A commitment to eating and drinking is almost an official prerequisite to working at Broadsheet. You have to love the dishes, the dining rooms and the people working the pass – you also have to be willing to put your waistline and your wallet on the line to take a proper bite out of the local dining scene.

Whittling down six months of drinking and dining to just a few picks is like choosing a favourite kid. There’s Thai food that’s worth a drive up the Sunshine Coast, the best dish of pippies we’ve seen in a long time, pastries that push the envelope and perfect wintery bowls of noodles.

These are the best things we ate (and drank) in Brisbane this year so far.

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Mortadella and stracciatella croissant, Agnes Bakery

All respect to those who prefer their croissants and danishes on the classic side. But after scoffing the mortadella croissant at Agnes, I’ve decided I’m no longer one of those people. This thing changed me. While most bakeries would’ve stopped at cold-cuts and cheese, the Agnes team also slides zingy zuni pickles inside the flaky cavity. It’s a fresh little addition that takes this norty-morty treat to the next level. –Daniel Cunningham, directory editor

Lamb samosa, A Night in India

After a decade in north-east London, I learned to judge the integrity of an Indian restaurant’s kitchen by the care and effort that goes into their takeaway staples. My staple of choice will forever be a lamb samosa. At this Milton joint, the richly cumin-scented strips of lamb shoulder glisten with fat as they burst out of these hand-rolled samosas. They’re perfect just as they are, no dipping sauce needed. It’s a deep comfort to know they arrive in pairs. –Daniel Wilson, contributor

Yum naem khao tod, Samila Gaeng

After my first visit to Samila Gaeng on the Sunshine Coast, I couldn’t stop talking about their khao soi (curry egg noodles). But a return visit had me raving about yum naem khao tod (crispy rice salad with sour pork). It was so textural and vibrant, completely different from a bowl of rich khao soi. –Elliot Baker, senior contributor

Ananas Colada, Como

There’s no shortage of clarified cocktails on offer these days, but what sets this Pina Colada riff apart is its surprisingly complex flavour. The classic combo of pineapple and coconut is counterbalanced with a float of coconut-infused Angostura bitters. Tropical sweetness gives way to baking spices, with silky vanilla running through the background. It’s like a long day at the beach, followed by a taste of autumn – the perfect drink for Brisbane’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-them colder months. – Kit Kriewaldt, subeditor

Plain croissant, Lune

When I spent a rainy 24 hours in Brisbane earlier this year, I knew I had to brave the elements to pick up a croissant from Lune. Once I found myself down in Lune’s laneway, with its brutalist concrete bench and line up of pastries, I (a Sydneysider) was plunged into a new world of luxe lamination. I mean, it’s one croissant, Michael. What could it cost? $7.10. While usually I’d have a whinge about a croissant passing the $5 mark, it was totally worth it. With flaky layers and a glossy crisp shell, it was an absolute dream. –Lucy Bell Bird, national assistant editor

Mussels, Bosco

When I picture a perfect dish, this is the one I see: small, unctuous mussels sitting in a creamy, almost brothy cider sauce with fluffy bread on the side. Like an Australian version of moules frites. – Becca Wang, contributor

Khua kling moo curry, Samila Gaeng

If I had to choose just one dish, it would have to be the khua kling moo dry pork curry from Samila Gaeng up in the Sunshine Coast. So much complexity in the flavours. Definitely worth a try. –Fergus Hurst, photographer

Chocolate soufflé, Petite

Soufflés are the best, so I love that you can start and finish a meal with them at Petite. Nothing beats a textbook-perfect chocolate soufflé served warm. Petite’s version was exactly that, providing a fitting finale to a French feast. –Elliot Baker, senior contributor

Pippies, oyster mushroom, young ginger, basil, Gum Bistro

Mussels, clams and pipis are an inoffensive afterthought in most restaurants – an offering to the pescatarians who pray for consideration when eating out. To a pot, add some bivalves, some wine, some herbs and something generally acceptable will arrive in front of you. That’s not the approach Gum takes. The pippies with oyster mushroom, young ginger and basil at Gum exist as the platonic ideal of a bivalve dish. A landscape of winter evenings by the coast, a dish that is technical, refreshing, and exciting – much like the restaurant itself. –Daniel Wilson, contributor

Tom yum beef noodles, Biang Biang

As the weather has become cooler, I’ve been hitting up Biang Biang quite frequently. I’ve worked my way through most of the menu, and my favourite bowl has been the tom yum beef noodles. I know it’s not the most authentic, but it’s absolutely delicious. –Elliot Baker, senior contributor