Your guide to Brisbane's hip laneways

Move over Melbourne – Brisbane’s strong list of hip laneways is ever-growing. Knock over coffee or sink back a nightcap, stretch out and find zen, or pick up something from a local label – let Brisbane’s laneways surprise you.

Burnett Lane, Brisbane City

Greeters wander through Burnett Lane

Wine bars, late-night feeds and fancy dining – Burnett Lane has it all. Originally named after James Charles Burnett (an early surveyor in Brisbane) this lane runs from George to Albert Streets parallel to Queen Street Mall.

Burnett Lane, Brisbane

Kick start your day with coffee at dark hideout Brew, or step into the bright and breezy Felix Espresso for a bite to eat and fuel your day exploring or with a shopping trip in the mall. Return later for an exquisite lunch or dinner at the industrial chic Survey Co (also named in recognition of Mr Burnett). Notable menu items include the whole duck of the day or "Death Row Meal".

Top off your Burnett Lane crawl with a yoga class or Shri, or knock over a drink at American-inspired petite bar Super Whatnot with a late-night snack. Bar hop back to Brew and Felix as they come alive after dark with a new crowd.

Eagle Lane, Brisbane City

You might know the glam Eagle Street Pier dining precinct – home to some of Brisbane’s best restaurants and riverside bars. Well, Eagle Lane couldn’t be any more different. 

Pick up a coffee from hole-in-the-wall window Coop Espresso in the morning and head back in the evening for a boogie and beer at Brooklyn Standard. This American-themed basement bar is marked only by a doorway and tiny neon sign that says "bar". Once you find it, be rewarded with ice-cold Brooklyn Lager on tap, excellent cocktails, live music six nights a week and free table pretzels.

Gresham Lane, Brisbane City

The Gresham Bar

Gresham Lane takes its name from an important hotel in Brisbane’s history that met a tragic end. It survived the 1889 floods, but the 1974 floods caused such damage it was demolished. Qantas was formally established at The Gresham Hotel in 1920, and in 1942 the infamous Battle of Brisbane took place between Australian and American servicemen where one man died and many others suffered gunshot wounds and other injuries.

Housed on the ground floor of the historic NAB Building, The Gresham is a whisky bar and ode to yesteryear with chesterfield couches, rich mahogany furniture, and historic photos on the walls. See for yourself why it won Australian Gourmet Traveller’s Bar of the Year in 2015. 

Red Hook

Gresham Lane itself features a bustling mini food court of quick street feeds. Grab a coffee at Espresso Republic, charcoal skewers from Ichiban Yakitori or sushi from Top Sushi. At the Adelaide St side of Gresham Lane is popular cafe Sparrow & Finch for a wide range of eats, and in the middle lies Red Hook – an open-air NYC street food restaurant and bar.

Albert Lane, Brisbane City

Also tucked off Queen Street Mall, Albert Lane is a modern laneway space that’s filled with tasty eats. Pop by the 250-seater Vapiano, order sake and dumplings at Harajuku Gyoza, dine on latin-spired fare at Comuna Cantina or drop into Little Singapore for lunch.

Hidden coffee spots in Brisbane City

John Mills Himself

We guess you could say these venues live in their own exclusive unnamed laneways. Either way, wander down random driveways, paths and lanes to find excellent coffee at John Mills Himself (pictured above), Strauss or Bean in the city.

Winn Lane, Fortitude Valley

Winn Lane Fortitude Valley

A sneaky laneway tucked off a side street, Winn Lane is the spot for independent boutique shopping and burgers. The lane is a hive of activity on weekends, attracting Brisbane’s local creative community to the space behind the historic Shannons Building (home to The Zoo live music venue).

Once you’ve finished chowing down a classic bun at Ben’s Burgers, pop by Sunday Social for vintage finds, grab local designs from House of Cards, tune up at Tyms Guitars,  and purchase man things at The Outpost.

Hell, while you’re at it, treat yo’self to a new haircut at York Hair Artistry or Lawless Salon.

Bakery Lane, Fortitude Valley

Bakery Lane Fortitude Valley

Little sister to Winn, Bakery Lane is designed with similarly small shopfronts inside that mix new with heritage. Here cafe tables spill into the central space where locals can be found nomming on I Heart Brownies, nosh from Laruche Kiosk, or knocking back drinks inside The Tree House.

Boutique shopping has brought its A-game here with Stock & Supply for menswear and The Botanist for all your floral and gifting needs. 

M&A Lane, Fortitude Valley

Gordita

Recent development M&A Lane turned its ground level into a laneway of bustling restaurants and bars. Go Mexican at Sin Vida and take a trip to Japan at Nikuya.

Fish Lane, South Brisbane

Originally named Soda Water Lane (due to the Eudone Aerated Water company that had its factory there in the 1870s), Fish Lane is a place of constant change. At one end coming off Grey St dine on incredible Italian at Julius Pizzeria (don’t pass up the duck ragu or prosciutto pizza). There is often a wait for a table (it’s that good), so pop next door to Maker – a 10-seater gastronomic cocktail bar.

A little further is Saccharomyces Beer Cafe (or SBC for short) with 10 rotating taps of craft brews. Past that is down the long laneway lies Wandering Cooks, an experimental food incubator and kitchen space for food entrepreneurs. Time it right and there will be events in the big courtyard space such as food truck meets, launches or markets to enjoy.

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