99+ Of The Best Things To Do In Brisbane In 2018 | Gourmand and Gourmet

99 Things to do in Brisbane

  • Food & Booze
  • Foodie Escapes
  • Brisbane
  • Everything in Between
Things To Do In Brisbane

I got 99 problems but a plan ain’t one.

You’ve got a lot of reading ahead, so let’s cut to the chase – Brisbane is bloody beautiful and full of glorious things to do on either side of the beloved Brown Snake.

Here’s the 411 on 99 of the best things to do in Brisbane.

1. Brewery crawl through Newstead

Ready, Newsteady, go. Three’s a party, especially when you get craft(beer)y with Newstead Brewing Co., Range Brewing, and Green Beacon Brewing Co. Just don’t let your post crawl goggles get the better of you.

2. Popolo picnic basket at River Quay on a Sunday afternoon
For every lazy lad and lass, Popolo pumps out picnic baskets with salumi, cheese, olives, mustard fruits, pickled vegetables, breads, salad, fries, pizza and soft drink. Kick back on the River Quay Green and feast your little life away.

3. Midnight snack at Pancake Manor 

Are you even a Brisbanite if you haven’t pancaked way past your bedtime? Pancake Manor is open 24 hours, which is ideal if you’re craving a midnight crêpe after one too many losses at the cas. This is the win you’ve been searching for.

4. BYO at Chinatown 

Bring your cheapest, dirtiest wine and set up camp at either King of Kings, Green Tea, Super Bowl, Fat Dumpling, or Enjoy Inn. If you need to dance off all that vino, you’re just a short stumble away from The Valley’s hottest spots. What could go wrong?

5. Celebrate on Seadeck 

Big. Deck. Energy. Seadeck is a luxury party boat that sets sail for a few easy, breezy, beautiful cocktail girl sessions every year. During its running selected months, you can sip sauv blanc, gawk at gorgeous rich people and pretend to be one of them. Look at me, I’m the captain now.

6. Breakfast at Ikea before shopping up a storm 

From flapjack to flatpack, Ikea knows to to up the ante with cheap digs across the board. Fuel up with your fave Scandinavian brekkie before smashing your way through a maze of furniture and homewares. Don’t need the plant? You’re leaving with three.

7. Ferry pub crawl from Portside to the city

You’re in for a (sea)sick time. There are plenty of pubs and bars across the river that will be great for the heart, but not for the liver. Start at Byblos, if you please, then end at Friday’s with views above the trees. We call this masterpiece The Very Merry Ferry.

8. Double drop with the Regatta and Walrus Club

Name a more iconic duo, we’ll wait. The Regatta is perfect for any adventure, sporting a courtyard, cocktail bar, classic pub bar and DJ’s on the ground level, with a cheeky speakeasy beneath. The Walrus Club is a glamorous underground space with a strong 1950’s vibe. Either way, you’ll know that Toowong’s make a right.

9. Get UBER Eats at Cobbler

Cobbler… cob loaf… UBER Eats that cob loaf to Cobbler. This West End whiskey and cocktail bar has an entire wall dedicated to premium alcohol, and a huge heart open to letting you eat what yours desires. Grab a drink, order a bite from your fave foodie delivery app and feel right at home.

10. Play games and get your vegan on at Netherworld

Enter – head straight for The Simpsons arcade game – never leave. Netherworld is a ripper gaming bar with everything from consoles to boardgames and pinball machines. Their menu is delightfully vegan, with the option to add meat for extra dollarydoos if you so choose. Add to Mario Kart.

11. All you can eat wings and loaded fries at KaiKai

Bring your A game to the mother of all buffets at KaiKai. $23 will be your ticket to UNLIMITED chicken wings and loaded fries, because there is a foodie god, and he is finger lickin’ good.

12. Eat your way through Eat Street

Say “eat” again. Your fave shipping containers turned foodie playground have too many worthy places to count, but you sure should make it your business to work your way through Eat Street over an extended period of time. You’ll find us where the watermelon sundaes are.

13. See a gig at Riverstage

Riverstage is where Brisbane makes beautiful music. This year has seen some huge acts rock by, including the likes of Ball Park Music and Violent Soho, with oh so many more. Keep an eye out for your fave musical flavour and head straight for the mosh.

14. Paint and sip at Cork & Chroma

Picassohno. After a few wines, you’re either going to be a really good artist, think you are, or create Van Gogh’s worst nightmare. Either way, you’re going to have a hella fun time getting there.  Cheers to that, and cheers to Cork & Chroma!

15. King Street foodie crawl

One street, one hundred options. Okay we’re exaggerating a little, but King Street is home to the likes of Il Verde, Banoi, The George Bar & Bistro, The Lamb Shop, Montrachet and more. Eat your way through by having an entrée, main and dessert at different places. You’ve got the best of all worlds, my friend.

16. Walk through Oxley Creek Common then head to Gas Espresso

Oxley Creek Common is a farm-like hidden gem in the burbs. Going for a walk down its designated tracks feels like you’re in the countryside, away from the hustle and bustle of city livin’ – you might even be lucky enough to see an animal or two! After your peaceful walk, head to local Gas Espresso for the best smashed avo of your LIFE, and pretty damn good coffee too.

17. Drink in the name of charity at Rosé Revolution

Every year, Rosé Revolution picks a charity and throws a party to raise money for it! Keep an eye out on social media as the year rolls by, grab a ticket, and get ready to stop and smell the rosé. You’ll be tickled pink by a stunning selection of sips, canapés, music and good times.

18. Climb the Story Bridge, then head to the Story Bridge Hotel

Reach new heights as you climb the Story Bridge, catching the best views Brisbane could possibly deliver. After you hit solid ground, make your way to the iconic Story Bridge Hotel for a bite and a brew, telling tales of how you survived the afternoon trek.

19. Sundowners at Catchment Brewing Co. 

Vodka sunrise, beer sunset. Head over to Catchment Brewing Co. as the sun goes down, sit at the open window, and drink the view over a tall glass of brewskie. Ahh.

20. Sip poolside at a banging bar

Poolside bars will really put the spring in your social step. Check out our guide on Brisbane’s best of the best here, and get ready to paaarttttaayy.

21. Wake up to Brisbane’s best breakfasts

Wake up (drank). Yes, drank that orange juice and have the best breakfast of your life with our good morning guide here.

22. Take your dog out for breakfast

Who’s a good boy? Take your best mate out for breakfast at these dog friendly venues.

23. Eat your way through The Garden Pantry

The grass is greener at The Garden Pantry – being home to Salt Meats Cheese, Mr. Bunz and Cheeky Poke Bar. Opening on October 11, go for the eats and stay for the view, this chic space dripping in flora is one to watch.

24. Tackle a high tea

Coffee, high tea, or me? Check out our list to Brisbane’s best high teas here, for more than a cool cucumber sandwich option.

25. Zorba through Paniyiri

This annual Greek fest proves that yia yia knows best. Keep an eye out for next year’s Paniyiri date, and prepare for mountains of yiros, honey puffs, moussaka, halloumi and octopus amidst rides, games, music and dancing. OPA!

26. Customs House seasonal pop up bars

We’ve seen winter wonderlands and Aperol Spritz surprises pop up over the years, so you know that Customs House will never disappoint as each season rolls over. This spring, fun begins at Tanqueray Terrace! From custom cocktails to mouth watering bites by the river, this is one for the Brisbane bucket list.

27. Grab a strawberry sundae and a showbag at Ekka

A tale as old as time. Can you beat a good sundae and a great (?) showbag at the Ekka? No, you can’t. Get in and get out before the flu catches up with your happiness.

28. Take a cooking class

Chef hat on, big scream out. But don’t stress, you’ll be in good hands at any one of Brisbane’s tastiest cooking classes, which you can find here.

29. Get buzzing at Espresso Martini Festival

Each year, Fish Lane turns water into coffee at Espresso Martini Festival. Coffee fiends can rejoice in a java jungle of cocktails, eats and live beats. Let’s hope you believe sleep is for the weak, because you won’t be sleeping for a week.

30. Watch Riverfire from riverfront restaurants

Baby you’re a firework, go on get your money’s worth. Riverfire is best spent with great food and wine, in the best spots humanly possible. Find them right here.

31. Go on a date

With a guy, a gal or a mate. Our loved up guide is you need, get it here.

32. Lose yourself in the magic of Laneway Festival

Listen up – for all things music, think Laneway Festival. It rolls around every year with multiple huge acts in one convenient location. Put your iPhones in the air and record like you just don’t care!

33. Soho Sundays at The Fox

A legendary sesh, a rite of passage. A Sunday session at Dandy’s Rooftop (perched on top of The Fox) is a colourful mess of cocktails, summery decor, DJ’s and sweeping city views. Easy youngblood, you might want to take it slow on your first go.

34. Burgers and beer at Victoria Park, plus putt putt

Get your pre game on with burgers and beer at the Victoria Park Bistro before, smashing a few balls at putt putt. That’s a hole in two.

35. Snack through Night Noodle Markets

Add this to your list of yearly meets. The Night Noodle Markets pop up at South Bank, bringing a feast of dumplings, bao and everything in between with it.

36. Go to GOMA, get takeaway fish n’ chips from Ol’ School and sit in Musgrave Park. 

Hit up GOMA for some modern art realness, followed by the best Ol’ School eats in South Brisbane, wherever you decide to perch in the massive Musgrave Park. Wholesome.

37. Go to New Farm Bowls Club

Barefoot bowling, a few brews, and a lot of mates. New Farm Bowls Club makes for the perfect spring/summer activity that’s sure to bowl over your expectations.

38. Grab Instaworthy everything from Piggy Back Café

Rainbow coffee, unicorn shakes, acai bowls, pink panna cotta, loaded hot chocolates – we could go on, but just know your next Insta pot of gold is resting at the end of the rainbow that is Piggy Back Café. Check out other Instagrammable cafés here.

39. Drink beer off the wood at the Breakfast Creek Hotel

Queensland’s oldest pub still serves beer from wooden kegs, so make sure you head in for a historic tipple at the Breakfast Creek Hotel. Do it for Australia.

40. Shop at West End’s Davies Park Market

Every Saturday, you can stock up on everything from local produce to cold pressed coffee and fresh flowers. Yes, the Davies Park Market is worth braving your Friday night hangover for.

41. Party at Welcome to Bowen Hills

Welcome to Bowen Hills often host events that celebrate a certain food (or even dogs!). Keep an eye out on their social for what’s coming up next, knowing that nuggets, mulled wine and cheese and garlic bread have been heroes in the past.

42. Bottomless Bellini Sundays at Darling & Co.

A main meal paired with two hours of free flowing Bellinis will set you back just $39 every Sunday at Darling & Co. We’ll drink to that.

43. Head to the Brookfield Show

Another one for the annual bucket list. The Brookfield Show showcases farm animals, fresh produce, local art – and it’s not as crowded or germy as the Ekka. Guinea Pig pavilion, anyone?

44. Drink at Jessie’s Girl before watching a game at Suncorp

Grabbing a drink at Caxton Street before a sunny Suncorp game is a bit of mission. Make your way to nearby gem, Jessie’s Girl – it’s close enough to the stadium, yet far enough from all the crowds. We recommend a drink called ‘The Tits’ – it’s exactly that.

45. Kick it at Brisbane’s most fun bars

A few mates walk into a bar, and the rest is Snapchat history. Check out our guide to Brisbane’s most fun bars here.

46. The Definitive West End Pub Crawl

MATE. This is about as good as it gets. You’ve got Covent Garden, Loft, The End Bar, Cobbler, Lychée Lounge, Catchment Brewing Co. and more – but maybe just stick to these puppies for your first shot. You’re in for a big ‘un.

47. Gourmet picnic in New Farm Park

Gourmet picnic, cheap booze, and legal public day drinking. We love New Farm Park, and you will too. Check out our other fave picnic spots here.

48. BYO Booze and Vegan Banquets at Chop Chop Chang’s

West End’s sweet pan-Asian child is Chop Chop Chang’s. BYO Mondays are a thing, as are vegan banquet Tuesdays. Not a bad start to the week tbh.

49. Settle in to Seymour’s Cocktails and Oysters

This Petrie Terrace hub packs a lot of punch. Grab Seymour’s Irish coffee and you’ll be bouncing off the walls and into your 8am work meeting. Yikes.

50. Catch a movie at Palace Centro before heading to Gerard’s Bistro for cocktails and dinner

Boujee, bougee, bougea? However you spell it, it’s exactly the life you’ll be living during a night of Palace Centro and Gerard’s Bistro goodness. Remember us when you reach the top.

51. Paddington Café Crawl

If you just can’t handle another pub crawl (feels), eat your way through Paddington across the likes of Kettle & Tin, Sassafras, Acai Brothers, Yavanna and Anouk. Shook.

52. Thursday Night Salsa at Cloudland

One, two, cha cha cha your way through Cloudland on a Thursday night with some up close and personal salsa sessions. Saucy.

53. See a show at QPAC, eat at Hello Please beforehand

Grab a bao at Hello Please before your fave broadway act takes a bow at QPAC. Ah, the theatre.

54. A DIY progressive dinner down Fish Lane

So, we’re thinking start at La Lune with wine, make your way to Chu The Phat for an entrée, grab a main at Julius, get dessert at Gauge and finish off with cocktails at Maker. You’ll thank us later.

55. Get into the spirit of Oktoberfest

Prost all October, every October. Oktoberfest makes magic happen at the Showgrounds every year, where you can feast on pretzels and pork knuckle, get silly with steins, and absolutely nail the chicken dance.

56. Get mesmerised at Viscosity

Think science experiments meet cocktails. Viscosity is nice and dark for all the glow in the dark sips that are set to wow you and wind you in for another round.

57. Chinese Moon Festival

It’s your moon and all your stars. The Valley’s Chinese Moon Festival celebrates culture with dragons, art, music, food and more. Party like it’s the year of the golden goose and eat all the dumplings you can physically handle.

58. Ice Cream Festival

We scream for this yearly tradition. Ice Cream Festival sets up at the iconic Peters Ice Cream Factory for a maze of the sweetest treats. A stand out has been Gelato Messina’s gelato hot dog, so yeah, things get pretty worthy.

59. Beer yoga at Brat Haus

Germany is the gift that keeps on giving. Take relaxation to the next level with beer yoga at Brat Haus, just make sure you don’t sit down at any point, you won’t get back up (experience is priceless).

60. Sip at Society Rooftop

The Society Rooftop Series bring epic seasonal parties to Brisbane Racing Club as the weather warms up. Put a spring in your step, a sip in your hand, and bask in the beauty of a rooftop session. Read the word on more rooftop musts here.

61. Head to Howard Smith Wharves

Howard Smith Wharves is about to become the new Eagle Street Pier come late November. Be one of the first to make waves at this riverside marvel with fab eats, drinks, a brewery and views for DAYS.

62. Grab a juice and head to Barre Body

In no particular order – Barre Body and a juice from Oasis Juice Bar. If your summer body is calling, answer it with a couple of these.

63. Hit it at Holey Moley

Putt putt, but for the millennials. Holey Moley is a hole lot of fun – grab a hat, a cocktail, and make sure you snap a pic on their dedicated Simpsons couch!!

64. Openair Cinemas at Southbank

Every year, Openair Cinemas take over Southbank for epic movies under the stars! Groove yourself into a beanbag, sit back, relax, enjoy the show.

65. Whiskey apples and dancing at Lefty’s

Your fave old-world bar is all about new-world good times. Grab a whiskey apple (to keep the doctor away), and move along to some live music at Lefty’s.

66. Cheese wheel pasta at Il Verde

!!!! We don’t need to say much more other than DO IT, for the love of god. It’s available every Tuesday and Thursday in the form of a three course meal with wine. Bless you, Il Verde.

67. Make it to Melbourne Cup

The race that stops the nation deserves a celebration to match, and we’ve rounded up all the best spots to watch (and wine) here.

68. Trivia and parmy spring rolls at Little Big House

Tuesday is trivia night at Little Big House, and every night is parmy spring roll night! Seriously, you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted these.

69. Eats and Cineplex South Bank

Have dinner at any of these South Bank spots, seriously, we’re spoilt for choice. Grab dessert at Cowch or Max Brenner and make your way over to Cineplex for a pleasantly cheap movie. Down in front!

70. Moonlight Cinema at New Farm Park 

Perfect for a date or a mate date, the Moonlight Cinema pops up when the weather is just right for some fabulous flicks in the light of the moon. Remember, it’s legal to drink at New Farm Park!

71. Celebrate at Brisbane Festival 

Every September, Brisbane Festival brings shows, live music, pop up bars and Riverfire to our shores. Celebrating Brisbane in all its glory has never been this easy, or this fun.

72. Breakfast cocktails at Canvas, lunch at Enoteca

^ literally this. If you need a lil’ more guidance, grab Black Coffee Lyrics from Canvas for a brekkie/brunch treat, then top it off with a hearty lunch of pork gnocchi at Enoteca. Hey day drinking, we missed you.

73. Gelato making class at La Macelleria

Where you can have your gelato and eat it too. Lap up all the know-how with gelato kings, La Macelleria, and take home your creation for a night of couch potato-ing.

74. Aperol Spritz Tour

Follow the yellow spritz road – Il Molo Bulimba, City Cat, Bar Alto, City Cat, Mr & Mrs G’s, City Cat, Popolo, walk to Julius and finish with a bang. How’s your head?

75. Beer InCider Festival

Probably one of the best, booziest and most musical festivals is Beer InCider. A day of local craft beers, food trucks and live acts (which in the past have included The Jungle Giants and Smith Street Band) makes for one hell of a day out. It happens every year in September, so get ready!

76. Tan at South Bank, grab a cocktail at South Bank Beer Garden

Yeah, our beach is a tad questionable, but hey, it’s somewhere to soak up some rays without road tripping to the GC. After tanning amidst a sea of pool water, head to South Bank Beer Garden for a ‘Pornstar’ cocktail – it’s full of passionfruit, and comes with a shot of of sparkling.

78. Australia Day at Pineapple Hotel

These kids know how to throw a party, and a pineapple – but on Australia Day, that’s your job. The Pineapple Hotel’s annual pineapple throwing comp goes off, and makes for a day of all ages fun in the sun.

79. Run at Kangaroo Point, treat yourself at Melidrop

Morning mate! Take a morning run along Kangaroo Point and finish with a coffee and Greek style breakfast at Melidrop under the Story Bridge. Go on, hop to it.

80. Munich Brauhaus for Oktoberfest, any time of the year

Why just October, why not all year round? Munich Brauhaus asked and answered their own question with a venue that is a dirndl wearing, stein-pumping party haus every day of the year. Get your fix whenever you damn well please!

81. Gnocchi Nights at Ristorante La Famiglia

On Tuesday and Wednesday nights, we eat gnocchi. Ristorante La Famiglia home-cooks authentic, soft Italian gnocchi over two glorious nights every week – and you need to experience it at least once in your little potato life.

82. Boundary Street Night Markets

Every now and then, Boundary Street Markets light up the night sky with delicious food stalls along a classic West End alley. Keep your eye out for dates, and lock one in for a tasty after dark treat.

83. Free workout at King Street

Meet under the fig tree at the top of King Street at 6am every Tuesday, and get ready to step into power hour with a free Fit For Kings workout. Dem gains?

84. Taco Tuesdays at Corinda Tavern

The new look Corinda Tavern has launched $3 Taco Tuesdays – because they Mexi-can! We don’t really need to tell you what to do here, do we?

85. Eats and Beats at Hyperdome

Every few months, one huge carpark at Hypderdome Shopping Centre is taken over by food trucks, entertainers and market stalls for an Eats and Beats extravaganza. Blocking out the haters with a bangin’ block party.

86. Brisbane Comedy Festival and Bar Alto eats

Laugh, live (love?). Every year, the Brisbane Comedy Festival cracks up Powerhouse with world class comedians. After you catch a show, make sure you dig in to a show-stopping bite at on site restaurant, Bar Alto. You really can’t go wrong.

87. Climb Mount Coot-Tha, treat yourself to ice cream

Leave your car at the Slaughter Falls carpark, walk the track to the top of Mount Coot-Tha and reward your hard work with a refreshing ice cream from the restaurant! Lap up those views too – Brisbane looks beaut from every angle.

88. La Dolce Vita for a European Football match

Grab a prime viewing spot on Park Road for any European football match at 2:30am. La Dolce Vita shows every game, and it’s open 24/7. Soccer to me.

89. Valley Fiesta

Take a siesta then hit the Valley Fiesta. Every year, you’ll be treated to Brisbane’s biggest street party with live music, theatre and arts presented over a five-day format. Hit the street, Jack.

90. Mango auction at Rocklea Markets

Head to Rocklea Markets for the marvellous mango auction at the start of every summer. All profits raised are donated to charity, and you’ll get a lot of juicy boys in the process!

91. Hire a City Cycle for a foodie lucky dip

Once you hop on a City Cycle, ride to the next place you’re able to park it – and head to a nearby café or restaurant. This makes for a foodie lucky dip, and trying something new could lead to your new favourite local!

92. Go to Goat Yoga

Breathe in, bleet out. Goat Yoga has been popping up at Reconnect Meditation, so keep an eye out on their social for upcoming sessions and get ready to smile. A lot.

93. Juice and pastry by the river

Stop by the Jan Power Farmers Markets at the top of Queen St Mall on Wednesday morning, pick up a fresh juice and pastry, and then eat your morning tea by the river. Powerful stuff.

94. Go to T2 and taste their tea

It’s as simple as go to T2, taste their free samples, pretend to be interested, and then leave. Bless their tea based souls, they must be so used to this happening.

95. Paw Paw Café and yoga

Order Brisbane’s best mushroom, kale and truffle dish at Paw Paw Café before heading to yoga at Cultivate Studio. Flexible af.

96. Dry aged steak from The Meating Room

Good things take time, and the dry aged steak from The Meating Room is no exception. Tackle the most magnificent moo you’ve ever had in your life.

97. Drink through Savile Row

Rows and rows of whiskey! Work your way through the selection at Savile Row, then get up to some whiskey business in the Valley. 

98. Blue Room Cinebar and gelato

Catch a movie at Blue Room Cinebar before heading to Gelateria Cremona. Definitely worth crossing the road for.

99. Work your way through Brisbane’s best dessert

Get your just desserts with the list we’ve cream whipped up, here.

1, 2, work through a few… 99, 100.

Words by Nicole Portacha
- the gourmand who can’t look past a good day of doing nothing, even with all these options.