Fortitude Valley has never been so popular. Here are the best places to try, regardless of the time of day it is when you visit.

Fortitude Valley is the centre of Brisbane’s nightlife, but it wasn’t always that way. For most of its history since its settlement in the mid-19th century, it was the city’s department store hub: somewhere to shop – and do little else. That changed when the tram network closed in the ’60s, which choked off the area’s retail appeal.

After that, brothels, sex shops and illegal gambling dens moved in, earning the Valley a reputation as Brisbane’s hotbed for sleaze. But it also became a haven for the city’s alternative scene. Clubs such as The Terminus and The Beat Megaclub fostered Brisbane’s queer community, while the rest of the bars and clubs in the area nurtured nascent music genres: first punk, then electronic.

Although that dissident energy has persisted, these days the Valley is squarely back in the mainstream. Thanks to those initial pioneers this is still the best place in town to drink, catch a gig or have a dance, but it’s also fast becoming the best place in Brisbane for a meal, too.

Thanks to developments such as the Calile Hotel, the Ada Lane food precinct and Howard Smith Wharves (at the Valley’s doorstep), chefs from around town are jostling to set up shop here.


La Costa Restaurant


This fast-paced Italian diner from the Eterna and Salt Meats Cheese team serves pasta, pizza, and a clutch of classy main dishes in beautiful heritage-listed surrounds.

City Winery


This urban winery boasts a cellar door, a 70-seat restaurant and beautiful 20-seat private dining room.



This beautiful, fast-paced and very fun Italian restaurant is from the Same Same and Ages crew. Expect house-made pasta, stacks of antipasti and soft-serve gelato, accompanied by a 350-bottle wine list – all in one of Brisbane's most beguiling dining rooms.

Les Bubbles


A single-dish menu makes this restaurant distinct (and then there’s the bathhouse downstairs).



Refined share plates and mezcal on a classy corner of Brunswick Street.

Same Same


Longtime's successor Same Same is one of the restaurant openings of the year.


Paradise Cafe


An old pizzeria reborn as a beautiful coffee and breakfast spot.

Reverends Fine Coffee


A trinity of good beans, chilled vibes and gluten-free donuts.

Halo Ground


Restaurant quality food in a sophisticated cafe setting: that’s the concept behind Halo Ground Coffee and Food.

Milk Box Coffee and Tuckshop


A specialty coffee joint turning back time.

King Arthur


Local produce reigns supreme at this sustainable, semi-suburban cafe.

Bellissimo Coffee


A small-batch roastery that smells every bit the part.


The Prince Consort


Four different food menus, 89 beer taps and capacity for more than 2000 people. This restored, 130-year-old pub is one of the Valley’s most ambitious venues ever, ready to fulfil whatever need you have, from drinking to dancing.

Gerard’s Bar


Share some charcuterie at the more casual cousin of Gerard’s Bistro.

Snack Man


A small plate-centric wine and cocktail bar from the Happy Boy crew.

Ling Ling


Enter for arcade games, DJs and cheesburger spring rolls.

Stone & Wood


The 150-seat, eight-hectolitre brewpub is the brand’s first taproom outside Byron Bay.

Ivory Tusk


A Palm Springs-inspired restaurant and bar in the space which formerly housed Woolly Mammoth.


Elka Collective


Timeless trans-seasonal basics in the thriving James Street retail precinct.

Deli By The Standard Market Company


This long-running deli has one of the biggest ranges of smallgoods and pantry essentials in Brisbane.



Bold lines and vintage frames leap from the walls of this Brisbane eyewear boutique.

St Agni


The Brisbane flagship for Byron Bay's enormously popular minimalist luxury brand.



Some of Australia’s favourite basics.

The Valley Wine Bar


A bar-slash-bottleshop hosts a boutique-wine library specialising in natural drops, alongside charcuterie or even BYO food.