Fortitude Valley has long served as the meter for what’s cool in Brisbane. At its heart is the Valley Mall and Chinatown with its authentic Asian grocers and a feast of Asian restaurants. But it’s in the streets that surround where you’ll find some of Brisbane’s best dining, edgiest night spots and hottest fashion boutiques.
The evolution of the Valley’s laneways has added yet another dimension and even more awesome places to explore. And now, the cool vibe has pulsed further out the Valley’s veins and into the neighbouring suburb of Newstead.
Once best known for being home to Brisbane’s oldest surviving residence, Newstead House, this suburb now shares its history with whole new generation as luxury apartment buildings and a long line of shopping and dining venues move in. Newstead is well and truly open for business.
So, to help you get acquainted with all that’s happening in Newstead and Fortitude Valley, we put together a guide to just some of the highlights:
There’s no better way to start your day than at Campos Coffee in the Gasworks Plaza. Campos Coffee, is an Australian coffee institution, established in Sydney with a self-declared ethos of ‘quality coffee, cultivated by good’. Campos sources ethically grown and sustainable beans from some of the world’s most renowned coffee-growing regions in countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Columbia and El Salvador and gives back to the communities they operate in through social good projects that have far-reaching, long-term benefits for the local people.
Back in Newstead, the Campos flagship store at Gasworks serves up a fresh seasonal menu and delicious coffee, ground daily. Opening its doors nice and early, 7 days a week, it’s the perfect place to grab your morning fix of coffee and ethical goodness. As Campos so beautifully puts it: “For the coffee drinker, the satisfaction isn’t just in the great taste, it’s in knowing every little cup is doing good in the world.”
Another contender in the Gasworks coffee stakes is Kivahan, serving organic, air-roasted coffee in its Gasworks café. If you are particularly passionate about how your coffee is made, you can even watch Kivahan’s organic coffee beans air-roasting on site, turning from green to golden brown before your eyes.
With a range of fresh paninis and sweet treats, Kivahan is great option for a lunchtime refuel or a quick coffee stop with benefits. Kivahan is open daily from 9 till 5.
When it’s time for lunch, Hatch + Co is the perfect location with its lush, leafy green walls and warm timber fit-out. Executive Chef Craig Wright has put together a delicious menu designed for sharing with large plates, small plates, sides and pizzas that is best explored over a long lunch or relaxed dinner. The style is rustic, home-style cooking, taken to the next level using only the highest quality local and sustainable produce. Hatch + Co is open every day from 11.30am till late.
The aroma of woodfired pizzas also attracts a decent lunch crowd to Italian Street Kitchen. Celebrating the Italian way of eating and sharing, the restaurant, affectionately known as ISK, captures the tastes and smells of the bustling streets of Roma. Watch the dough being rolled for the woodfired pizzas, and you’re instantly transported to a place where food is a passionate affair.
Freshly made pasta is also on the menu day and night along with traditional delicacies like slow roasted Roman Porchetta. Italian Street Kitchen is open from 11.30am till 9.30pm Sunday to Thursday and 11.30am till 10pm Friday and Saturday.
For a fun dining experience, Peng You China Kitchen & Bar fuses contemporary dining with authentic Chinese flavours. The vibe is social and the food is seriously good. In true Asian style, tapas-style plates encourage meals to be shared and enjoyed together. Sampling Grandma Chiu’s slow-cooked pork hock and the house roasted Peking duck are experiences not to be missed. Peng You China Kitchen & Bar is open Monday to Sunday from 11am until 10pm, with last orders taken at 9.30pm.
Or if the flavours of the Middle East and Mediterranean are more your jam, head to Mecca Bah for an indulgent dining experience. Originally located in the Emporium complex just up the road in Fortitude Valley, Mecca Bah’s new Gasworks location is the epitome of exotic sophistication. Also on the menu at Mecca Bah are cocktail mixology classes and pizza classes where you can learn to make an authentic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean inspired pizzas.
A favourite with locals looking for tasty, healthy eats, Cheeky Poke Bar is a welcome addition to Newstead’s dining scene. The signature dish is the poke bowl, the so-hot-right-now foodie trend that originated in Hawaii. For the uninitiated, the poke bowl is a Japanese-Hawaiian fusion that traditionally marries raw marinated fish with rice and crisp shredded vegetables. Modern incarnations like those found at Cheeky Poke Bar are an Insta-worthy rainbow of colour and can include chicken, beef, tofu or even dumplings in place of the fish. Whatever style of bowl you choose, you can be guaranteed a fresh and delicious party for your tastebuds.
You’ll find Cheeky Poke Bar, open 7 days 11am till 9pm, downstairs at Haven, 63 Skyring Terrace, Newstead.
Housed in a former 1940s bus depot, the Newstead Brewing Company on Doggett Street has put locally-made craft beer on the map in Newstead. With six signature beers with names like ‘The Mayne Thing’ and ‘3 Quarter Time’, not to mention a dry apple cider called ‘Johnno’, this brewery is having fun creating high quality craft brews for every palate.
Open 7 days a week from 10am till late, Newstead Brewing Company serves up a selection of beers, including its house brews, from 12 taps along the long timber bar in the reimagined old depot.
It’s not all about the beer though. You’ll also find a seasonal menu including pizza, burgers and freshly steamed bao. From the hand-cut chips to their sauces, a lot of things are made on-site, just like the beer.
If there was any better indication that Newstead is where it’s at, Brisbane’s acclaimed modern dining destination E’cco bistro has also moved into the ’hood. After 23 years in Boundary Street in the CBD, Chef Phillip Johnson has moved the highly-awarded restaurant to its elegant new home at 63 Skyring Terrace. Make a reservation to dine Tuesday to Saturday for lunch 12-3pm or dinner 5.30pm till late. You won’t be disappointed.
If you need to work off all that eating and drinking, Urban Climb is just the place to head. A specialised in a style of climbing called ‘bouldering’ the climbs are challenging, ropeless and reassuringly, above mats. Don’t be put off though. There are climbs for all abilities so just get on down there and give it a go. If you haven’t seen it already, watch Alex Honnold’s efforts free-climbing El Capitan in Free Solo for a bit of inspiration and you’ll be ready for the challenge.
If we’re talking fashion (or rather faaar-shun, daaarlings) there’s one street on everyone’s lips, and that’s James. Starting at Ann Street in Fortitude Valley, James Street elegantly flows toward the river all the way down into New Farm. It’s the leafy Ann Street end though, that’s thick with Australian and international designer boutiques. Zimmerman. Carla Zampatti. Gorman. Camilla and Marc. Camargue. Calexico. Scanlan Theodore. Sass & Bide. Saba. Smatha Ogilve. Dion Lee. Gain Sorronda. Dinosaur Designs. Lee Matthews. Nudie Jeans Co. Bec + Bridge. The list could literally go on and on and on… and on. Fortunately, there are plenty of equally stylish dining spots along the way for you to rest your weary feet and refuel.
At the heart of the precinct is James Street Market, home to a vibrant food emporium, and signature venues like Cru Bar and Spoon Deli Café. Opposite the market is Harveys Bar + Bistro is another James Street fixture, serving up fresh seasonal cuisine in relaxed indoor and outdoor spaces.
Virtually hidden from view behind James Street, the highly awarded Gerard’s Bistro is a local gem. Unassuming on the outside, inside Gerard’s warm textures and patterns hint at the inspiration for the menu. Fusing flavours from the Middle east and Maghreb, dining at Gerard’s is a special and indulgent experience.
A little further down the street is the more casual Sixes and Sevens Public House (a.k.a. pub). Housed in a revamped, whitewashed cottage, at this popular destination the custom is to secure a table, stool or spot on the grass, order drinks and eats at the bar and then settle in for some laughs and a chat.
But we can’t talk about food without mentioning the one and only Jocelyn’s Provisions. This Brisbane institution is, for many in the know, the one and only destination for quality cakes and sweet or savoury baked goods. Famous for classic cakes like their passionfruit butter cake or chocolate sour cream cake, Jocelyn’s is a must stop for a little something special to take home.
James Street is also a mecca for decorating your home as well as your body, with a curated selection of furniture and homewares retailers. You’ll find the only Queensland store of renowned Melbourne-based furniture manufacturer Jardan on James Street along with Living Edge, the go-to destination for architects and interior designers.
If you thought Melbourne had the whole laneway thing stitched up, you’d be wrong. Brisbane’s laneways are transforming to become hidden treasures of fabulous food and shopping. In the Valley, Winn Lane, just off Ann Street, is home to cool boutiques, the mega-popular Ben’s Burgers and for the muso’s, a stop at Tym’s Guitars is a must. Bakery Lane is another creative hub worth exploring with moody bars and indy cafes spilling onto the street.
Holey Moley Golf Club claims to be ‘Australia’s craziest and most unique mini golf venue, par none’. And they’d be right. Located in a former church on Warner Street in the Valley, Holey Moley is what happens when a mini golf venue tees off in a former night-club. this thoroughly unique experience.
You’ll find Holey Moley at 25 Warner Street Fortitude Valley.
Located in the Capri Building on Ann Street Newstead, Endeavour Foundation’s Ultimate Life Changer apartment is perfectly positioned to make the most of the thriving Newstead and Fortitude Valley scene. To see more of this luxurious apartment, take a virtual tour or download the brochure now.