“What good new restaurants should I try?”

Broadsheet’s editors field this question, or a variation on it, almost every day. While we’d just as soon recommend one of Brisbane’s straight-up best restaurants or a long-standing institution, the pull of a hot new place is hard to deny.

So here it is: our edit of the best new restaurants in Brisbane from the past 12 months, updated monthly. Some of these places are redefining the way we eat and will go on to become classics. Others will be shorter lived. Either way, these are the spots we’re enjoying eating and drinking at right now.

Related Pages
Best Restaurants in Brisbane
Best Restaurants in Brisbane's CBD
Best New Bars in Brisbane
Best New Cafes in Brisbane

Agnes

Agnes is the latest restaurant from Same Same and Honto’s Tyron Simon, Bianca Marchi and Frank Li, and ex-Gerard’s Bistro head chef Ben Williamson. They’re four of the best restaurant brains in Brisbane. Step into Agnes and, much like Same Same or Honto, it’s a piece of theatre, with what looks effortlessly laissez faire actually a carefully scripted food service. Williamson’s team of chefs is split across two long, low-set counters and works solely with crackling wood fire and smoke – there’s no gas, no electricity. It all adds up to one of the most impressive food openings of 2020

22 Agnes Street, Fortitude Valley

Elska

This previously open-air breakfast spot is now a softly lit hideaway fitted out with pendant lights, blinds, sheer curtains, new furniture and a fresh coat of paint to give it a more intimate feel. The food changes day to day, but Elska’s previous menus have included salted goldband snapper with green aioli and desert lime; Mooloolaba prawn with black garlic, caramelised onion and nasturtium; and emu accompanied by quandong ketchup and saltbush. Fair warning: this place is wildly popular, so book well ahead.

3/1 MacGregor Street, Wilston
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Maya

Eleven Rooftop Bar has been relaunched as Maya, a pop-up Mexican restaurant designed to neatly slot into the stage-three easing of Queensland’s coronavirus restrictions. The result is a 90-seat open-air eatery serving a Queensland-produce-driven menu that explores a variety of Mexican influences, from the Pacific-inspired food of the north-west to the Caribbean-inflected dishes of the Yucatan Peninsula. For drinks, there’s an enormous range of tequila; a Mexican-influenced cocktail list (including four different types of Margarita); and an efficient wine list that favours whites, sparklings and vintage champagnes.

Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
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Siffredi’s Spaghetti Bar

Three Stokehouse Q veterans are behind this down-to-earth little restaurant, where the clever pastas and interesting wine list change week to week. You might eat tropical crayfish tossed with pumpkin-seed pesto and stuffed zucchini flower, or braised beef tongue with shiitake mushroom and pickled radish.

36 Vernon Terrace, Teneriffe

Eterna

Eterna is a restaurant and bar serving Roman food late into the night by Stefano de Blasi (Salt Meats Cheese). Pasta dishes include cacio e pepe prepared with house-made tonnarelli, while mains feature pollo alla Romana (chicken simmered with red capsicum and tomato) and a simple porchetta with fresh garlic and rosemary. The Italian-leaning wine-list includes your typical pinot grigios flanked by Sardinian vermentino, Sicilian nero d’Avola and Umbrian trebbiano Spoletino.

610 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

Naga Thai

Husband and wife team Andrew and Jaimee Baturo opened Naga Thai as a long-term pop-up, given the impending redevelopment of Eagle Street Pier. The former Pony Dining space has been injected with pops of colour – inspired by the tropical fruits and vibrant produce found in Thai markets – by renowned interior designer Anna Spiro. Bangkok-born chef Suwisa Phoonsang’s menu includes many dishes she grew up eating, including house-made milk buns stuffed with massaman beef; flower dim sims; Mekhong Thai whisky drunken noodles with marinated pork; and chicken and coconut curry noodle soup.

Upper Level 18/45 Eagle Street, Brisbane
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Uh Oh Spaghettio

Uh Oh Spaghettio is the Valley's new neon-lit, two-storey late-night pasta joint. It's housed inside the heritage-listed 19th century Apothecaries Hall, once home to The Apo. The fit-out builds on the exposed heritage brick with pink neon, concrete and giant pasta-themed art. Out the back is a glass-enclosed, marble-tiled pasta room that allows diners in the courtyard to watch the pasta machine in action. The menu’s pricing keeps things easy. Antipasti dishes are $5 per serve, salads are $10 and pasta is $15 a pop. Plus, $13 glasses of wine and late-night beats.

690 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

SK Steak & Oyster

No prizes for guessing what’s on the menu here. SK is restaurateur Simon Gloftis’s second restaurant at The Calile Hotel, after Hellenika. But where Hellenika focuses on the delicate flavours of Greek cuisine, SK focuses on big and bold ingredients such as dry-aged beef and prestige seafood. Start your meal with a prawn cocktail, or push the boat out and get a bug or lobster variant. Next, try oscietra caviar or oysters with champagne mignonette. For mains, dry-aged duck could do you nicely – but the pull of Wagyu steak is difficult to resist. The room is expansive and so is the wine list. If you’re after New York steakhouse glamour, this is where you’ll find it.

Ada Lane James Street, Fortitude Valley
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Emily Yeoh Restaurant

This subtly swish space, from former Masterchef contestant Emily Yeoh, is rendered in black tiles, polished concrete floors, stone benchtops and handsome monochromatic wallpaper. The food menu taps into Yeoh’s upbringing as a Chinese-Malaysian in Kota Kinabalu on the shores of the South China Sea. For starters and dim sum, there’s prawn har gao, Korean-style fried mushrooms and Thai salt-and-pepper tofu. The main menu features cherry-wood-smoked whole roast duck and Hainanese chicken served with a calamansi lime and chilli sauce.

283 Given Terrace, Paddington

Same Same

And it’s another coup for The Calile Hotel and its Ada Lane dining precinct. Same Same is the successor to Longtime, one of Brisbane’s most celebrated Thai restaurants, which became a functions venue back in November 2019. And as the name would imply, none of Longtime’s DNA has fundamentally changed, it’s just been refined. The service is sharper, the space is more beautiful inside and out (though some may prefer the mismatch and darker palette of the old restaurant), and the food – courtesy of a new charcoal fire pit – is more vibrant than ever.

Shop AM3 Ada Lane 46 James Street, Fortitude Valley

Pasta Club

Pasta Club is Leila Amirparviz and Darcy Adam’s follow-up to CJ’s Secret Pasta Club, which closed earlier this year. It’s a dark, ambient, retro-inspired room that feels cosy and intimate (there’s even a record player – yes, you can BYO vinyl). The short menu changes depending on the produce available, but expect small plates of fresh burrata, truffled mushroom arancini and house-made focaccia, followed by a few vegetable dishes and a trio of pastas.

237 Boundary Street, West End
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El Planta

Adrienne Jory and Rick Gibson had always struggled to find good plant-based tacos in and around Brisbane. Their solution? El Planta. On the menu is a bunch of vegan tacos, including roasted and flame-grilled cauliflower with toasted cashews and cascabel salsa; blistered eggplant with cashew crema, salsa macha and toasted peanuts; and jackfruit with adobo sauce, grilled pineapple and salsa verde. To drink there’s Mexican beer, a slick selection of wines and a bunch of Latin American-inspired cocktails.

2/58 Hope Street, South Brisbane

Smokey Moo

Finally, Shalom and Wensley Bitton have launched a grown-up version of their celebrated East Brisbane barbeque shack, opening a slick 110-seat restaurant in the Gasworks precinct. Brisket, pastrami, ribs and beef cheeks can be ordered by weight or as part of a platter that comes with sides such as potato-skin chips, coleslaw, cob salad and creamed corn. The meats can also be ordered in sandwiches, and The Dirty Dozen combines all four meats on a platter with fries, caramelised onion, three cheeses and two sauces.

68 Longland Street, Newstead

Little G

Little G has closed in Dutton Park and been reimagined in a fancy tenancy in Woolloongabba’s Drapery development previously home to Paul McGivern’s Corella. Brother-and-sister duo George and Danielle Diacos have carefully lightened the modern and moody space. What hasn’t changed is the selection of pizzas, arancini and rotating Mediterranean-inspired specials such as chermoula lamb ribs and the restaurant’s popular fried chicken. Pizzas include margherita; prosciutto and pear; hot salami with pickled red onion and stracciatella; and mixed mushroom with truffle.

54 Logan Road, Woolloongabba

Hello Please

Hello Please isn’t exactly new – it opened back in 2016. But since moving into its new digs, just across the road from its original location, it’s felt brand new. Now that it’s moved across Fish Lane to a more permanent location (it used to be beneath a South Brisbane rail overpass) there’s a confidence about Hello Please. That extends to the fit-out, which is sleek and bold in equal measure, offset by a sunny awning that garlands the exterior. On the food front, old favourites such as the crispy chicken ribs are joined by a new dishes such as a Chinese bolognese and a Korean beef tartare.

Fish Lane, South Brisbane

Rico Bar and Dining

When Matt Moran’s Aria closed in 2019, many wondered what would be made of the space on Eagle Street Pier that housed it. Michael Tassis – who also owns Massimo and George’s Paragon on the Eagle Street Pier – took it over and turned it into Rico Bar and Dining. The result is classy but fun. Echoes of Aria can still be spied in the basic layout, but it now has a completely different feel. There is comfy, casual furniture decked out in soft pinks, greens and greys. The food is Latin American and Spanish inspired. Think pintxos, tapas and paella, with jugs of sangria.

45 Eagle Street, Brisbane

Kingsfood Brisbane

A whopping 150-dish menu drawing on Taiwan and mainland China (plus enormous servings) made the first Kingsfood, in Sunnybank, a crowd favourite. This newer al fresco counterpart repeats the formula, but adds beer, wine, sake and shochu.

Shop 2 266 George Street, Brisbane