Brisbane’s Best Streets

Published 19 December 2016

Sophie Hart snorkelling

Sophie Hart

A city that’s ramped up its dining scene, splashed a collection of cool street art onto its laneways, where delicious coffee haunts line the streets and uniquely Australian designers can be found, arts and culture abound in carefree Brisbane.

Burnett Lane, Brisbane

Burnett Lane, Brisbane image: Sophie Hart

Fish Lane, South Bank

A high energy pocket that lies just beyond Brisbane’s foremost cultural hub, Fish Lane is the go-to for quality fare and fine cocktails. After a trip to the Gallery of Modern Art, cross the street to Fish Lane where you can rejuvenate and dive into some culinary delights. Wander between the towering brick buildings to Julius Pizzeria and order my favourite Tartufo pizza. If you’re feeling something a little zestier, pop into Hello Please, a Vietnamese eatery and ask for the bun bo hue. You’ll love the spicy lemongrass broth filled with beef brisket, pork belly, chilli and noodles - but besides the food Hello Please also serve craft beer, quality Australian wine and a happening vibe. Making a home out of a disused shipping container, patrons sit out the back with fairy lights sparkling overhead and an impressive graffiti mural, making for a cool and laidback hangout. If you’re still thirsty but looking for a change of pace, pop across the lane to Maker. This cosy bar is dedicated to exquisite cocktail combinations and boasts a tiny space that can barely seat 25 people so you can rest easy knowing their customer service is top-notch.

Sixes and Sevens, Brisbane

Sixes and Sevens, Brisbane image: Sophie Hart

James Street, New Farm

This luxe dining and retail destination serves up award-winning culinary treats and uniquely Australian designers. A leafy green oasis set up in Brisbane’s eclectic and fashionable Fortitude Valley district, a visit to this street will whisk you away from the hustle and bustle of the city and make you feel like you’re on vacation at a high-end seaside resort. While only being a short 15 minute stroll from the busy city centre, James Street evokes an air of relaxation where taking the entire morning to sip on cold drip coffee and munch on eggs benedict at King Arthur Cafe is encouraged. If anything, James Street highlights Brisbane’s uniqueness - its ability to transform personalities as you venture to and from different districts. Patrons will flit between such Australian designer stores as Gail Sorronda, Aje and Lee Matthews, donning sparkling kaftans - which you can pick up your own at fashion powerhouse Camilla. As the sun sets there’s no better place to be than Gerard’s Bistro for award-winning fried lambs brains, quail blood morcilla, warm tahini and dried yoghurt (while on paper this doesn’t sound entirely appetising I guarantee this dish will certainly impress). Stay late into the night at Sixes and Sevens, a trendy watering hole for locals each weekend.

Brew, Burnett Lane, Brisbane

Brew, Burnett Lane, Brisbane image: Sophie Hart

Burnett Lane, Brisbane City

Once an exercise yard for colonial prisoners, Burnett Lane is one of Brisbane’s oldest laneways that has since transformed into a quirky space for public art and tantalising food offerings. Located just off Queen Street Mall in the city, wander the lane and marvel over its moody graffiti works and read over the poetry that’s splashed across the buildings’ walls before heading to Felix for Goodness for a wholesome meal. These guys source local and organic produce and whip up some of the best coffee in the city. My favourite is the pumpkin, ricotta and caramelised onion frittata with a side of greens and beet relish. If you’re heading to Burnett Lane at night venture down to its lower end to Brew Cafe and Wine Bar for a tipple with friends. It can be tricky to find but keep an eye out for the portrait of a woman that’s painted above the bar’s entrance. It’s a dark and moody space filled with mismatched couches that makes for the perfect spot to recline and sip on wine.

Winn Lane, Brisbane

Winn Lane, Brisbane image: Sophie Hart

Winn Lane, Fortitude Valley

Blink and you might miss it. This tiny laneway located off Ann Street in Fortitude Valley is packed with design havens, bars and one of Brisbane’s coolest burger joints. It draws in the city’s creative crowds and anyone chasing alternative goods and great food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, milkshakes and beers are on the menu at Ben’s Burgers and their classic burger is messy and delicious. Venture deeper into the laneway and browse The Culprit Club, a pocket-sized gallery and retail store. Feast your eyes on the loud and unregulated artworks and maybe even purchase one to hang on your wall at home. If you’re keen to splash some more cash then step up to The Outpost, one of Winn Lane’s longest standing men’s retail stores and (on Sunday’s only) barbers. For the ladies I recommend heading to Sunday Social to try on a mix of vintage and modern fashion pieces that will have you looking and feeling 10/10.

Bakery Lane, Brisbane

Bakery Lane, Brisbane image: Sophie Hart

Bakery Lane, Fortitude Valley

Part of the Fortitude Valley laneway family, this street is synonymous with Winn Lane’s eclectic vibe but it packs more tenants into its corners. It’s the ultimate watering hole housing The Treehouse Bar, opulent club Laruche, Kiosk Beer Garden, The Bowery Bar and The Apo. Not only is this laneway a hive of activity at night it’s also just as happening during the day. Check out LostBoys Cafe for vegan waffles and soak up their passion for local, organic produce and their mission to fight global warming. Across the lane I Heart Brownies have what you need to satisfy those afternoon cravings. They bake fresh chocolatey goodness daily that is best washed down with one of their ice cold milkshakes. Try and time your trip to Bakery Lane with their markets that are held on the first Saturday of every month so you can browse local artisan goods.

If you fancy exploring Brisbane, take a look at Round the World Experts' Brisbane Holidays, all of which can be tailor-made to suit you.

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