Brisbane is Australia's best city to eat in

I’ve been a bit stunned by the vitriolic blog comments  in response to Natascha Mirosch’s Tuesday Courier Mail story “ Brisbane is Australia’s best city to eat in”.

Seems there are a lot of unhappy Brisbane diners out there. What I’m wondering is where are they eating? Sure we all have bad dining experiences where the food doesn’t match the expectations, service is poor or the menu is overpriced. I’ve had them in Brisbane and Sydney and Melbourne. But I’ve learnt from that and now I always do my research before I head out.

It’s easy to check in any number of ways from Urban Spoon to any of the great blogs on Brisbane food (mine included).

Surely, people, you can work out what you like and vote with your feet!

I’m also tired of people complaining that Brisbane doesn’t have cultural diversity in its food. We haven’t had great waves of immigration here until recently – that’s our history. I expect you’ll see more ethnic restaurants opening in coming years as our population changes. It doesn’t lessen the food we have.

By dismissing Brisbane as a great food city you are doing a disservice to all the hard working, national award winning restaurants this town has. Think Ecco folks, think Campos – Australia’s best coffee shop, think the Fish Mongers Wife – Australia’s best fish and chips.

Here’s a list of good places to go posted by Fifi of Newfarm as a reply on the Degustation blog. I think it’s worth repeating and I’ve added some of my own – please add your favourites in the comments at the bottom. Let’s give people some great Brisbane restaurants to visit.

Alchemy, City $$$
Anise, New Farm $$$
Baguette, Ascot $$$
Bar Alto, New Farm $$ Piaf, Southbank $$
Beccofino, Teneriffe $$
Blue Smoke, New Farm $$
Brents, Toowong $$$
Brothers Espresso, City $
Cantina, West End $
Choquette, New Farm $
Claret House, Teneriffe $$
Cirque, New Farm $
Citron, Wilston $$
Crosstown, Wooloongabba $$
Ecco, City $$$
Espresso Garage, Southbank $
Freestyle Tout, Valley + West End $$
Grasshopper Asian Kitchen, Teneriffe $$
Grill’d, Valley $
Jellyfish, City $$$
Kim Thanh, West End $
Libertine, Paddington $$
Manx, Portside $$
Manee Thai, Carina Heights $
Mons Ban Sabai, Camp Hill $$
Montrachet, Paddington $$$
Ortiga, Valley $$$
Pearl, Wooloongabba $$
Pearl Bus Station, City $
Rapide, Camp Hill $$$
Restaurant II  $$$
Salt, Rosalie $$
Sardine Tin, Southbank $
Sings, Rosalie $
Siana, CBD $$
Sono, Portside $$$
Thai Wi Rat, Valley $
Trang, West End $
The Lark, Paddington $$
Urbane $$$
Verve Cafe CBD $$
Vespa Pizza, Wooloongabba $$
Yum Yum Peking Duck, Darra $

Finally, there’s a reason why Matt Moran opened Aria in Brisbane. There’s also a reason why a Brisbane is opening is on the list for many southern chefs. This is a great place to live and the produce around is outstanding. It’s up to you to find ways to get what you like. Spread the word.


Claire from Eatout Brisbane said...

Great list!
To this I'd add a few of my faves that I can think of right now ..
Green Tea - Fortitude Valley $
Manee Thai - Carina Heights $
Lefkas Taverna - West End $$
Verve Cafe - CBD $$

There's more but that's a start ...

Eat, drink and be Kerry said...

Love your list and will add above. My only dissent is Lefkas but I've only eaten there once. Too much chopped white onion over EVERYTHING!

Anonymous said...

I heard a rumour (and let's hope that is all it is) that Aria Brisbane was closing?

I agree with quite a few on your list but I have to admit that when it comes to value for money and quality Brisbane can be a little lacking.

I guess it comes down to population numbers. Whilst Kim Thanh and Trang are great value for money and tasty, the cheap and cheerful contingent of the Brisbane dining scene lags far behind our interstate neighbours in so far as quality and number of venues.

I really like what yourself and others are doing to promote the dining scene in Brisbane through blogs and tweets.

Eat, drink and be Kerry said...

Thanks for the comments - again it's up to us all to vote with our feet.

Eat, drink and be Kerry said...

Re Aria closing - haven't heard this one and think it is unlikely so early. Too much invested to let close up shop. I was there on Tuesday and the food was superb.

Ally said...

There are definitely heaps of excellent dining options in Brisbane, I don't doubt that. What I think Brisbane really lacks is the small stuff - good delis, good bakeries, good dessert places. It's sad when the only places I can think of to get a bagel are Starbucks and Woolworths. And, apart from Freestyle, 16th on Park, and a handful of other places, it is incredibly hard to go out for dessert after 8pm anywhere - lest you go to the Coffee Club or the Pancake Manour (nothing against either!:) )

I've got to add Sing's, Rosalie ($) and Siana, CBD ($$) to the list!

Eat, drink and be Kerry said...

It's true Ally, hard to get a good dessert unless it's at Freestyle. I've been to both Coffee Club and Pancake Manor and try not to do it again.

We did have bagel places years ago and they closed. Anyone know of new ones?

And how could I forget Sings...

Eat, drink and be Kerry said...

Re Aria - the word is from the man himself that they are here to stay - listen up Brisbane!

Kit C said...

I agree 100%, Brisbane is rich in fantastic eateries, cafes and fine dining establishments! Here's a few of my favourites I'd like to throw into the ring:
Era Cafe & Bistro - South Brisbane ($$)
The cafe is one of our breakfast favourites and the Bistro is a wonderful place to have drinks and tapas after work, although more often than not we find ourselves having a romantic meal in the quiet candlelit dining room.
Obsession Chinese - South Bank ($$)
From the upmarket atmosphere to the gorgeous al fresco seating, meals that arrive unbelievably fast, a great little wine list and delicious food to boot!
Music Cafe - West End ($)
Staff members refer to you as "Love" "Mate" and "Sweetheart" and the massive smoothies arrive in plastic cups. Breakfast is cheap and comes heaped on massive dinner plates and the pancakes are as devine as grandma used to make on Sunday mornings.
And one or two others:
Siam Samrarn - West End ($)
Best Thai I've eaten outside of Phuket itself. Highly recommend the Pork with Chinese Broccoli, amazing!
Wilson's Boathouse - Portside ($$)
With a sister restaurant at manly, both are fantastic places to enjoy some of the freshest seafood around! The seafood platters are to die for.

Alison Shaw said...

hi kerry

our office manager leigh came up from sydney less than a year ago and is addicted to your blog!

Uses it to find great new places to eat.

I think there are lots of great places to eat both Brisvegas and Gold Coast, you just have to find them :-)


Little Pot Belly said...

I'd like to add the following to the list:

Azafran, Annerley $$$
Confit, New Farm $$$
Cinco Bistro, Camp Hill $$$
Piaf, South Brisbane $$
Continental Cafe, New Farm $$
Little Singapore, Sunnybank $
Vietnam Corner, Sunnybank $

Ally said...

Yes Kerry - Bagelos! They were a great chain bagel store. Good God - and that was in the nineties too. We're going backwards.

Claire from Eatout Brisbane said...

Just remembered a blog post I wrote last year about the attitude towards Brisbane restaurants I was coming across from both chefs and diners, and some ideas on how we can get a positive vibe going, which at the end of the day will benefit us as diners and food lovers!

Eat, drink + be Kerry said...

Can you give a link Claire?

Claire from Eatout Brisbane said...

I tried, but couldn't figure out how, so I just included it in my name URL - I'll have another go -
For some reason I've managed to paste it in now tho!