When you think of your favourite Brisbane food, your mind probably goes wild. Is it the cones of crispy calamari you shovel down every time you hit Eat Street? The cheap as chips yiros stuffed with tender pork at Zeus Street Greek? Or the dessert of Bombe Alaska you can never resist at Stokehouse? When it comes to picking the most drool-worthy dish in the city, our minds – and stomachs – simply can’t choose.
However, while there may be a plethora of places to dine on a daily basis, there are a few culinary bucket list items you just can’t miss. So we rounded up 20 of the Brisbane feeds you just have to tick off.
#1. Popolo | South Bank | Picnic
On a sunny Sunday afternoon, there is no better feast to enjoy than Popolo’s spread of pizza, deep fried olives, arancini and cheese, complete with a picnic blanket and BYO drinks to enjoy by the river.
#2. Il Verde | Bowen Hills | Cheese wheel pasta
Take a giant wheel of cheese, pour in perfectly al dente pasta and what do you get? Booked out nights at Il Verde’s Take the Wheel nights, where cheese and pasta combine into one glorious meal, complete with entrée, wine and dessert!
#3. Gerard’s Bistro | Fortitude Valley | Bekaa wings
Gerard’s bekaa wings are so loved, they can never be taken off the menu. Coated in spicy harissa sauce with plenty of kishk yoghurt to cool things down, their bound to get messy, but oh so worth it.
#4. The Smoke BBQ | New Farm | Buffalo wings
Whether you opt for mild, blue hot or honey soy, these crispy wings are made just how they are in the deep south (of the USA, not Brunswick Street), and there’s no way you’ll be able to stop at one.
#5. Bar Alto | New Farm | Mussels
When this big pot of steaming mussels in a rich tomato broth arrives in front of you, you may just want to take a moment to breathe it all in – before ensuring you get the lion’s share. Best of all, there’s plenty of crusty bread to mop up all the broth.
#6. Julius Pizzeria | South Brisbane | Nduja pizza
There’s plenty of irresistible pizzas on Julius’ menu, but after much (MUCH) taste testing, we’ve firmly decided that the potato, rosemary and spicy spreadable salami is by far the best.
#7. Sake | CBD | Popcorn shrimp
Ask any long time Brisbanite what you should order at Sake and they’ll tell you straight up: the popcorn shrimp tempura.
#8. Gauge | South Brisbane | Black garlic bread
The rest of Gauge’s menu might change with the seasons, but their sweet, moreish black garlic bread is one item that will never leave, along with the generous dollop of brown butter to slather all over it.
#9. Taro’s | CBD & Ascot | Tonkatsu ramen
For a bowl of ramen that will cure ailments you didn’t even know you had, Taro’s is the place to go, where you can slurp up a serving of sweet pork broth with charsiu pork and house made egg noodles.
#10. St James Crabhouse | Kangaroo Point | Blue swimmer crab
If you don’t mind getting a bit messy (seriously – they even give you bibs) and can beat the queue, a big pot of blue swimmer crab in Singapore chilli sauce is worth the stains on your shirt.
#11. Chop Chop Chang’s | West End | Sticky beef ribs
Want to know a sure fire way to get us out for dinner? Suggest Chop Chop Chang’s and their sticky, saucy beef ribs.
#12. Public | CBD | KFD
It might have changed hands, but the crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside Kentucky fried duck is still on the menu at this creative spot.
#13. Ben’s Burgers | Fortitude Valley & West End | Classic burger
So damn popular they had to turn their second venue into a carbon copy of the original, the Ben’s Classic is the standard to which all other burgers strive for.
#14. The Survey Co | CBD | Death Row Meal
Ever thought about what your last meal on earth would be? The Survey Co sure did – and every night they dish up something different.
#15. Bird’s Nest | West End & Fortitude Valley | Crispy chicken skin yakitori
Sure you could try the chicken meatballs and the crispy pork belly, but we’d rather just order 5 skewers of the crispy chicken skin.
#16. Fat Noodle | CBD | Fat Pho
The signature dish of Chef Luke Nguyen is this steaming bowl of beef broth, angus sirloin and brisket with loads of tummy filling rice noodles.
#17. Esquire | CBD | Degustation
If you splash out on one meal in Brisbane, make it Esquire’s inventive degustation. Anywhere between 12-25 courses long, you’ll dine on dishes you didn’t even know existed – and thoroughly enjoy it.
#18. Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers | Paddington | Mushroom and truffle gnocchi
Make sure you mop up every last drop of the wild mushroom and truffle sauce with the side of crusty bread, because you’ll never want this gnocchi to end.
#19. Heya | Fortitude Valley | Cheeseburger spring rolls
We’ll be in honest – if it’s 1 in the morning and we’ve had more than a few cocktails, Heya’s cheeseburger spring rolls are at the top of this list.
Three animals + three sides – that’s what you’ll get on Rogue’s uniquely named share dish. If you’re hungry enough, we definitely suggest the pig, bird and cow with a side of spiced cauliflower, lettuce and fat chips.
Stop talking about them and go and eat!
Words by Ranyhyn Akui