The year in review: what you loved in 2018
We know we say it every year … but 2018 was pretty darn excellent. It’s been an incredibly exciting year for Brisbane and we’ve enjoyed every minute watching our sparkling city truly blossom. Considering January is a foggy distant memory, we thought we’d recap the year by looking back at what you, our amazing loyal readers, loved the most over the past 12 months. We present to you, the best of 2018!
Food & Drink
It’s very, very clear to us that you love food as much as we do – our Food & Drink articles are hands-down the most popular on the site. From new eateries and bars to mouth-watering round-ups, here are our top ranking Food & Drink stories for the year …
As you read on you’ll soon see that The Calile Hotel in general was potentially the opening that made you the most excited this year, but your love of Hellenika truly stood out. Gold Coast restaurateur Simon Gloftis brought his award-winning Greek restaurant north to Brisbane, and his time-honoured family recipes and modern poolside setting have captured our hearts (and stomachs).
Howard Smith Wharves
Tying with The Calile Hotel, Howard Smith Wharves was definitely a frontrunner for the most anticipated opening of the year. The riverfront precinct’s first three openings came in hot and heavy over the last few weeks, and you jumped at all of them. Things kicked off with Felons Brewing Co., followed by overwater bar Mr Percival’s and modern Greek taverna Greca. The excitement will continue into the new year – we’re just as excited as you for the arrival of Harry’s Liquor and Delicatessen, ARC Dining and Wine Bar, Toko Brisbane, Stanley, Art Series Hotel The Fantauzzo and more!
After significant delays, the LONgTIME team finally opened Hôntô in August – and it was definitely worth the wait. The moody clandestine restaurant serves up contemporary Japanese fare, reimagined to be both a visual and culinary treat. The likes of tuna and avocado drumsticks, prawn doughnuts and lobster katsu sandos grace the menu, alongside an impressive drinks list of creative cocktails, sustainable wines and rare Japanese whiskies.
The team behind The Gresham, Popolo and Heya Bar were at it again, this time bringing old-fashioned hospitality back to The City with Walter’s Steakhouse. The restaurant oozes old-world charm, from its heritage-listed Old Mineral House building and red-leather booth seating, through to its attentive staff and classic menu. Steak is the clear hero at Walter’s – you can’t go past the specialty grain-fed porterhouse, sliced theatrically while you watch at your table.
Fortitude Valley gained a new social hub in July – constructed almost entirely out of shipping containers. X Cargo is somewhat of an adult playground, with three bars, a kitchen, on-site cafe, huge beer garden and breezy balconies spread over multiple levels. The venue lends itself to sunny days and balmy nights, perfect for Brisbane’s incredible weather.
Donna Chang and The Boom Boom Room
Brisbane City had a serious growth spurt this year when it came to wining and dining, and the Ghanem Group’s latest venture was a jewel in The City’s crown. Donna Chang and The Boom Boom Room reside in the awe-inspiring heritage-listed former home of the Queensland Government Savings Bank, transforming the space while highlighting the building’s ornate original features. Upstairs, Donna Chang serves mouth-watering modern Chinese morsels, while downstairs basement bar The Boom Boom Room serves up live music and creative cocktails in a high-end jazz-bar setting.
Best cheap eats
While we know you love the finer things in life, you’re not afraid to get your cheap eats on. Our round-up of Brisbane’s best cheap eats made our top ten stories again, helping to satisfy your cravings and your wallet at the same time. From burgers and tacos to salads and noodles, we’ve got cheap eats to suit any taste (and basically no budget).
Best BYO spots
Got an incredible bottle at home that you’re dying to crack with a delicious meal? Or perhaps you’re just wanting to save a few bucks? Either way, it’s clear that you want to know where you can BYO your own booze around town. From Chinatown favourites to fine diners, our round-up includes all of the best spots to bring your own beverages in Brisbane.
Best dog-friendly bars and cafes
It’s hard to beat throwing back a few cold (or warm) ones with your best mates – even better if some of those mates have four legs. An increasing number of places around town allow, nay encourage, you to bring your pup, with many even offering special menus for your four-legged friend. It truly is a dog’s life.
The best of the best
Our reader-voted EAT/drink Awards are by far the best indicator of what you love in Brisbane, so we figured it was a no brainer to put together a detailed list of the top ten across each major category from the 2018 winners. We compiled the best cafes, bars, restaurants (as well as the most-popular new arrivals across each) in town, and you used it as a trusted reference throughout the year. Keep your eyes peeled as we gear up to kick off our 2019 edition of the awards. Not long to wait now!
It wasn’t just the edible and sippable news frontier that got you guys going – there were some very exciting happenings across the Gentlefolk realm. From shopping and fashion to grooming, here are your favourite stories.
Levi’s Pride Collection
Back in 2017, Australia’s same-sex marriage debate and vote made history when our country decided to grant all couples the right to marry. This obviously resonated with a bunch of iconic companies, including denim purveyor Levi’s – who decided to extend the joy with a rainbow-hued pride collection. Not only did the threads look fab, but also proceeds from sales went towards well-deserving LGBTQI+ charities.
We jumped for joy when cult Brisbane designer Christie Nicolaides opened her eponymous flagship bricks-and-mortar store this year. Just four years ago the fashion designer tried her hand at the jewellery game – and it paid off. The brand’s extravagant earrings, bracelets, neckpieces and crowns now have a physical presence on the CBD’s prestigious Edward Street.
COS Brisbane flagship
Our city has seen an influx of high-profile international retailers setting up shop in the past few years, but there was a hole in our hearts that we didn’t know needed filling until COS came along. The Swedish fashion powerhouse announced plans for its first Queensland store in early 2018, and locals flocked to check it out when the doors opened in November. The brand’s soft tailored wares are right at home in the shop’s stunning open brick building.
The Calile retail announcement
Boutique luxury hotel The Calile had us swooning from day dot and each new announcement had us shivering with anticipation. When news of The Calile’s retail offering broke, fashion-conscious Brisbane folk pretty much got an early Christmas – names like Dion Lee, bassike, Venroy, Bec + Bridge, Camilla and Marc and Love Stories were amongst the high-profile brands that now call the retail precinct home. No wonder you were excited!
Brisbane’s best barbers
Nothing really matches the feeling of stepping out of the barber with a super-slick cut, so it makes sense that our list of Brisbane’s best scissor slingers and razor-smiths got a lot of love this year. If your locks need some love, these spots are home to our city’s most trusted and capable cutters – not to mention superb service.
Brisbane’s landscape is rapidly evolving and it’s showing no sign of slowing down. Some pretty huge news came out in the design world this year and we’re very excited to see what the future holds for our fine city. From new hotels to upcoming lifestyle precincts, here’s what tickled your fancy in Design.
It was four years ago that we announced W Brisbane’s arrival and in June 2018 we finally welcomed the vibrant hotel to North Quay. The opening marked the first five-star hotel in Brisbane in 20 years and W Brisbane certainly did not disappoint. From its luxe suites to its signature restaurant Three Blue Ducks and swish poolside rooftop bar the WET® Deck, W Brisbane has certainly made a splash.
The Calile Hotel
We weren’t kidding when we said you loved The Calile Hotel. The Richards & Spence-designed urban resort has redefined luxury boutique hotels in not just Brisbane, but across the country. Every details of The Calile has been carefully considered, from its chic rooms through to the crystal blue pool (complete with cabanas), luxury day spa, Lobby Bar and more. Get a closer look at the design features here.
James St Commons
As if James Street didn’t have enough exciting news this year, the lifestyle strip will soon gain a new food and retail precinct. Perched at the entrance of the street at number one, the urban food and retail destination will be made up of 11 tenancies, with applications currently being taken for expressions of interest. Look out on The Weekend Edition for more details on this soon!
Millennium Square Bowen Hills
In more exciting development news, at the beginning of the year News Corp shared details of a new $2-billion precinct in Bowen Hills, set to house a ‘world-class media and innovation hub’. The master plan features a state-of-the-art media precinct, new residential towers, retail outlets, lifestyle and entertainment amenities, public gardens and access to a redeveloped Bowen Hills train station.
Mast Furniture flagship showroom
Cult favourite Mast Furniture opened its first-ever retail showroom in October, showcasing its handcrafted range of clean and simple designs. In addition to Mast’s wares, the West End store is filled with a curated selection of home goods from around the world, including Japanese glassware and soaps from New Zealand.
- Your favourite The Locals interview was with cabaret performer Emma Maye Gibson aka Betty Grumble
- You loved our Destination pieces on dog-friendly camping spots and cosy cottages
- You couldn’t wait to find yourself in the Jacaranda Gin Festival and James Street Food and Wine Trail Market Day Captured galleries
From everyone here at The Weekend Edition, we’d like to thank you, dear readers, for your ongoing support. Cheers to an excellent 2018 – we look forward to bringing you more weekly goodness in 2019 and to continue encouraging you to sleep in, slow down and enjoy.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.