There’s nothing quite like dinner and a show, and with the Brisbane Festival looming we’re already anticipating the masses that are about to descend on our favourite venues. Be smart and plan ahead, because no one wants to be ordering Maccas in their finery (no judgement). Here are our picks on where to dine during Brisbane Festival.
CUSTOMS HOUSE | CBD
With no less than eight different menus, there is literally something for everyone at Customs House. Whether you feel like tucking into a preshow thick cut eye fillet, or spending a leisurely afternoon sampling the fresh shellfish platter – they’ve got it all. Couple this with river views, a heritage listed building and an Aperol Spritz (or two) and you’ve got yourself the perfect pre-or-post Brisbane Festival experience.
TREASURY | CBD
Not just a place to stop by for a drink, the Treasury Brisbane is a proud sponsor of the festival’s very own articificial intelligence companion, Frank. ‘Treasury Brisbane Arcadia’ will take over South Bank, creating a hub of music acts, dancers, street performers and food stalls – as well as entertainment from Frank’s offbeat sense of humour.
Not just satisfied with artificial intelligence – Treasury’s boutique cocktail bar The Kitty have come up with several signature cocktails for the event including Frank, their signature Negroni.
JULIUS | SOUTH BRISBANE
No strange to theatrics, QPAC frequenter’s favourite Julius is a no brainer for those taking part in festivities. With their imported pizza oven from Naples, the little Italian that could will be pumping out classics like marinara, prosciutto, margherita and the decadent tartufo. More about that pasta life? We can’t look past the famous duck ragu. Grab a bottle of Sangiovese or chianti and get carb loading!
BLACKBIRD BAR & GRILL | CBD
With river views and two private dining rooms, walking into Blackbird Bar & Grill feels like stepping into a scene from the Great Gatsby – sorry we can’t guarantee a cameo by Leo.
The modern Australian menu features main plates like suckling roast pig, kangaroo loin and pan-fried gnocchi accompanied by sides like steamed greens and shoe string fries. Order one of their signatures cocktails, or choose a wine from their extensive wine list.
HELLO PLEASE | SOUTH BRISBANE
Vietnamese? Hello Please! Feast on quick bites like corn cakes, spring rolls and crispy chicken ribs (so small, so delicious) or larger meals like chicken coconut curry and black pepper tofu with shitake mustard greens. With a small, but mighty (not unlike the restaurant itself) selection of wine, beers and cocktail specials – you’ll be wanting to say hello to Hello Please every day.
PIG ‘N’ WHISTLE | WEST END
Not just your typical gastropub, Pig ‘N’ Whistle is as trendy as the food is tasty, and it’s the perfect pit stop before your cultural adventure. Grab a drink and mushroom arancini at the bar before hightailing it to South Bank. Pub traditionalist? They’ve got all the classics like traditional English pork pie, Cornish pasties and slow braised steak & Guinness pie – topped off with a bottle of vino from their extensive wine list.
THE CHARMING SQUIRE | SOUTH BRISBANE
Almost too conveniently located near QPAC (you might find yourself thinking you have time for just ONE more pint) is the ever so aptly named Charming Squire. The relaxed, open venue is more than just a glorified pub with an extensive menu. Choose from a huge range of wood fired or coal pit cooked meals, seafood and share plates. Not a beer drinker? Not a problem – the Squire delivers with a 15 (!!!) page beverage menu with signature cocktails and wines.
BAR ALTO | NEW FARM
It’s actually criminal to visit the Powerhouse and not order a glass of wine and a plate of tempura fried zucchini flowers and do some people watching. In for the long haul? We can’t look past the braised lamb shoulder with red chili, new potatoes, artichoke and mint – it’s made to be shared, but they can’t actually enforce that, can they? Watch the ferry drift by as you prepare yourself for an evening of entertainment.
We know you don’t need an excuse to go out for dinner, but a festival is a pretty good one in our opinion. So whether you’re catching one show or five, there’s always time for food.
Words by Emma Callaghan