New restaurants, bars and cafes
The City has had a shake up. Previously lonely laneways are now home to city goers’ favourite bars and eateries, and some of Brisbane’s top chains have extended their reach into the inner city. From sipping whisky in a riverside bar to sampling some of the city’s finest treats, these are the top new openings in The City. Read on to discover the restaurants, bars and cafes to visit in Brisbane CBD in 2021.
Italian favourite Coppa Spuntino has returned to the CBD with a super lush fit out at Eagle St Pier. Despite the flashy new digs, the menu promises the same favourites from the previously loved eatery, featuring menu highlights such as tiger prawn and Fraser Island crab linguine and a classic bistecca alla Fiorentina. Go for the food, stay for the late night aperitif.
An upper class twist on the Aussie turf and surf, Fatcow Steak & Lobster has opened on Eagle St. Offering lunch and dinner in the restaurant, plus an exceptional bar menu, Fatcow will no doubt become an inner-city go-to for foodies. Filling the former home of Cha Cha Char, the steaks have stayed, but there’s now a mouthwatering seafood offering featuring oysters, prawns, bugs and more. Kick it off with a lobster mousse and settle in for a mouthwatering steak.
Matcha soft-serve, Asian hot dogs, Japanese barbecue, tea-based cocktails and kawaii desserts fill Elizabeth Street’s revamped Asian food laneway. Connecting Elizabeth and Charlotte streets in the epicentre of Brisbane’s Korean and Asian restaurants, tea shops and dessert cafes, this new iteration of Elizabeth Street Arcade features eight street food eateries (a few which we've featured here!).
A fun twist on the traditional Thai restaurant, Naga Thai joined Eagle St Pier in late 2020. The restaurant boasts authentic regional dishes made with uniquely Australian produce, inviting you to sit, sip and say “Sawasdee” to a nagalicious cocktail or two, on the bank of the Brisbane River. The colourful fitout makes for an Insta-worthy occasion.
Comuna Cantina made a big move in 2020 and is now calling Creek St home with its fresh new digs. The Latin street food inspired restaurant offers up tasty lunches, after-work drinks, delicious dinners and a party atmosphere. Dine for a range of tacos, burritos, quesadillas and fresh salads, or treat yourself to a signature cocktail. Margarita anyone?
Brisbane’s only inner-city winery has opened up a cellar door in the CBD, and we are lining up to check it out. Showcasing its wines made in the Fortitude Valley winery, the cellar door offers up a bar experience for wine tasting and cheese eating alike. Make your own cheese and meat board from the on-site deli and try out the delicious Gerler wines featuring grapes from the regions.
Once you’ve finished off your steak and red wine at Fatcow, stay for a drink (or three) at the on-site whisky bar. The bar features over 150 whiskys from the likes of Scotland, Ireland, USA, Australia and Japan, for you to work through with the help of tasting notes. If you call yourself a regular, you can leave a bottle behind the bar with your name on it, literally.
After taking a break in the new year, Patina Restaurant at Custom’s House’s pop-up bar overlooking the Brisbane River is back. Saint-Tropez Sunsets by Moët & Chandon is open Fridays through Sundays from 3pm, offering a laidback French Riviera lifestyle and toasting to warm evenings and sunsets with sweeping river views. And before you ask, the pop-up bar’s bug croissant is back with a makeover, this time it’s a brioche lobster roll topped with dill and salmon pearls.
Across the city, Will & Flow is a new riverside bar and eatery. With a nod to the nearby Goodwill Bridge and the flow of the longest river in South East Queensland, Will and Flow is an overwater bar situated between the QUT Gardens Point ferry terminal and the QUT-end of the Goodwill Bridge. From craft-brewed coffee to cocktails with friends, Will & Flow has you covered.
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, Burnett Lane
"Jamon, hip-hop and sherry” is how owner Jamie Fleming described his bar in an interview with Broadsheet. From noon til midnight 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.
Cafes & casual spots
The cake gods and goddesses have blessed Brisbane’s CBD with Jocelyn’s Provisions setting up shop on Eagle St. Jocelyn’s Provisions has established itself a reputation for artisan cakes, bread, pastries and provisions. Now all accessible via its Eagle St store. Pop by for an afternoon snack and a coffee, or make it your go-to for birthday cakes and morning tea catering.
Lunchtime specialists Cheeky Poke Bar has arrived in the CBD. One of the first to call Ulster Lane home, Cheeky Poke Bar can be found just off Elizabeth Street. Dine in or takeaway to enjoy all the favourite dishes the modern Japanese concept has to offer – from signature poke bowls to nori tacos.