The best beer gardens in Brisbane
No matter what season it is in the sunshine state, you can catch those all-year-round summer vibes at one of Brisbane's next-level beer gardens. Pair your bevvies with some yummy alfresco pub fare and soak up the atmosphere, watch a footy game or take in a live music set as you while away an arvo into the night. From the city-side Southbank Beer Garden, boasting beach and river views through to the Brunswick Hotel in Fortitude Valley, we’ve gathered the intel on Brisbane’s best spots to down a beer, sip a cocktail or pull a Harry Styles and drink a shoey. On the hunt for other top places to grab a drink in Brisbane? Here's our pick of the best bars in the city.
The best hotels in Brisbane
At many of the best hotels in Brisbane, you'll find evidence that the city's hotel scene is changing. It used to be a town with a small number of inns all running at high occupancy, due to its role as a tourist hub and the massive convention centre that sits just across the river from the CBD. Now, though, it seems each new month brings a new opening. Along with the fresh properties come fresh approaches. The boutique revolution has well and truly hit town, with new operators looking to activate long-forgotten neighbourhoods, and the big chains inspired to produce tailored offerings for a more sophisticated clientele. The best hotels in Brisbane offer high-end experiences, laidback Aussie vibes and all the sun- kissed goodness of feeling like it’s summer all year round. The ultimate in luxurious stays are gushing with designer décor, bespoke art and unmatched city, river and mountain views. Can you see yourself emerging from an infinity pool overlooking Brisbane? Or how about rising from a relaxation pod, sipping a cocktail from an elevated piano bar, viewing bespoke author- inspired art or zip around in a Maserati? You can take part in these five-star experiences and more in Brisbane’s best hotels. Looking for a place to rest your head? Our picks of the best hotels in Brisbane are below. All checked in? Good, then go feast on one of the best steaks in Brisbane. Wondering what to do while you're here? These are the best things to do in Brisbane.
The best bakeries in Brisbane for pastries, bread and more
Calling all sweet tooths and savoury fans alike. Brisbane is bursting with innovative, tastebud- popping pastry sensations to make your heart go boom. From the sea breezy streets of Cleveland to the buzzy charm of New Farm, the zeitgeist of Zillmere to the greenery of Ashgrove, the pulsing Brisbane City to the sunbeams of Sunnybank, you are absolutely covered. All across this beating city are artisan bakers, pastry chefs and traditional treat makers ready to serve up fresh flavours that will leave you wanting more. Moreish is the word to describe what’s on offer in our metropolis and you my friend have been warned – you won’t be able to stop at just one serving. Dunk that croissant in some of Brisbane's best coffee. Or go out for dinner at one of Brisbane's best restaurants.
The best hairdressers in Brisbane
Are you ready for your crowning glory to go from plain Jane superbrain to drop dead gorgeous? Then check out these incredible salons scattered all around Meanjin from Spring Hill to Ipswich, no matter what you’re after, whether it’s an eye-popping colour, a funky shaved flavour or an elegant upstyle. With precision cutting skills, amazing hair colour techniques with the latest made to last colours, from curls, to straight hair and afros, Brisbane knows hair. So for a new sexy and fabulous or wild and outrageous you, find your new hairdresser from our list below. Why not go full self-care mode and spend the rest of the day at one of Brisbane's best spas? Treat yourself!
The best steaks in Brisbane for every budget
Do you fancy tasting the only steak in Australia that has ranked #29 on the Top 50 Steaks in the World list for two years running? You can do just that, right here, Brisbane Baes, and it’s not the only mouthwatering offering in our gorgeous river city. Brisbanites are spoilt for choice with moreish steaks from the Darling Downs to fresh flavours of Wagyu beef from Stanbroke. And how you experience one of Brisbane's great steaks, be it easy or elevated, is up to you. Choose from a high-end experience in a heritage building, an exclusive restaurant where you will feel like a movie star and everything is a little ‘extra’ or a more relaxed, homely feel of an historic pub. Whatever your culinary flavour preferences or budget Brisneyland is serving up steak bombs left right and centre to blow your taste buds to heaven and back. Want to keep it casual? Have a slice of Brisbane's best pizza. Craving sushi? Try the best Japanese restaurants in Brisbane. Or tick off our list of the very best restaurants in Brisbane, bar none.
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Southbank Beer Garden
You will know life is good when you visit what is arguably the most stunning beer garden in Brisbane. Get ready for the river breeze, gorgeous greenery and purple bougainvillea of the outdoor atrium. Relax and gaze at the beach and river views with the sparkling lights of Brizvegas in the distance. Southbank Beer Garden was brought back to life in 2015 and quickly became one of Southbank’s favourite watering holes. Pair some top local beers with some classic pub fare and blaze your way into the weekend. Located across the Brisbane River from the city, behind the Southbank Parkland Beach, this is the perfect place for a chillax after work or a sweet spot to watch the goings on at Southbank. You can book a table for the family but if you want to bring along your canine you’re best to book in advance.
The Wickham Hotel
The Wickham Hotel’s beer garden is bringing a high-pressure system of hot phat vibes with a hundred percent chance of slay. The Wickham is known as Brisbane’s oldest and most iconic gay pub but the renos might have you thinking otherwise. The beer garden is eclectic and vibing with all sorts of buzz. Catch a sesh of live music, burlesque performances and drag shows on the stage or enjoy the vibrant art including a massive mural by artist Kaffeine and a bespoke piece by Banjo Bonfire. Don’t visit the valley without experiencing chilled pizzas and beers by day and epic DJs and dance parties by night. Try a Thursday trivia night and see if you and your crew can beat the valley locals. The Wickham’s beer garden is totally family and hound friendly with wheelchair access available from the Alden Street entrance.
The Prince Consort Hotel
Sports fans listen up because the Prince Consort Hotel has all the secret herbs and spices for catching the match in style. Park yourself on one of the comfiest spots to watch the massive stadium screen every Saturday and Sunday. The multi-purpose garden area is covered by a retractable roof so you and your mates can catch the game come rain, hail or shine. If relaxing and enjoying a cocktail with bae or your friends is more your style, every Sunday the Prince Consort Garden hosts a recovery with some music, cocktail jugs and pizza deals from the open woodfire kitchen. The Prince Consort beer garden welcomes supervised children before 9.30pm and dogs. It is accessible by ramps for wheelchair users so be sure to request them on arrival.
The Normanby Hotel
There are not many hotels in Brisbane that have a beer garden as legendary as The Normanby Hotel's. It’s been a long-cherished spot for uni students, sports fans and funsters keen on a cracking night out. Recently the beer garden has been showered with love and a makeover and its cheerful, sunny vibe is now complemented with an Aperol theme. Regulars and newcomers alike will go nuts at the major drawcard, the largest outdoor LED screen in Brisbane, to watch all of your live sporting favourites. So if you fancy catching the game or your mates over an Aperol Spritz, cocktail, wine or one of the sixteen beers on tap, this is the place for you. Bring the family – even your furry friend is welcome at this family-owned, wheelchair-accessible venue.
Get yourself one of the best steaks in Brizneyland while it’s still The Morrison Hotel’s 95th year. Choose from one of its ten steaks on offer ranging in price from an affordable $36 to $56. Or simply go with the most popular choice: the king of cuts, the 400 gram Rib on the Bone, aka ‘The Grand Champion of Steaks’ from the Darling Downs. It is prepared with a special spiced rub that enhances the flavors of the tender cut and is served with their famous twice baked house potato, mushroom sauce and matched perfectly with a blue cheese, apple, walnut and rocket salad with a balsamic reduction dressing. The well-rounded menu even suggests the perfect wine to match: the Two Hands Gnarly Dudes Shiraz. Other menu offerings include plenty of vegan and other non steak options. Not only are they a steakhouse, they also have a fantastic cocktail and whisky bar "Circa 27" which has over 200 whiskies on hand and 30 cocktails. Dining in this old dame means feeling warm and cozy and part of the family. Sounding like this needs to be on your list of dining must-dos? Then head in to Fiasco’s Steakhouse and continue the celebrations. Want some more insta-worthy content? Our guide on 10 ways to be a little different in Brisbane is sure to contain some photo-ops.
Breakfast Creek Hotel
The legendary Breakfast Creek Hotel has long held a reputation as one of Brisbane’s oldest and best spots for a succulent steak. If you are a Brisbane local, interstate or international visitor you simply have to sample one of the 12 steaks featured on both the Beer Garden and Spanish Garden menus. They share the same Queensland sourced steaks starting at $36 for an MB2+ Rump, to a $110 1.2kg Tomahawk from Maranoa. Other popular cuts for diners include the Dry Aged Rib Eye on the Bone 400 grams, from Nolans at Gympie, the Porterhouse 350 grams from the Darling Downs and the popular Filet Mignon 240 grams also from the Darling Downs. If the Beer Garden suits your dining experience you can choose from some incredible menu options such as Mooloolaba prawns or Rum and Coke House Smoked Wagyu Brisket. Or if you prefer to sit in the gorgeous Spanish Garden you can select the signature dish ‘The Creek’ which is a juicy 200 gram eye filet topped with scallops, bugs and creamy garlic prawns. Totally scrumptious. Pulling an all-nighter? Here are our tips for Brisbane nightlife. Rock on, party animal.
SK Steak and Oyster
Calling all foodies - the dining experience on offer at SK Steak and Oyster is to die for. The restaurant is a must-visit, combining old-world New York steakhouse charm with Californian grill vibes. There’s a classic piano bar for sipping on cocktails post-work or pre-dinner and snug booths for long lunches or an intimate evening experience. The exquisite menu offers steaks, pasta, seafood, raw food and sushi. The steaks on the menu: Eye Fillet, Prime Rib and Sirloin - New York Cut and Kiwami include a marbled score for the discerning steak connoisseur, along with an on-the-bone Kiwami Tomahawk. Steaks range from $58 for a 180 gram petit fillet, Black Angus through to $200 for a 400 gram Sirloin 9+ Premium Wagyu. For surf and turf lovers there is a melt-in-your-mouth eye fillet topped with lobster and garlic butter. If you haven’t yet been to SK Steak and Oyster book in and treat yourself to a dining experience that is unforgettable. Need a drink? Find the best bars in Brisbane here.
A ‘Best Steaks in Brisbane’ list wouldn’t be complete without at least one Irish Pub on it. Enter Gilhooley's, situated right in the buzz of the city, on the corner of Albert & Charlotte Streets. Established in 1995, Gilhooley’s is the place to warm the cockles and enjoy the craic, all while enjoying their delicious, value for money steaks and meals. Their steak range is priced under $40, starting at an affordable $33. The menu choices include a New York Sirloin, Rib Fillet, Rump Steak and a $10 upgrade to the flavoursome Reef and Beef. You can also get some scrumptious Irish Stew or a Braised Beef in Guinness if you’re partial to trying out some Irish fare. They cater well for vegetarians, vegans and have gluten free options on offer as well. So for a lively night or a daytime meal go where the laughter is the brightest: where the steak is best at Gilhooley’s. Looking for more things to do in Brisbane? Check out our guide to the city's top attractions.
Black Hide Steakhouse
Attention all steak aficionados, do not miss out on sampling an exclusive taste sensation from one of Brisbane’s finest steakhouses, The Black Hide. As part of the Gambaro Group they are the only venues in Queensland to serve cuts from the grain and grass-fed cattle at Stanbroke Beef. The restaurant presents an extensive selection of export quality Australian Wagyu and Angus Steak cuts sure to dazzle your dining taste buds and satisfy even the most discerning customers. The hero dish is the 1,200 gram Tomahawk steak, serving one to three, at a cost of $165. All of Black Hide’s steaks are served with simply exquisite and delicious wagyu fat roasted potatoes, rosemary and garlic and a choice of red wine jus, peppercorn, bearnaise or mushroom sauce. And if all of the ten main steak dishes just look so good you can’t decide then go for a $99 set menu which includes a choice of eye filet or sirloin. So do yourself the ultimate flavour favour and pick up the phone and book already! Looking for a little spice? Here's our suggestions for the best Indian restaurants in Brisbane.
Norman Hotel and Garden
Enjoy an open grill and a diverse steak offering at the family-owned Norman Hotel and Garden in the ‘Gabba. The steak range is to die for including the high quality marbled Thousand Guineas Shorthorn and Black Opal’s genetically proven Wagyu Beef. Affectionately known as Brisbane’s Worst Vegetarian Restaurant, the Norman Hotel and Garden is long regarded as the benchmark when it comes to steak restaurants in Brisbane. They have a strong belief that a great steak starts long before the grill so only work with producers that care of their cattle such as the Five Founders North Australian Cattle Company. When undecided between the sixteen cuts of Australian beef, why not go for their most popular choice, the Eye Fillet from the Maranoa region in Queensland. Punters will love the tenderness of the longest and leanest cut from the tenderloin. It is arguably the most tender cut of beef sitting along the spine doing the least amount of work and having little fat or connective tissue. The dining experience is unique and the whole family’s tastes are covered with an extensive gluten free and vegetarian options as well as a children’s menu available. The 1889 building itself is heritage listed and has had several incarnations since its stable origins including being a working class pub and biker bar. For a little bit of history with your steak, get yourself there quick smart. Are you celebrating a special occasion? Check out the best day spas in Brisbane.
Sprout Artisan Bakery
Sprout Artisan Bakery in New Farm is going to make you S-W-O-O-N. Get your lips around any of these tasty numbers: twice baked apple crumble croissant, a raspberry crumble brioche, baklava scroll or a lemon meringue pie, a croissant toastie, a sweet sugary, cardamom custard scroll, a savoury breakfast danish (try roasted fennel, orange, parmesan custard, roasted walnuts and fine herbs). Run by partners Rebecca Foley and European trained baker Lutz Richter, the bakery has got itself quite the reputation. Lutz has been baking since he trained as a 14 year old apprentice in Germany before working in Bono and the Edge’s Clarence Hotel in Ireland and later working at the 2000 Australian Olympics where high production volume was the name of the game. His creative flair about flavour combinations and also innovative ways ensures Sprout is always impressing customers with new and innovative items. The pair work sustainably and have a closed loop system of food waste courtesy of the Loop farm, which takes their scraps and Sprout later buys their produce. #sustainabilitygoals Looking for a little spice? Here's our suggestions for the best Indian restaurants in Brisbane.
Sunnybank’s Zika’s Pastries is absolutely the epitome of a family tradition and a family run business. To say baking runs through the veins is no exaggeration. The bakery’s very own namesake, Zika, had a grandfather who was a baker himself back in the Balkans. Now Sunnybank’s favourite cafe is run by Zika Sovljnaski and his wife Lubi who are keeping the tradition flowing by enlisting help from their 3 kids. With baking in his blood, Zika knew he wanted to bring the flavour of homemade Balkan food from his family’s homeland, Serbia, to Brisbane. So for savoury flavours try the popular Burek, traditional hand stretched pastries with a variety of fillings including meat, spinach and cheese and potato. Burek also comes sweet with cherry and apple fillings bringing customers back for more. Or why not try their other traditional sweets such as the popular totes yummy dessert, Shampita. On the hunt for some cheap vegan eats? Head over to Loving Hut Brisbane.