New restaurants, cafes and bars in Brisbane City - Visit Brisbane

New restaurants, cafes and bars in Brisbane City

From a dark and moody cocktail bar in Brisbane’s oldest laneway, to modern Greek feasts in heritage digs by the riverside – the CBD is pumping with incredible new spots to eat and drink right now.

In the past 12 months a bunch of big hotel and precinct developments opened the doors, and within them a slew of cool restaurants, cafes and bars by some major hospitality names. We goodbye to endless burger bars openings and hello (at last!) to special fine diners and unique bars.

Read on to discover the newest and coolest restaurants, bars and cafes in Brisbane CBD.

Restaurants 

Donna Chang, George Street

Crushed velvet. Crystal chandeliers. Cantonese cuisine. Glamourous new modern Chinese restaurant Donna Chang has taken over a 1920s-era bank in the city centre with a luxe fit-out like no other in Brisbane. An extensive menu heavy on Sichuan flavours and fresh local seafood includes the likes of grilled octopus with native tamarind, sea herbs and chilli, and Moreton Bay bugs with salted duck egg, through to big plates of shredded pork, dim sum and southern rock lobster or mud crab from the fish tank.
Tip: Visit the Boom Boom Room cocktail bar downstairs before or after your meal. 

Three Blue Ducks, W Hotel, George Street

The Sydney darlings behind Three Blue Ducks opened their first “honest, real food” cafe and restaurant north of the border. This fourth location sits within the new five-star W Hotel and is open from breakfast through to dinner serving paddock-to-plate dining with a laid-back Queensland attitude. Big plates like lamb shoulder make use of the woodfired oven, and there is a rotisserie and charcoal pit too.
Tip: Take friends. Lots of friends. You can taste more of the epic menu that way.

Greca, Howard Smith Wharves

This contemporary Greek taverna is clearly designed for long, lazy lunches by the river. Inspired by the Mediterranean way of life – good ingredients, great olive oil, and a slower pace of life – Greca is a place to relax and take your time. Most of the menu revolves around the charcoal and woodfired grill. Feast on taramasalata, saganaki cheese and spanakopita before moving onto grilled calamari, Moreton Bay bugs, cumin-spiced lamb ribs and baked lamb shoulder. 
Tip: Located in the new Howard Smith Wharves precinct, drop into Felons Brewing or Mr Percival for a drink before or after.

Persone, Brisbane Quarter, George Street

When the family-run Gambaro Group opens a smart-casual Italian bar and bistro, you know it will be good. Add those river views and big balconies for a total hit. An embodiment of ‘la dolce vita’, Persone wants to be a place to indulge in plenty of small plates like arancini and prosciutto with melon, through to mega dishes like the 1kg Bistecca alla Fiorentina. Find Persone also in the Brisbane Quarter.
Tip: The focaccia is made in-house. Yesss.

Stanton

The chic old-world diner looks straight out of Paris, London or New York and is perched in the centre of the city above Queen Street Mall. Drop in for brunch or lunch, coffee and cake or dinner and soak in vibes from the deck or inside on a lounge. We can see this becoming a fast favourite for city shoppers. Find it on the top floor of QueensPlaza.

Salon De Co, Wickham Terrace

Ovolo Inchcolm

Step back in time by entering historic Ovolo Inchcolm Hotel. Its signature restaurant, which opened in April, plays up the building’s 1930s charm and Art Deco styled interior. The restaurant mixes modern hospitality with a homely warmth. Andy Ashby is in the kitchen, serving a menu inspired by Australia and abroad and using local, seasonal produce.
Tips: Did someone say wattleseed chocolate lamington? We did. With malted banana ice cream. Don’t skip it.

Patina, Eagle Street

In Brisbane’s chapter of new growth, no stone goes unturned – including our heritage-listed Customs House. After an August refurb this slick new diner opened with a sharing menu focused on local, regional and farm-to-table dining. Executive chef John Offenhauser’s menu features the land, bay, sea and cellar. Expect big plates of ribs with chimichurri or whole lamb shoulder to share, or more delicate plates of chargrilled ocean king prawns or octopus with smoked tomato. What’s stayed? Those amazing river and bridge views from the terrace. And Patina still offers weekend breakfast and high tea.
Tip: Order any mushrooms. Patina grows its own in the on-site cellar. Cool.

Massimo Restaurant & Bar

Sip, snack and take in the sunset views at this new riverside Italian joint. Seafood is the main act here with chargrilled octopus, stuffed baby squid with squid ink pasta, and Roman-style lamb shoulder as the top stars – but the whole menu has us drooling.  

ARC Dining & Wine Bar

ARC Dining Wine Bar

Howard Smith Wharves is the gift that keeps on giving with a stack of new top dining venues all in one place. Don’t skip ARC Dining & Wine Bar with its exciting and fresh dish line-up from head chef Alanna Sapwell, and a wine list curated by award-winning sommelier Ian Trinkle. Ethical, local food and natural, biodynamic minimal intervention wines meet in this glass box by the river.

Polpetta

Inspired by the streets of Rome, the restaurant in the new boutique Art Series Hotel, The Fantauzzo, is a celebration of authentic Italian flavours. Head inside the Howard Smith Wharves hotel to devour baked pastas and Roman-inspired dishes.

Cafes

Only, Queen Street

Good coffee. It’s something you take for granted until you have a bad cup. This pared-back, Scandi-look cafe promises to serve simply the best coffee, consistently. Here you can be guaranteed an excellent espresso, flat white or long black, plus they believe in serving only nourishing fare – and all at a fair price.
Tip: Don’t skip the fancy but affordable salads for a healthy CBD lunch.

Bars

Mr Percival's, Howard Smith Wharves

Mr Percival has summer written all over it – and lucky for Brisbane, summer lasts 10 months of the year. This hexagonal-shaped over-water bar sits under the iconic Story Bridge with incredible skyline views back to the CBD. Drop in for a lazy day on the deck, aperitif's at sunset and live music to ease you into the night. It was tempting to include this venue in restaurants too – a menu of fresh and luxurious seafood snacks and share plates means you can come for lunch and stay for sunset with caviar, lobster rolls and prawn cocktails.
Tip: Save room for cannoli. Or another spritz.

WET Deck, W Hotel

W Brisbane

This glitzy bar is a piece of cake to recognise in photos – mostly thanks to its striking, psychedelic white and black stripes that cover the ceiling and walls around the pool. The resort-vibe bar is on the fourth floor of the new five-star W Hotel. Order a cocktail and watch the sunset from the big balcony with river views, or dance the night away to DJs.
Tip: Keep an eye out for the summer pool party events.

Felons Brewing Co, Howard Smith Wharves

Craft beer. Will our love affair ever end? We hope not. The city’s newest microbrewery has opened in a heritage warehouse on the docks at Howard Smith Wharves. Here the beer is as fresh as it gets. Grab a table with river views and sit in for a Sunday sesh over pizzas or snacks.
Tip: Bring your dog! Your furry pal is welcome here.

Boom Boom Room, Cnr Elizabeth & George Street

Booze, bank vaults and baos. This opulent underground bar fills the old vaults of a heritage-listed bank building with excellent whisky, fine dim sum and personal service. It’s table service – so sit back, order a spirit and have a selection of mixers rolled over on a trolley. Swish. Tap along to jazz, blues and soul tracks while waiting for your Sichuan spiced Wagyu beef tartare. 
Tip: If you plan to become a regular, know this: you can purchase a bottle of rare whisky and have it locked away in a cabinet to drink at your leisure.

Death & Taxes

There are three things certain in life in Brisbane – death, taxes and that Martin Lange (Cobbler, Savile Row, Finney Isles) will open an epic cocktail bar. This dark and moody bolthole is tucked down the city’s oldest laneway. Warm interiors, heritage bones, a 30-strong cocktail list and 600-bottle glimmering back bar define the space. Cherry on top? BYO food.

Alba

“Jamon, hip-hop and sherry” is how owner Jamie Fleming described his bar in an interview with Broadsheet. From 12 till 12 you can graze on tinned fish, pintxos and three types of Spain’s famous jamon ham. Wash your snacks down with a Spanish-leaning wine list or sherry based cocktails, all to the backdrop of that killer hip hop soundtrack. Buenas noches. 

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