The round-up: Brisbane’s ten best restaurants as voted by you
As soon as the gates opened on 2018 we galloped our way into the year. The first order of business was the EAT/drink Awards, which boasted the biggest voter turnout in the history of the awards. As always, people were waiting with bated breath for the announcement of the winners of the marquee categories, headlined by Best Restaurant. The winners and runners-up have been announced, but there were many other fine establishments that still received an overwhelming amount of votes. The top ten is packed with the cream of the crop, so we figured we’d acknowledge Brisbane’s incredible dining scene and list the best restaurants in town, as voted by you!
Winner: Gauge, South Brisbane
Just a year removed from narrowly missing out on the top honour in last year’s awards, Gauge has followed up with a killer 12 months full of milestones and innovative gastronomic delights. Not only has the restaurant been awarded the title of Brisbane’s best this year (thanks to you), but it also left a lasting impression on the likes of The New York Times – the esteemed publication heralded Gauge as one of the most-creative members of Australia’s new wave of culinary all-stars. If you’re yet to experience Gauge then do yourself a favour – the eatery is open for breakfast, lunch and Wednesday to Saturday dinner (plus its monthly Gauge X dinners) and seems poised to retain its top spot for the foreseeable future.
Runner-up: LONgTIME, Fortitude Valley
A twist and a turn off Ann Street is all it takes to find one of The Valley’s best restaurants, but once inside you’ll swear you’ve been transported far from home. Although tucked away, LONgTIME has had no trouble drawing in the crowds thanks to a diverse menu of intricately woven tastes. Drawing upon the vast scope of flavours intrinsic to Thai cuisine, the kitchen regularly plates up dishes both sophisticated and memorable. Thanks to this, LONgTIME has rightfully earned its spot in Brisbane’s top echelon of eateries.
Runner-up: Gerard’s Bistro, Fortitude Valley
Gerard’s Bistro is no stranger to our Best Restaurant list – it’s consistently held a spot in the top three for the last five years. The acclaimed dining destination has clearly retained its world-class appeal, with head chef Ben Williamson continuing to explore the nuances inherent in Middle Eastern cuisine with contemporary flair. Be sure to look out for Gerard’s special events – the restaurant regularly host joint dinners and collaborations with acclaimed interstate establishments and makers.
Urbane, Brisbane City
The accolades keep piling up for Brisbane City’s Urbane, which stands alone as the only restaurant in Queensland that can boast three hats. The coming year is set to yield exciting changes, with Urbane’s long-time executive chef Alejandro Cancino passing on the reins to Brisbane native Andrew Gunn, who will look to maintain the restaurant’s acclaimed style of degustation omnivore and herbivore eats. With Andrew at the pass, we’re certain Urbane will continue its high standard of dining well into the future.
1889 Enoteca, Woolloongabba
If you want to be pointed in the direction of Brisbane’s best pasta, all roads inevitably lead to Roman-inspired restaurant 1889 Enoteca. Woolloongabba’s home for top-tier Italian has made a place for itself in our best-of lists – with a groove so well worn they’re almost inseparable from excellence. Sumptuous handmade fare, a mind-boggling selection of wines and a classic heritage aesthetic is what makes 1889 Enoteca worthy of inclusion and it seems you wholeheartedly agree.
Allium, New Farm
After exploding onto the scene at the tail end of 2016 and racking up Best New Restaurant awards throughout the past year, Allium has settled into a nice rhythm. Owner and head chef James Gallagher is constantly growing the menu, ensuring that regulars can always enjoy something new. The likes of sweetcorn and ricotta tortellini, Borrowdale pork shoulder and blood sausage, and Hiramasa kingfish are likely to attract (and reward) curious diners, and a cheeky BYO night on Thursday solidifies Allium as a major boon for the New Farm dining community.
Stokehouse Q, South Bank
Those that can distract themselves from the gorgeous waterfront views at Stokehouse Q will happily attest that the food more than matches the ambience. One of South Bank’s premier dining destinations has been able to maintain its spot at the top with a worldly menu of inspired culinary constructions, including Royal Blue and saltbush dumplings, local squid risotto, pancetta-wrapped chicken with charred pineapple, and its signature frozen white parfait bombe.
OTTO Ristorante, Brisbane City
The Fink Group’s fantastic Brisbane addition has continued to match its lofty expectations with flair, wowing tastebuds with a sublime approach to modern Italian. With dishes such as braised oxtail and smoked bone marrow-filled pasta, octopus tentacles in spicy Napolitana sauce, and butterflied spatchcock with pancetta on the menu, you don’t have any reason to second guess its placement in the top ten.
Billykart Kitchen, West End
Ben O’Donoghue’s Billykart Kitchen empire continues to capture the tastes of Brisbane, with its multi-faceted West End establishment double (or triple) dipping in the dining stakes through breakfast, lunch and dinner. Boasting a menu anchored by signature staples and seasonal additions, a killer cocktail selection and a new casual bar addition, Billykart Kitchen seems to have all bases covered, and you’ve kindly rewarded this versatility with a place in our list.
GOMA Restaurant, South Bank
Although its original executive chef Josue Lopez departed in late 2017 for a new role, GOMA Restaurant has maintained its standard of excellence and by extension its spot in this list. Continuously drawing on inspiration from the Gallery’s collection and exhibitions, the GOMA Restaurant team has absolutely nailed it, keeping up the restaurant’s reputation for blending art and food with aplomb. If you’re seeking lunch or dinner that goes beyond what’s on the plate, GOMA Restaurant is the place to dine.
Best Institution Restaurant: Beccofino, Teneriffe
We couldn’t touch on Brisbane’s best restaurants without paying respect to the institutions. Teneriffe’s Beccofino has been a longstanding pillar of the inner-north dining scene, with Italian fare made from fresh ingredients resulting in dishes that are simply superb. Any fan of premium pizza and pasta should have Beccofino high on their hit list.
Runner-up: Lefkas Taverna, West End
The key to repeat custom is a menu of crowd favourites and a setting that is so comfortable it almost feels like home. This is the recipe to success for Lefkas Taverna, which has been feeding West End locals for many years. The diverse flavours of Greece are showcased here and edible stories are told with each dish. Lefkas has stood the test of time, solidifying its worth as a Brisbane culinary icon.
Runner-up: The Vietnamese, Fortitude Valley
The Vietnamese has enjoyed a lengthy stint at the top of Brisbane’s casual dining scene with a handy location and a menu of some of the most well-priced eats you’re likely to find. Pho, rice vermicelli noodle salad, steam boats, pork in plum sauce – the menu here is all winner, no filler. If you haven’t sampled, it’s time to see why locals have been raving about The Vietnamese for decades.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.