Since the mid-1990s, Brisbane has undergone a gastronomic revolution.

It is now home to some of the finest restaurants and most innovative chefs in the country, and is unique in its ability to deliver year-round al fresco dining.

Visitors to Brisbane are in for a treat. Whether it’s a long lunch beside the Brisbane River, delectable yum cha in Chinatown or sampling Gympie goats cheese at Brisbane Farmers Market, you’re assured of the freshest produce and attentive service to match. And the great weather and laid-back lifestyle means eating al fresco in the River City is the order of the day.

Here’s a guide to eating your way around Brisbane’s distinct dining precincts.

Brisbane City: chew with a view! 

Pull up a chair for a casual meal at Eagle Street Pier overlooking the Storey Bridge or sample the best of CBD dining at E’cco bistro, one of the five restaurants at Hotel Conrad, Circa on Adelaide Street or Gianni’s on Edward Street. For a quiet haven offering excellent modern cuisine, pull up a chair at Tomoko in the new Roma Street Parklands. Albert Street offers a choice of sidewalk cafes perfect for people-watching and dotted around the city are four Bar Merlo cafes for the best caffeine hit in town.

Milton, Red Hill, Rosalie and Paddington
Park Road at Milton is lined with European-style restaurants, coffee houses and boutique shopping. Don’t go past Arrivederci for pizza and pasta or coffee at La Dolce Vita. The adjoining suburbs of Red Hill, Rosalie and Paddington are known for well stocked delis, great little BYOs, licensed restaurants and classic Queenslander houses. Try the Kitchen FoodStore for coffee and delicious sweeties, breakfast at Sassafras and dinner at Olivetto’s.

The Valley and New Farm
Home to an array of cultures, you can enjoy modern Australian, Italian, Indian, the tastes and aromas of Chinatown’s Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Malaysian restaurants. On Wickham Terrace, don’t miss King of Kings for yum cha, and the cheap and cheerful Vietnamese. Along Brunswick Street, cafes and wine bars spill out onto the streets and the atmosphere buzzes. Try Ric’s Cafe Bar for pre-dinner drinks and live music, Giardinetto for mouth-watering Italian, Watt for great food and service overlooking the river, Gerties for tapas, wine and people-watching and breakfast at New Farm Deli. Centro on James Street is a new cafe precinct well worth sampling.

West End
West End is a melting pot of flavours. It is home to BYO Indian, African, Vietnamese, Chinese and modern Australian restaurants, groovy wine bars, Asian supermarkets, well-stocked delicatessens, health food stores, and organic fruit and vegie merchants. On Boundary Street, pull up a stool at the groovy Lychee Lounge, do breakfast at Espressohead and grab a souvlaki to die for at King Ahirams. You have to get up early to score a table for breakfast at West End’s latest darling, the Gun Shop on Mollison Street. The health conscious rub shoulders with those who simply love good food at the all organic Mondo on Hargrave Road.

– By Jane Hodges

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