Of all the joys of modern Brisbane life, our gastronomy is perhaps the highlight. Without blowing one’s own trumpet, the access to first-rate cuisine is almost unrivalled in Oz. Sure, Melbourne’s combination of dimly lit laneways and potent counter-culture creates a certain mood, and certainly, the views from the lunch spots of Sydney’s harbour are what a Queenslander might begrudgingly term ‘good’, but when it comes to the actual fodder, the morsels that are dropped on the tongue and washed around the mouth, it’s the humble opinion of this author that no city quite compares to ours. Not all lunchtime café experiences are created equal, however. There are some Brisbane lunches that stand head, shoulders and brioche above the rest. In no particular order, here are the 5 that any self-respecting Brisbane gastronome should be intent on ticking off.
Suburban West End - Located on Melbourne Street in South Brisbane, Suburban West End is a beautifully appointed café with a firm focus on real food. Whether you’re in the midst of a culinary cleanse or are looking for more of a cheat day meal, Suburban’s talented chefs are masters at serving up wholesome fare that’ll have you weak at the knees. And I do mean that literally – the portions are huge, and you may find your post-lunch balance affected.
Jak + Hill - Jak+hill of Spring Hill is quite possibly the cutest lunch spot that Brisbane has to offer. The décor is stunning, with an embarrassment of breakfast bars, booths, nooks and crannies from which to enjoy the cafés ambiance. Far from a one-trick interior decoration pony, the lunchtime fare at jak+hill more than matches the beautiful surrounds, and the waitstaff aren’t ones to ration their smiles.
Double Shot New Farm - The leafy streets of New Farm are home to a doyen of the Brisbane lunching scene – Double Shot. Experts in lunchtime ingestibles, Double Shot offers arguably the finest coffee that Greater Brisbane has to offer, and backs the beans up with incredible food that looks far too good to eat. A word to the wise; get your Instagram ready. Double Shot is the complete café package, as their current #1 rating on TripAdvisor attests.
Putia Pure Food Kitchen - If your body is a temple and you’re looking for a lunch to match, Putia Pure Food Kitchen in Banyo should be firmly in your sights. Chef Dominique Rizzo has created a temple of clean eating which is open to diners for breakfast and lunch, before transforming into a food workshop space at night. Go for lunch, then book a cooking class in the evening. You won’t regret it – that’s a Pureman guarantee.
Beartown Coffee House - The words that come to mind when you find yourself a seat at the Gabba’s Beartown Coffee House are ‘salt of the earth’. This isn’t an establishment that seeks to cater to the corporate high-flyer, nor the New Farm peroxide blonde. It’s a homely venue that puts a premium on atmosphere, with waitstaff perpetually bubbly and welcoming. The service isn’t let down by the food either; contemporary classics of sizeable proportions are delivered from the kitchen from 6am to 6pm every weekday.
Have you got a favourite Brisbane café haunt? Tweet your recommendation to @puremansg