What we like to eat on James Street | The Gourmand & Gourmet

What we like to eat on James Street

It’s pretty dang tricky to pick a favourite…

Fortitude Valley’s gorgeous James Street is a mixing pot of bars, restaurants and eateries, with something for every palate. We’ve rounded up our favourite thing on the menu at a handful of James Street hotspots. The research was reaaaaally tough, you guys.

Harvey’s Bar + Bistro

A Valley icon, Harvey’s offers a classic menu that will never go out of style.

Breakfast at Harvey’s looks a little like ricotta-buttermilk pancakes with caramelized banana and honeycomb butter. Oh, and of course a side of smoked bacon. Duh. 

Tinderbox Kitchen 

You best believe we’re swiping right to this hot mama. 

When visiting this pizzeria, it’s almost a crime not to order their signature pizza, the Tinderbox, complete with Mooloolaba prawns, chilli, zucchini, fior di latte mozzarella, basil, and cherry tomatoes.

sAme sAme

We’ve absolutely no idea what they’re doing in that kitchen to make the food taste so damn good, and we find ourselves coming back to sAme sAme over and over again! 

For us, it’s the sAme order every time–red curry of Angus beef cheek, crispy shallots, lime leaf, and potato and pork dumplings, alongside a few prawn larb tacos with lettuce, shallots, and red nahm jim. 

King Arthur Cafe

You walk into King Arthur Cafe. You sit down. You order a kimchi and cheddar toastie. It’s as easy as that.


This cosy spot likes to keep us on our toes with a menu that changes weekly.

We’ve loved their pappardelle with Moreton Bay bug, tomato sugo, chilli, and bronze fennel, with a double order of duck fat kipfler potatoes with garlic, rosemary, and red onion.  

Queen’s Arms Hotel

Gourmands, this one’s for you.

The elevated pub menu at the QA has us drooling too, and it’s impossible to go past the chicken parmigiana with chips and salad. 

Gerard’s Bistro

Another delicious spot with an equally delicious ever-changing menu, Gerard’s showcases Middle-Eastern flavours like nowhere else in town. 

Their menu last week featured a pork neck shawarma, pickled fennel basturma carrots, almond, mint Shirazi chopped salad, and it was next level. 

Cru Bar & Cellar 

A date night at Cru always starts with oysters with wasabi roe, wakame salad, and ginger soy dressing, before a massive plate of gnocchi with ricotta, toasted hazelnuts, pumpkin puree, and burnt sage butter. 

Gelato Messina

It’s a no-brainer, but possibly a brain-freezer. Gelato Messina’s stunning James Street store has cabinets full of the good stuff, and we love to try something new every time we’re there. 

Stand-outs are gianduia (chocolate and hazelnut), and Nicky Glasses (coffee and salted caramel with whipped cream). 

SK Steak and Oyster

Sitting pretty in the Calile Hotel, SK Steak and Oyster is set to re-open on July 1.

Until then, we’ll be reminiscing about their signature slow-roast prime rib, best enjoyed after a classic seafood platter of oysters, prawns, bugs, and mussels.


Another Calile Hotel staple, Hellenika too will open its doors again on July 1.

We’re counting down the days until we can feast on saganaki (grilled kefalograviera cheese and lemon), htapodi (grilled octopus), and arni sti schara (grilled lamb ribs). Oh, and obviously baklava to finish. 

That sure is a lot of yummy food for just one street!


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Words by Elizabeth Markwell
- The gourmet who believes in favourites.