Dumpling dens, sky-high bars and margarita meccas – the top places to eat and drink this Christmas
‘Tis the season to feast! Christmas is just around the corner and the silly season is prime time to sip, snack and satiate your cravings, as well as the perfect excuse to gather your crew for some quality time around the table. Whether you’re planning to down cocktails with your colleagues, you’re looking to level up date night or the whole family is out and about, we’ve got you covered – here are some of the best places to eat and drink in Brisbane this festive season.
To up the romance a notch
If smooching under the mistletoe isn’t your vibe, we know a few restaurants that will have you swooning this Christmas. Indulge in tastebud-temping bites at South Bank Italian spot OTTO, where dishes like signature champagne-lobster spaghettini, butterflied spatchcock with crispy pancetta and Hervey Bay scallops with garlic-bread crumbs await. Oenophiles looking for a date-night spot with a difference can look to Signature, where they can enjoy a modern Australian menu of bites and a wine cellar featuring 6000 bottles from around the world. More top-notch grape juice and delicious dishes can be found at inner-city restaurant Greenglass, which slings mouth-watering meals like beef tartare with cornichons, confit egg yolk and baguette, and gold-band snapper with smoked carrot cream, baby carrots and pistachio. For a seriously intimate setting, head to underground drinking and dining destination The Boom Boom Room, where you can share sashimi platters and cheers with sake sips in a low-lit basement of a heritage-listed building.
For drinks with the work colleagues
End of work drinks are our favourite type of drinks and there is a bounty of world-class watering holes in Brisbane to cheers with your colleagues at. For an elevated sipping session, head to Emporium Hotel’s rooftop bar The Terrace. The breezy venue boasts a drinks menu that incorporates an expansive wine list, bolstered by a clutch of seasonal tap beers, cider, artisanal gins, Japanese and American whiskies and a host of single-malt varieties. For craft beers and spirits, gather your fellow libation lovers and head to cafe-by-day, bar-by-night John Mills Himself and tell tales of the year that has been over a tipple or two. For riverside sips and snacks, head to Customs House’s flora-adorned pop-up party spot the Moët & Chandon Rosé Garden, a hub full of mouth-watering delights (hello, Moreton Bay bug croissants) and a collection of effervescent sips. Keen for some relaxed vibes? Laneway bar Super Whatnot’s killer cocktails, jazz tunes and Mexican-inspired bites are sure to satisfy.
When you have the little ones in tow
Dining with kids can be difficult at the best of times, let alone during the festive season when everywhere is twice as busy. Thankfully, there’s a collection of kid-friendly restaurants sprinkled across The City that the little ones are sure to love. Along with a bounty of salivation-inducing eats for adults, Elizabeth Street eatery Comuna Cantina doles out kids meal deals that include a drink with bites like chicken tacos and chicken-and-cheese quesadillas. Over in Albert Lane is a respite spot from the shopping crowds in the form of Harajuku Gyoza, which offers up a sizzling selection of dumplings, dim sum and delights like cheeseburger gyoza, mozzarella gyoza, shoestring fries and its famous translucent dessert, the raindrop cake. Albert Lane also boasts the likes of Vapiano, where bambinos can pick from the kids menu which boasts flavoursome fare like Italian-style beef and pork bolognese with carrot and house-made tomato sauce, as well as margherita and Hawaiian pizza. More excellent Italian eats abound at riverside restaurant Popolo, where you can either opt to dine in house or take your culinary adventure closer to water thanks to the venue’s picnic hampers packed with antipasto, drinks and pizza. Hint – this option also gives the kids more grazing ground to play!
For fun-filled feasting with friends
Feasting with friends in December is a non-negotiable and thankfully for culinary adventurers, there are plenty of lively locales to check out in Brisbane. Opening in South Bank just last month is Ma Pa Me, a green-hued restaurant specialising in Southeast Asian guilty pleasures. It’s here where you can sate your senses with crunchy yuba rolls, Mooloolaba prawns on crispy sesame toast, rendang beef curry, twice-cooked pork belly and sweet treats like Indonesian coconut honeycomb cake. Craving more Asian-inspired eats? Head to Thai party palace Naga to imbibe lychee wine and devour Moreton Bay bug pad Thai, grilled pork neck salad, and massaman beef milk buns. Only a few footsteps away is where you’ll discover Rico Bar & Dining, a vivacious venue that blends cultures and culinary delicacies. Expect a menu of Latin-inspired chews with mixed tropical ceviche, braised pork empanadas, flash-fried calamari and grilled lamb ribs all gracing the menu. To keep the party going, make tracks to two-storey Tex-Mex and margarita manor El Camino Cantina in South Bank and order tacos, nachos and margaritas in refreshing flavours like mango, strawberry and calypso crush.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.