There’s only so many times you can eat out in a week, without feeling guilty or going broke… we’re mostly concerned with going broke, though. We have no regrets about consuming so much delicious food.
With the amount of new cafés, bars, restaurants, bistros, eat houses, snack palaces and dessert havens opening their doors in Brisbane, it’s easy to get overwhelmed so we don’t blame you for missing some of the big contenders when you were looking the other way.
Luckily, we kept our eyes peeled throughout the year to combat this dire situation. From burgers and sweets to breakfast-y eats and healthy treats, here’s Style’s pick of the 20 best new venues to open in Brisbane in 2015.
There’s nothing a good feed can’t fix after a night on the town. So whether you were the designated driver or you’re the one sporting the killer hangover, the healthy (and greasy) breakfasts at Morning After work a treat, including sausage and egg MaMuffins, granola and breakfast CARBORNARA!
After 20 years of running, ahem, Pussies Galore Rescue, self-identified crazy cat lady Katina used her cat-whispering abilities and crowd-funding of over $10,000 to launch Brisbane’s first cat café. For $10 an hour, you can play with and cuddle the adorable rescue kittens and enjoy some coffee and cake (paid separately).
All serious lovers of caffeine must try these frozen, caffeinated popsicles. The Crown Jewels range available at Queen of Pops was developed over a couple of years with the help of Food Innovation Australia and ice confectionery food scientists. Each pop contains a double ristretto of specialty coffee; you can also get nitrogen-infused coffee and tea, as well as a whole bunch of delectable quick eats.
The five owners of Pineapple Express teamed up with nutritionists to make healthy dishes that are good for our insides AND our tastebuds! Think protein pancakes and crispy waffles for breakfast and organic nachos, vegan burritos and the signature Naked Burgers for lunch. Or skip lunch and go straight for the CocoWhip; their dairy-free soft serve made from coconut water in a variety of flavours.
This café nook, residing in a former design studio off James Street, is understated but ridiculously trendy. The menu remains selective with a few seasonal favourites; local produce sources and suppliers have a large impact on what makes the cut.
The newest and most talked-about rooftop bar of the year, Eleven, boasts some strict dress codes, exclusive booths for private dining and some of the best views of Fortitude Valley from 11 floors up!
At this bar, having your name at the door means nothing and having your name on the wall means EVERYTHING! Well, maybe not everything; but it means a free drink and that means quite a lot.
Have you travelled through Bakery Lane and taken a trip to Neverland yet? The Tree House is an intimate bar with twinkling fairy lights, wooden stumps for seats and tables and fairytale books used for food menus – magic!
Fitz + Potts, Nundah
It was about time a decent rooftop bar opened in the ’burbs and now we have Fitz + Potts to thank for filling the void. The venue is one part dive bar (as described by the owners) and one part rooftop bar, with each section offering something unique to the patron.
This Brisbane basement club across from Chinatown sees the return of the glamorous,1920s speakeasy. Unlike the real bygone bootleg era, there’s no chance you’ll iss this venue: a huge illuminated sign encourages you to come in, step back in time and enjoy your night in the venue’s multiple bars and lounges.
Brisbane’s late-night dining options and bars continued to outdo themselves this year, but we’ve chosen to bow down to the fluffy goodness of this venue’s bao buns. From 10pm, it turns into a thriving nightclub with house special Asian fusion-themed shared teapot cocktails.
This Day of the Dead/Mexican-themed restaurant had us with their offering of seven different taco combinations. We fell even further in love when we discovered they also create amazing Sangria. The moody décor adds to the experience of the extensive and original authentic Mexican menu.
You don’t need an accent to fit in at this British-inspired gastropub in West End. Its menu is based on the nose-to-tail concept, embracing high-quality local produce and giving classic dishes a modern gourmet spin. Order a pint to wash down your order and you’re sorted.
Pasta, pizza, salads and gourmet healthy/organic salads with superfood cocktails to boot! Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to dine or a venue to wine-down with mates, you can rock up in your fanciest Friday clothes or your activewear, activewear and still be in good company here.
This fun and flirty dining and drinks hotspot plays on the building’s original soul as a 1970s brothel, with a sign out the front claiming “quality meat served here since 1982”. The Steak Frites (which is really just a fancy way to say steak and chips) is the only main on the menu at Les Bubbles, so you know it’ll be done to perfection.
The burger joint we could previously only savour on trips to the beach finally made the sea change and embraced city life right here in Brisbane. Ze Pickle has an almost cult-like following, with a hidden and relaxed atmosphere, serving craft beers, quality burgers and major tunes.
And for those who want to make the sea change but love the city too much, South Bank’s newest Streets Beach addition lets you have beers on the beach while keeping the heart of Brisbane City visible from your bar stool.
We really couldn’t get enough of burgers this year and Miss Kay’s were seriously NEXT LEVEL. Choose from a chicken karage burger (Ludakrisp), a burger with mac’n’cheese (Mac Daddy), a burger with maple bacon and onion rings (MK Special), the list goes on…
The donut craze continued to grow in 2015 and we’re super glad Nodo Donuts opened their own bakery and café with a large range of guilt-free and gluten-free donuts.
While Mister Fitz was a late entry for the 2015 openings, the premise of selling customisable ice-cream sandwiches is a winner in our eyes! Mix and match your cookie sandwich combination, choose an ice-cream flavour and adorn the sandwich to your heart’s desire with sweet, weird and wacky toppings.
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