Paddington is the place to be for boutique shopping, after-work drinks, or a lazy weekend breakfast. Wander your way down the bustling Given and Latrobe Terraces to soak up the village lifestyle, and while you’re at it, tick these 33 things off your Paddington to-do list.
1. Brunch like you mean it
You know you’re in Paddington when the smell of bacon and coffee wafting through the air wakes you up in the morning. Locals love nothing more than taking a long and leisurely brunch date, and with so many great spots to choose from, it’s no wonder why. Try Naim, Anouk, Paddington Deli and Epicerie, Chocolate Orange, Kettle and Tin, Yard Bird or Chapter IV for your next fix.
2. Boutique shopping at its finest
Be prepared to shop ‘til you drop in Paddington, where boutique-lined streets entice you in with sparkling jewels, well-tailored pieces and statement accessories. Discover quirky colourful wears at Maiocchi, frost yourself at JewelsNY, find that perfect figure-hugging wrap dress at Sacha Drake, or find that stand-out piece for your next special occasion at Living Silk.
3. Celebrity spotting
Keep your eyes peeled on your morning coffee run, you might spot one of the many well-known locals enjoying breakfast at Paddington Deli and Epicerie.
4. Go old school
Paddington is home to some outstanding antique stores including the sizeable Paddington Antique Centre, housed inside the old Plaza Theatre and boasting more than 50 dealers. Across the road at Estelle’s Antiques and Collectables you’ll find a large stock of furniture, while further around the bend on Given Tce, Retro Metro sells top-quality retro clothing. Can’t get enough of pre-loved goods? Check out where else in Brisbane sells vintage finds.
5. Gourmet delis
Pick up some fine fare to whip up a storm at home, or create a gourmet picnic with goods from Paddington Deli or Rosalie Gourmet Market. Cheese-lovers will be in heaven.
6. Beautify your home
Paddington is your one-stop-shop for beautiful homewares. Wander the French-inspired Blake and Taylor to find your new coffee table book or quality linen clothing, Olive Home for brightly coloured clothing and home accessories from Missoni, Happiness Place for cute stationery and table settings, or redecorate with a range of quality fabrics and furnishings from Red Works.
7. The bird is the word
Haven’t heard of Yard Bird? Well, if you’re a lover of chicken wings, this is the place for you. They’ve got all your typical coatings – think southern fried, honey barbecue and chipotle barbecue, along with the famous Death Sentence Wings that are hotter than hot. You’ve been warned.
Just down the road from Yard Bird is another chicken joint worth getting in a flap about. Winner Winner Hot Chicken serves up some finger lickin' good chicken, with everything from chicken tenders, wings, burgers, drumsticks, or even the whole bird – so you better flock to it!
Red Bull isn’t the only thing that’ll give you wings – Brisbane delivers too, just try these spots to get your fix.
8. Hit premium op shops
Rummage your way through the local Vinnies and Endeavour Foundation stores on Given Tce to pick up some second-hand wears. With everything from clothing and books to furniture and brick-a-brac, you’ll surely find a bargain.
9. Explore your creative side at Blake and Taylor
Known for new and recycled furniture and homewares, Blake and Taylor runs creative workshops ranging from chalk furniture painting and lampshade making to screen printing and floral arranging. Places are limited, so be sure to book in advance.
10. Health food kick at Fundies
Dine in at the Fundies Wholefood Café for breakfast or lunch, seven days a week. Known for dishing up wholesome, organic food that has been ethically sourced, you’ll find the likes of gourmet burgers, salads, smoothies and fair trade coffee on the menu. On your way out, pick up some pantry staples by the way of flours, cereals and nuts.
11. C'est délicieux
Classic and refined, Montrachet wouldn’t look out of place on the banks of the Seine. Combining elegant food in a traditional French restaurant setting, the menu features all your favourites – French onion soup, double-baked soufflé with crab meat, Bouillabaisse, crème brulee and a selection of cheeses.
12. Inject some colour into your life
Thousand Island Dressing stocks beautifully decorative jewellery and homewares in brightly coloured materials including beads, wood and semi-precious gems. Stop by to pick up a unique, locally made gift for a friend.
13. Don't gnocch it 'til you try it
Rejoice, Brisbane's first gnoccheria has arrived! The popular market stall Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers finally has a permanent home in Paddington and is already an absolute hit with the locals. Made in-house daily, there is a selection of sauces (did someone say mushroom and truffle sauce) to pair with your gnocchi, including gluten free options.
14. It’s getting hot in here
Kettle and Tin’s annual Chili Cook Off draws crowds of people from around Brisbane who cast their votes for Brisbane’s best chili while sipping craft beer and cider (and lots of it at that!). The event is part of Brewsvegas, after all. The place will be hot, hot, chilli hot on Sunday 19 March.
15. Spice up your life with healthy Indian
Whether you love a simple korma or prefer something a little spicier like a vindaloo, It’s Mirchi has it all. The extensive menu caters to all dietary requirements, and even includes healthy options. But don’t forget the gulab jamun for dessert!
16. Fabulous, Darling!
Locals will remember the prominent site as the former Iceworks Bar which has been transformed into Darling and Co, a sleek and sophisticated slashie (that’s café/bar/restaurant). The refined breakfast, lunch and dinner menus will have you salivating, while enjoying Brisbane’s almost year-round good weather in the breezy space.
17. The Unforgiven
We’ll forgive you if you’ve not been to Unforgiven. The candlelit venue boasts dark corners, plush leather couches and a well-stocked bar full of boutique spirits. You’ll find it tucked away under Darling and Co on Dowse St.
18. Catch the latest flick
Take your standard date night at the cinema to a whole new level at the Blue Room Cinebar. Relax in plush recliners while being served nibbles and drinks right to your seat.
19. From Italy, with love
Gerardo brings traditional Italian gelato-making techniques with his renowned flair for creative flavours to the streets of Rosalie at Gelateria Cremona. With over 200 flavours in his repertoire, you’re guaranteed to find that special gelato to make you go ‘yum!’ Be sure to visit for a post lunch or dinner treat.
The passionate team at Grappino has your Italian food cravings sorted with everything from spaghetti marinara to vitello saltimbocca. It’s the perfect place to take a long relaxing lunch – just like the Italians do.
21. Khot Thai
Khot Thai is bang on the money with a reasonably priced menu full of classic Thai flavours. It also caters to the vegetarian and gluten-free crowd. Favourites include the laksa, green curry and pad thai. Service is impeccable, whether dining in or taking away.
22. Do the Lindy Hop
Whether you’re a coordinated angel or have two left feet, Empire Swing will have you grooving to a variety of swing dance styles including the Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa and Blues. And best of all, no partner is required – so get jazzy!
23. Start a band
The Guitar Shop has all your gear sorted, whether you’re looking for a new guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele or lapsteel – you’ll find it here. If you rock out too hard, a repairs and maintenance service is available that’ll have you back on stage (or in your garage) in no time at all.
24. Fit for a princess
A dream made in wedding dress heaven, Karen Willis Holmes will have you looking like an ethereal princess on your big day. Her bohemian style focuses on classic silhouettes with detailed embroidery and embellishments taking simplicity to the next level. Pop into the boutique on Given Tce to turn your dream into reality.
25. Living the pooch life
Don’t leave your beloved four-legged friend at home on your next brunch date – Atticus Finch caters to all pooches great and small. Sip your coffee of choice while your furry friend makes canine friends of their own.
26. Ahoy there!
With its English seaside vibe and the British-influenced pub food, Hope and Anchor is Paddington's best little watering hole. Offering an extensive wine list and a variety of craft beers, this is the place to go at beer o'clock or after a hard day watching footy or soccer at Suncorp Stadium.
27. Discover your next love
Love Me Again Market, Paddington’s own pre-loved clothing market, allows you to sell your unwanted clothing and accessories. Held once a month at the Paddington Community Hall at 10 Moreton St, it’s the perfect place to pick up a designer bargain or off-load your pre-loved goods. Happy hunting!
28. Fabrics galore!
Haberdashery stores are few and far between these days, but luckily Paddington has kept its charm (and gorgeous printed fabrics, lines and cushions) at Calico House. It’s a decorator's dream.
29. A little slice of Japan
Kon’nichiwa Brisbane! For tasty tapas Japanese-style, head to Moga on Baroona Rd. The casual garden setting is the perfect place to sip sake and savour fresh sashimi.
30. Stop to smell the roses
Found inside an old-style Queenslander cottage, Francesca’s Flowers is more than just a florist. Sit on the deck and enjoy coffee, tea and divine cakes surrounded by the fragrance of beautiful blooms. Keen to try your hand at floristry? Why not join one of the many workshops on offer.
31. Rug up
A good night’s sleep awaits when you have luxurious Manchester from Sheets on the Line. Selling the highest-quality linen, cotton and silk bedding, you’ll be sure to find a style that suits you without breaking the bank.
32. A belly full of laughs
Take a seat at the Sit Down Comedy Club for a night full of laughs from a host of local, national and international performers. Swing by the Paddo for dinner before or after the show.
33. Hang out with Rich Uncle Pennybags
Test your friendships with a game of Monopoly at Club Sosay. With hundreds of board games to choose from, you’ll have the ultimate night battling it out while munching on nibbles in the fully licensed cafe and bar. Locals will be glad to hear that Paddington institution Kookaburra Cafe has now moved into Club Sosay, so you can still enjoy some of Brisbane's best pizza right across the road from the old establishment.