The first half of 2023 saw a host of notable cafe and restaurant openings and hot new bar launches in Brisbane. The good news is the rest of the year is shaping up to be just as impressive.

From the arrival of an enormously popular Melbourne bakery to a Thai store and eatery by an ex-Longrain executive chef, here’s where Broadsheet is looking forward to visiting in the second half of 2023 (in alphabetical order).

Since publication in July, several of these spots have since opened. Click the link below each paragraph to see how each restaurant lived up to the hype.

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Antico, CBD

The Cuatro Group – best known for speakeasy Death & Taxes and Martini den Dr Gimlette – is set to open a third venue any day now. Antico will be a classic cocktail spot inspired by hole-in-the-wall bars in Italy. Taking over the former Super Whatnot space in Burnett Lane, expect a Euro-influenced, split-level drinking room with a black marble bar, green leather stools and vintage light fixtures. While the team’s other venues are known for pouring hundreds of options, Antico’s collection will be capped at 200 bottles. The 10-item cocktail menu will follow the same quality-over-quantity ethos. A compact bar snack menu of bruschetta, cheese and sliced meats is also in the works.
Antico opened in August, 2023. Head here to read more about Antico.

Baker D Chirico, Newstead

One of Melbourne’s most highly regarded bakeries is making its long-awaited debut in Brisbane. Daniel Chirico signed the lease in Newstead over five years ago, but delays pushed the opening to the end of 2023. Chirico’s famous sourdough will be available as well as bomboloni and cannoli (which sell out in Melbourne most days). Chirico says he’ll take a more Italian approach at his Queensland outpost with regional breads such as pagnotta (a country-style loaf made with a darker grain), ciambelle (a baguette-like, ring-shaped bread) and a Calabrian corn and ricotta bread. There will also be a focus on deli-style filled rolls. Expect 40 seats (inside and outside) and a European design sensibility.

Flying Colours, West End

When Simon Martin closed Super Whatnot in the CBD, many wondered what he’d do next. Enter Flying Colours, his new West End restaurant and vinyl listening bar, which is opening soon. He’s brought former Gerard’s Bistro executive chef, Adam Wolfers, to help in a consulting role. The menu will include dishes like smoked mussels with almond cream and rye toast; charred carrots with spiced yoghurt and amaranth leaf; and crumbed Bangalow pork cutlet with bone sauce and winter greens. To drink there will be a focus on natural-leaning wines, some local craft beers on tap and a short seasonal cocktail list. Once home to Wandering Cooks, the front courtyard will now be a tree-filled beer garden, while the main dining area inside will have booth seating and mood lighting.
Flying colours opened in July. Head here to read more about Flying Colours.

Shortgrain, Fortitude Valley

Martin Boetz will make a long-awaited return to his hometown of Brisbane. The former executive chef of Longrain Sydney (now closed) and Longrain Melbourne will unveil Shortgrain by Martin Boetz in August. Housed inside the heritage-listed Stewart and Hemmant building in Fortitude Valley, the venue will be one-part Thai grocer and one-part eatery. Boetz says the menu will focus on simple dishes like khao man gai (braised chicken and rice); steamed duck and winter melon soup; salt and pepper cuttlefish; and fried whole fish with green chilli nam jim, alongside an international-leaning wine list. The store will sell jars of house-made curry pastes, imported products like fish sauce and rice, and fresh produce such as snake beans, apple eggplants and Thai basil.

Supernormal Brisbane, CBD

One of Melbourne’s most popular restaurants – with its iconic lobster roll – is coming to Brisbane. Supernormal will open on Queen Street later this year. While still in the early design stages, it will offer the same grand interior as the original, influenced by Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong. The contemporary pan-Asian offering will seat around 120 guests with alfresco and private dining spaces. The menu will feature several classics from its older sibling (expect dumplings, noodles, salads and bao) plus several new dishes celebrating Queensland produce.

Additional reporting by Becca Wang.

This article was originally published on July 18, 2023 but was updated on September 22, 2023 to reflect new openings and changes to opening timelines.