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Off to Brisbane for 5 days............ anyone got any recommendations for markets and restaurants

Heading off to Brisbane for 5 days and would love to hear peoples recommendations for restaurants (all ethnicities and prices cool) markets and specialist food shops. Thanks team

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  1. It really depends on what you like and how much you want to spend. Personally I think that the best restaurant in brisbane is Ortiga and would be great for a formal/ more expensive dinner- try the sherry. I also love Montrachet's, it is run by the well loved Thierry Galichet their take on french cuisine is traditional but always very good. Restaurant two, Aria, Jellyfish and the Anise are good as well - again it all depends on what you like.

    If you are looking for something more casual then I would suggest trying the Southbank/Westend area - this is good especially if you are going to QPAC, I am liking Ole at the moment for pre/post theatre food.

    Westend also has some great "ethnic" food - check out Trangs for good Vietnamese, it doesn't look like much but their Pho is fantastic. Little Greek Taverna also has some good cheap greek, great for a bite before heading for a night out.

    The Gunshop Cafe in Westend does fantastic breakfasts/brunch. As does Sassafras in Paddington and Campos Coffee in Wandoo St. Campos is in the gentrified James St area which has a great market (including a good sushi place), wine celler (Cru) and plenty of boutiques. There is also a great cooking school/ shop in Water St in the Fortitude Valley/James St area called Black Pearl - they import great cheeses and always have good/interesting and high end cookware. I would also recommend King of Kings a yumcha institution in the Valley's Chinatown, if you are there on a Saturday I would highly recommend this.

    If you are interested in bars/clubs the Valley is the epicentre of brisbane. I would suggest The Bowery (a speakeasy style bar) Larouche (which is quirky and serves interesting cocktails) and the Brunswick social which has good pork buns and is open very late. There is also X & Y which is more relaxed but the staff are good. Tuckeria (a mission style burrito joint) is up the road if you get hungry on the way home.

    If you have anymore questions or want to run a place past me feel free I think I have eaten at most place in this city.

    1. I was in Brisbane last week and ate at Esquire (tasting menu only). The food was terrific, deceptively simple and very creative. My favourite courses were the first (spanner crab with macadamia nut, rolled in a freeze-dried coffee ! superb) and the last (a Campari sorbet with freeze-dried tangerine). Service was very good. Noise levels got fairly high as the evening progressed. Definitely worth a visit for a high-end dining experience.

      1. Hi! I agree with most of the responses here - especially try Ortiga if your budget can stretch to it mmmmmm. I would also recommend Anise; I would marry their duck fat potatoes.
        My favourite store is Black Pearl Epicure, located on Baxter St in Fortitude Valley. It is pretty fancy-pants, and is priced to match. They also run cooking courses, if that's your thing. Also! Sourced Grocer has a nice little selection of local fruit, veg and treats. Other specialist food shops are concentrated in Chinatown, West End and Sunnybank.
        As for markets, try Jan Powers Farmers Markets, they are run in the city every wednesday, and also scattered around various locations (i think the Powerhouse ones are the best) once or twice a month - they can actually be a pretty good spot for a bit of breakfast or lunch too!
        The Northey Street City Farm also holds a market of organic produce every Sunday - great for seasonal fruit and veg.
        For delicious pastries and breads, head to Chouquette (a little overpriced maybe, but delicious), Jocelyn's Provisions for cakes (again, overpriced, and also a bit overhyped, but still good) and for organic breads, try Levain in Morningside (you can also get a small selection of their products from Sourced Grocer) - try their middle eastern fruit loaf for ultimate noms.
        My favourite breakfast nook is Pablo in New Farm. I find it less pretentious than the other offerings in the neighbourhood. They use locally produced, free-range, organic, blah blah blah, anyway, they make tasty breakfast food, and that's what's important!
        If you are staying in the city, try to venture out to the Valley, South Brisbane/West End or New Farm (or further!) for budget or mid-range food; the city (IMHO) is pretty woeful in this area (although there are some exceptions).

        1. Is there a good coffee shop or cafe in Brisbane pulling espresso shots with panache? Micro roaster or third wave baristas? Looking for a place to drink well even if no seating and no food. However, seating for laptop work and food is a bonus.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Food Tourist

            There are a few around the place. Whereabouts where you thinking?

            1. re: mr_gimlet

              Spring Hill area, or Southbank or anything close to tourist attractions. A really hip/trendy neighbourhood would also be welcome (near independent shops or public spaces). Thanks!

              Also, where to eat the best Moreton Bay Bugs, sushi, fresh fish, local cuisine, meat pies, Aussie bakery sweets, real bagels, etc.?

              And are there any kid-friendly memorable gourmet restaurant (Aussie local cuisine or southeast Asian or Pacific Rim)? The kids eat anything, just mean a place that accepts kids (not a quiet conservative place!)

              1. re: Food Tourist

                Nest (Upper Edward Street) is my hangout in that part of town. Heard good things about Chic as well (cnr Leichhardt/ Upper Edward). In the city, Naked in the Elizabeth Arcade would be my central pick. Avoid Coffee Club.

                Brisbane's food scene is restaurant driven and only took off a few years ago with the influx of mining cash. Tends to be dominated by branches of Sydney occasion restaurants - eg Sake, Aria - and there isn't much that is up there with the best Australia has to offer. Ortega is one of them, and I have always had a soft spot for Restaurant Two. Most places will be kid friendly, Brisbane is that kind of place.

                The producer/ providore side hasn't really caught up with the restaurant scene so there isn't a lot of 'best bagel in Brisbane' other than iysil's list - but this is more of an impression as I don't really food shop there.

              2. re: mr_gimlet

                I met a barista from Brisbane in Toronto who runs Manual Labour Coffee truck. She recommended Cup Coffee, One Drop, Bunker, Pour Boy, and Dandelions & Driftwood.

                1. re: Food Tourist

                  I've been to Pour Boy, it was excellent.

                  1. re: mr_gimlet

                    I'm hoping that at least a couple of those places have space to work (wi-fi) and a great neighbourhood or view nearby?

                  2. re: Food Tourist

                    I've hit up One Drop, Bunker, Pour Boy, The Rogue Rennard, all of which are super serious about beans and process. Most of them will do a pour-over or aeropress if you ask.

              3. Also looking for newer recommendations for excellent fresh local seafood and locavore cuisine, or Malaysian, Indonesian or SE Asian food.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Food Tourist

                  seafood isn't really my thing, but people really rate Gambaro's and Paragon for it. Locavore isn't something we do much, spring in the CBD would be the closest i can think to that genre.

                  SE and Northern Asian food we do brilliantly well. Just hit up Urbanspoon and look up sunnybank, sunnybank Hills, chinatown and West End for them. My big tip is Thai Wi Rat for some of the best Thai food i've had outside of Thailand,