Food & Drink

International Students at Riverbar in Brisbane

The image of a poor student is a familiar one, but even cash-strapped students don’t need to limit themselves to a diet of two-minute noodles. Brisbane’s dining scene offers something for all tastes and budgets, with the city’s multicultural flavour reflected in its cuisine.

From cheap eateries and farmer's markets through to reasonably priced cafes and pubs, there’s plenty to choose from. If you prefer to eat at home or need items for a relaxing picnic in the park, you can find all you need at a large number of the city's local supermarkets.

Eating out

Eating out is a quick and easy option for students and there are restaurants that will suit every taste and budget. Takeaway stores and fast-food outlets can offer cheap dining options for the budget-conscious. If you’re looking for a casual place to meet with friends for a meal, Brisbane has a wide range of great cafes and, for special occasions, there is a range of more expensive, fine-dining restaurants.

Of course, if you’re happy to prepare your own food, you might take advantage of one of the city’s green spaces to meet friends for a picnic or barbecue. Some of the city’s well-known public areas, such as the popular Kangaroo Point Cliffs, have free barbecues for use.

Budget-conscious students may benefit from the following tips:

  • If you’re meeting up with friends for a meal, avoid dinner and opt for a lunch date instead, as lunch specials can offer significant discounts on selected menu items.
  • Tuesday nights will become your new favourite day of the week as “Cheap Tuesday” special offers are popular. Places like The Caxton Hotel on Petrie Tce offer two-for-one main meals, or you can get discounts on pizzas from local stores for a lazy night in.
  • Why not try sushi for an alternative to the standard fast food options? It’s a healthy and affordable solution for those on the run.

Search for a range of dining options via cuisine type or location on the Visit Brisbane website.

Eating In

Eating in is often the most affordable option for students, and supermarkets are convenient places to buy groceries. To stock up your cupboards at home, you’ll find a huge selection of supermarkets such as Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA for your everyday items.

Ethnic ingredients and Asian vegetables can easily be found via the ethnic supermarkets located around Brisbane in places such as Chinatown, Sunnybank, Moorooka and Inala.

The weekends are particularly good for visiting some of the many fresh produce markets, making home cooking a simple task after your day of study.

Bars and Pubs

Enjoying a drink while you’re out on the town can be a nice way to unwind and relax at the end of the week. The legal age for buying or drinking alcohol is 18. Bar staff may ask to see your passport or driver’s licence as proof of age.

Check out our list of Brisbane's best bars for students. Alternatively, search for bars and pubs in Brisbane on the Visit Brisbane website.