Your guide to Brisbane's hip laneways - Visit Brisbane


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

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 Street parallel to Queen Street Mall.

Burnett Lane, Brisbane

Kick start your day with coffee at dark hideout Brew Cafe & Wine Bar, or step into the bright and breezy Felix for Goodness for brunch to fuel your day exploring the city or shopping down the mall. 

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 as it comes alive after dark with a new crowd and continue your crawl to moody cocktail lounge Death & Taxes and tapas bar Alba Bar & Deli.  

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. If sports is what you're after, then Fat Angel Sports Bar is what you're looking for. Brisbane's first American sports bar is streaming live sport direct from the US and serving American classics like loaded fries, buffalo wings, mac & cheese and tater tots. 

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 Gravy Fries

Gresham Lane itself features a bustling mini food court of quick street feeds. Grab a coffee at Espresso Republic, poke bowl from Malolo Poke, Korean delights and fried chicken from Little Maru, a moreish salad from Modern Hunter or sushi from Sushi Place. 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 serving some pretty epic burgers. 

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 for completely carb-full Italian meals, order sake and dumplings at Harajuku Gyoza, dine on latin-inspired fare at Comuna Cantina or drop into Singapore & Co Kitchen 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 and bites at John Mills Himself (pictured above), Strauss, Hellcat Maggie 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 or cafe eats from No.5 Cafe, pop by Jess Blak for bespoke jewllery, wander into art gallery, creative space and independent retail store The Culprit Club, tune up at Tym Guitars, and purchase all the things at Uncommon Store

Hell, while you’re at it, treat yo’self to a new haircut at Winnston Hair or Babylon Falls Barbershop.

There are also vintage and local designer markets often hosted within the space so keep your eyes on their Facebook page for upcoming dates. 

Bakery Lane, Fortitude Valley

Little sister to Winn, Bakery Lane is designed with similarly small shopfronts that mix new with heritage. Here cafe tables spill into the central space where locals can be found nomming on treats from Cakes & Shit, brunch from The New Black, nosh from Nom-Nom Korean, Japanese and Nordic-influenced fare at Joy Restaurant or knocking back drinks inside TSO Lounge

Boutique shopping has brought its A-game here with Empire Dolls for fashion forward clothing and The Botanist for all your floral and gifting needs. 

California Lane, Fortitude Valley

The most recent of the Valley laneways, California Lane has joined its siblings (Winn and Bakery) with vintage summer vibes and palm trees playing up to its name. Start with a coffee from Reverends or Ltd Espresso then eat your way through dumplings from Fat Dumpling, Italian from Giardinetto, poke from Raw + Rice, cocktails and desserts from The Stand and scoops of (egg-less) cookie dough from Doughlord

Don't forget the boutiques. Shop through local stores Alice Nightingale and Bella Joan, and keep your eyes peeled for pop-up shops and markets as they are organised throughout the year. 

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 10-seat gastronomic cocktail bar Maker, across the lane to Hello Please for Vietnamese delights or upstairs to Maeve Wine Bar

A little further along is Saccharomyces Beer Cafe (or SBC for short) with 10 rotating taps of craft brews. Keep walking the long laneway to find Chu The Phat, La Lune Wine Co, Big Roddy's Rippin' Rib Shack and Grassfed before finishing at 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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