The round-up: Brisbane’s ten best places for lunch as chosen by you
Here at The Weekend Edition, we’re huge fans of the fun lunch. Sure, we have our fair share of desk-bound leftovers and toasted sandwiches, but we jump at the opportunity to explore our culinary horizons when the midday pangs hit. If your two-day-old salad is looking a little limp, we’ve got ten toothsome ideas to bring your lunchtime back to life. Presenting Brisbane’s ten best places for lunch as voted by you, our readers, in The Weekend Edition’s 11th annual EAT/drink Awards in 2018.
Winner: Ben’s Burgers, Fortitude Valley
There’s no denying how much you guys love Ben’s Burgers – the bun slinger has held the EAT/drink Awards’ Best Place For Lunch title for four years running, and came in as runner-up its first year of opening. If you’re craving a juicy bun, Ben’s serves up some of Brisbane’s best. No need to fear the overwhelming prospect of hunger decisions – Ben’s offers simply a classic, cheesy or veg burger, plus a rotating monthly special. Hot tip – add candied bacon and fries with special sauce, we promise you won’t regret it. If you can’t make it to Winn Lane, you can also get your Ben’s fix at Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall.
Runner-up: Café Ó-Mai, Annerley
Family-fun Café Ó-Mai has long been a local favourite. Matriarch Mummy Kim mans the kitchen while owner Maggie works front of house, welcoming diners to enjoy the café’s simple home-style Vietnamese comfort food. Start your lunch feast with the likes of fresh lemongrass chicken rice paper rolls and a serve of crackling pork with hoisin dipping sauce, followed by a traditional pho (brewed for 48 hours), vermicelli noodle salad or crunchy banh mi. Vegans are more than catered for too – we highly recommend the vegan laksa.
Runner-up: Taro’s Ramen, Brisbane City
When it comes to ramen in Brisbane, Taro’s is at the top of the list. At lunchtime, Taro’s Brisbane City location tightens up its menu to facilitate speedy service for busy workers, offering seven of its classic ramen options including miso, shoyu and its famous fire tonkotsu. If 480 Queen isn’t the most convenient location for your lunch hour, you can also get your Taro’s Ramen fix on Edward Street in Brisbane City, Racecourse Road in Ascot and Melbourne Street in South Brisbane.
Botanica Real Food, Red Hill
Also no stranger to our EAT/drink Awards list, Botanica Real Food has proved to be a crowd favourite again in 2018. Forget the old saying ‘you don’t make friends with salad’ – Botanica is hard proof that you absolutely do. A selection of rotating salads is made fresh each day at Botanica’s Red Hill and Teneriffe locations, ready and waiting to be taken away and consumed with glee. You’ll be satisfied no matter what you choose, but be sure to try the kale with parmesan, sourdough croutons and garlic dressing.
New Farm Deli, New Farm
It’s not hard to understand why New Farm Deli is on this list – no matter the day of the week, the Brisbane institution is heaving come lunchtime. The Italian deli has been delighting the people of New Farm for more than 40 years with its array of traditional and quality gourmet delights, which extends from the bountiful produce right through to the cafe. New Farm Deli has a distinct Italian flavour, serving up the likes of hearty soups, colourful salads and wholesome pastas. Start off with an antipasto platter (because you’re in a deli and you’re not a fool), succeeded by a bowl of fettuccine boscaiola or crab lasagne.
Wild Canary, Brookfield
Tucked amongst the leafy surrounds of the Brookfield Garden Centre, Wild Canary is an idyllic lunch spot for a fresh local feast. The botanical bistro draws from its daily kitchen garden harvest, which is guided by organic, permaculture and biodynamic principles, with the day’s foraged ingredients supplemented by seasonal produce sourced from local farmers and producers. The Loop Bowl is a lunchtime highlight, featuring kitchen garden greens, brassica, kimchi, roasted chickpeas, ancient grains, sesame cheese and pumpkin hummus.
In the mood to spice up your midday feast? Look to pan-Middle Easten-influenced eatery Naïm. The quaint sun-drenched cafe approaches lunchtime fare with a distinct Middle Eastern flavour punch, experimenting with traditional ingredients to mix up the standard offering. Sink your teeth into the Brisket Pastrami, featuring crispy Jerusalem artichokes, brisket pastrami, sauteed spinach, ras-el hanout cream, pickled mustard seed and mustard frill.
Sourced Grocer, Teneriffe
One of the greatest benefits of a fun lunch is getting outside to soak up that vitamin D. Take a seat out on the breezy sun-kissed deck at Sourced Grocer and make your selection from the stellar all-day menu – the chefs prepare, create, ferment and bake almost everything in house, using fresh local produce from its on-site grocer. Grab a fresh daily salad from the cabinet inside or sit down to tuck in to its much-loved sourdough ham sandwich stacked with tomato, smoked cheddar, mustard mayo and leaves.
Felix for Goodness, Brisbane City
Wander down Brisbane City’s Burnett Lane to discover hidden gem Felix for Goodness, a haven for healthy fare. The cafe’s chefs love making food from scratch with the best ingredients available, with a strong conscious focus on ethical practices and sustainability. We highly recommend the moreish fish rillettes, served with rye sourdough, lacto pickles, preserved-lemon tartare, potato crisps, greens and radish.
Big Roddy’s Rippin’ Rib Shack, South Brisbane
Sometimes going hard at lunch can leave you comatose for the rest of the day, but after sampling the barbecued goodness from Big Roddy’s Rippin’ Rib Shack, you’ll swear the meat sweats were worth it. Lunch munchers have included this Fish Lane haunt as one of the best spots to chow down in the arvo and it’s easy to see why – just the sound of chicken wings lathered in buffalo sauce, fried jalapenos stuffed with mac’n’cheese, pork ribs smothered in barbecue sauce and pulled-beef burgers with tangy slaw is enough to make us weak at the knees.
Want to know more of the best in Brisbane? See the full list of 2018 EAT/drink Awards winners here.
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