It’s Saturday morning and you’re heading to the airport to pick up your ‘cooler-than-thou’ friend who has flown up from Melbourne for weekend. You know, that friend who is always posting cool instagrams of local underground bars and geometric coffee art. You have defended Brisbane again and again, swearing black and blue that you don’t live in some hick country town. We have burger places! And tiny dark bars! And doughnuts! Don’t sweat it my panicked friend, I have your back. Here is your guide to having the best 24 hours in our city as you explore Brisbane.
Saturday 9:30am– Don’t you even dare getting out of bed before 8:00 o’clock on a weekend morning. Did you know that every time someone gets out of bed early on a Saturday morning, a unicorn falls down dead?
Begin the day with breakfast at Plenty in West-End. Plenty cooks up the kind of food that brings to mind lush vegetable gardens, dappled cornfields and barefoot days running through green grass. The menu is fresh, colourful, and locally grown. If you had a less-than-wholesome Friday night, then every forkful of food you shovel into your mouth at Plenty will feel restorative and delicious. Try the poached eggs, avocado, heirloom tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella on toast if you’re after something light or if you are taking this ‘treat yo’ self’ weekend seriously then you cant go past a big stack of buttermilk pancakes.
11:00am– The Davies Park Markets, conveniently situated adjacent to Plenty, are great for a mid-morning browse. Pick up a coffee at one of the many coffee vans, plonk yourself down and listen to a band or two when they take the stage near the river. If you’re still peckish (no judgement here), the markets have an amazing selection of food from golden potato röstis to handmade artisan doughnuts.
12:00pm– Stroll up from the markets into the heart of West-End and hit up some of the indie stores that line the main street. Pop into Jet Black Cat for the coolest record selection around, peek into newly-opened Junky comics and pick up a zine and then swing past Box Vintage for a new floral dress or vintage tee. Other favourites include, The Happy Cabin for cutesy attire, Avid Bookstore for (you guessed it) books and SWOP for good quality vintage apparel.
1:00pm–West-End has a plethora of delicious lunch time options but it’s hard to go past a pizza and a beer at local favourite, The Burrow. With woodsy interiors that transport you to a cabin in the woods, a selection of craft beers that even the most hipstery-hipster would froth over, and the main event, delicious cheesy pizzas. Oh hello, tipsy weekend lunch.
2:30pm– With the best of West-End under your belt (literally.. it’s in your belly), it’s time to walk it off. Stroll towards the city through to South Bank where you can pop into the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. With regularly changing exhibitions showcasing some truly impressive artists such as David Lynch and Michael Parekowhai, you can spend an hour or two in GOMA. Just make sure you put up at least 2-12 Instagrams of GOMA or else it never actually happened.
4:00pm-Hop a bus, or an Uber, and head over to another of Brisbane’s hippest suburbs, Fortitude Valley. If you’re not a Brisbane local or you simply want to take your weekend to the next level, check into a hotel for the night. Newcomer, Tryp in Fortitude Valley, makes the swish inner city hotels look as cool as your dowdy old uncle. The decor brings to mind Brooklyn brownstones with it’s graffitied walls and industrial feel. Complete with a rooftop bar, matte black bathroom fixtures and a popular downstairs burger joint, you will get serious points with your pretentious Melbourne-dwelling friend when you check-in at Tryp.
5:00pm– With the descending sun painting Brisbane with it’s long golden rays, now is the time to head up high and check out the view. Tryp hotel’s gorgeous rooftop bar UP! has an extensive drinks menu featuring pretty signature cocktails and a good selection of beers on tap.
6:00pm– Fortitude valley has exploded onto the Brisbane dining scene with new hip restaurants opening up every week. Chinatown entices with it’s fragrant, spicy smells, Bakery Lane beckons with it’s cool atmosphere, and how on earth can you choose which new burger place to eat at? As long as you check your fear of heart disease/obesity at the door, Miss Kay’s on George St is a winner. Wash your meal down with an ice cream sandwich and an alcoholic ginger beer.
8:00pm– Toast a day well spent at another new favourite, The Tree House. A woodsy bar with a great vibe and an even better drinks menu, The Tree House is tucked away in the newly opened Bakery Lane precinct. This bar will make all your Swiss Family Robinson dreams come true however if you’re after something with a similar vibe that is a little more ‘Club-ish’, head to Brisbane’s original hipster hangouts Ric’s Bar & Cafe, or the Black Bear Lodge.
9:30pm– Soak up some of that alcohol with a Bacon Me Crazy (maple bacon glazed- yes please) from Doughnut Time. Heading to this popular little doughnut joint later at night runs the risk of it being closed/sold out but if it’s open, there is rarely a line. YUM.
Sunday 8:00am– And we made it. No unicorns were killed, wholesome food was eaten, not-so-wholesome food was eaten, delicious drinks were consumed, sun-drenched views were Instagrammed, and late-night doughnuts were scoffed. If this itinerary doesn’t impress the pretentious Melbourne Hipster then he can fly right back where he came from.
What would you did if you only had 24 hours to show the pants off Brisbane? We’d LOVE to hear from you below in the comments, or tag your social snaps with #BTinsidertip