The round-up: Brisbane’s best restaurants and bars with a view
You could be at a restaurant eating the juiciest, most tender steak in the world, or sipping on some of the finest wine money could buy, but would you really enjoy your experience if the atmosphere wasn’t up to scratch? A lot can be said about the importance of ambience when dining out, and one of the best ways to achieve a perfect balance between food and vibe is with a stellar view. If you like to pair your meal with a killer vista or a luxe riverside setting, we’ve compiled a list of Brisbane’s best bars and restaurants with a view, for you to get a feast for your eyes as well as your mouth.
Otto Brisbane: If you like your meals at a slightly higher altitude, you otto go to Otto Brisbane at 480 Queen Street. The Fink Group’s flagship Queensland location is one of the best restaurants with a view – occupying a fourth floor corner location that offers breathtaking views of the Brisbane River, Story Bridge and Customs House. The interior aesthetic is all class and the cuisine is to die for. Bar Otto is also situated on the fourth floor for those that are simply after an aperitivi with a side of sunset.
Watt: In 2015 Watt at the Brisbane Powerhouse underwent a bit of a facelift that saw the addition of new function spaces and the installation of New Farmer’s Kitchen. This breezy riverside restaurant has ambience in spades, paired with a menu of fresh, seasonal and sustainable meals. Sit down to a table or recline with a drink – there’s no wrong way to relax when the view is this choice.
Summit Restaurant & Bar: As far as sheer elevation goes, you can’t beat Summit Restaurant & Bar. Sitting pretty at the top of Mount Coot-Tha, diners are treated to unimpeded views of Brisbane’s skyline and its surrounds. Take a seat on the balcony and soak in the sprawling landscape while you dine on lunch and dinner menus. If you want to be anywhere at sunset, it’s here.
Gusto da Gianni: Portside is one of Brisbane’s most stylish precincts for fine dining, but only one restaurant boasts incredible riverside views. Gusto da Gianni is an iconic Hamilton dining destination that offers not only some of the finest Italian fare this side of the Mediterranean, but also some divine wharfside river views. Wine on the water – what a combination!
River Quay: These restaurants all share the same terrific view of the Brisbane River and the city skyline, so we decided to group them together. Don’t think for a second that these spots are all the same – you won’t find such a combination of cuisines so close together anywhere else. Let’s list what’s on offer – sumptuous seafood at River Quay Fish, exquisite fine dining at Stokehouse Q, artisanal romanticism at Aquitaine Brasserie, flavoursome Italian at Popolo and delectable modern Australian fare at The Jetty. There’s no wrong choice here – especially when the view is this incredible.
Riverbar & Kitchen: Just about any spot alongside Eagle Street will give you some great spots to snap a Story Bridge selfie, but Riverbar & Kitchen places you closest to the river and boasts a great beer garden for sunset sips. If you are an early riser, take in the tranquillity of the river from Riverbar & Kitchen at breakfast, or boogie the night away with a cocktail in hand at night time.
The Lighthouse: Our friends on the Gold Coast love to brag about their coastal views, but we’ve got a few spots of our own when we crave a glimpse of the ocean. The Lighthouse in Cleveland Point overlooks Moreton Bay, and is well worth a trip for the view alone. Thankfully there is a lot more to The Lighthouse than the locale – this award-winning seafood restaurant offers some of the freshest catches in all of Queensland with plenty of options to choose from.
Customs House: Behind the stunning Queen Street-facing facade is one of Brisbane’s most underrated spots for luxurious outdoor dining. Customs House backs on to the Brisbane River and boasts a stunning terrace that is open to diners of its award-winning restaurant. The Story Bridge stands in all its majesty, so close you feel like you could touch it. Few inner-city spots can match the vibe of this locale.
Eleven Rooftop Bar: Did you know cocktails taste better the higher up in the air you are? Okay, that might have been a fib, but you were all set to try it, weren’t you? If still feel like testing our hypothesis, we suggest ascending to Eleven Rooftop Bar in Fortitude Valley. Boasting the best view in the Valley, Eleven is both a great spot to see and be seen. Enter from Ann Street and head to the top floor – you’re bound to be impressed.
Sixteen Antlers: Perched atop the Pullman Hotel is a swanky cocktail and tapas bar that gives patrons a bird’s eye view of the inner city. Sixteen Antlers sits 16 floors up in the air and is a veritable oasis for those seeking refuge from the honking horns of CBD traffic. Once you’ve taken a minute to scope out the action from above, find a spot and order from the bar’s signature cocktail list and a few share dishes to snack on.
Bavarian Bier Cafe: You wouldn’t think of it at first, but when you pair litres of German beer with unimpeded river views you end up with a pretty remarkable combination. Eschewing the traditional German beer hall aesthetic for something far more modern, the Bavarian Bier Cafe on Eagle Street is a lively spot to knock off on a Friday, with some great views of the Brisbane River and the adjacent Kangaroo Point Cliffs turning it on at night.
Up on Constance: Above the TRYP Fortitude Valley Hotel is a chic spot to party the night away with a drink in hand. UP on Constance is an airy space that fuses contemporary design and a choice selection of food and drink. Snack on kingfish ceviche tacos, confit chicken rillettes or stuffed squid in between sips of champagne cocktails or perhaps a negroni.
Sandstone Point Hotel: Sitting on 300 metres of waterfront is the Sandstone Point Hotel, a lush and spacious spot to get your drink on when the weather is clear. The expansive locale overlooks the waters of the Pumicestone Passage and Moreton Bay – a picturesque spot to say the least. Nab a table or roll out a blanket on the riverside lawn and enjoy everything from oysters, garlic prawns, beef burgers and gourmet pizzas with your drink of choice.
Eagles Nest: Sunday afternoon drinks taste much better with a view, and Kangaroo Point locals rave about the ambience afforded to patrons at Eagles Nest. On the top of The Point hotel, clientele can drink in the panoramic view of the Brisbane City skyline while sipping on ice-cold champagne, cocktails or imported beer. If you want to give your friends serious FOMO, a stylish selfie with the city as your backdrop would do the trick.
Sazerac: In terms of sheer height, Sazerac atop Four Points by Sheraton might be the winner. Situated 30 storeys above Mary Street, the lounge bar offers a luxurious vibe that pairs exquisitely with the extensive range of cocktails. Sink into a couch with a salted caramel martini in hand and watch the city lights twinkle all night long.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 1800 places to eat, drink, shop and play.