This is a list promoting GOOD food and EVEN better service from under-appreciated places that deserve some attention. No one on this list paid us to shout them out, nor did they ask. Be wary of what you read, because things are not as they seem. This list is honest, and full of hand selected eateries by the Blackbook crew (who I might mention eat out religiously).
88 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington QLD 4064
Another hot ticket in Paddington (actually right next door) is Sassafras Canteen. I’ll first admit, I dined here when they first opened and was slightly underwhelmed, but since returning at the request of a friend I was totally wrapped with the entire experience. The back garden courtyard is a real treat, and the food is even better. The breakfast has its standards with a nice twist, and the lunch menu is Asian inspired. I had the corn fritters, and if you’re a fan of fritters then take this a personal message to you – these were perfect.
2/152 Turton St, Sunnybank QLD 4109
Next on the list takes us back to the Southside, and deep in the heart of Sunnybank lives a real winner – at least for chicken lovers. Don’t worry about the menu items, just go straight for the buffet… this thing is epic! Costs just over $20 and gets you unlimited chips, garlic bread, ice tea and of course the piece de resistance – CHICKEN WANGS! We’re not kidding, all you can eat wings – I pretty much fasted for about 2 weeks for this meal. Not only that, they are huge wings and come in tons of flavors! We just went straight to the crispy fried and had pretty much needed to be rolled out of the joint - A MUST TRY!
Todd and Pup
398 Tarragindi Rd, Moorooka QLD 4105
A gem on the south-side, Todd and Pup are a very friendly and modest Café situated in Marooka that have really been pushing the boundaries of the Brissy brekky scene lately. It’s a competitive market out there, so it’s nice to see a nice rotation of weekly specials that will keep you coming back. I’m all for traditional menu items, but sometimes it is good to have some variation. The ambitious menu changes doesn't take away from the humbleness of the café and on a Saturday mornings is a peaceful place to eat with friends.
Hai Hai Ramen
102 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington QLD 4064
We’ve covered ramen quite extensively on Blackbook lately, and may have come across slightly snobby. It's really only because we think you Brisbanites deserve the best, so believe it when we say that pound for pound Hai Hai is the heavy weight champion of this city. The average cost is slightly higher than most places, but well worth the spend. The pork is tender, the broth simmers at a temperature just enough so the egg doesn't boil and the noodles are thick and wavy. I’ve been told once that the clearer the broth, the better quality it is... obviously this is subjective but if it’s any reflection, the broth was clearer than water. Hot tip, get the extra chili for you fire lovers out there – Ramen tastes even better when it’s extremely spicy.
14 Austin St, Newstead QLD 4006
Enter a moody Rogue Bistro on a cold winter’s morning and be warmed by the sublime prowess of Rogue. Whether it’s brekky, dinner, or somewhere in between, there isn’t a lot you can fault here. A long standing resident of the morning menu are the pancakes and I cannot recommend them enough! Every element of this dish was ever so delicately considered, planned and placed – and it shows. Every swish and swirl on this plate added another dimension of flavour and taste, surely making this one of their signature dishes.
57 Vulture St, West End QLD 4101
Nobody does seafood quite like the Greeks and that truly shines through in this West End establishment. This place is upmarket and modern, but still has that family oriented vibe I love to see. There is a huge selection of fish and a million ways to eat it, we recommend asking for their recommendations. If you’re really struggling, and not alone, give the platter a crack. It gives you a taste of pretty much everything and a couple of their signature sides to go on. Something you don’t find in many chippies (in Brisbane) is a good assortment of beverages and a liquor license – Seafuel is an exception and should be take full advantage of ;).
22 Caxton St, Brisbane City QLD 4000
Every time we go to Brewski, they are consistently surprising us with quality of food and the range of refreshments. For such a small boutique joint, you’d almost not expect a lot, especially being venue so close to Suncorp Stadium. Don’t be fooled, there is so much love and attention that goes into the menu choices as well as a content rotation of taps making us wonder what flavours and aromas will be highlighted in the next. There are also tasty specials on earlier in the week, so if you’re after some good value – head to Brewski.
1/189 Oxford St, Bulimba QLD 4171
If you’re out Oxford way and in need of a good Mexican, you can’t go past La Quinta! I find that most Mexican joints (in Brisbane) struggle to really make an impact and fail to leave a lasting thought. La Quinta is a real exception, with really fresh ingredients, generous servings and traditional dishes. It’s well priced and the upbeat, funky vibe make it a great place for a big group celebrating – make sure you check out the share platters.
876 Brunswick St, New Farm QLD 4005
If you asked me what is the best burger in Brisbane, DA’ Burger wouldn’t spring straight into my mind, but it's a pretty good contender. They set themselves apart by offering selections that go against the grain of the wave of burger shops inundating the city. I personally believe by differentiating is what will give them longevity in this competitive market. But we really wanted to boast about was the service! Never have I experienced such pleasant people in such a humble way. It grows tiresome going to burger shops that treat you like you’re almost not cool enough to be there by miserable wait staff – and top off the experience by spend so much on a truly lacklustre experience. Go to DA’ Burger if you want to feel appreciated as a paying customer.
10 Vernon Terrace, Teneriffe QLD 4005
My faaaaavourite Italian in all of the City. You may have heard of Julius Pizzeria in South Bank, well this is their first endeavour. When you go for an Italian, Beccofino’s makes you feel as though you’ve been transported straight to Rome (or another Italian city…). The service, the wine and the decor is authentic and most of all, so is the pasta! Its great going here for a meal between two... I can’t 100% guarantee they still do it, but when dining we ordered a Pizza and a Pasta and they happily split the pasta into 2 dishes so we could share it.
49 Gerler Rd, Hendra QLD 4011
To sum it up, Tuckshop is a very inviting, quaint café with a peaceful backyard to enjoy your experience. The morning we went, we had a pupper with us and the staff were more than happy to accommodate bringing him a dog bowl and some treats. Highlights of the place is the coffee – I may have two cups actually which pretty much left me bouncing off the wall. I went the standard eggs benny. Eggs were runny and hollandaise had perfect consistency, so no complaints from us.
7/8 Duncan St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
By far out favourite Vietnamese joint. It’s no surprise it’s buried deep within the Fortitude Valleys Chinatown strip and finding it makes it all the more sweeter. Whether you’re in the mood for salads, vermicelli noodles, banh mi or pho, District.1 has got you covered. I love the idea of Vietnamese street food, fused with traditional dishes – It really does make for a cool eatery. District.1 trades late meaning you can ditch the fast food and get a hearty solid meal, for let’s face it; the same price!
Lick! Ice Cream
3/321A Honour Ave, Graceville QLD 4075
Lick is a small gelato and ice-creamery operating out of Graceville. You may have seen their products ranged in smaller supermarkets like IGA and if you’ve tried it before you should know by now you’re onto a winner. At the storefront, Lick offer a huge variety of flavours you wouldn’t find at other competitors which really sets itself apart. It is such a shame it will stand in the shadows of the likes of Messina, the quality is of the same if not better. Perfect for an after date treat – make sure you try the condensed milk flavour!
679 Kessels Rd, Upper Mount Gravatt QLD 4122
The face lift at Garden City was prosperous for us foodies as we saw the addition of multiple eateries being added throughout. A real gem that emerged, and a leader in Thai food is Kinn Thai. The outside area at GC is really very pleasant now, and turned into a bit of a hub for nightlife on the Southside. Kinn Thai’s a huge restaurant, which is good for quick service, bad for a personable experience. That being said, most Asian restaurants work at a fast rate, and speed efficiency is no drama here. It’s great for big groups as most of the dishes are designed to share – make sure you add the Soft Shell Crab amongst your order.
9/85 Merthyr Rd, New Farm QLD 4005
What can I say about this place! Well… Smoke offer great value for the quality of meats that they’re serving, and in a prime location for group bookings. The place isn’t typically decked out or give you a feeling like you’ve stepped into another World, but you can instantly tell that it’s authentic and most likely conceived by someone who has grown up slow cooking and marinading high quality cuts. The folks here know what they’re doing, and that to me was all that mattered when dining… Make sure you go the ribs!
180 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington QLD 4064
Chapter IV makes this list based on one menu item alone that really knocked my socks off. I’ve never seen it be done in any other café, and I hope I don’t, because it wouldn’t live up to standard. I’m talking of course about the soft-shell crab eggs benny infused with sricrcha sauce. Unfortunately I had this about 4-5 months ago and I can’t seem to find a menu online to confirm they’re still serving it – they would be CRAZY not to. If I get word that this is the case, feel free to start a petition to bring it back!
Brisbane German Club
416 Vulture St, East Brisbane QLD 4169
This is by far the best place in the City to get a good hearty meal. If you’re by any chance Vego and reading this, might be best to skip forwards because if you dine here, you certainly won’t be ordering a salad. I don’t even want to see you ordering a chicken parmy… If you go to the German Club you need to get on the Pork Knuckle and never look back. This establishment is such a great place to go for a night out and enjoy something a little different – grab a stein and make sure you’re wearing your dancing shoes.
Little Beirut Bistro
14A Lambert Rd, Indooroopilly QLD 4068
Something else a little different to try is Little Beirut. Only just recently opening their doors, the Lebanese eatery is being praised for their authentic home-style dishes and large variety of sharing platters. I love restaurants you can really feel the family vibe shine through and know that everything was crafted with love and care. The warming atmosphere makes every delish bite at a time and goes down as a must-try from us!
Billy Kart Kitchen
1 Eric Cres, Annerley QLD 4103
Billy Kart is now open in two locations, but I will focus on the Annerley store as that’s where we’ve dined. I have no doubt that the West End operation is functioning much the same – which to their credit it a very sophisticated eatery with still has a great casual vibe. The décor is very cool and we love the seasonal menu specials that really show that Billy Kart are poking their heads above the competition.
Oishii Sushi Bar
70 Pinelands Rd, Sunnybank Hills QLD 4109
This wouldn’t be any kind of list without mentioning our favourite sushi joint. And once again, with most Asian food we head back to Sunnybank. Oishii is very tucked away and is one of those places that you just keep on going back. It is by far one of the most consistent restaurants I’ve ever been to. It never falters with their amazing sushi rolls at such good value. The place does get very busy though, so make sure you book or avoid peak times!
Fitz & Potts
1180 Sandgate Rd, Nundah QLD 4012
A vintage themed, dog-friendly, funky little bar situated in Nundah. This place is really cool and has such a chilled out vibe. Good range of beers and knowledgeable staff members. Best to go on a Sunday arvo and enjoy the sunset with one of their cheese platters or famous jaffles. This things are cheap and are bursting with flavour!