Eating local: Brisbane's paddock to plate experience - Visit Brisbane


Eating local: Brisbane's paddock to plate experience

If you love to experience a city via your plate - Brisbane is the place to unfold your napkin.

From the salad bowl Lockyer Valley to urban inner-city beehives, Brisbane's restaurants, bars and cafes go above and beyond to ensure where possible that its dishes and drinks come from within the local region.

Fine dining

Patina at Customs House, Brisbane City

From the basement to a banquet – eat fresh produce grown in the depths of Brisbane's CBD at Customs House. Operation manager George Musat and executive chef John Offenhauser swapped oven mitts for garden gloves and have rolled up their sleeves to grow mushrooms in the Customs House cellar.

Handpicked daily, the pair are currently focusing on shiitake and oyster mushrooms and these postcode 4000 fungi can be found in everything from the breakfast omelette to pasta dinner. 

Other than mushrooms, the Customs House kitchen predominantly sources local produce, with the scallops coming from Hervey Bay, pork from South Burnett, honey from Pinjarra Hills, prawns from Mooloolaba, OP rib from the Darling Downs and vegetables from the Lockyer Valley.

Salon De Co, Brisbane City

Utilising flavours, ingredients and techniques from Australia and abroad, Andy Ashby uses fresh and seasonal produce to create his tantalising menu. 

The team works directly with local farmers, artisans and producers to source only the best and freshest ingredients including Little Acre Mushrooms from West End, chicken from 9dorf Farm in Toowoomba, spanner crab from Fraser Island, camels fromage from Summer Land in the Scenic Rim and scampi from Tamborine Mountain. 

E’cco, Newstead


"We do as little as possible with the best ingredients available."

The Brisbane institution e'cco gets its beef from the Darling Downs, its vegetables from the Lockyer Valley, apples and quince from nearby Stanthorpe, and strawberries, citrus and pineapples from the north coast of Queensland and the Sunshine Coast.

Detour Restaurant, Woolloongabba

Inclusiveness is the key feature of the menu at Detour - the restaurant's kitchen is entirely gluten free, and any non-gluten free menu items are prepared off site. The menu caters for the herbivores and omnivores alike, from the gunpowder wagyu served with kimchi to the fossilised carrots.

The restaurant's centrepiece is the open kitchen, and the focus is very much on sustainability. Even the water is recycled.

Three Blue Ducks, Brisbane City

Three Blue Ducks has been making waves all over the east coast, with its strong paddock to plate ethos and implementing ethical and sustainable business practices throughout each of its venues. 

The Brisbane City location uses a variety of fresh Queensland seafood and has even teamed up with OzHarvest to recycle any edible leftovers. 

GOMA Restaurant, South Bank

GOMA Restaurant chooses to showcase the best Queensland produce using sustainable and organic ingredients where possible.

The menu features carrots, beans, onions, cucumbers, finger limes, macadamias, rhubarb, coffee and sheep's milk products from the Scenic Rim, plus honey, elderflower, mint, wagyu, seafood, haloumi, eggs and pecans from the wider South East Queensland area.

Pethers Rainforest Restaurant, Scenic Rim

"I can't think of too many fine-dining restaurants where the chef can grow his own foods," head chef Obie Faulkner said.

Set in the heart of the fertile Scenic Rim at North Tamborine, Pethers boasts a vegetable and herb garden just metres from the kitchen filled with seasonal produce from yarrow and brussel sprouts to broccoli, sorrel, wild rocket and plentiful herbs growing.

Faulkner started the garden for environmental sustainability, superior taste and to supplement the local produce already used at Pethers. There is also an avocado orchard on the property and four beehives.

Sake, Brisbane City

"Queensland seafood and Queensland meat is among the best I have worked with," head chef Daisuke Sakai said.

"The quality of our local produce is always excellent and its vast abundance means I can explore new ideas and create exciting dishes that do justice to Queensland farmers and producers."

Sake brings the best of Queensland to Brisbane with Sunshine Coast king prawns, Moreton Bay bugs, Hervey Bay scallops, tuna from North Queensland, tofu from Byron Bay and Wagyu beef from Longreach in Central West Queensland.

Homage, Ipswich


Here paddock to plate is taken to a whole new level. Head chef Ash Martin sources his local produce from his own back yard – the market garden, orchard, mango trees, beehives and free range farm to harvest means that ingredients are either grown onsite or sourced from producers right down the road.

You'll find flavours of the Darling Downs and Lockyer Valley on your plate. Try the homage farm pork or lamb or Rosevale beef brisket – you will not be disappointed. 

Spicers Balfour Kitchen, New Farm

Schultz Family Farms won’t supply its suckling pig to just any restaurant - you have to be doing good things with it. Spicers Balfour gets its pork from the Toowoomba farmers who have been operating in the region for over 120 years.

Balfour also uses small, select suppliers in the Sunshine Coast region for mushrooms, citrus, strawberries, herbs, raspberries, blueberries, figs and other fruit and vegetables, plus gets eggs from Nindigully.

Urbane, Brisbane City


Award-winning degustation restaurant Urbane sends each plate back to the paddock. The restaurant has a special composter that recycles all organic waste back into soil for its local farmers to use.

The restaurant uses as much local and sustainable produce as possible, and has direct contact with the farmers themselves. Urbane also has a vertical herb garden out back, and its own bee hive on the roof.

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Casual dining and cafes

Grown, West End

This trendy West End cafe serves a plant-based and seasonal menu. Produce is primarily sourced from FoodConnect, who source from local farmers under 400 kilometres from Brisbane, Suncoast Fresh, who supply produce from the Sunshine Coast and The Falls Farm, a family-run organic farm in Mapleton. Drop in for a meal with coffee by Wynnum’s Dramanti Roasters. Food waste is send to compost at the Jane Street Community Garden.

King Arthur, New Farm

New Farm favourite King Arthur puts local produce and people at the forefront of what it does. The hip cafe sources food from small local supplier and farmers, like the couple behind LOOP Growers who farm at Samford and are heavily influenced by local group Food Connect. Beyond the regular breakfast or lunch fare, keep a keen eye out for pop-up producer dinners and more.

Plenty, West End

"Know your farmer" is the motto behind West End cafe Plenty. The venue celebrates locally grown food, building a connection between the city community and regional farmers.

Here the tomatoes roll in from Kalbar in the Scenic Rim, the owner makes a weekly trip to the Fassifern Valley in the Lockyer Valley for the freshest and tastiest vegetables, and the cafe's website hosts a blog that tells you about each local farm and farmer.

Wild Canary, Brookfield

Wild Canary

“The more that we can be supporting local growers and producers, plus ensuring food security in the region, the better,” head chef Glen Barratt told Visit Brisbane.

Barratt is passionate about visiting local farmers and farmer markets to connect with growers and bring the best back to Wild Canary. He sources vegetables from Loop Organics and Scenic Rim producers Valley Pride Produce, gets sustainable meat from 9Dorf Farms in the Lockyer Valley, free-range eggs from Eggcettera in Allora, and dairy from Tommerup's Dairy farm. 

“Most of our producers know what we’re after, what we’re looking for. It’s as fresh as it can possibly be,” he said.

More than a restaurant, Wild Canary is connected to the Brookfield Garden Centre. Seasonally it grows anything from capsicums, eggplant, zucchini and corn, to leafy veg, herbs and edible flowers (all organic of course). 

Wild Canary also runs monthly producer lunch and dinners, where it brings in a local grower and designs a special menu.

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John Mills Himself, Brisbane City

John Mills Himself

If you can find the small laneway bar and coffee shop that is John Mills Himself, you'll be rewarded with the best of the South East.

The drinks menu lists how many kilometres away each wine was produced, each spirit distilled and beer brewed - the focus is on short food miles, and even the soda water comes from a small maker in Toowoomba.

Maker, South Brisbane

With just 10 seats, Maker is an intimate cocktail bar in South Brisbane. Behind the brass bar, Nick Royds and Edward Quatermass create their own liqueurs using local and native ingredients for a bespoke cocktail experience.

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Cooking schools

Wild Lime Cooking School, Scenic Rim

Wild Lime Cooking School

Set in the middle of the Lost World Valley, this cooking school makes the most of local ingredients by gathering produce from farms in the regions (including the neighbouring Tommerup's Dairy Farm) as well as wild growing bush tucker, wild limes, warrigal greens, lemon myrtle, cinnamon myrtle and river mint and local fresh water yabbies.

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Markets & grocers

Jan Power Farmers' Markets, Brisbane Powerhouse, Manly & Mitchelton

Head along to a Jan Power market (there are three locations) to purchase fresh produce direct from the farmers themselves and get everything from honey and eggs, to berries, bananas, herbs and other vegetables. 

Northey Street Organic Farmers' Market, Windsor

More than just an organic farmers' market, Northey Street is a community. Real farmers set up shop beside the City Farm Nursery where you buy fresh organic produce for the week, along with organic plants, potting mix and lucerne.

The Stores, West End

The Stores has arrived in inner-city Brisbane to supply the community with real food. It is owned by the people behind Schulte’s in Lockyer Valley - makers of smallgoods and fresh meats - who have brought together a network of farmers from the Southern Queensland Country region.

Head instore to discover fresh local cheese in the fromagery, take your pick from the delicatessen, eat the region via the fresh fruit and veg section, and of course there is a good selection of fresh meats and smallgoods under the Schulte's name. You can also pick up local Queensland wine here to complete your cheeseboard.

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