Where to drink and dine in the sun this winter
Bask in the warm sun at Brisbane’s al fresco food and drink venues, and you’ll wonder whether winter really exists in this city.
Bright blue cloudless skies, light breezes and stunning sunsets are the hallmarks of this subtropical season where drinking and dining outside becomes one of life’s true pleasures.
Sun-drenched rooftop bars
See the Brisbane city skyline with a cocktail in hand as you dine.
Topping off Hotel X in Fortitude Valley’s Brunswick Street, Iris Rooftop is a Mediterranean-inspired rooftop bar and restaurant with a glam wisteria and olive tree fit-out. There are poolside bungalows and a dance floor that opens as the evening progresses. Try the cumin-spiced fried fish tacos, spiced cauliflower or salmon crudo. Open for lunch from Wednesday to Sunday and dinner every night.
A Turkish cocktail bar with a sultry attitude, Dirty Sultan offers bespoke cocktails paired with neo-Turkish street food. Dine on char-grilled skewers, Turkish Bao, grilled lamb cutlets, baklava and pistachio custard doughnuts. Dirty Sultan also offers shisha in both tobacco and non-tobacco varieties. Find it on the rooftop at Constance Street, Fortitude Valley.
With a bespoke retractable roof, big screens and underfloor lighting, The Terrace exudes luxe. Take a seat at the fur-covered deck bar stools and take in Brisbane’s best southside river view. Sample the chef’s omakase menu with a seven-course Terrace Tasting for two. The Terrace is open from 7am, so you can even do breakfast here.
Escape from the bustle of Howard Smith Wharves to the elegant heights of Fiume on top of The Crystalbrook Vincent. Nestled under the Story Bridge, Fiume is a rooftop bar and terrace with a spectacular infinity pool and Brisbane River views to match. Expect a killer cocktail list, locally brewed beers, and boutique wines.
Imagine yourself on the Italian Riviera relaxing in a wicker chair with a St Tropez Colada at Cielo Rooftop Bar. Recline and relax with friends in one of the brightly coloured booths enjoying the northeast views across the Valley with the CBD to the south. The small plate menu is Italian themed with a lean towards seafood.
It’s white, it’s breezy and full of jaw-dropping Brisbane views framed by greenery in oversized planter pots. Maya is a rooftop bar inspired by Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Grab a margarita and enjoy shared plates of traditional Mexican street food that champions Queensland produce.
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Day or night, outdoor dining works in Brisbane right through winter. Warm sunny days heat up daytime dining while the outdoor heaters keep you toasty when the sun goes down. Combine views with fresh air and great food and you have the perfect dining combination.
Soaking up the Brisbane sun does not get any easier than pulling up a pew at Howard Smith Wharves. Located under the iconic Story Bridge, this once abandoned area backed by towering cliffs has become one of Brisbane’s top dining spots.
The choices are extensive, with Greek, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and good old-fashioned burgers and gelati all on-site, along with classic Brisbane brews. Best of all, the river views are stunning and just as appealing all day long. Find a spot on the grassy lawn for a casual bite, take a river-edge bench seat or relax at a restaurant.
Outdoor dining at Hellenika on the pool deck at The Calile Hotel is the place to be, and it’s not only because of the food. The Mediterranean style menu will delight those seeking fine Greek fare made with fresh produce matched by a carefully curated wine list. Browse the fresh, sustainable seafood menu or go for the classic combination of saganaki, zucchini fries, southern calamari and baked lamb.
Against the backdrop of Brisbane’s best bridge and river views, Patina in the historic Customs House building offers farm to table cuisine with a share style menu. Sample their tender house-made gnocchi, grilled Mooloolaba prawns, or dive into a one kilo Darling Downs OP rib steak.
Expect more stunning views at Madame Wu, where the menu celebrates the best of regional Asian fusion cuisine. Located on the Upper Riparian Plaza along Eagle Street Pier, the terrace is the place to dine. Don’t miss the chance to explore the walk-in wine room. Start your dining with prawn toast and keep going with special fried rice, gold band snapper, stir-fried lamb rump and a whole roasted duck.
Taking its name from the nearby Goodwill Bridge and the flow of South East Queensland’s longest river, Will & Flow is a stunning overwater bar on the river’s north bank. Find it between the QUT-end of the Goodwill Bridge and the Gardens Point ferry terminal. It’s a spot where you can start with a light breakfast and continue into the night with cocktails and craft beers, delicious bites and woodfired pizzas. With a nod to the riverside location, a strong seafood selection includes oysters and classics such as scallop Saint Jacques.
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