Where to dine in Bulimba and Hawthorne
The vibrant riverside suburbs of Bulimba and Hawthorne combine village charm with inner-city life. The main hub of Oxford St pulses during the day with fashion houses, eclectic boutiques and chic cafes. Come nightfall restaurants serving cuisine from all over the world spring to life and pubs pack out. Check out our list of all the best places to eat and drink while visiting these neighbourhoods. To top it off, finish your time here with a stroll along the river and soak in the cityscape.
Barista coffee and other treats are in heavy demand along the entertainment strip. Drop into the head roasting house for Bellissimo Coffee down the ferry terminal end of Oxford St, stop by Park Bench Espresso Bar or Mugged for easy hole-in-the-wall takeaway or cosy up at Riverbend Cafe on the deck of Riverbend Books.
For serious cafe eats and coffee Coco Bliss is riding the wave of health-conscious clean-eaters, French Twist plates beautiful fresh pastries and Hawthorne’s Bungalow 4171 oozes old-world charm and is a haven where discerning coffee buffs and families can relax.
Linger a little longer at street side pastel paradise Sister for fresh and quirky breakfasts – the breakfast gnocchi with a poached egg is a personal fave – or pore over the extensive breakfast menu at Ambrosia & Co and choose from options like lobster benedict, shakshouka and vanilla crepes.
Join the village atmosphere for a casual lunch or dinner in the neighbourhood. There's a range of international delights to suit everyone so if your stomach is rumbling for Mexican, head to La Quinta on Oxford St or Mucho Mexicano in Hawthorne. Grab your sushi fix from Sushi Mura, a poke bowl from Suki, dumplings from Yum Yum Gyoza House or pad Thai and other south-east Asian eats from Thai Legend.
There's burgers galore on offer in these riverside suburbs. Burger Time 69 in Bulimba, and 5 Boroughs in Balmoral are dishing up sensational meat or veg filled buns. Ready yourself for some epic burgers and loaded fries at Charboys.
The fun doesn't stop there. Pull on a bib and choose your weapon because King Crab Co is plating up fresh seafood and bringing the mess back into dining with their 'crab in a bag' concept. Alternatively, snag a prime spot along the river and tuck into classic fish n chips from The Fishmonger's Wife.
Just a little fancier
For a more refined meal, score a seat on the back deck at Il Molo. Sunset drinks followed by contemporary Italian at this riverside location is nothing but blissful. If you're like us, and the thought of pizzas and creamy pastas is drool-worthy, then stick with the Italian theme and pop into Sugo Mi for an authentic Italian spread or Marinara in Hawthorne for big servings of pasta.
East meets west at London Spice, where the culturally inspired take on modern south-east Asian food is heating up the senses. Pawpaw Asian Kitchen has an extensive menu perfect for group dining and Downtown Istanbul has brought the flavours of Turkey to the heart of Hawthorne, serving up traditional Turkish gozleme, pides, char grills, salads and more.
Pubs and bars
Join the locals at Revel Brewing slinging down craft beers among the tanks and dining on wood-fired pizzas. Oxford 152 has earned a reputation as an outstanding bar, microbrewery and restaurant rolled into one. You can craft your own beer while feasting on Brisbane's fresh produce – all in a slick and modern atmosphere.
The Upper Deck is a prime spot for drinks and tapas while overlooking bustling Oxford St and further towards the river, The Oxford Tap House has a traditional drinking hall atmosphere with local brews and gastropub eats.
To finish off your food trail through Bulimba & Hawthorne (and occassionally Balmoral), treat yourself to one of the many ice cream and gelato shops lining the Oxford St strip. Nom Nom Natural Gelato handcrafts their gelato onsite using homemade recipes and Maleny Dairy Milk, people travel far and wide to taste the classic Italian flavours at Gelato Sicily and Gelatissimo offers a divine selection of authentic gelato and sorbets including Berry Pavlova and Red Velvet Royale.
Sugo Mi may do pizza and pasta really, really well, but it's best kept secret is the gelato bar located just down the alleyway. Satisfy that gelato craving and order the marshmallow gelato – it's not to be missed.