Tick off all 68 items on Brisbane's ultimate food bucket list
Now listen up kids, we’re here to school you in Brisbane’s ultimate dishes. These are the ones that everyone talks about, that shape this fine city, and the dishes a venue simply can’t take off its menu without public uproar.
These modern classics are the best of the best, so it’s with good reason you should start eating your way through them. Try and finish all 65, we dare you.
Click the boxes to tick the dishes you've eaten. Get a total score at the end.
1. Baked choc-chip cookies, E’cco Bistro – despite a complete menu overhaul after relocating to Newstead, Phillip Johnson has allowed the humble fresh-baked cookies ($10 for serve of three, allow 15 minutes) to remain.
2. Buffalo crispy, Lucky Egg – you haven't had a fried chicken burger until you've tried Lucky Egg's buffalo crispy. Munch down on their original fried chicken with American cheddar, pickles, spinach, buffalo sauce and kewpie mayo and wonder why you don't eat here every night.
3. Sand crab lasagne, Il Centro – chef Romain Bapst brought this dish to fame during his 15-year tenure at this waterfront restaurant. It remains one of the most popular dishes.
4. Black garlic bread, Gauge – It’s black, it involves garlic and vanilla and is served from breakfast through to dessert. With a cult-like status, this sweet-yet-savoury bread will make you question what you thought possible.
5. Coconut Moreton Bay bug curry, sAme sAme – Although every menu item is die-hard delicious, ordering the the coconut and tumeric Moreton Bay bug curry is essential at sAme sAme.
6. Prosciutto pizza, Beccofino – Hot tip, ask to add rocket on top and take this to the next level. Beccofino still does the best pizza and the prosciutto tops the list.
7. Gnocchi, 1889 Enoteca – These fluffy clouds of heaven, served with pork and fennel sausage, parmesan cream and black truffle tapenade, have been the best seller on the menu for more than seven years.
8. Burger, Ben’s Burgers – Ben’s only serves three types of burger and you can’t make alterations. Sure, add an extra patty or cheese, but don’t dare ask for no pickle. You don’t mess with perfection.
9. Pizza tartufo, Tartufo – Tartufo means truffle in Italian, and the restaurant’s signature pizza features a crust stuffed with pork sausage and truffle paste. Indulge.
10. Sashimi, Sake – Sashimi lovers always want the best, so head straight to Sake for a plate of fresh fish.
11. Chocolate brownie, Dello Mano – It is said Ashton Kutcher once ordered these luxury brownies for his birthday. Take his word, they are damn fine.
12. Aussie Asian eggs, Billykart – Celebrity chef Ben O’Donoghue’s Aussie Asian eggs are a welcome breakfast fusion of tiger prawn, bacon and deep fried eggs with oyster sauce, chilli and shiso cress. Try them at the West End kitchen.
13. Buffalo wings, Newstead Brewing Co – The ultimate beer food, these are buttery delicious, with just enough spice to make you question whether to skip the next beer and get drunk on wings instead.
14. Nutella doughnut, Doughnut Time - They're back and better than ever so wrap your mouth around a nutella-filled doughnut to satisfy that sugar craving – you won't be disappointed.
15. Tonkatsu Ramen, Taro’s Ramen – On a mission to create the best ramen possible, it is close to perfection here. Bangalow pork, handmade noodles, free-range eggs and no MSG are a few reasons Taro's is best.
16. Whisky apple, Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall – Bartenders fresh-press green apples through a juicer to make the house specialty. There is only one drink to order here.
17. Honto drumstick, Honto – Tucked away in Fortitude Valley, this 90-seat Japanese diner has people returning again and again for its mouth watering eats. We recommend ordering everything on the menu, but if you're limited, the Honto drumstick with tuna and avocado is our top pick.
18. Bombe, Stokehouse – Sit by the river and tuck into this classic. Frozen white chocolate parfait, strawberries and toasted meringue is the dessert of dreams.
19. Cheese toastie, The Cheese Pleaser – We couldn't pick a favourite, so instead try them all – wild mushroom and taleggio cheese, three cheese mix with jamon and oinion jam or blue cheese, smoky bacon and fresh pear.
20. Zucchini chips, Hellenika – Usually we'd want regular fries over a healthy vegetable alternative but the chef at Hellenika has completely changed our views with these crispy zucchini chips.
21. Penny’s Big Bang, Canvas – Raspberry cheesecake cocktail. Holy wow, did we mention they put mascarpone in it? Treat yo’self.
22. Chocolate Cake, Bucci – “Chocolate Nemesis Del The River Café” the menu reads, giving a translation as “the best flourless chocolate cake ever”. And it’s not wrong.
23. Tempura monkfish sandwich, Nota – Who knew there'd be a sandwich that could rival the Moreton Bay bug roll at Rick Shores. You'll find this as a starter on the menu but we don't blame you if you just want to order five of these and skip the mains – decisions, decisions.
24. Truffle & potato spring rolls, Little Valley – Classic spring rolls are found on every Asian eatery's menu but have you ever seen it filled with truffle and potato? It's an interesting combination, but boy we're glad the chef was feeling creative as they are epic.
25. Duck ragu, Julius Pizzeria – Little sibling to Beccofino, both share this dish that simply must be had.
26. Degustation, Urbane – we can't pick only one star dish so instead just order the degustation. It’s that good. Just go.
27. French toast special, Smug Fig – There is a constantly changing French toast menu with favourites including Tim Tam, Mint Slice or Freddo Frog – need we say more?
28. Omakase course, Bird’s Nest Yakitori – Get acquainted with authentic Japanese yakitori here. Ordering the course will get you eight meat or vege skewers.
29. Cheeseburger, Gerard’s Bar – Chefs flame the damn cheeseburger before your eyes on the bar. What’s not to love? Pair with one of the four negronis on offer.
30. Frites, Fritzenberger – Achieve your own level of salty goodness on their 100% Australian grown, thick-cut fries. Fritzenberger has a salt bar with unique salt flavours like chicken vinegar, Parmesan, and Vegemite.
31. Lion King roll, Kotobuki ؘIzakaya – Ask who does the best sushi in Brisbane and there is a good chance someone will say Kotobuki. Every roll is made fresh to order, and the Lion King is what dreams are made of – cucumber, avo and crab rolled up with fresh salmon on top, dressed with cheese and mayo, then blow torched.
32. Rocky road, Noosa Chocolate Factory – Once you taste the rocky road from Noosa Chocolate Factory there is no going back. A house-made marshmallow and strawberry jelly is coated with coconut milk chocolate.
33. Crab soufflé, Montrachet – With a seasonal French menu and wine list, book yourself in during the week and order the souffle – you're worth it.
34. Lamb shanks, Lefkas – If you’re going to eat Greek in West End (which you most definitely should) make it the lamb shanks from Lefkas.
35. Breakfast carbonara, Morning After – Why had no one thought of this earlier? Crack those gooey eggs over a deconstructed mess of pasta, mushrooms and cheese.
36. Salted caramel cupcake, Jocelyn's Provisions – decadence is an understatement when it comes to this cupcake. Think a classic chocolate cupcake with a gooey salted caramel centre topped with a salted caramel buttercream – we're drooling.
37. Pork knuckle and schnapps, The German Club – Take your friends on Friday or Saturday nights and enjoy the sweet pop tunes of Andrew, the multi-instrumentalist (and part-time engineer) who wears lederhosen and sings Beyoncé tunes.
38. Fat Pho, Fat Noodle – Chef Luke Nguyen’s signature beef broth is cooked for 20 hours and served in a massive bowl with thinly sliced sirloin, bean sprouts, Thai basil, fresh chilli and rice noodles.
39. Crispy fried chicken bao, Mr Bunz – Although this is a favourite, Mr Bunz is constantly experimenting with new flavours. Grab a fried chicken bao and whatever special is on the menu – you can't have just one.
40. Gonuts, Flour & Chocolate – Do yourself a favour and pay a visit. The first to bring the cronut craze to Brisbane, they've topped the cronut to bring you gonuts, we'd say they've always done them best. Not hard when the croissants are already mind-blowing good.
41. Breakfast degustation, 85 Miskin St – When you can’t decide between sweet and savoury, perhaps four courses is just the ticket.
42. Acai bowl, Kiss The Berry – KTB does one of the best acai bowls in the city. First-timers should start with the original, but we won't blame you if you cave for one the seasonal specials.
43. Salted caramel gelato, La Macelleria – Say hello to Marco and Marco, two Italian gelato masters from Bologna. Things are done traditionally here.
44. S'more Pie from The Pie Hole and other delights at Wandering Cooks – Every night of the week something new is cooking up at food incubation hub Wandering Cooks. From Peruvian tapas to vegan burgers, a new small maker is dishing out from one of three kitchen windows. Keep an eye out for The Pie Hole.
45. Duck tacos, Red Hook – Best paired with crispy waffles fries and smoky mayo, the tacos (often served in a cute little "food truck") play on NYC’s street food trend of mixing Asian and Mexican cuisines.
46. Eggs benny, Artie & Mai – Eggs benedict can be found on breakfast menus all over the city, but we’ll argue that Artie & Mai consistently does it best.
47. Dessert degustation, Bacchus – Life’s short, eat dessert first. And second. And third. And fourth. And fifth…
48. MK Special, Miss Kay’s – Miss Kay’s has the marriage of perfect patty, American cheese and soft-slightly-sweet bun down pat. Add maple bacon and onion ring and it’s no wonder the MK Special is a top seller.
49. Salads, Botanica Real Food – The only place in Brisbane to make friends with epic salad is Botanica.
50. Cake, Wild Canary – Winner of our hearts for prettiest cakes in the city, Wild Canary uses gorgeous edible flowers from its garden to dress up its tiered cakes.
51. Fried chicken, Fat Belly Jack's – Who knew you could find the best Nashville-style fried chicken just outside of the city? Choose your spice, choose your form and add on mac n cheese for a true southern meal.
52. KFD, Detour – Kentucky Fried Duck, that’s what. Even Colonel Sanders chicken can't face up to this dish. We recommend pairing with the salt and vinegar fries.
53. Mixed platter for two, Caravanserai – Find a mate, grab a bottle of vino and hustle over to this Turkish restaurant for the mixed platter of chicken skewers, garlic prawns, ribs, kofta meatballs, grilled haloumi, rice and dips galore. Think salty, marinated meats with plenty of sides and bread.
54. Cappuccino pop, Queen of Pops – Kick on a stick, they call it. Each coffee pop has a double ristretto – perfect for getting that caffeine hit in the warmer 11 months of the year. The cappuccino pop is slightly better than the latte or long black pops as the tip gets dipped in chocolate.
55. Anything from Dessert Street, Eat Street – All those ridiculous desserts you see pictures of on Instagram? Chances are you can find them in Eat Street's dessert alley. Make sure to save room!
56. Shakshuka, Naim – Tuck into Tanisian style eggs baked in a rich tomato, capsium and spiced sauce with toasted turkish bread and olives. You can definitely lick the bowl.
57. Slow-roasted brisket, Gerard’s Bistro – Delivered as a hunk of brisket, your waiter will quickly use two forks to pull the beef to pieces before your eyes. Similar satisfaction to watching a poached egg ooze.
58. Naked Pop, Cowch – There is a childlike joy in getting to choose an ice-cream pop, have it dipped in your choice of salted caramel, milk, dark or white chocolate and sprinkled with two fancy-pants toppings.
59. Haloumi chips, Corbett & Claude – Holy mother of chip god. Yes sticks of squeaky cheese may seen a little over the top, but the crispy haloumi chips at Corbett & Claude are no joke. Don’t offer to share.
60. Cold pressed coffee, Blackstar – Nothing like a cold caffeine hit on a hot Brisbane day. Cold pressed Blackstar coffee can be found at many cafes around Brisbane.
61. Tuna poke bowl, Cheeky Poke Bar – Healthy fast food. Believe it. Cheeky Poke is a sleek casual diner serving top versions of this Hawaiian trend.
62. Basket of wings, Tippler’s Tap – A whole basket of dry spice rubbed wings for $13? The dream. Pair with beer (obviously).
63. Sichuan-style crispy beef, Sichuan Bang Bang – For the spice lovers of Brisbane, Sichuan Bang Bang combines pan fried crispy beef, peanuts and dried chilli for a tastebud explosion.
64. Pavlova sour, Bean – It’s everyone’s favourite dessert turned into a cocktail. Enjoy this Aussie classic tucked away in this laneway bar – it's not that easy to find.
67. Donuts, Nodo - A 'hole' lot of delicious, you can't go wrong with whatever delectable flavour donuts you choose. Made from 100% gluten-free ingredients and with a rotating monthly special you will want to try more than one. We wont judge if you tick it of more than twice.
65. Steak, Black Hide Steakhouse – It hasn’t been awarded a Good Food Guide chef’s hat for the past three years for nothing. Pick your cut of world-class Stanbroke beef, order sides and sit back.
66. Smashed avo, Sourced Grocer – Everywhere does avo on toast, but who does it best? Here Sourced Grocer puts art on a plate, creatively arranging wedges of avocado with dollops of labne, olive oil and citrus.
68. Lobster dumplings, Madame Wu - These dumplings have claimed the crown. Decadent, rich and silky in texture, with a delicate lobster flavour served with XO and lime - divine.
Do you even Brisbane?
Have you left the house lately? Stop ordering pizza online and get yourself out and about ASAP. There is a long road ahead for you. Good luck.
Almost a local
A dish here, a dish there – you're going to need to lift your eating game if you want to become a true Brisbanite.
Solid effort! This is a big list, but if you want to hit the A-game you'll need to leave the house during the week too.
Serious Food Lover
Are you popping #thisisbrisbane food snaps on Instagram like it's going out of fashion? Heck, you've probably got your own account dedicated to sharing the latest #brisbanefood.
Brisbane Food Ambassador
If we had a key to the city (made of food, obviously) we would award it to you. Keep up the good work and let us know what dishes should be on the next list.