In a grown-up game of pass it on, insiders nominate their neighbourhood’s best restaurants and bars. This month, we explore Brisbane’s hippest area, Fortitude Valley.
Start her: The Dining Room at City Winery
At Brisbane’s only urban winery you can expect more than a cheese board with your small-batch vino. Chef Travis Crane heads the site’s relaxed eatery, The Dining Room, cooking local, sustainable produce over fire. Be warned: lunch may roll into dinner.
The Dining Room >>> Savile Row
After service, the winery’s Travis Crane walks the few blocks to late-night spot Savile Row for a drink. “Savile Row has a great atmosphere and a cracking drinks menu. It’s a consistent after-work haunt, known for its amazing selection of whiskies – there are over 500 available. If you can’t decide, check in with the bartenders. On one visit I was recommended a rhubarb and star anise Old Fashioned, which was outstanding. The bar always seems to have a buzz; there’s a little dance floor if you feel like it or super-comfy lounge seating upstairs.”
Savile Row >>> The New Black
Savile Row bartender Kayla Reid starts her day with breakfast at The New Black, just across the road from her bar. “It’s a little hole-in-the-wall café with a naturally lit back area, which is lovely to sit in. They do great coffee and the food is amazing. Obviously, the menu changes but you can build your own breakfast; they currently have this incredible dish called a Cheeseburger Benny with 12- hour beef brisket, dill pickles, burger sauce and cheesy hollandaise. So yum!"
The New Black >>> Cakes & Sh*t
The New Black co-owner Sam Holman heads through Bakery Lane to see his partner, Samantha, who runs dessert bar Cakes & Sh*t (Shop 3, 694 Ann Street), known for its treats with attitude. “It’s next door and open until midnight so I pop over after work. It definitely isn’t a classic prim and proper bakery. It feels super-grungy with neon, exposed brick and blaring rap music – a real edgy, Valley vibe. Don’t go past the traditional cheesecake, which sells out quickly.”
Cakes & Sh*t >>> Little Valley
When baker Samantha Fitzpatrick feels like a mod-Asian meal, she heads around the corner to Little Valley for some fancy dumplings. “It’s a neo-Chinese restaurant that opened in a little laneway and is always packed out. The dumplings are insane, especially the prawn and truffle har gow, which is out of this world. It’s funny – you think you know how something is supposed to taste but then you eat something like Little Valley’s dumplings and you think, ‘Wow, that’s how it’s meant to taste!’ The décor is totally upmarket hipster, with white-brick walls and gold brass fittings.”
Little Valley >>> Blute’s Bar
For burgers and beers, Little Valley chef Simon Hanmer hits the nearby Blute’s Bar. “It’s a sports bar on Brunswick Street Mall with an easy, cosy vibe. The bar has a stellar line-up of beers that they rotate, offering everything from local microbreweries to the classics, with up to 14 on tap at a time. If you’re feeling peckish they have an adjoining burger shop called Lucky Egg – my pick is the Nashville Hot fried chicken burger.”