“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 in November.

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

Baja

Locals might know Daniel Quinn from his shipping container cafe Milk Box, but he has more than two decades of experiences working in bars and restaurants in Sydney and London. He wanted Baja to reflect his love of Mexico’s food and culture. He’s brought in chef Julio Aguilera, a young gun of the North American dining scene, who’s worked in some of California’s finest restaurants. The menu he’s created includes classics such as a Baja fish taco with beer-battered kingfish and chipotle slaw alongside other refined share plates. Plus, Baja is one of the finest places in Brisbane to try mezcal, tequila’s smoky cousin.

211 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley

Maeve

Maris Cook and Jesse Stevens have teamed up with Movida alum Eleanor Cappa to open this beautiful upstairs spot. There’s globe lights, dark wooden panelling, marble counters, ribbed glass and a handsome burgundy staircase. Food is share plates backed by a bunch of classy mains – think porchetta with spiced apple and mustard, and kingfish with roasted mushroom, golden raisin and caper relish. The wine list lines up Euro vino next to new-world drops in an old-world style. The best part? It’s open until midnight every night.

Level 1 39 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane

Za Za Ta

This stunning Middle Eastern restaurant was a long time coming. The in-house eatery for Ovolo The Valley took 18 months to conceive, design and build. The wait was worth it. The 140-seat restaurant and bar blends Victorian-style interiors with Queensland architecture. There is velvet seating, vivid colouring, wooden furniture and globe lighting. Different sections have their own names and themes. The food is equally impressive; the menu is contemporary and designed to be shared. Think cuttlefish with Roman beans and chilli oil, and lamb neck with merguez (a spicy sausage) stuffing and mint. A 100-bottle wine list is split four ways between drops from the Middle East, France, Italy and Australia.

1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

Mosconi

Daniel Rotolone is a 13-year veteran of the enormously popular Vine Restaurant in New Farm, so he knows what does and doesn’t work in hospitality. His idea for the relatively small 60-seat Mosconi was to draw things in to be more cosy and intimate. The Mediterranean menu takes a macroscopic approach; plenty of local produce is prepared using broader European influences and techniques. That means fried zucchini flowers filled with risotto, quail with beetroot gazpacho, and larger plates such as a Moreton Bay bug ravioli with crustacean oil and saltbush.

B 164 Arthur Street, Fortitude Valley

Arc Dining

This is arguably Howard Smith Wharves’ most impressive venue yet. Designer Anna Spiro’s love for colour and luscious prints is obvious in the soft furnishings, and the space is filled with cane and wrought-iron furniture. Head chef Alana Sapwell has created a local produce-focused menu of dishes such as spanner crab with gala apple and cranberry hibiscus leaves. And Spanish mackerel with zucchini, chilli and native ginger. For drinks there’s an extensive list of more than 400 wines.

5 Boundary Street, Brisbane City

Beaux Rumble

The last time Alan Wise worked as a chef in Brisbane it was 2005. When he arrived here to open Beaux Rumble he didn’t recognise the city; Brisbane had changed a lot, and so had he. After he left he moved to New York and worked at some of that city’s finest restaurants (one earned a Michelin star on his watch in 2017). Beaux Rumble is a great homecoming. It’s a synthesis of Wise’s career so far. The fit-out is very sleek and Manhattan, but the food is ultra-Australian, leaning hard into the country’s current obsession with woodfired cuisine.

AM5 46 James Street, Fortitude Valley

Perch'd

This fish’n’chip shop in a beautiful old Queenslander is everything the takeaway place of your youth got right but with a heavy focus on the freshest fish and prepping everything else in-house. Chef and co-owner Patrick Laws cooks a changeable menu of three types of fish (mahi mahi, snapper and blue-eye trevalla are typical), three burgers and a bunch of sides. Fish’n’chips with a bottle of wine on the handsome side deck is a new tradition among south-side locals.

1 252 Cavendish Road, Coorparoo

Joy

There’s a kitchen, a handsome compressed-stone counter, a mural on the back wall – that’s about it. Tim and Sarah Scott’s 10-seat omakase (chef’s choice)-inspired Fortitude Valley restaurants has the husband and wife chef team covering everything from the cooking to the plating to the pouring of wine and then the washing up. The Scotts have worked in some of Australia’s best restaurants, and it shows. On the menu there’s chicken-fat cabbage with pickles, chicken skin and horseradish. And zucchini with confit squid and fragrant herbs. The wine list is comprised mainly of low-intervention whites.

7 694 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

Corella

This 58-seater is moody and refined with slate, copper and wooden finishes that complement the exposed piping and industrial feel of the space. A contemporary Australian menu focuses on local produce and flavours – it’s limited to one page and has a small selection of starters, entrees, mains, sides and desserts, as well as a six-course tasting menu.

Shop 2 62 Logan Road, Woolloongabba

Taro's Ramen Stones Corner

A new entrant to the ramen scene is always welcome, but it’s also good to see Taro Akimoto – the godfather of ramen in Brisbane – go from strength to strength. When his beloved Edward Street spot had to close for renovations, he soon settled on new premises in Stones Corner. Much of the previous fit-out, with its exposed brick and wooden features, has been retained. As for the ramen, it’s still the Brisbane bowl by which all others are judged.

16 Old Cleveland Road, Stones Corner

Ramen Danbo

The name may sound familiar: Ramen Danbo is one of Japan’s best-known ramen chains and there are already two of them on the Gold Coast – which opened to acclaim. Despite the number of Ramen Danbo locations opening up around the world, Brisbane’s first store – which opened in South Brisbane earlier this year – is still noteworthy. The noodle soup that made Ramen Danbo so popular in the first place is a pork-bone tonkotsu broth enlivened with a house-made special sauce. Noodle firmness, soup richness and spice can all be customised by the diner, and the shop has vegan and vegetarian alternatives that give the pork classic a run for its money.

52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane

Reuben's Deli

Growing up in New York City, Manny Rosenberg would visit his grandparents in Manhattan every Sunday. On his way back he used to stop by the local Jewish deli for a sandwich. When he moved to Brisbane he couldn’t find the kind of food he grew up eating, so he decided to make it himself (with his wife, Peggy Rosenberg). Reuben’s Deli serves authentic sandwiches, subs and hoagies inspired by the Big Apple. As you’d expect, the signature dish is a Reuben sandwich on grilled rye, but other sandwiches such as chopped liver, pastrami on rye and braised brisket are also worth your time. A host of other mains and a fun and tight drinks list are available too.

1/208 Given Terrace, Paddington

Charboys

When a temporary pop-up stretches into a two-and-a-half-year stint, you know that whatever it’s selling is good. And Charboys’ burgers are very good. So when it announced the closure of its shipping container in the CBD to go somewhere permanently, the excitement was palpable. Now Charboys’ permanent home is in Bulimba on Oxford Street. The space has a straightforward fit-out, stripped back to polished concrete and filled with simple wooden tables. After all, you wouldn’t want to steal any attention away from the burgers. Whether you get the Classic Cheesburger, the Carnivore, the Southern Fried Chicken burger or the Scorcher, it’s nigh on impossible to go wrong.

190 Oxford Street, Bulimba

Proof BBQ and Booze

Kentucky bourbon and low-and-slow barbeque are long-time partners in crime. At Proof, they’re both done justice. It’s in the former premises of Harry’s Diner, but the old cafe’s iconic car park spot is virtually unrecognisable. The rockabilly character has been erased and replaced with classic Bentwood chairs and warm timber. The “food, drinks and snacks” menu means hard-to-find whiskey and craft beer served alongside smoked meats, shrimp grits, burnt-end chilli beans and mac‘n’cheese.

14 104 Newmarket Road, Windsor

Rico Bar and Dining

When Matt Moran’s Aria closed earlier on 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 fin. 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

Jumbo Thai

Andrew Park is Thailand’s honorary consul-general in Queensland. He and his wife, Thai-born Wasana Park, have opened three suburban Thai restaurants. Jumbo Thai is their latest, and at 140 seats it’s also their biggest. The focus here is broad; the menu encompasses dishes from all over the country, although southern-Thai dishes – such as sand crab and betel leaf curry, and sticky tamarind prawn stir-fry – feature heavily. If you’re up for a bit of heat try the spicy larb dish from Chiang Mai – it’s already bested many a spice fan.

Level 1 214 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane

CJ's Secret Pasta Club

A secret pasta club is certainly attention grabbing, but this tiny 14-seat Italian restaurant rises well above its gimmicky name into something unique and intimate. It’s a small kitchen attached to the owners’ wholesale pasta operation, CJ’s. It’s a simple set-up, and the menu is just as straightforward. The ingredients and sauces change, but the format stays the same: four or five different styles of pasta, with a vegetarian option and vegan pasta available also.

26 Hoogley Street, West End

Nota

Taking over the former premises of iconic Montrachet is a daunting task, but Nota succeeds by offering something very different to that French classic; approachable, familiar food that still has an elevated element. Share plates include quail served on sweetcorn polenta with charred corn, burnt hazelnuts and beef jus. And a sandwich built with tempura market fish and house-made tartare sauce. The interiors dial things down with a palette of black, white and tan, and exposed brick.

224 Given Terrace, Paddington

Phat Boy

This flash new 140-seat Thai restaurant is fun and accessible. The menu features kung tung, a seafood dish served directly onto the table. Diners are given bibs and gloves so they can dig into chilli sauce-coated prawns, crabs, clams, mussels and corn. There’s also san choy bow and DIY som tum (papaya salad). The creative fit-out is all about neon green lighting cast over graphic feature walls and antiques and trinkets brought over from Thailand.

300 George Street, Brisbane

One Fish Two Fish

Here’s another seafood restaurant in an old Queenslander, this time in Kangaroo Point. One of the best things about One Fish Two Fish is being able to order the full menu no matter where you’re seated. One option is the 35-seat bar area at the front, with its mix of high and low tables, and Espresso Martinis on tap. Through the bar and up some stairs you’ll find the restaurant area made up of three small areas. A handsome back deck rounds things out. Try the whole salt-baked fish of the day and seafood risotto alongside more casual fare such as a “quarter flounder” burger and rainbow Cajun fish taco nachos.

708 Main Street, Kangaroo Point