These eateries – all of which are considerate enough not to have eftpos minimums – are so popular that you might want to consider arriving slightly earlier to beat the inevitable lunch or night rush.
Any time is the right time to smash a burger at Ben's. If you find yourself lingering the Valley streets early in the morn, may we suggest a BB Elvis breakfast burger whose layers of streaky bacon, peanut butter and banana dripping with maple syrup will set you on the right track. As the sun rises high and dips down to the horizon again, go the BB Classic with domed bun, house-made beef patty, melty red cheddar, tomato, onion, lettuce, those oh-so-pickly McClures garlic pickles and dollops of ketchup, mayo and good ol' French's American mustard.
Late-night snacking doesn't have to be just about fried chicken, bao and burgers. Get fancy at Gerard's Bar with some of the best charcuterie, cheese and bar snacks in town. Life feels good propped up at the bar with a Negroni and some just-shaved, three-year-plus-cured Jamon Iberico de Belotta Puro with sweet and nutty flesh courtesy of the host's life spent feasting on acorns; lshaved guanciale (pig cheek); and a Spanish-style wild boar embutido made from beasts caught in Mungo National Park. And then there's the cheese…
As popular with weekday office workers and the Valley's ravenous, late-night clubbers, Lucky Egg's chookcentric menu is served from a window in a converted shipping container, outside the Brightside on the nightclub precinct fringe. Crisp fried chicken shines bright on burgers: try a Buffalo Crispy stacked with some of that chicken fresh from the fryer, cult-status McLures American pickles, American-style cheddar, spinach and a squirt of hot, creamy or smoky from the sauce menu. Or ditch the bun and go a basket of buttermilk fried chook with a side of ’slaw. It's chookalicious.
The address might say it's on Creek Street, but if you're not clued in that this blink-and-you-miss-it joint is in a little nook down Gresham Lane, a few doors down from the Gresham Bar, you'd never find it. Popular to satiate both eat-in and takeaway lunch as well as late night cravings, the NY themed menu of burgers, wings and dawgs is sure to get you hooked. The Hook's Brooklyn Cheeseburger comes oozing with high-melt cheese and is all the better painted yellow and red with Red Hook's special sauce and ketchup. Add a battered pickle on the side to seal the deal.
Chef Evan White is tasked with taming the kitchen flames at this moody laneway cantina where you'll find him churning out handmade corn tortillas into the night. After a stint living the good life in Cancun, White has Mexican cuisine licked. Whether you're hauling an on-the-go lunchtime taco back to the office or visiting Eagle Laneway late into the night after stumbling out of neighbouring Brooklyn Standard, Coyotito stands ready with a bad-ass taco menu to explore: frijoles, salsas, ceviche and charred corn shucked straight from the cob, flavoured with smoky chipotle cream cheese and a zingy squeeze of lime.
Snack in style at the Apo, short for Apothecary and taking its name from its home in the Heritage-listed 1862 medicine dispensary, now two stories of restaurant, bar and fun times. Here they serving alcoholic elixirs, bar snacks and share plates including puffed animal tendons, warm bowls of local smoked olives and a combo of mixed braised mushrooms, buttery brioche and perfectly stinky and melty taleggio cheese that's sure to cure any ill. There's nothing wrong with snacking Apo-style while watching the late night antics of the colourful Fortitude Valley crowd through the ground floor window. It's a hungry voyeur's paradise.
Kooky Kwan Brothers really begins to hum after the sun sets and the neon lights shine their brightest. Gather the gang and head down for the pan-Asian street food menu and rip the lid off a Singha beer or two, late into the night. Kwan's menu is broken down into 'Night Market Snacks' with Pork Bao Bao Yippee Yo Yippee Yay touted as the speciality of the house. Hell, we just want to order it sing-song style after a few drinks with a name like that. The menu follows with 'Asian Street Eats', 'Large Plates' and finally, 'Happy Ending', a finale sure to make your night memorable.