Unofficially dubbed Brisbane’s best foodie district, Howard Smith Wharves has finally put the river city on the map. Tucked away by the river, the docks offer sweeping views of the city skyline and the towering Story Bridge, as well as some of the bars and restaurants the city has to offer. Transport yourself to the streets of Greece or spill a tankard in a German-style brewery – whatever your vibe, the Docks have it all. Here are our top picks for the best restaurants in Howard Smith Wharves.
If you are a fan of Greek cuisine, this stunning riverside restaurant is virtually guaranteed to wow you. GrÃ©ca is a vision in polished white concrete, giving off that laid-back beach vibe we all crave for. Set your watch for island time and savor contemporary dishes championing the wonders of the Mediterranean Flavor Wheel. Sounds pretty good, eh? Just wait to try the saganaki.
If you’re a fan of Asian food (let’s face it, who isn’t?), Set your sights on Stanley, the stunning two-story Cantonese restaurant at Howard Smith Wharves. Located at the northern end of the Strip, the restaurant offers stunning views of the Brisbane River, as well as plenty of slime-worthy Cantonese foods. We recommend the Byron Bay Berkshire pork belly, although the Mongolian lamb chops sauces are also worth a look.
Another Asian favorite, Yoko Dining is our go-to for anything Japanese. This split-level bistro serves izakaya-style snacks and shared dishes to accompany us until the trips to Tokyo are back. But before you gorge on okonomiyaki kimchi, soba noodle salad, and chicken karaage, don’t forget to save room for dessert. Yoko’s white sesame mochi ice cream is a game-changer.
Pop-up Italian restaurant that has become a must, Ciao Papi is a carbohydrate lover’s paradise. With a veranda bordering the river, the alfresco menu is an ode to all things Italian – think buttered pappardelle ribbons, an impressive array of reds, and plenty of fresh oysters. Order an Aperol spritz and get ready to be whisked to the coast of Italy.
While Mr. Percivals has earned a reputation as the place to go for a wild night out, the overwater bar is just as fun during the day, when they serve a menu dominated by fresh Moreton Bay seafood. Think lobster rolls, local shrimp, cod roe, and crispy baguettes, alongside delicious appetizer-style dishes served with a view of the water. It looks like our kind of afternoon.
Felons Brewing Co
If you haven’t been to Felons, we just have one question for you: what are you doing with your life? Step out of that rock you’ve been under and head down to the riverside for some of the best craft breweries in town. Along with great beer, Felons also has a top notch menu featuring all your favorite pub fare like wood-fired pizzas, burgers, and poke bowls. It’s the perfect place to kick back a chill while watching the sun set over the Story Bridge. Not bad, Brisbane, not bad.
Felons barrel room
YES eagle-eyed readers we just mentioned Felons, but trust us – the Barrel Hall is a whole different ball game. Not only does their menu have an entirely different vibe (cracked pork with an Asian twist makes it a substantial feature), but the light and airy space has a serious German brewery aesthetic. Spend a Friday night for frothy beers, live music and so many German tankards.
Good Times Gelateria
And now, dessert time. Nestled under the Fantauzzo hotel, Goodtimes Gelateria serves good vibes, tunes and delicious ice cream by the scoopful at Howard Smith Wharves. With 22 delicious flavors to try, including specialties like baked apple pie and caramelized popcorn, you’re sure to find something to drool over.
Pop-ups are a regular feature on the docks, and this Los Angeles-inspired Mexican canteen is the latest restaurant to grace Brisbane banks. La Mexicana offers simple Mexican-style street food alongside cold margaritas that are sure to spice up your Sunday session. The menu is short but sweet, with classic Mexican fare like corn guac and chips, chili, cilantro and lime, and plenty of salsa. Pair it all with buckets of Coronas and glasses of tequila and you’ve got a hell of a night out.
With homemade meals prepared on a wood and charcoal grill Gigi is our go-to for winter comfort food. Tucked away next to the Rivershed Cafe, the pop-up’s limited menu includes fresh swordfish, lamb loin chops, amazing veggies, and salads served with lemon and olive oil. It’s the perfect place to spill a drink without engaging in the ambiance of the restaurant.
We have two words for you: Aperol. Spritz. If you are obsessed with Italian vinos, stop by Spuntini and spend the afternoon having fun to disco tunes while sipping glass after glass of Aperol spritz. On the pop-up menu you will find the tastes of provolone and thyme arancini; crab, fennel and chili bruschetta; and fine, crisp Italian pizzas – all perfect for one-handed eating while enjoying their aperitif cocktail menu.
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Image Credit: Greca, Yoko Dining, Stanley, Ciao Papi, M. Percivals, Felons Brewing Co, Felons Barrell Hall, Howard Smith Wharves