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

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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. 

Brisbane's restaurants, bars and cafes are good to go. From the Lockyer Valley salad bowl to inner-city-grown mushrooms, our dining institutions continue to go above and beyond to serve up divine dishes and drinks using the freshest produce sourced from our region. 

Fine Dining | Casual Dining & Cafe | Bars | Markets & grocers | Meet the makers

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. Executive Chef John Offenhauser swapped oven mitts for garden gloves and has rolled up his sleeves to grow mushrooms in the Customs House cellar. Handpicked daily, their mushrooms can be found in everything from the breakfast omelette to pasta dinner.  

Other than mushrooms, the Customs House kitchen sources local Queensland produce, with  scallops 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. They are open seven days and tables are available for booking here.

Salon De Co, Brisbane City

Utilising flavours, ingredients and techniques from Australia and abroad, Head Chef 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 and camel’s fromage from Summer Land in the Scenic Rim. Open seven days, you can book a table here

E’cco, Newstead

"We do as little as possible with the best ingredients available," is E’cco’s philosophy towards fine food. 

This Brisbane institution sources 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. Their tables are open for booking from Wednesday to Saturday for dinner. You can also order take-away from Wednesday to Saturday 5pm-7:30pm.

Detour Restaurant, Woolloongabba

Inclusiveness is the key feature of the menu at Detour - the restaurant's kitchen preparing only gluten free menu items on 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. 

They’re open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday. Lunches are available Friday and Saturday. Reserve a table here

Pethers Rainforest Restaurant, Scenic Rim

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. 

Head Chef Obie 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.  

Pethers Restaurant is fully licensed and open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Book online here.

Homage, Ipswich

Here paddock to plate is taken to a whole new level. Head Chef Ash Martin sources local produce from his own back yard. The market garden, orchard, mango trees, beehives and free-range animal farm provides ingredients that 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 farm pork, lamb or the Rosevale beef brisket – you will not be disappointed. Open daily, bookings essential.

Casual dining and cafes

Plenty, West End

"Know your farmer" is the motto behind West End cafe Plenty. While sourcing locally grown food, this West End gem also celebrates the people who produce it, aiming to forge links between city community, regional farmers, and local producers. Their tomatoes roll in from Kalbar in the Scenic Rim and the owner makes a weekly trip to the Fassifern Valley in the Lockyer Valley for the freshest and tastiest vegetables. Aside from a seasonal menu and daily sandwiches and salads, they retail their own line of locally produced sauces, jams, relishes and pickles, as well as eco-conscious products.  

Plenty is serving breakfast and lunch from Wednesday to Sunday, and they have *plenty* of good food to share with you.

Grown, West End

This trendy West End cafe serves a plant-based and seasonal menu. Produce is primarily sourced from Food Connect, who work with local farmers within 400 kilometres from Brisbane. Other key suppliers include Suncoast Fresh, who supply seasonal produce from the Sunshine Coast and The Falls Farm, a family-run organic farm in Mapleton, Queensland. Drop in for a meal with coffee by Wynnum’s Dramanti Roasters. Food waste is sent to compost at the Jane Street Community Garden. They’re open for take-away and dine-in from Tuesday to Sunday. 

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 themed dinners. Open Tuesday - Saturday from 7am.

Wild Canary, Brookfield

Nestled within Brookfield Gardens in the leafy Western suburbs of Brisbane, Wild Canary is a botanically minded bistro. Head chef Glen Barratt is passionate about visiting local farmers and farmers’ 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, sustainable meat from 9Dorf Farms in the Lockyer Valley, free-range eggs from Eggcettera in Allora, and dairy from Tommerup's Dairy farm. Wild Canary also runs monthly producer lunch and dinners, where it brings in a local grower and designs a special menu. Open daily.

Flex for Goodness, Brisbane City 

Retreat to the oasis of Burnett Lane's hideaway café in the heart of the city. Felix for Goodness serves up wholesome, seasonal food using local, organic ingredients and prides itself on a thoughtful selection of Australian natural wines, craft beers and spirits. The café works with Food Connect to source fresh produce from South East Queensland and to lock in fixed and fair prices for farmers. Open daily. 

Florence, Camp Hill 

Sister café to Felix for Goodness, Florence offers locally roasted coffee from Parallel Roasters and a nourishing seasonal menu seven days per week. The café serves up wholesome and sustainable dishes through working with local growers and producers. This includes sourcing greens, cabbages, pumpkin, radishes, carrots and beets from LOOP Growers (which also composts Florence’s kitchen scraps) and The Falls Farm in Mapleton, which supplies heirloom, specialty and unique fruit and vegetables.  

While there, browse Florence’s delectable in-house-made range of preserves, ferments and pickles, including pickled cucumbers, radishes and carrots, beetroot relish, tomato and eggplant kasundi, rogan josh curry paste, capsicum and tomato sugo, spicy peanut satay sauce and much more.

Bars

John Mills Himself, Brisbane City

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 each beer brewed - the focus is on short food miles, and even the soda water comes from a small maker in Toowoomba. Their café is open 6.30am-2.00pm Monday to Friday, and bar is open for takeaway 3.30-6.30pm also on weekdays.

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. Now open from 4pm Friday to Sunday.

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. Open 6am-11am Sundays. 

The Stores Grocer, West End

The Stores Grocer supplies the Brisbane community with real food. This fabulous fresh food and artisan market is all about sourcing local food that comes straight from a rich network of farming families in South East Queensland. 

Head instore to discover fresh local cheese in the fromagery, take your pick from the delicatessen and eat the region via the fresh fruit and veg section with leafy greens and herbs from the Lockyer Valley. Of course, there is a good selection of fresh meats and smallgoods. You can also pick up local Queensland wine here to complete your cheeseboard. Open 7am until 7pm daily on weekdays and until 5pm on weekends.

Meet the makers 

Take a drive into our glorious regions and sample the producers’ wares. Discover the wide open spaces of the fertile Lockyer Valley and pick up gluten free products from D.A.D.Z Farm including the Mulgabeets (bottled beetroot) and other pickled vegetables, jams and relishes made from produce grown on the farm and available at the Mulgowie Markets each Saturday (re-opening 4 July). 

Travel to Summer Land Camels in the Scenic Rim and try their delicious camel milk-inspired gelato, cheeses – including their famous Camel Milk Persian Feta - and cakes. In SomersetWinya Wines is a working cattle farm and vineyard that provides prime cuts of black angus and cellar door tastings. 

If rum makes you say ‘yum’, head to the Beenleigh Artisan Distillery in City of Logan for a tour and tasting, knowing they source their sugar and molasses from Queensland. On Redlands Coast, make tracks for Sirromet Winery and dine on lovingly-prepared fresh Queensland produce such as mud crabs, Moreton Bay bugs, suckling pig, scallops and quail at the on-site Restaurant Lurleen’s - paired with Sirromet’s award-winning wines. 

Seafood lovers can head to Moreton Bay Region and enjoy a fine feast at Tempest Seafood Restaurant. Each morning the head chef drops by the trawler boats out front in Scarborough Harbour to pick from the daily catch. 

Bon Appetit!

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