The tiny peninsula of New Farm and Fortitude Valley in inner-city Brisbane has always been a mecca of shopping, great food and killer nightlife. We've put together a guide to how to spend an ideal day in the area, from the spot to have breakfast to where to shop and soak up some culture.
Brisbane’s brekkie culture has gone through a big shift in recent years, with many new spots popping up and more cafes embracing a creative twist on traditional morning menus. Some of the best of these collect in New Farm – Brisbane’s leafy, walkable metropolis brimming with cafes, restaurants and bars, perfect for spending a day bouncing between.
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The Balfour Kitchen & Bar is one of these. In an unpretentious yet elegant setting, this cosy eatery nestled on a sunny corner of Balfour Street and Bowen Terrace provides the ideal way to kickstart a day out in New Farm. Whether you're lingering for a leisurely brunch or grabbing a coffee on-the-go, this is the spot to find a bit of indulgence before a busy day. From a jazzed-up avo on sourdough with gremolata, to a Vietnamese-style pho-spiced French toast, it’s hard to go wrong here.
Shop: Nug General Store
Make your first stop after breakfast Nug General Store. Located down Bakery Lane in Fortitude Valley, this all-in-one providore features pavestone floors, rustic wooden accents and an earth-toned interior for a relaxed setting to poke around in. Stock up on pantry staples, pick up some artisanal homewares or treat yourself to something from the sweet selection of baked goods, with pear tarts and rosemary garlic bread among previous offerings. For the peckish, Nug General Store also has a lunch menu, with focaccia sandwiches and homemade pizzas also on offer.
For a more laid-back experience, head around the corner and spend a few hours at the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) on Brunswick Street. This season, Kudjla-Gangalu artist Daniel Boyd showcases his latest offering and first major exhibition in Meanjin (Brisbane) – Rainbow Serpent (Version). The exhibition holds a lens to the deconstruction of Eurocentric narratives that have long-obscured Australia’s pre-colonial history. It features 15 new pieces, which blend Boyd’s distinctive “impressionist pointillism by way of Central Australian Indigenous dot painting” style, alongside a sculpture, a mirrored-stage floor, and live activations.
Joining Boyd will be Laresa Kosloff with her exhibition, Capital. The Naarm (Melbourne) artist presents a critical perspective on the state of capitalism and consumerism, repurposing stock footage found from the corners of the internet and layering it with a decisive voice-over where she narrates feats of “political ventriloquism”.
Cap off your time in Fortitude Valley with an easy dining experience at Biang Biang Fresh Noodle. Its menu of no-frills hand-pulled noodles serves up classic favourites and more. The noodle store pulls recipes from various Chinese regions including Guangzhou, Xinjiang, and Shanghai. Popular dishes include Sichuan dan dan noodle (served with pork mince and vegetables), special cumin lamb noodle (served dry with salad) and the namesake noodle, biang biang, which is served with pork mince, potato, egg, tomato, carrots, shallots and salad.
Shop: Natasha Schweitzer
For a taste of James Street, pop into the Natasha Schweitzer boutique for a peek at its bespoke jewellery. The Brisbane-based luxury jewellery house founded by sisters Natasha and Alexandra Chipman strikes the balance between elegance and edge, showcased in its light-filled boutique.
The brand has become renowned for its unique blend of classic charm and modern flair, adorned by the likes of Coco Rocha, Margaret Zhang and Miranda Kerr. Whether you’re looking for reinvented timeless pieces, eyeing off custom engagement rings or just in the mood to spoil yourself, this boutique is a must-visit.
When the sun starts to dip, circle back to The Balfour Kitchen & Bar. By night, the fun migrates upstairs to the rooftop bar. Go for the signature cocktails and generous selection of spirits to enjoy over sunset views of the city. Or, nab a table in the courtyard festooned in fairy lights for an à la carte menu that ranges from salmon ceviche to a sweet and sour pork tomahawk.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Spicers Retreats.