingredients cooked over coals and in searing-hot woks, the tropical tiger prawns in curry butter and roasted chilli oil, yellow spiced cauliflower curry or wagyu brisket larb are just some of the few dishes that make up the incredible and extensive menu, paired with Thai-inspired cocktails and Riesling, rosé, and Rhône. 

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Ping Pong

Newstead

Three words to describe Ping Pong: fun, funky, and flavourful. Offering tongue-tantalising Thai street eats in a vibrant jungle oasis that is practically impossible to miss at Gasworks Plaza, the entire experience is a treat for the senses. From the DIY Peking duck pancakes to the beef rendang with Indonesian aromats and kaffir lime, the fresh ingredients and oh-so-cool vibes come together to create a jam-packed menu as unique as the space. Wash it all down with a cocktail slushie and you’re sorted!

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Rothwell’s Bar & Grill

Brisbane City

Opening its doors on the tail end of 2021, it certainly didn’t take long for Brisbanites to realise that Rothwell’s is truly something to behold. The swanky city restaurant takes notes from the world’s most iconic dining rooms to deliver produce-driven cooking, championing the freshest local seafood, the best cuts of Aussie beef, and handmade pasta. Plus, deep underneath the sparkling chandeliers, Rothwell’s cellar houses more than 2,000 bottles of wine, encapsulating Australia’s best-known producers and smaller, promising names.

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Southside

South Brisbane

Tucked away in the lush Fish Lane Town Square is an urban oasis that goes by the name of Southside. Over three levels in the tropical restaurant are the tantalising flavours of East-Asian cuisine that’s inspired by a love of Chinese tradition. Start off by sampling their drunk scallops with fermented chilli jam, and the potato and truffle spring rolls before moving onto XO fried rice, steamed market fish with shiitake broth, or hot and sour pork hock with a Chinese pancake.

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Mrs Brown’s Bar & Kitchen

Newstead

From Sunday seshes to hearty dinners, Mrs Brown’s is a recurring character in many a Brisbanites’ treasured memories. The Newstead watering hole and kitchen offers a flavour-filled menu with Asian influences, slinging dishes like lamb paratha pancakes, Korean fried cauliflower, or rotisserie pork in Mrs Brown’s secret ten spice rub. As for drinks, their wines are available in the ever-popular 250ml-sized pour, perfect for the share-style experience.

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Hellenika

Fortitude Valley

As pleasing for the eyes as it is for the palate, Hellenika is the dream destination for gathering, sharing, and enjoying. Located at The Pool Deck of The Calile Hotel, the Greek offering champions fresh produce in a mix of classic and innovative dishes. Snap happy diners will have plenty of fodder to capture, from their signature zucchini chips, taramasalata, Moreton Bay Bug spaghetti, and the absolute-must kolokithia.

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Agnes

Fortitude Valley

An old brick warehouse might not seem like the home of contemporary hospitality and phenomenal wood-fired cooking, but Agnes makes it happen. In a celebration of the drama, spectacle, and ancient skill of cooking over fire, the freshest meat, seafood, poultry, and vegetables are transformed over a custom-made stone hearth. Honourable mention to Agnes Bakery – the pandemic-pivot-turned-local-favourite that often sports a line down the street for its incredible baked goods.

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Beccofino

Teneriffe

It’s out of the fire and into the flavour at the northside’s favourite pizzeria. With its famous duck ragu plated up as many a Brisbanite’s favourite dish of all time, Beccofino boasts traditional Italian transformed by contemporary presentation behind its floor-to-ceiling windows. The inherently ambient space pairs perfectly with the hearty dishes, whether you’re dining in the leafy outdoor terrace, or within the relaxed yet sophisticated interiors.

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Julius Pizzeria

South Brisbane

Fish Lane’s resident pizzeria is not only made for romance, but is also a bit of a player with a line of eagerly waiting diners often waiting outside its door. Offering authentic wood-fired pizzas, pastas, and Italian cocktails, the converted warehouse-style space is the essence of chic, from its exposed brick archways to the fairylights adoring the lane. With only 20 spots available for booking and the majority of the restaurant reserved for walks-in only, keep an eye on their Instagram for their ever-changing array of specials that are sure to have you heading to Julius as soon as they hit your feed.

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Rogue Bistro

Newstead

If you’re a creature of comfort who orders the same dish every time you go out, Rogue Bistro will certainly rock your world. Rogue’s unique take on Modern European dining means you’re in for a combo of flavours you’ve never experienced before. Their six-course degustation menu rotates monthly, taking local, seasonal produce to incredible heights through precision and technique. Catering to as many dietary requirements as possible, it’s a culinary adventure every foodie needs to embark on.

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OTTO Ristorante

South Bank

As the gastronomic embodiment of la dolce vita, OTTO brings you show-stopping Italian with a gorgeous side of riverfront views. The dishes here are surprisingly simple in nature, letting the finest local and seasonal produce speak for itself as they do in modern Italian cuisine. Our pick? The champagne lobster spaghettini with garlic, chilli, white wine, lemon butter, and bottarga.

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1889 Enoteca

Woolloongabba

Abundantly elegant and charming, 1889 Enoteca is the inner-city’s go-to for classic Roman fare and expertly curated Italian wine. Tucked away in the heritage-listed Moreton Rubber building, Enoteca isn’t only heralded as a Brisbane treasure, but has garnered worldwide attention for its hand-made pasta and vintage ambience. It’s a distinctive character that makes it a standout among the local dining scene, whether you’re in the mood for sips at a wine bar, moody dining in the basement cellar, or a dreamy date night.

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Happy Boy

Fortitude Valley

Imagine all the comfort of good Chinese takeaway paired with the decadence of traditional BBQ and wok cooking, and you have yourself Happy Boy. Nestled under fairy lit trees, the expansive dining hall keeps food and wine at its core, across fresh vegetables, delicious seafood, slow-cooked meats, and the best small producer Australian wine. As the best kind of casual eatery, opt for the banquet menu and sit back to experience the best of the best.

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Elska

New Farm

Having been named Queensland Restaurant of the Year for 2022, this intimate degustation restaurant continues to wow its exclusive array of guests whenever it opens its doors. Championing Nordic cooking mythology through local and native Australian produce, the sustainable and ethical farm-to-table experience is hyper-seasonal, meaning the menu changes daily. Paired with small artisanal producers of wines, sake, and spirits, and you’re in for a truly unexpected delight plate after plate.

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Za Za Ta Bar And Kitchen

Fortitude Valley

There’s never been a better time to be vegetarian, and this soulful Tel Aviv kitchen proves it. Blending Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, the eclectic Za Za Ta is a melting pot of fragrant flavours and exotic dishes, utilising market-fresh local producers and ingredients. Alongside a curated collection of colonial-inspired rums and bespoke cocktails, the spice-filled vego and plant-based dishes are served on a backdrop of jungle charm and culture to transport your tastes a world away.

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Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant

Newmarket

Once an unassuming house sitting on Enoggera Road, Pepe’s is a verified local icon, where the guac is made fresh on your table. Frequently hailed as Brisbane’s best Mexican restaurant, it’s no empty claim with the sound of the sizzling fajitas alone enough to get your mouth watering. Serving quality flavours of Central America as well as an extensive range of Mexican beers and tequila, a word from the wise – the portion sizes here are delightfully enormous so arrive very hungry.

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Hôntô

Fortitude Valley

Japanese in nature, you won’t be seeing California rolls and plain ol’ miso here! Contemporary nuance and local ingredients see an interpretative menu that’s approachable while packing a punch. The raw menu is made for seafood lovers, while the entrees offer cheeky flavours sure to leave you wanting more. But no biggie; the main menu will be quick to satiate your hunger with plates from the grill as well as fresh and light greens.

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Gerard’s Bistro

Fortitude Valley

Designed to share, this is an experience you’ll want to have with your nearest and dearest. The award-winning Gerard’s Bistro combines the flavours of the Maghreb and Middle East to create modern versions of classic dishes – think Albrolhos Island scallops, Longreach lamb collar with zucchini mechoui and garlic yoghurt, or sugarloaf cabbage with with macadamia and tabil tahini. Each served with a signature twist, the suave interiors and prime James Street location make it one for the books.

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Essa Restaurant & Wine Bar

Fortitude Valley

For a meal with unexpected flavours around every corner, the raw interiors of Essa are where you need to be. In collaboration with local farmers, hunters, and providores, the environmentally conscious menu features harvest-driven dishes that push the creative and culinary boundaries. With a particular focus on raw, pickled, smoked, and wood-fired fare, classic technique meets a contemporary spin with an added layer of indulgence to finish.

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The Lodge Bar & Dining

Fortitude Valley

As the newest face on this list, The Lodge Bar & Dining comes from Queenstown to Queensland in a memorable fusion of fashion, frivolity, and flavour. Embodying the rich heritage Rodd & Gunn is known for in a magnificent Queenslander, The Lodge serves delectable dishes and hand-picked beverages amongst wool rugs, tan leather, and opulent brass accents. Plus, with a Master Sommelier behind the wine list – one of 300 in the world – every aspect of this revolutionary dining experience is designed to be like no other.

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Joy Restaurant

Fortitude Valley

Don’t let the size fool you – this tiny restaurant has cemented itself as a huge player at the top of the Brisbane dining scene! Joy is an intimate, 10-seat omakase-inspired restaurant, where two people will cook for you, pour your drinks, and do the washing up after. The ever-changing menu holds flavours you’ll soon be talking about to anyone who’ll listen, reflecting the freshly available produce and current inspiration. Throw in the artful decor and charismatic characters, and you have the formula for an experience you’ll treasure for a long time to come.

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Kenjin Restaurant & Nightclub

Fortitude Valley

Skip the home cooked meal and book a table at Kenjin – one of the Valley’s most atmospheric Japanese restaurants. Perch yourself under the cherry blossom trees and Koi fish wall while dining on an elevated, modern Japanese spread that highlights unique flavours of the region, adding a touch of Asia and Australian tastes to each plate. Their new autumn menu brings a fresh and exciting balance to the table, while the crispy pork belly, karaage chicken, potato Okonomiyaki, and many other old menu favourites, are here to stay. And don’t forget to add a couple of cocktails to the mix – with a wide range to choose from, you won’t want to rush through this meal.

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Melrose Restaurant

Bulimba

Fragrant flavours and shared plates that are as tantalising for the taste buds as they are for the eyes is what you’ll find at Oxford Street’s resident contemporary Asian destination. Although Melrose has only been open for a little over a year, it has quickly established itself as the go-to for an alternative dining experience, where locally sourced produce is transformed using traditional techniques. Doubling as a cocktail bar, each carefully crafted drink has been designed to complement the heat, making for easy sipping within the lush decor and under the retracting roof. Bali without a passport? That’s Melrose.

Website | Instagram | Facebook

ZA ZA TA Bar & Kitchen

Fortitude Valley

There’s never been a better time to be vegetarian or vegan, and this soulful Tel Aviv kitchen proves it. Blending Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, the eclectic ZA ZA TA is a melting pot of fragrant flavours and exotic dishes, utilising market-fresh local producers and ingredients. Alongside a curated collection of colonial-inspired rums and bespoke cocktails, the spice-filled vego and plant-based dishes are served on a backdrop of jungle charm and culture to transport your tastes a world away.

Website | Instagram | Facebook