This week we share with you our guide to the best in dining in Brisbane and the Gold Coast as we now start to travel for both business and life. It may have been a while since you were last in the sunshine state, so we have for you new and exciting newcomers to Brisbane and GC dining and some of our all time favourites.

22 Agnes Street, Fortitude Valley

Agnes is an undiscovered corner of Fortitude Valley, an old brick warehouse that has been transformed into a celebration of wood-fired cooking and beautiful pendant lights.  Agnes is the by the Same Same and Honto’s Tyron Simon, Bianca Marchi and Frank Li, and ex-Gerard’s Bistro head chef Ben Williamson.   The carefully appointed wine cellar runs to a impressive 1500 bottles. Ben 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.

Chef and Agnes co-owner Ben Williamson invites you to experience wood-fired cooking with no tricks or artifice, just the best local produce transformed over a custom-made stone hearth.

The venue itself sits in an ancient, wedge-shaped hillside warehouse in a forgotten Fortitude Valley side street. The main floor is looked over by a smaller mezzanine-level private dining room. There are two bar areas – one down a short flight of stairs that doubles as a cosy holding pen for those waiting on a table, and an upstairs terrace with views across the CBD and the Valley.

Banc Brasserie & Wine Bar
33 Queen Street, Brisbane

Banc Brasserie pays homage to the origins of the building’s architectural design, adding a contemporary European charm which is reflected in the cuisine, decor and style of dining. The cuisine is influenced by traditional European Brasserie dishes and reflects authentic French indulgence with a modern refinement.

Head chef Lucas McMillan menu will have you enjoy bug tagliatelle with chilli and marjoram; or pork belly with ginger caramel, scallop, pea and apple. Follow with a classic steak frites or delicious seafood bisque for a main. The wine list stretches beyond 350 bottles and lines up organic, natural and biodynamic wines alongside ballsier Australian drops.

Shop Am5, 46 James Street, Fortitude Valley

Bianca mimics its sister venue Same Same’s long dining room, open-air front bar and upstairs private dining room. The tiled treatment of Los, Same Same’s upstairs bar, has been extended to the entirety of Bianca, from the floors to the walls to the countertops.  The whole venue is bathed in a peachy glow, its bright orange branding inspired by the distinctive acrylic-handled Sabre Paris cutlery.

Chef, Ben Williamson has designed a straightforward menu of snacks, entrees, seven house-made pasta dishes and a clutch of main courses focussed on perfecting simple, classic Italian dishes with a nod to the Australian climate. The pastas are intended to rotate, although always on the menu will be a paccheri pomodoro with stracciatella, and a pork and fennel lasagna made popular by Agnes’s pop-up bakery.

The Bianca private dining room can accomodate up to 36 guests for a seated event.

Bisou Bisou
458 Brunswick Street, Ground Floor Hotel X, Fortitude Valley

Bisou Bisou (which means “kiss kiss” in French) is an elegant brasserie in the foyer of the Hotel X. It’s a nostalgic ode to the casual diners of Paris, with a glamorous interior by AZB Creative that compliments the hotel it’s housed in. Perch at the aperitivo bar, flanked by rows of long, high tables and plush red-velvet and leather stools beneath pendant lights, or settle into the main dining room – with cosy booths, marble-topped tables and a white-washed brick feature wall for classic French fare.

The menu has been developed by executive chef Jake Nicolson and head chef Anthony Donaldson, who worked together at Michelin-starred London restaurant The Ledbury. Together, they honouring classic French flavours while breathing new life into the cuisine. Lighter dishes, such as Moreton Bay oysters with mignonette and cured king salmon with buttermilk and dill oil, lead to heartier options such as the suckling pork cassoulet, duck breast with caramelised witlof and golden raisins. The pièce de résistance is an unbelievably juicy roast chicken that spins lazily on the freestanding rotisserie for guests to admire.

There’s also an oyster and caviar bar, with premium wild scampi caviar from Western Australia, a cheese trolley with more than 25 French and Australian cheeses.

Donna Chang
Adina Hotel, 171 George Street, Brisbane

Donna Chang located in a 1920s-era bank is part of Ghanem Group’s diverse portfolio of restaurants and bars, which includes Blackbird Bar & Grill, Byblos and Lord of the Wings.  The former bank features high ceilings with intricate carvings, light and spacious fit-out, with hanging chandeliers, pastel colours and greenery.  Enjoy a menu of starters that include stir-fried egg noodles with lobster and XO sauce. Dim sum includes chicken and caviar siu mai.  For something larger, roasted half duck with Davidson’s plum and five spice, or whole giant grouper roasted in paperbark.

Upstairs the private dining rooms boast their own wine cellars. Downstairs is a separate bar, also owned by the Ghanem Group, called Boom Boom Room.  Mezzanine One seats 20 guests, Mezzanine Two seats 18 guests, Mezzanine Three accommodates 29 guests or take the mezzanine exclusively for 58 guests seated.

148 Merthyr Road, New Farm

Elska is an old Nordic translation for love; the love that we hold for food, connection and family.  ELSKA is an intimate degustation restaurant focusing on the beautiful produce Australia has to offer, both local and native. The team work closely with local farmers, foragers and producers to create a sustainable and ethical farm to table experience.  The menu is highlighted with Nordic cooking mythology, where fermenting and preservation is a big part of our culinary influence.

The restaurant is a collaboration of Nathan Dunnell, owner and Head Chef’s love for food and Freja Dunnell’s passion for connection.  The set menu is designed to take the guest on a journey of seasonality, passion and to evoke emotions.

Elska is Gourmet Traveller’s 2022 Qld Restaurant of the Year.

181 Robertson Street, Fortitude Valley

Essa, the new venue from ex-Gauge head chef and co-owner head chef Phil Marchant is located near the intersection of James and Roberston Streets, is a dark and charismatic 60-seat restaurant. The restaurant is a feast of the senses from the food, to the decor the intimate restaurant is split across levels with the mid-level dining space, the bar takes centre stage.

Phil switches up the menu regularly, larger plates might include house-rolled gnocchetti sardi served with Fraser Isle spanner crab, nduja and carrot; spatchcock quail with brown butter, caper leaves and salt bush; and Black Angus short rib with Wagyu fat jus gras and green peppercorns. Before and after dinner service, a short raw menu that includes oysters and charcuterie is served at the bar.

15 James Street, Fortitude Valley

Over the past seven years the Carney brothers, James and Alec have brought fresh, authentic and true Italian cuisine and culture to the Gold Coast. In late 2021, Gemelli brought the handmade flavour to Brisbane, to share their passion for Italian food and wine to James Street.

A lengthy pasta menu might include eight-hour oxtail and pork shin ragu rigatoni; a four-cheese gnocchi, or Queensland prawn spaghetti with zucchini, chilli and cherry tomatoes.  The 200-bottle wine list features small biodynamic Italian wines next to ballsier Australian shiraz and cabernets.

Gerard’s Bistro
14/15 James Street, Forttitude Valley

Tucked away behind James Street, Gerard’s Bistro is a hidden treasure. Combining the flavours of the Maghreb and Middle East, the menu offers the Bistro’s modern take on classic dishes. A rich, multi-layered menu that draws from Lebanese, Sephardic and Ashkenazi traditions, and is boosted with an arsenal of techniques. Since opening in 2012, Gerard’s Bistro has received multiple industry accolades from the Gourmet Traveller, The Weekend Australian and the Financial Review – Best Restaurant Queensland.

The Bistro’s private dining room can accomodate up to 30 guests for a seated event or 45 guests for cocktail style.

Howard Smith Wharves 3, 5 Boundary Street, Brisbane

Inside the heritage-listed Howard Smith Wharves with impressive river views, Greca Restaurant is a contemporary Greek taverna by Jonathan Barthelmess, of The Apollo and Cho Cho San fame. The beautiful warehouse space echoes Mediterranean vibes with olive trees, whitewashed walls and straw furniture. A contemporary Greek taverna serves memorable food for modern tastes, with the generous spirit of Mediterranean hospitality. Inspired by the pleasures of eating together, the dishes are designed for sharing in a spectacular riverside setting.

48 James Street, Fortitude Valley

With a commitment to fresh produce and a hand-curated selection of over 500 wines, Hellenika is the perfect place to gather, share and enjoy. Housed on the rooftop, overlooking the open-air pool of The Calile serving up Mediterranean style food that perfectly compliments the resort location. Long table dining embraces the delights of a modern take on traditional Greek cuisine and quality products. Owner Simon Gloftis, it is all about Meraki ‘the soul, creativity and essence of yourself you put into work’.

Roof Level, 458 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley

Iris, part of Ghanem Group’s (Donna Chang, Boom Boom Room, Izakaya and Blackbird) is a rooftop bar and 200-seat restaurant is situated atop Hotel X in the Valley. Sitting on the high side of the Brunswick Street Mall, a couple of blocks back from Howard Smith Wharves with 360 degree views of Brisbane.

Encompassing a restaurant space, private dining room and a pool area, Design studio Space Cubed has delivered a venue that captures the feel of the Mediterranean from Barcelona to Beirut. Stone and tiled walls, marble tables and rich fabrics give way to parquetry floors, olive trees and hanging wisteria.

Ghanem Group exec chef Jake Nicolson and head chef Lloyd Evans have produced a mix of tapas, flatbreads and bigger share plates. You might start with cumin spiced fish tacos with cabbage and fennel slaw, or serrano jamon and manchego croquettes, before enjoying grilled gem lettuce with dressed spanner crab and avocado mojo verde, spicy lamb and chorizo albondigas (meatballs) with coriander and mint yoghurt, and Wagyu pichana (rump cap) served with a chimichurri rojo.

The venue offers a range of event spaces that includes the Private Dining room seating 10 guests, book the restaurant exclusively for 50 guests, reserve the Iris Cabana lounges for 10 – 40 guests, the Iris Terraza with breathtaking views can accommodate 50 guests seated for 100 guests for a cocktail reception. Exclusive hire of the Rooftop can accommodate upt to 250 guests.

Manly Boathouse
4 Trafalgar Street, Manly

Perched on the eastern-most tip of Manly and with unrivalled wraparound views of Moreton Bay, enjoy a taste of seaside relaxation.  When it comes to waterfront locales, Manly Boathouse boasts a prime position.   Manly Boathouse is divided into three distinct sections – the restaurant, the bar and the patio. The restaurant, helmed by head chef Braden White, is an alluring dining spot clothed in rattan, teak, and cane.

Manly Boathouse also offers private dining spaces, including hireable marquees for groups between 16 – 20 guests.

37 Oxford Street, Bulimba

Melrose brings a contemporary Asian restaurant and cocktail bar to Brisbane’s very own Oxford Street. Former Longrain chef, Arte Assavakavinvong brings to the menu plenty of flavour and heat. Assavakavinvong brought chefs who worked under him at Longrain, including sous chef Raymond Chi.  The team are cooking an efficient menu with influences that range from Thailand southeast through Malaysia to Bali and Indonesia.

Seating 110 guests the rooftop reastaurant and bar inspired by the lavish beach clubs of Bali and Koh Samui, decked out in timber, terracotta tiling and plenty of greenery.

4/480 Queen Street, Brisbane

OTTO Brisbane celebrates people, place and la dolce vita. Located on the riverfront at Southbank, OTTO Ristorante and OTTO Osteria bring simple, modern Italian dining to Brisbane dining. Head Chef Will Cowper’s menu is fresh, seasonal and produce driven.

OTTO’s riverfront restaurant houses a number of event spaces including Sopra and Centrale.  Sopra is located above the main dining room and boasting uninterrupted views of the Brisbane River and city skyline.  The space can seat up to 48 guests for a private seated dining experience. Centrale is located between OTTO main dinign room and OTTO Osteria seating up to 12 guests.

Restaurant Dan Arnold
10/959 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

Guests are taken on a culinary journey of Australian flavours and tecniques, respecting the traditions Dan Arnold learnt while perfecting his craft in France. Whether you opt for a three or five-course tasting or push the carte blanche button and leave it to the chef – expect a battalion of stellar snacks to start.  Each one will be an intricate display of prowess – perhaps seaweed sago crackers laden with lightly soused kingfish, or pitch-black spheres with centres of molten foie gras.

RDA serve modern Australian cooking, thoughtful, and elegant food in a relaxed and informal setting.

6 McLachlan Street, Fortitude Valley

When the Northshore Group redeveloped Fortitude Valley’s Steward and Hemmant building in 2021, one of it’s first tenants was Rosmarino. The 55-seat restaurant and wine bar by Lauren Smith and Andrea Gatti from Hellinka sits on the McLachlan Street side of the building. The Private Dining room seats a maximum of 14 guests.

Rosmarino high ceilings, tall and heavily framed windows, concrete floors, mangrove-green walls, vintage light fittings and old family photos are dotted throughout the space.  Chef Dario Manca is cooking a menu of elevated comfort food that includes house-baked breads, antipasti, house-made pastas and main meals of slow-cooked lamb belly with radish, salsa verde and mustard greens. It’s refined food delivered with a traditional twist that recall Manca and Gatti’s Italian homeland.

Smith, Gatti and head sommelier Nathan Hurst started out with a list of 150 bottles, with a long-term vision of over 800 wines. Their focus is on Italian varietals and expressions from Mount Etna, in particular. Many are biodynamic or sustainable, and can’t usually be found elsewhere.

Rothwell’s Bar & Grill
235 Edward Street, Brisbane

Rothwell’s is a glamorous old world bar and grill located in the ground floor of heritage-listed Rothwells building (circa 1885) on Edward St Brisbane.  Taking its name from tailor and outfitter James Rothwell who once owned the building, Rothwell’s takes inspiration from classic grill restaurants around the world such as The Savoy Grill in London and The Musso & Frank Grill in Los Angeles.

The centrepiece of the 90-seat dining space is an expansive white Italian marble seated dining space, where jacketed chefs shuck oysters onto custom silver trays. The 40-seat Foyer Bar serves timeless cocktails, including their signature Martini, The Old Fashioend, Negroni and Hemingway Dacquiri.

The Private Dining space can seat up to 40 guests on one long table or 32 guests across four tables.

Same Same
Shop AM3 Ada Lane, 46 James Street, Fortitude Valley

Same Same is a contemporary designed venue from the team behind The Calile. They have taken the heat, flavour and pace of classic Southeast Asian cooking and shaken it together with a liberal dose of personality and hospitality.  The 2-level restaurant is Brisbane’s elegant take on street inspired Thai food.

SK Steak & Oyster
Ground level, The Calile Hotel, 48 James Street, Fortitude Valley

With its soaring ceilings, pale timber and glass aesthetics, giant pillars, venetian blinds, curved cream leather booths, table lamps, grand piano, and starched white tablecloths, SK Steak and Oyster takes the best of every era in fine dining and brings it together in the one thoroughly modern yet classic space. All of this blends seamlessly with the 21st century touches like a giant glass meat cabinet resembling a butcher’s window and an open kitchen at one end of the restaurant.

Founded by Simon Gloftis and Theo Kampolis of Hellenika, and Head Chef Kelvin Andrews, guests can expect something truly special from this elegant dining space, that is a classic grille.

Southside Restaurant
63 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane

Serving East-asian cuisine with a love of Chinese tradition Southside delivers food that is perfect for sharing. The restaurant and garden has been brought to the Brisbane dining scene by popular Gold Coast institution, Rick Shores.

Gold Coast

Marriott Gold Coast & Spa, Surfers Paradise

Perched above the hustle and bustle of Surfers Paradise, lies the foodie paradise that is Citrique. Renowned for its long weekend lunches and seafood market experience, Citrique is a unqiue and chic dining experience that excels at its signature ocean and paddock-to-plate style dining. Their award-winning seafood buffet will have you sampling a variety of fresh, local seafood for the ultimate sea-to-table expereince. Think: Pacific oysters, Mooloolaba tiger prawns, blue swimmer crabs and Moreton Bay bugs galore. If a buffet presents too many sumptous options for you to choose from, dive into their larger plates—which all showcase local ingredients—like the lavendar honey-glazed duck breast with marinated heirloom beetroots, croquettes, chard leaves, asparagus and fig jus.

Enjoy the rich aromas of Korean cuisine at Citrique’s award-winning flavour buffet. Experience JW’s Korean Chefs showcasing authentic recipes passed down through generations.

In addition, a variety of fresh foods and flavours including locally harvested seafood for the ultimate sea to table experience.

Restaurant Labart
8 West Street, Burleigh Heads

A modern Australian Restaurant right in the heart of Burleigh Heads by acclaimed chef Alex Munoz. Refinement and understatement are qualities in abundance at Labart. The compact Euro bistro-style dining room with sea-green walls and bronze banquettes is confidently low-key chic, while the kitchen’s skilfully conceived, classically underpinned dishes ensure the pick of this region’s riches are centre-plate.

A humble wedge of grilled skin-on pumpkin overachieves in a rich sunshine-hued pumpkin broth, chicly accessorised with its nutty seeds. Briny whole local king prawns arrive split, grilled to perfection, reclining in an intense slick of molten seafood-infused butter. Wagyu hanger steak is anything but prosaic teamed with a crisp rectangle of millefeuille spud, pickled onion strands and a tuna sauce; while chilled bowls ensure popcorn ice-cream arrives in peak condition at dessert.

La Luna
26/74 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach

A place where time stands still. Panoramic views of the broad water where Mykonos luxury meets bohemian heaven.  La Luna is Australia’s first luxury beach club and restaurant and if that wasn’t cool enough already, it’s built on floating pontoons. It’s a beach club on the water, literally.

A new addition to Pat Gennari’s Gennari Group portfolio (whose venues include Koi Broadbeach, Maggie Choo, Loose Moose and more), La Luna features an indoor fine dining venue, a spacious pool, day beds, private cabanas, expansive bars and elegant poolside dining. The luxurious paradise oozes bohemian vibes and seamlessly combines pure luxury with nature, creating an oasis of comfort, style and rejuvenation. Located at the iconic Marina Mirage, La Luna boasts panoramic views of the Broadwater, which means stunning sunset views and twinkling night skies.  Indulge in a selection of flavours that expertly mix Mediterranean and Asian fusion cuisine, sip on exquisite cocktails inspired by the land and sea and dip your toes into the ocean aboard this luxury haven.

224 Given Terrace, Paddington

NOTA is a chick Euro-style wine bar and restaurant occupying two historic shops in a landmark heritage Paddington building. The menu is a celebration of great ingredients delivered by Sebastian and Kevin.  NOTA can accommodate 60 guests for a seated event or 90 guests for a private cocktail reception.

Rick Shores
3/43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

The Burleigh Heads absolute beachfront restaurant run by superstar chefs Ben Bertei and Jake Pregnell, delivering a highly sought after menu of Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and Japanese flavours. Not only is Rick Shores a proud, hatted restaurant, it is also available for private hire for 41 – 200 guests.

Social Eating House
3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach

Located on glittering Oracle Boulevard, Social Eatering House takes modern flavours, mix them with a elegance.  The menu has been created and designed to share.

The North Room
2527 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

The North Room is the handiwork of talented husband and wife duo Tim and Shannon Steward, nab a seat in this stylish and intimate 28-seat dining room.  This European styling dining experience menu champions the finest of seasonal, locally sourced produce.  Decked out with plush lather and velvet banquet seating, the attention to detail into creating a stylish and laid-back ambience is stunning.

The Tropic
Burleigh Pavilion, 3/43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Located at the northern end of their sprawling venue, The Tropic offers Gold Coasters a more refined experience compared to the laid-back vibe of The Terrace. Boasting stunning views of the coastline, the eatery’s jaw-dropping locale makes you feel as if you’re dining on the edge of the ocean.

With plantation-style ceilings, a pale pink tiled bar, crisp white tables, thoughtful greenery and splashes of pastel blue, moss green and creamy yellow, every inch of the 200-seat restaurant is achingly cool.

The Tropic’s kitchen is headed up by chef Guillaume Zika, who nabbed two hats while running esteemed restaurant Cottage Point Inn in NSW, so you know you’re in for a mouth-watering treat. The menu is produce-driven featuring only the freshest local ingredients which means anything seafood related is a must-do.

The restaurant can accomodate 60 – 200 guests for a seated event and 60 – 250 guests for a cocktail style.

7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise

QT Gold Coast’s signature restaurant, Yamagen is a funky izakaya with one of Queensland’s largest Japanese whisky collections and some of the most innovative Japanese cuisine you’ll ever taste.  From the kitchen and bar, tradition and invention are hand-rolled with market-fresh sashimi and intricate sushi.  Indulge your guests with delectable share plates, kushiyaki from the grill.

The semi-private Kanpai room can accommodate 10 – 16 guests.

If you need restaurant inspiration for you next date night, special occasion, client meeting or travel dining, our Life team will keep you connected with the lastest dining spots that everyone is talking about.