Suburban Foodies: Windsor/Wilston | The Gourmand & Gourmet

Suburban Foodies: Windsor/Wilston

Sick of the south siders across the river taking all the credit for having Brisbane’s best food?

Windsor and Wilston are taking it back with a vengeance, with a stellar line up of cafes, bars and restaurants – the inner north is taking back its crown.

Va Bene 

With an unassuming shopfront attached to the Windsor International, perched across from an ibis farm (you’ll have to see it to believe it!), Va Bene is full of surprises. A Windsor institution, it’s been carb –loading northsiders since the beginning of time, serving up piles of pastas, plates of pizza and seriously sexy sides. Also, if you do lapse into a food coma, you can grab a room next door at the hotel.

The Low Road 

The jewel of Windsor, the little café (seriously it is COSY) is as famous for its political slogans and social notoriety as it is for its ridiculously good food. Get around their classic spaghetti with rich Napoli, melty parmesan and basil oil on sourdough for that sweet, sweet, carb on carb action, or spice things up with the Cajun eggs benny. Goddamn tasty and served with absolutely no worries over being politically correct, it’s full of chipotle black beans, smashed avo, herbed slaw and chickpeas. Our special hint is to always check out their mouth-watering specials, and remember to tip your waitress.

Sichuan Bang Bang 

Like to take a wok on the wild side? There’s no fear of a bland experience at Sichuan Bang Bang. Adhering to the principles of Sichuan cooking, if you like it hot – welcome home. Snack on Peking duck pancakes, or down dumplings alongside classic beef Sichuan hot spot. Got a hot date to impress? Don’t be afraid to ask for EXTRA SPICY. What could go wrong? (We accept no responsibility.) 

Alcove Café and Deli 

Tucked away in Wilston Village is the appropriately named Alcove Café. The café/providore nook is bursting with some of the freshest produce from South East Queensland, the menu includes Italian eggs – slow cooked Italian sausages with rich tomato sauce, or mushrooms filled with herbed goats cheese with miso pumpkin, it’s as moreish as it is adorable. Order a Veneziano coffee and settle in to people watch.

Pizza Violetta

Pizza lovers, you’re going to want to make a beeline here, PRONTO! Start with Nonna’s rosemary and garlic bread, and then pick from classic wood-fired pizzas. Our pick? Keep it classic with the Rustica, with mozzarella, baked potato, pork and fennel sausage and taleggio. Bellissimo!    

The Green Edge 

Brisbane’s biggest vegan café and grocery store is a literal vegan paradise. From faux meats and dairy products to fresh produce, vegan smallgoods and pantry items – you won’t believe it’s not bacon (or butter). For those of us who prefer our food prepared for us, take a seat in the café and tuck into The Big Breakfast: house scrambled tofu, smoky strips, asparagus, cherry tomato, beans, avo and veg sausage

Willow and Spoon 

As much about their community as they are about dishing out damn good food, Willow & Spoon is a bruncher’s dream. Indulge on gingerbread French toast with ginger ice cream, dried pear, chocolate and macadamia crumb or stick to your macros with the twice cooked pumpkin with date hummus, chickpeas, roasted peppers, smoked eggplant and harissa cashew cream. 


Freja reinvented, Elska is the new bougie kid on the block that’s adding some refined Nordic touches to the inner north. Saying goodbye to their brisket croissants, and replacing them with a decadent degustation menu, Elska is the breath of fresh air Wilston was seeking. This is the perfect place to go if you’re after a no fuss fine dining experience, where you can graciously slurp on oyster with squid cracker and black apple vinegar. And yes, you ARE cool enough to go.


Top up your go card and jump on the Ferny Grove line, you’re in for a wild ride.

Words by Emma Callaghan
- The gourmand who can cross Lutwyche Rd in peak traffic with her eyes closed.