This Brisbane precinct has turned over a hip new leaf, welcoming stylish bars, cafés and restaurants along with a vibrant live-music scene.
Housed in a quaint old shopfront among the terrace houses on the main drag, this adorable little café faithfully preserves the original architecture of the area. Start the day with muffaletta bruschetta with mortadella, salami, green olive salad, smoked provolone and fried egg on sourdough, teamed with coffee that’s made with love.
For lunch, head to the revamped heritage-listed Barracks, which now boasts a Palace Cinema alongside restaurants and bars. Libertine’s fringed vintage lampshades and pressed-metal ceilings set an opulent scene for French-Vietnamese dining, with the likes of “cracklin” twice-cooked pork belly with chilli glacé or duck crêpe with spiced cherries.
Black Hide Steakhouse
It feels a little like an exclusive club inside this Caxton Street favourite but everyone can expect a warm welcome from charming staff dressed in crisp shirtsleeves. Premium Wagyu and Angus steaks from Queensland beef producer Stanbroke are the main attraction here, served with Wagyu-fat roast potatoes with rosemary and garlic.
Tucked behind sumptuous red velvet curtains is a cosy cocktail and oyster bar with a New Orleans speakeasy vibe. Whether it’s for a nightcap or you’re making an evening of it, the cocktails are strong, there’s whiskey aplenty and a daily selection of oysters.
It’s as though you’ve died and gone to beer heaven, with a staggering 10-page menu that covers about 200 bottled beers plus 14 rotating taps at Brewski. Get among the hustle and bustle of Caxton Street at one of the footpath tables or relax out the back in The Greenhouse, featuring a living wall made from 99 beer bottles filled with cascading plants.
Enjoy live music
The faded grandeur of Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall is now the backdrop to the city’s honky-tonkin’ live music scene. With bands most nights of the week, it’s the perfect place to drop in, grab a whiskey and bust your best moves on the dance floor.
Catch a show
For more than 50 years, the intimate Brisbane Arts Theatre has been the place to go for innovative, independent productions. The September program features the Australian premiere of 50 Shades! The Musical Parody, an amusing send-up of the novel and film.
This boutique hotel is decorated in warm chocolate tones and has 68 rooms, many with private balconies overlooking the hilly streets of one of Brisbane’s oldest residential neighbourhoods. After check-in, the journey to your room or suite takes you through moodily lit corridors surrounding an internal atrium.
But first, caffeine…
Blink and you’ll miss Cross Roads Espresso, a petite coffee bar tucked into a tiny, street-level corner of an office building. Look for the pastel- green La Marzocco machine, which churns out beautifully made Two Seasons coffee.
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