The Best Al Fresco Dining In Brisbane

Photo of Alex MacKay
1 December 2016

As Brisbane’s restaurant and cafe scene ascends to new culinary heights, it is only fitting that the restaurant spaces themselves are demonstrating their full potential. As it enters the summer months and the urge to take your cocktail out onto the terraces, the rooftop or the streets becomes overwhelming, follow our guide to the best al fresco dining and drinking experiences in Brisbane.

South Bank Surf Club

In absence of any real beaches in the city, make do with an imitation in this laid back bar and restaurant, serving seafood, burgers and beer on tap. Surf Club is an entirely al-fresco set-up and the perfect weekend chill-out zone, spread over two levels. Downstairs is the bar and kitchen whilst in the upper level resides a massive wooden deck with views over Streets Beach and the river. The catwalk, however, is an additional thin platform that dishes out a bird’s eye view over towards the city.
Address: 30AA Plaza Parklands, Stanley St, Brisbane QLD, Australia, +61 7 3844 7301

Bar Alto

Restaurant, Bar, Diner, Italian, $$$
Map View

Located at the Brisbane Powerhouse, where one of the city’s best markets also takes place, Bar Alto is Italian in flavor yet authentically Brisbane in atmosphere. Dinners are meant to be eaten at a leisurely pace on the upper deck that looks out over the river: savor the house specialty of goat ragu on pappardelle and bask in the setting sun.

Gunshop Cafe

Cafe, Australian, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
Map View
In this vibrant West End spot, you’ll have to beat back the crowds to gain entry to the inner sanctum of Gunshop’s spruced-up garden courtyard with brick-wall exteriors and even rooftop beehives. Patrons can seek shade whilst enjoying chef Jason Coolen’s locally-sourced market-driven menus.

Next Door Kitchen & Bar

Bar, Wine Bar, Wine, $$$
Map View
Breakfast at Gunshop Café
Breakfast at Gunshop Café | © Kai Hendry/Flickr 
Defying the stereotype of a grungy basement bar, Next Door Kitchen & Bar subverts the 1920s speakeasy style and brings their whole set-up onto the open street. The opportunity is ripe for people-watching on Little Stanley Street whilst you kick back with a vermouth cocktail and enjoy the tapas menu, inspired by creative modern European cuisine.

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