The quiet achiever behind Sydney and Melbourne? Not likely. Brisbane is a laid-back city with some surprisingly nuanced tastes. Don’t mistake the energy for inexperience – there’s a more sophisticated food and fashion scene than you might think. From suburban coffee to world-renowned culinary delicacies and global fashion, meet the hidden Brisbane.
Hit me with your best shot
Brisbane takes its coffee seriously, but we don’t shout about it as much as Sydney and Melbourne. The best part is the confidence of knowing you’ll find an awesome brew wherever you go.
Nicola from Paddington’s Swift Espresso says the quality throughout Brisbane’s sprawling suburbs is astounding.
“The best coffee in Brisbane right now is happening in the ‘burbs like Q Roasters in Stafford, Fonzie Abbott & Neighbourhood in Albion, and Wolff in Nundah,” she says.
“Everywhere you look there are humble looking cafes serving up coffee with flavour and hearty food.”
Eating out is what we do best (especially in the mornings)
Eating out is part of what defines Brisbane lifestyle. And brunch and breakfast are our favourite mealtimes. Markets, cafes, food trucks, bars and shipping container pop-ups fuel a city by the sea vibe.
Adam from Dovetail on Overend cafe says customers have high expectations for traditional dishes done simply with amazing ingredients.
“Our baked free-range eggs with beef chilli con carne is the most popular item in the cooler months, and the famous Sticky Pecan Scrolls sell out as quickly as we make them,” he says.
“We vote with our feet in Brisbane, and cafes know customers have amazing food choices. You’re always lifting your game and investing in your staff, equipment and ingredients.”
The Brisbane spirit of optimism
Part of those high standards for Dovetail is a free barista program for people passionate about a coffee career.
“It’s super rewarding, and we’ve released dozens of well-trained baristas onto the local scene since we started a couple of years ago,” Adam says.
“It’s the Brisbane way really – it’s a city evolving, where people get involved in their community with optimism.”
Matt Kyte from fashion boutique Contra agrees that positive Brisbane invests in the things it loves.
“They keep their wardrobe fun, but they’re not afraid to spend on owning something they’ll have for years to come,” he says.
“We’ve built a reputation for a style and brand list that isn’t replicated anywhere else because Brisbane’s not afraid to take chances supporting emerging designers.”
Brownies of the rich and the famous
It’s not just our fashion, we know good brownies when we eat them. The world famous brownies at Dello Mano are so good that Ashton Kutcher flew them in for his birthday. Because why not.
“There’s been an explosion of desserts and sweets choices in Brisbane. Our original Signature Luxury Classic Belgian Chocolate Brownie was the pioneer in the Australian brownie market, and it’s still our most popular,” says owner Deborah Peralta.
“We reflect the attitude of the Brisbane food community: premium ingredients, creativity and making our customers’ day. Our food is world class – we might just be Australia’s best kept foodie secret.”
Written by Brisbane local, Amanda Vanelderen. Ready to discover some Brisbane secrets at Xerocon 2018? What’s on your to-do list?