As per usual, we’re starting with the heavy hitters, the big winners, the MVPs of Brisbane’s dinner scene. LONgTIME is one of those restaurants that earned its formidable reputation through word of mouth. Honestly, if you asked someone where to go for dinner they’d probably say, “Have you tried LONgTIME?” It’s that good. This top-notch noshery plates up some of the tastiest morsels in town, including crispy whole fish with three flavour sauce, crispy pork belly with wild ginger, spiced yellow curry with steamed snapper, and soft-shell crab baos.
Winner: Eat Street Northshore
This one is a no-brainer – very few food institutions can draw a crowd a fraction as large as those that pass through the gates of Eat Street Northshore every weekend. This veritable foodie wonderland has everything you could hope to devour – Asian street food, Greek delights, fresh seafood, South American barbecue, pizza, pasta and all manner of Instagram-worthy desserts available in Kombi Alley. If you’re craving it, Eat Street probably has it, which is why so many of you rate it as co-winner of our Best Spot for Dinner category!
Runner up: Julius Pizzeria
We jumped for joy when our parents told us the family was having pizza for dinner, and we won’t lie – we’ve had lazy nights when a choice thin and crispy was all we craved. Julius Pizzeria gives us a similar amount of joy, but it takes the pizza game to a whole new level. Fish Lane’s premier Italian restaurant dishes up the goods across its pizza range, pasta dishes and mains. Pair that with some excellent wine and a warm atmosphere and you’ve got yourself a great spot for dinner.
Runner up: Happy Boy
If plates of delicious Chinese fare and glasses of fine wine make you happy, then Happy Boy is the place to be for dinner. Readers of The Weekend Edition that rated Happy Boy highly in 2016 will be excited to know that the restaurant has since moved to a much larger location in Fortitude Valley. New dishes will be popping up over the remaining months of 2017, with all of the classics still available for fans of Happy Boy’s joy-giving menu.
What more needs to be said about Gerard’s Bistro that hasn’t already been heard? The combination of stellar atmosphere, an award-winning chef and a menu of mouth-watering fare has kept it at the top of our lists for years. This trend shows no signs of stopping – Gerard’s Bistro is a dinner staple, and you can’t call yourself a Brisbane foodie until you’ve tried it.
It’s a no-brainer that one of Brisbane’s most inventive restaurants would also be one of its best. Gauge prides itself on continuously being on the cutting edge of cuisine, and it shows throughout the menu. Situated a stone’s throw from Fish Lane, Gauge (and its brilliant chefs Cormac Bradfield and Phil Marchant) has been known to use seasonal produce and more obscure ingredients to create some truly remarkable dishes, so adventurous diners should put this one high on their list.
Beccofino is a Teneriffe – heck, a Brisbane – institution. Owners Cordell Khoury and Paolo Biscaro cut their teeth in some of the best Italian restaurants in the country before opening Beccofino more than ten years ago, bringing with them a serious skill set to create some of the best pizza and pasta in town. The Italian restaurant and wine bar has a more intimate vibe to its younger sibling Julius, but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to have a good time – the Aperol Spritzes are always flowing. Post aperitif you’ll want to move onto wine paired with some of Beccofino’s classics – you can’t go wrong with the Number 1 pizza and the duck and tomato ragu pappardelle.
The best dinners don’t always have to come with a large price tag – the team at Trang have been feeding diners for years and its blend of Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine won’t cost you your weekly wage. Pho, rice vermicelli salads, rice paper rolls, crispy-skin chicken – there is no wrong choice here. Pair it with BYO and dinner suddenly becomes a reason to celebrate in itself.
Popolo Italian Kitchen & Bar
There’s something that can be said about a good view enhancing the dining experience exponentially, and Popolo at South Bank certainly boasts some nice river views. Thankfully the kitchen needs no help boosting the flavour of its dishes, as every morsel plated at Popolo is top-notch. Italian is the cuisine of choice at Popolo, with the best locally sourced ingredients used across dishes such as the stracchino, fior di latte and truffle oil pizza, seared Harvey Bay scallops, crispy baby squid, braised wagyu ragu and Popolo’s signature slow-roasted Gippsland porchetta, topped with caramelised fennel and a star anise reduction.
Bird’s Nest Yakitori
Last – and by no means least – on our list is an eatery that likes to turn up the heat at dinnertime. Boasting two locations in town (one in West End and other in The Valley), Bird’s Nest Yakitori is Marie Yokoyama and Emi Kamada’s Japanese-style yakitori bar, where diners can sample sizzling skewers of chicken tenderloin with wasabi mayo, wagyu skewers, vegetable variations and other Japanese bites. If the hot yakitori grill is making you sweat (maybe that’s just the sight of the tender morsels on your plate), quench your thirst with Japanese draught beer, sake, wine and whisky.