Fill Up At 14 Of West End’s Best Restaurants And Cafes

Fill Up At 14 Of West End’s Best Restaurants And Cafes

A feast in every nook and cranny

By Dinushka Gunasekara | 8th November 2021

As Brisbane’s resident cultural hotpot, it’s no surprise that West End is the place to be when it comes to a unique feed. Offering a mix of classic cuisines and modern fusion that might seem strange on paper but will satisfy cravings you didn’t even know you had, the buzzing inner-city hive has you sorted all day, every day.

Hungry yet? Check out West End’s best restaurants and cafes below!

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Jungle Bar

Jungle Bar might sit in the heart of West End, but Brisbane’s original tiki bar will make you feel like you’re sipping the night away on a tropical island far from here. Inside the handmade bamboo tiki hut, you’ll find refreshing cocktails poured into pineapples, local beers on tap, and an impressive wall of rum. As for snacks, the neighbouring eateries will bring the goods to you, including Chop Chop Changs. It’s a guaranteed party from Thursday to Sunday, 4pm till midnight!

Covent Garden

A tropical oasis that doubles as a contemporary gin house, Covent Garden is what Instagram dreams are made of. With over 400 gins stocking the bar, the range of drinks truly offers something for everyone. Covent Garden is one of the few eateries that are 100% coeliac friendly, with an extensive menu of small plates and substantial bites to get you sorted. Their high tea is also a crowd favourite, featuring a luxurious spread of sweet and savoury canapes paired with their best-selling gin and tea cocktail.

Pasta Club

If you haven’t twirled your fork into Pasta Club’s carby goodness, you’re missing out big time. The neighbourhood’s fresh pasta joint offers a small but mighty menu that changes weekly to reflect the seasonal produce available. All the pasta is made by hand daily and transformed with delectable sauces like lemon butter and the most glorious cacio e pepe. Pair it with local vino and groovy tunes and we have ourselves a winner!

West Village

A culturally rich haven where quality dining experiences, fresh produce, and bustling inner-city lifestyle collide, West Village has it all. Housed within the iconic red brick walls of the Peters Ice Cream Factory, the charming foodie precinct hosts a mouth-watering array of globally inspired cafes and eateries. There’s traditional Lebanese at Beirut Bazaar, woodfire pizza and pasta at Italian Street Kitchen by Isabella, soul food at Betty’s Burgers, fresh flavour at Cheeky Poke, brunch goals at Picnic Cafe, and your sashimi fix at Ichiban Sushi. Plus, if you fancy yourself a home cook or cheeseboard connoisseur, the tantalising Harris Farm Markets has everything you need and more.

Bird’s Nest

Yakitori literally translates to ‘grilled chicken’, and this Japanese restaurant is a celebration of just that. Within the vibrant atmosphere at Bird’s Nest, you’ll find delicious skewers to get your hands on, like bocconcini cheese wrapped in pork belly, chicken tenderloins with wasabi mayo, and king oyster mushrooms with soy butter. For a midday pick-me-up, the lunch specials will do the trick, whether you opt for the rice bowls or burgers with soft Japanese brioche buns.

Amin’s Butcher and Grill

Challenging people’s ideas of what a butcher shop ‘looks’ like, the renowned Amin’s combines the traditional butcher shop with an in-house grill restaurant, offering customers the chance to dine-in, relax, and enjoy their high-quality meats at a reasonable price – an experience that is rare to come by in the dining scene. Boasting an array of carefully selected meats and their very own dry-age cabinet, where they use Himalayan salt bricks to enhance the flavour and preservation qualities of their meats, you choose it, and they cook it. With plans to open a second restaurant in South Brisbane currently in motion, Amin’s Butcher and Grill is not only one to watch, but a must in your restaurant rotation.

Morning After

Striking the balance between healthy and indulgent, this ever-popular brunch spot offers a menu that’s equal parts innovative and classic. Dishing out locally sourced bites and all-day breakfast, you can expect flavour aplenty. The charred chilli corn with spiced mascarpone, broccolini, fried eggs, mint, crispy polenta, and lime is bound to keep you coming back for more, or get a small taste of their sister venue, Ping Pong, with the Thai inspired Kapow wagyu mince, served with berry rice, green beans, a fried egg, smoked paprika yogurt, and roti – feast!

The Gunshop Cafe

A West End institution for over 16 years, The Gunshop Cafe slings all-day breakfasts and hearty lunches that almost look too good to eat. Nailing the balance between healthy and delicious, their signature sweet potato and thyme rosti is bound to keep you coming back with halloumi, poached eggs, and beetroot hollandaise. Alongside coffee and loose-leaf teas, they offer freshly squeezed juices of your choosing and tonics, plus house made milkshakes if you’re feeling extra sweet.

Ehden Bar and Kitchen

If the beautifully lush life in the Garden of Eden met the warm feeling of coming home to family, it would look exactly like Ehden Bar and Kitchen. Offering feasts from the Middle East, alongside Mediterranean inspired dishes, this elegant restaurant welcomes all to savour the intricate spices and gorgeously plated meals they have on offer. Family recipes are weaved into their menu, including the must-try dijaj – a traditional Lebanese pan roasted chicken with currant spiced Israeli cous and preserved lemon yogurt. As for drinks, Ehden has a great selection of Australian, Italian, and French wines, with Greek and Lebanese sips soon to be on the list. Community is at the heart of everything they do, so keep an eye on their website as they’re constantly hosting incredible events.

Lefkas Taverna

Angela and John Theoharis know what it means to fill the bellies of Brisbane with great food. After all, they’ve been doing it for over 15 years! Serving locals and visitors alike with their village-style big plates and casual elegance within a family-friendly atmosphere, Lefkas reminisces a small village you would find in the heart of Greece. Each plate is inspired by a memory straight from the Mediterranean, like the Arni sto fourno (baked lamb shoulder served with Lefkas’ signature lemon potatoes) and Garides Saganaki (prawn saganaki with tomatoes, chilli, and fetta). You can even get your Greek music fix every Friday night with a live bouzouki and violinist.

The Boundary

Level up your pub feasts with the mouth-watering spreads at The Boundary. A West End staple since 1864, the sophisticated menu offers the perfect blend of contemporary Aussie dishes and pub classics – think poached prawn rolls, whole lamb shoulder with rosemary potatoes, and woodfired pizza. Highlighting Queensland producers across the laneway cafe, rooftop bar, beer garden, and The Backyard, you’re always in good company at this multi-purpose destination. They also offer daily specials, perfect for when you want a feast while pinching your pennies!

Chop Chop Changs

For a punch of flavour that will take you all the way to Southeast Asia, look no further than the energetic Chop Chop Changs. Dishing out a Thai flavour base while also taking cues from Vietnam, Korea, and Japan, Chop Chop Changs make all their curry pastes and sauces from scratch, upholding the authenticity of each dish. Their twice-cooked sticky beef ribs are a crowd favourite, served with a palm sugar reduction and topped with a healthy dashing of Thai herbs and nam jim. Wash it down with a unique cocktail or a tipple from their bespoke wine list. Over their eight years of consistently serving great food and good vibes, they’ve also sourced hard-to-find imported Asian beers and have a variety of new seafood dishes coming soon!

Alphabet Cafe

This cosy shack will have you feeling right at home! Humble in appearance but offering dishes that will knock your socks off, Alphabet is a West End staple for all-day breakfast and lunch after 11am. The cilbir with poached eggs, herb and confit garlic labne, silverbeet, and grilled sourdough is a staff and guest favourite for breakfast, while the cacio e pepe eggs will bring a touch of modern Italian to your day. Alphabet Cafe is also licenced so you can sip on the perfect coffee, fresh smoothies, iced teas, mimosas, beer, or wine.

Mama Taco

With quality and authenticity packed into every bite at this Mexican eatery, Mama Taco is the West End restaurant that will whisk you away. There are no shortcuts behind any of the dishes and the agave-based spirits are grown and distilled in specific regions of Mexico itself. The tacos are something to behold (literally) with the tortillas freshly pressed, while the cocktails are only available on weekends but make the wait worth it with smooth tequila and delicious spices.

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Article by Dinushka Gunasekara

Notorious for turning a random encounter into a three-hour conversation and running across streets to pat a dog, Dinu is a curious girl who loves a good story. Her extensive knowledge of Donald Glover is yet to come to good use and she would do basically anything for a hash brown. Catch her bombarding her friends with articles she thinks they should read or spending way too much time creating the perfect playlist.

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