Brisbane’s Best Restaurants You Need A Reservation At Now
Order up!By Style Journo | 9th June 2023
Wining and dining was the pastime 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. While our favourite cafes are perfect for an eggs Benny on Sunday morning, and Brisbane’s best bars our go-to for an impromptu afternoon beverage, if it’s something a little more special you’re after – this one’s for you.
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!
By the way, we consider everyone in this list the best of the best! To make finding your next favourite that much easier, we’ve ordered the list alphabetically by suburb and also have filtering tabs for your convenience. Did we miss someone from the list? Let us know here! Hide the form
- Brisbane CBD
- North Brisbane
- East Brisbane
- South Brisbane
- West Brisbane
- Gold Coast
- Sunshine Coast
- A - Z
- Z - A
A gastronomic homage to modern French elegance, Montrachet is the culinary outlet of the highly acclaimed Chef Shannon Kellam – whose prestigious career includes renowned cooking competitions and time spent training in French kitchens. Decked out in opulent red leather-lined benches, richly hued dark timber tables, and gold finishings, the refined brasserie delights the palate with its seasonal menu. French classics are transformed with an elevated approach here, like the filet de boeuf with frites (eye fillet with fries), escargot en cocotte (snails baked in pots of garlic butter, tomato, and spinach, topped with puff pastry lids), and seafood bouillabaisse. Served alongside an award-winning and extensive wine list, both Francophiles and foodies can agree that Montrachet is an icon of the Brisbane dining scene.
SK Steak & Oyster
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. Priding itself on exemplary service and warm hospitality, the interior is central to its appeal – with concrete pillars, lofty ceilings, ambient lighting and a baby grand piano helping to set the glamorous yet welcoming scene. As for the food, it’s all in the name, where fresh seafood and red meat reign supreme, alongside an array of tasty 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. One spoonful of their Moreton bay bug mash potato and you’ll see why SK Steak & Oyster makes our list of the best restaurants in Brisbane!
This 2021 newcomer has almost immediately climbed the ranks to become one of the best restaurants in the Brisbane dining scene. An Italian trattoria executed in Aperol Spritz-hued 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 includes 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 – all of it!
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.
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!
Rothwell’s Bar & Grill
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 restaurant in the Brisbane CBD 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.
Tucked away in the lush Fish Lane Town Square is a truly lush urban oasis that goes by the name of Southside. Sprawling across three levels, this temple-ruins-meets-concrete-jungle setting is home to tantalising flavours of East-Asian cuisine inspired by a love of Chinese tradition. We suggest you 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. But, you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu!
Mrs Brown’s Bar & Kitchen
From Sunday seshes to hearty dinners, Mrs Brown’s is a recurring character in many a Brisbanites’ treasured memories. While it’s no formal dining experience, this Newstead watering hole and kitchen takes its place on our list of best restaurants in Brisbane for its 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.
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, we think this Greek stalwart is one of the best restaurants in Brisbane for lunch, championing fresh produce in a mix of classic and innovative dishes in sublime, breeze-filled surroundings. 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. Wash down with an Ouzo cocktail or two and some honey puffs, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re living it up in Old Town Mykonos.
An old brick warehouse might not seem like the home of contemporary hospitality and phenomenal wood-fired cooking, but if anyone can do it, it would be Agnes. 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 in New Farm – the pandemic-pivot-turned-local-favourite that often sports a line down the street for its incredible baked goods.
It’s out of the fire and into the flavour at the best restaurant in Brisbane for pizza – according to northsiders and the many who frequent Teneriffe. 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.
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 fairy lights 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. Our favourite? The Tartufo, with ,ozzarella, smoked bacon, portobello mushrooms, stracchino and truffle paste.
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.
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. Pull up for impromptu snacks and a vino on an afternoon, or book in for a sophisticated lunch or dinner on the deck.
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, making it a strong contender for the best Italian restaurant in Brisbane. 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.
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.
Za Za Ta Bar And Kitchen
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.
Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant
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 the best Mexican restaurant in Brisbane, Pepe’s old-school approach to Mexican food and hospitality can be experienced the moment you walk into the cosy space and hear the sounds of the sizzling fajitas being placed on tables. Dishing up 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.
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.
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.
Essa Restaurant & Wine Bar
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, Essa makes our list of the best restaurants in Brisbane for its environmentally conscious menu, featuring 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.
The Lodge Bar & Dining
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.
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.
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.
La Belle Vie Bistro
Inspired by the charm and atmosphere of family owned bistros, La Belle Vie offers authentic French food and wine in a glass encased setting amongst the trees of Brisbane’s leafy inner-city suburb of Bardon. Boasting classic dishes like crème brûlée, escargot, and pan-seared scallops alongside unique chef’s creations laden with the finest local produce and family favourites for even the pickiest eaters to enjoy, La Belle Vie Bistro’s menu will take your tastebuds on a journey to the steps of Montmartre and the streets of the Marais.
Emporium Hotel South Bank, Signature
Just when you thought South Bank couldn’t possibly get any better, Signature Restaurant comes in to blow your culinary mind. Set inside the luxurious Emporium Hotel South Bank, Signature values innovation, which is why they have an ever-evolving menu that utilises local produce to create unique dishes you won’t find anywhere else. Head Chef Luca curates his very own two-course selection every Wednesday and Thursday night for diners to try, or if you’re a fan of truffles, Signature also hosts Truffle Sundays during winter, where the elegant fungus is the hero of each dish. Want to try it out? We recommend booking ahead so you don’t miss out.
Hotel Indigo, Izakaya Publico
When it comes to mind-blowing Japanese-inspired cuisine, no one does it better than Izakaya Publico. Located inside Hotel Indigo, this is a restaurant that serves up food that looks and tastes incredible. Whether you’re trying their Kaki oysters with tosazu jelly, their Hokke Japanese Atka mackerel with miso butter, or just grabbing a quick bento box for lunch, the expert chefs at Izakaya Publico will make sure your meal looks just as mouth-watering as it tastes.
Hervé’s Restaurant and Bar
Serving up an artisanal spin on seasonal produce within the chic Craft’d Grounds precinct, Hervé’s encapsulates what the French do best: food, wine, and a beautiful time. Stroll down the hidden laneway and be greeted by the warm timber tones of the intimate dining room and the delicious smells wafting from the open-plan kitchen. The menu? Sensational, with elevated hors d’oeuvres, elegant French staples, and their signature crêpes suzette for dessert. As for the wine list, Hervé’s offers a curated selection from vineyards and winemakers who share a particular focus on the environment, as well as handcrafted tipples in their cocktail bar.
If you’re craving a solid dose of delicious Turkish hamsi, dolma, or kofte, then you should head straight to Olive Thyme on the double. Blending traditional Turkish cuisine with modern techniques, this ambient Albion restaurant serves up decadent dishes you’ll be raving about long after you leave. Owners Sibel and Yalcin are all about delivering traditional Turkish hospitality, so expect to be treated like you’re a part of the family whilst indulging in fabulous food and succulent wine. Catering to all dietary requirements including gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan, you’ll love the fresh produce used here from their very own Sunshine Coast farm. From the veggies to the herbs, you’re biting into produce planted, grown, and prepared by the family.
Oh Boy, Bok Choy!
Playful and fragrant, Oh Boy, Bok Choy! borrows flavours and recipes from the many cuisines its chefs herald from, resulting in a South East Asian fusion that suits our climate to a tee. Set on the bustling Stafford Road, this family-owned restaurant takes inspiration from the varying dining requirements they see in their own home, resulting in an eclectic menu where everyone in the family can order fearlessly. From the corn riblets with vegan furikake to the 10-hour slow-cooked beef massaman curry, one bite here will send you on a nostalgic journey through the east. Taking cues from its sister cafe, Farmhouse in Kedron, Oh Boy breathes new life into the established 1950s building it resides in – doubling as an escape from the outside world.
When it comes to the best of Brisbane – think gorgeous views, delicious food, and electric ambience – no place embodies it all as well as Bar Pacino. Dedicated to impeccable service and creating a memorable occasion for all its guests, Bar Pacino’s Italian-inspired cuisine makes for a hearty meal with shared plates, pizza, burgers, pastas, and more. Their drinks also remain on the forefront of their offering, from delicious house cocktails to their global wine list and iconic Nutella shots. Pull up a seat on their expansive outdoor balcony and soak in the open-air atmosphere, or enjoy the intimate indoor tables alongside floor-to-ceiling glass windows – either way, your visit will be paired with incredible riverside views of the Story Bridge and beyond.
Saunter into a world of quality and excellence at The Wolf – Brisbane City’s latest food offering unlike any other. Catering to a range of clients, you’ll experience fine dining alongside a deli, bar, and retail options with a distinctly European flair. With a design that is strongly inspired by the 1960s Louis Vuitton era, a visit to The Wolf feels like a trip to Europe, with furnishing, fixtures, and fittings imported from Spain, Italy, and France. Owned by Fabian Rebelo – aka the man behind Stanton Brasserie & Bar – The Wolf offers the opportunity to experience fine dining in a unique way, and with a menu featuring strong European traits such as amuse bouche, a decadent cheese trolley, and foie gras, you’ll be dining in style, feeling like a world away from the bustling city streets outside.https://wolf260queen.com.au/
Settimo by Guy Grossi
Tucked within The Westin Brisbane, Settimo is a gathering place for lovers of authentic Italian flavours in the heart of the CBD. Exuding relaxed sophistication, each detail of the restaurant points to the vibrant energy of the Amalfi Coast through artisan craftsmanship, playful dishes, and an inventive spirit. The menu – crafted by the renowned Guy Grossi – celebrates both Italian and Australian food culture, drawing on the abundance of local produce and some international hero ingredients. From the delightfully zesty pasta al limone to the famous tiramisu, a visit to Settimo will have you whisked away, complete with aquamarine hues, Fibonacci stone, and custom-designed terracotta.
Soak in the good times when you decide to dine at Carmen Tequileria – James Street’s newest foodie destination. Adding fiesta flair to the precinct, this 80-seater Mexican bar and restaurant takes on the tones of Tulum with distinctive curved archways and whitewashed walls. With a deliberate focus on the freshest and most sustainably sourced seafood, expect to dine on an elevated menu of poached lobster tacos, kingfish ceviche, and Sydney rock oysters as well as beef short rib rangdang and Mexican popcorn chicken. Of course, there’s also crowd faves like guacamole, Mexican halloumi, and charred corn rillettes, alongside Carmen’s secret crumb and ice cream dish. As for the sips, you’ll find tequila and mezcals from some of the most environmentally sound distilleries from Mexico, making that second round of margaritas all the more justified.
This rustic flavour house is a locally loved three-in-one venue covering all bases. Promising a taste for every bud, Hundred Acre at Hillstone houses a restaurant, bar, and bakery amongst lush landscaped oasis, serving up homely flavours across five charming floors. Their elevated restaurant offering will see you dining on a menu taking notes from modern Australian and Mediterranean cuisine, from Olasagasti anchovies served with duck fat fried sourdough to mouthwatering croquettes with Jamon serrano and béchamel, or herb crusted beef carpaccio with ponzu gel and truffled pecorino. Larger dishes include a chilli prawn linguine, Moroccan spiced chicken with tabbouleh, and a wild mushroom risotto lathered in truffle oil and mascarpone. Peckish for a casual affair? Hundred Acre also serves up share plates and bar classics to keep the crowds satisfied!