A banquet of culinary delights is dotted around the laidback laneways and sparkling city streets of Brisbane. Frequented by locals and tourists alike, these favourited Brisbane bars and restaurants dish up some of the best food and drinks country-wide.
As lovers of both food and adventure, we’ve curated a list of five of the best restaurants Brisbane has to offer. Coupled with exotic drinks menus and situated in buzzing precincts, these scrumptious culinary locales deliver on all fronts.
Whether you’re visiting Brisbane for work, leisure, or an extended stay, you’ll want to put these dazzling venues on your must-visit list.
El Camino Cantina
We couldn’t write a list of the best restaurants in Brisbane without including El Camino Cantina. We’d probably visit this intoxicatingly good restaurant every week if we could, and we spare no thought in recommending its flavour-filled menu to Brisbane visitors.
The self-proclaimed ‘legendary Tex-Mex dining experience’, El Camino Cantina is the Mexican-inspired party you’ve always dreamed of. In addition to a menu bursting with all the classics like authentic tacos, burritos, nachos, and fajitas, this nationwide favourite houses stunningly good drinks and a fabulously raucous atmosphere.
From $2 Taco Tuesdays and 10-cent Wing Wednesdays to handmade tortilla chips and frozen margarita machines, El Camino never fails to disappoint with a wild blend of great food and good times.
Don your sombrero (which is kindly provided by the restaurant), get your dance moves ready, and step into a whirlwind nightlife experience at El Camino Cantina.
A Fiesta of Flavours
While we’d quickly name every El Camino Cantina menu item as a must-try, a few dishes and drinks caught our eyes (and our taste buds):
- Fresh chargrilled pulled pork and pineapple fajitas
- ‘Cowboy’ tacos with BBQ beef brisket and cabbage slaw
- ‘Here Comes the Sun’ speciality cocktail made with Reposado tequila, freshly squeezed orange juice and house-made grenadine
Cru Bar & Cellar
Let’s dim the lights a little and wind things back from the festive frivolities of El Camino Cantina. Nestled in the heart of James Street Market is Cru Bar & Cellar, a long-standing Fortitude Valley gem and one of the best restaurants Brisbane-wide.
Take a seat in the elegant bistro-style lounge space and peruse a menu filled with Australia’s best produce and culinary classics. Allow gentle jazz to filter through the warm buzz of chatter and laughter as expertly trained staff flow through with drinks, food, and quality service.
Cru Bar’s menu is of particular note and just as much a reason to visit as the buzzing James Street ambience. Crafted by Richard Ousby, an award-winning chef with Michelin-star restaurant experience, the menu boasts artfully designed dishes that celebrate fresh local ingredients.
The only thing that rivals its decadence is the excellent wine list, making this venue an all-around winner on any night of the week.
A Little Taster
We don’t want to spoil the pleasure of perusing this exceptional menu for yourself when you visit, but here are a few *chef’s kiss* items to look out for:
- Salt-water fish ceviche with leche de tigre and house made corn chips
- Portobello mushrooms and ricotta gnocchi, blue cheese, pear, pecans and burnt butter
- 250g Scotch fillet with chips, gem lettuce salad, and Diane sauce
- Dark chocolate mousse with raspberry and yuzu coulis and lemon myrtle meringue
What really sets CRU Bar & Cellar apart is its impressive cellar. Take a stroll through the bottle-filled vaults and browse their expansive collection of some of the world’s finest vintages. And, yes, this is a retail section; why not splurge and take a bottle or two back to your apartment at Rambla @ Perry House for an indulgent at-home experience?
At Sixes and Sevens
Okay, enough fancy feasting. It’s time to hit the real cruisy nightlife vibes of Brisbane with a trip to At Sixes and Sevens.
This unique Fortitude Valley landmark is a bar-come-community. Set inside a converted Queenslander cottage on the buzzing strip of James Street, At Sixes and Sevens is everything you’d want of top Brisbane bars and more.
The casual atmosphere, cosy fireplace seating, intimate corner lounges and sprawling outdoor verandah make for a perfect evening drink with friends, colleagues, or even just by yourself. There’s nothing better than a spot of people-watching while sipping a delicious craft beer or cocktail under the warm night skies of Brisbane.
Prefer to stay a little longer? Pull up a comfy chair and tuck into a veritable feast of delectable dishes that will have you craving more.
Tuck Into These
At Sixes and Sevens has something for everyone in their flavour-packed menu. Some of our top picks include:
- Fried pork dumplings with sweet hot sauce
- Grazing board with cheese, charcuterie, house-made dip, and toasted bread
- Sticky pork ribs with teriyaki glaze and sesame slaw
- Boozy Affogato with double espresso, vanilla bean ice cream, and your choice of Baileys, Frangelico, Kahlua or Jameson
No top restaurant list would be complete without an exceptional Italian eatery. This is where Il Verde shines, from its light-filled al fresco venue to its mouthwatering authentic dishes.
Step into the stone and wood-featured walls of Il Verde and get an instant hit of fresh pizza and pasta aromas. There are few things in life better than a crisp glass of Aperol spritz paired with a crispy-on-the-outside, light-and-fluffy-on-the-inside margarita pizza. Aka, exactly what’s on the menu at Il Verde.
Enjoy handmade pasta twisted in a cheese wheel seconds before being served, fresh wood-fired pizza that’s a slightly misshapen shape due to being handmade from dough to toppings, and sparklingly refreshing drinks that go down smooth as anything.
Perfection on a Plate
If you want a true depiction of Il Verde’s Bellissimo menu, we recommend visiting their Instagram page to view all the deliciousness up close. To get you started, though, we’ve selected a few primo dishes to taste:
- Spaghetti Con Gamberetti with wild caught prawns, chilli, garlic, parsley, olive oil, and parmesan cheese
- Petto di pollo, a wood-fired chicken breast dish with creamy mushroom sauce
- Quattro carni pizza with housemade tomato sauce, fior di latte, pepperoni, ham off the bone, spicy Italian sausage, and pancetta
In the mood for a boozy high tea? We may have saved one of the best atmospheric Brisbane bars until last, but The Matriarch is certainly anything but the least when it comes to the best restaurants in Brisbane.
From the moment you step into this magical garden oasis, you’ll be filled with delight from tantalising food and drinks to an Instagram-worthy setting. This unique blend of retro chic and garden party elegance is truly one of a kind.
Inside, you’ll find beautifully set tables beneath an eclectic assortment of chandeliers and lanterns. Everything is surrounded by indoor trees and flower arrangements dripping with dainty leaves and fairy light twinkles. Take a seat at one of the colourful retro-style chairs or velvet lounges and sample a delectable afternoon tea.
High Tea is Served
- Smoked salmon and creme fraiche blinis
- Buttermilk and fruit scones with cream, lemon curd, and strawberry jam
- The ‘Frizzy Banoffee Sour’ cocktail made with whisky, banana liqueur, lemon, caramel, chocolate bitter, and Aquafaba
- The ‘Pass the Magic Dragon’ cocktail made with vodka, passionfruit, dragonfruit, lemon, and oolong tea
Dish Up on Brisbane Bars and Restaurants
A trip to Brisbane, whether for two nights or two months, calls for a little taste of adventure with its never-ending feast of restaurants and bars.
From the Tex-Mex fiesta of El Camino Cantina to the magical fairy-garden elegance of The Matriarch, there is so much to discover in this city’s vibrant dining scene.
One thing that all of these best restaurants in Brisbane have in common is that they’re in close proximity to Rambla @ Perry House. And no, it’s not a mere coincidence – we purposefully chose our city-fringe location in order to be surrounded by these five-star Brisbane bars and eateries.
Stay with us in the heart of Brisbane’s delicious dining hub and get ready to taste the best adventures this fabulous city has to offer.