Foodies Guide to Christmas in Brisbane City - Visit Brisbane


Foodies Guide to Christmas in Brisbane City

Christmas means many things to many people, but here’s the truth: Christmas is about food. From cinnamon-sprinkled drinks with colleagues, to festive feasts with friends – Christmas is the time to gather around the table to reconnect, share and – most importantly – eat. 

There’s two ways to be foodie in Brisbane City around Christmas time: #1 eat, drink and be merry at venues around the CBD or #2, plan a festive home feast of epic proportions and portions for the big day or a festive December party.

Read to find ideas on where to feast with friends, get merry with workmates and shop gourmet ingredients for a festive dinner party.

Where to plan a festive feast with friends

‘Tis the season to be jolly, gather ‘round your closest pals and reach out to old friends for a catch up over a meal. Brisbane City is the epicentre of Queensland’s dining scene and it’s here you’ll find the top spots to wine and dine.

For the ultimate luxe vibe consider booking a private dining room. The surprising news is you don’t need too many people! At Blackbird the Champagne Room seats 12, Donna Chang has rooms for 18 people plus, Malt will seat 20 in the cellar, Public can do 12 in the Library room, Salon de Co has a room for 12 too, and Sake has a room for just 6 people. If you have a bigger crowd try Cha Cha Char, Walter’s Steakhouse or Urbane.

If it’s just you and a couple of your closest friends there’s something for every budget. Explore Asian cuisines with Japanese barbecue, Thai, Chinese and more in the new street food laneway FudoDori. Indulge in an upmarket seafood feast at Sake, Kingsley’s or Jellyfish along the riverfront. Keep it wholesome and comforting with Italian from OTTO Brisbane, Coppa Spuntino or Il Centro. Keep it cheap and cheerful at Greenglass, Comuna Cantina, Fat Noodle, Corbett & Claude, New Shanghai or Taro’s Ramen

Myer Christmas Parade & Pantomime

Book end your Christmas feast with the 7pm Christmas Parade pre dinner. The festive procession marches down Queen Street Mall nightly from 13-22 December. Then after watch the Gold Lotto City Hall Lights. An animated Christmas story is projected on Brisbane City Hall every 15 minutes until midnight from 7-24 December. Find out more about Brisbane's Christmas program.

Where to go for Christmas drinks with colleagues

The string of fairy lights hanging over the Stock Exchange Rooftop’s terrace suddenly feel festive when December rolls around. It’s a cheap, cheerful place to kick on after work and celebrate a year of hard work. If you’re after a rooftop or terrace more upscale, try Sixteen Antlers, Lennon’s Pool Terrace or Sazerac.

The Story Bridge will be lit in Christmas colours all month. Join crowds near Eagle Street Pier for after-work drinks at ever-popular Riverbar or at Friday’s, which offers happy-hour specials all week. Nearby Bar Pacino has uninterrupted views of the Story Bridge, Riverland has five street food kitchens, German giant The Bavarian is about steins and pretzels and Riverbar & Kitchen brings riverside opulence. At Howard Smith Wharves you can laze out on the lawns near Felon’s Brewing and sink oysters and a spritz at Mr Percival’s.

December is a warm month and it may not be physically possible to wear that cute faux fur-trimmed santa hat outdoors. Dive into Brisbane City’s underground bars and cool speakeasies. Tempt yourself with cocktails in the former bank vaults at Boom Boom Room or heritage digs of The Gresham. Boogie down at Brooklyn Standard, share bowls of wings and pints at Buffalo Bar or slip down the lane for cocktails at Death & Taxes. 

If your colleagues have already seen the Gold Lotto City Hall Lights, head over to St Stephen’s Cathedral. There will be cool light projections cast across the historic church from 11-24 December.

Plan an epic festive dinner party at home

Reach into the pantry and whip out the cinnamon, spice and all things nice. A Christmas feast calls for special ingredients, so think beyond the supermarkets when it comes to treating your loved ones to a home-cooked meal.

Jan Power Farmer Markets, Image Jared Vethaak

Fresh produce
The best place to pick up fresh produce is at the Brisbane City Markets. The market pops up twice a week in two locations – on Wednesdays in Reddacliff Place from 8am-6pm, and on Thursdays at Cathedral Square from 8am-2.30pm. Perfect timing for an end-of-week gathering, head along to purchase direct from the farmers everything from summer fruits through to roast cuts. Our tip? Head along the week before to scout what produce is available and in season before planning your menu. 

If you miss the market there is a full size Woolworths in the MacArthur Centre and a small Coles in QueensPlaza and The Myer Centre.

Sourcing the best, freshest bread is vital – and we know where to find the best. Favourite French-style bakery Choquette has just opened a second location in the CBD due to demand from its New Farm customers. Pick up freshly baked artisan breads, mini croissants and pastries.

You can also pick up fresh bread at Le Bon Choix on Edward Street and Queen Street.


If you hate baking, here’s an opportunity to order a show stopping centrepiece: a croquembouche tower from Choquette. For something more low key, try the strawberry tarte or Paris brest. Then there’s Brisbane’s world famous Dello Mano brownies. You can either buy a brownie slab cake or pop a cute little foil-wrapped brownie bite on each plate as a welcome. We’re also fond of I Heart Brownies, a cute stall in Wintergarden that makes all gluten-free, heart-shaped brownies. Choose from original or ones flavoured with mint or stuffed with Nutella.

If you are doing a gluten-free Christmas, there is Nodo Donuts on Elizabeth Street where you can pick up a half dozen of its “baked not fried” healthyish doughnuts.


The Cheese Pleaser cheese board
Everyone has arrived and you’re in the kitchen still preparing the main course and tossing salads. Enter the cheese board. Equally a welcome way to distract guests from a) getting in your way and b) forgetting any delays to the meal. Plus, who doesn’t love a cheese board? 

The Cheese Pleaser on Adelaide Street is an incredible spot to pick up local and international cheeses. There’s an excellent selection without being overwhelming and the store has crackers, bread, dried muscatel grapes, saucisson and preserves to round out your board. If you want to keep it simple just pick three: a soft, hard and a blue or goat’s cheese. Our favourite is the soft Le Dauphin from France.

There are two bottleshop gems in Brisbane City: Malt Traders and Grand Central Cellars. Both stores hold a huge range of craft beer, spirits and boutique wines and have super knowledgeable staff who will be able to steer you in the right direction. The bonus with Malt Traders is that they have tables inside so you can stay a while tasting different beers with a few on draught too.

If it’s getting late, head to Charmy on Albert St for a bottleshop that is open until midnight. 

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