Brisbane's best multicultural restaurants
Is your heart aching for a taste of home? Maybe it’s time to ditch the campus cafeteria and treat your tastebuds to some familiar flavours. From fried rice to foie gras and nachos to naan, here’s your round-the-world ticket to Brisbane’s multicultural food on a student budget.
Brisbane’s Asian fusion restaurants offer a delicious medley of southeast Asian cuisines. Taste your favourite flavours at Chop Chop Changs in West End (you need to order the king snapper spring rolls), Chu The Phat in South Brisbane, King Tea in Paddington, as well as Fat Noodle and Madame Wu in the city.
Tip: For a cheap eat, check out West End locals’ favourite, Trang. You'll even find the rare combination of Korean and Italian food in West End's FALALALAH.
If you’re looking for damn fine Chinese food, your first stop should be the southern suburb of Sunnybank, where you'll be able to find the spiciest hot pot (The Jin and The Cube), the best Asian grocers (Sunny Park and Marketplace) and the most authentic yum cha (Landmark Restaurant and Golden Lane). Love Sichuan dishes? Check out Chengdu Taste and Fortune Well. Craving roast fish and Chinese style seafood? Head to Charcoal House. In Fortitude Valley, we recommend Super Bowl and Happy Boy (seriously, try the Chongqing spicy chicken). Look for hidden gems like China Kitchen in Toowong and Next Door Chef in Kelvin Grove. At South Bank and Portside you’ll also find the goods at Bamboo Basket. Don't forget your Peng You (that's mandarin for friend) in Newstead!
Tip: For cheap eats in the CBD, try the malatang in David's Hotpot, maocai in 3 Kingdoms, and dumplings/wontons at New Shanghai. You'll find plenty of Bubble Tea options (hint: Gongcha and Cha time) to go with your meal!
From l’entrée to le dessert, Brisbane’s French restaurants are le delicious! Treat yourself to the a la carte menus at Montrachet in Bowen Hills, Lutece in Bardon, Aquitaine at South Bank, or Greenglass in the city. Bon appetit!
Tip: A fun night out with friends is to be had at Les Bubbles, a French-inspired bistro in Fortitude Valley serving steak and all-you-can-eat chips for $30.
Round up your favourite foodies for a Greek night out featuring mouth-watering marinades and seafood galore. Brisbane’s authentic Greek food is to be found at Lefkas Taverna, Little Greek Taverna and Kafenio – all in West End. If you're looking to dine a bit more upmarket, Hellenika in Fortitude Valley, Nostimo in South Brisbane and Greca down at Howard Smith Wharves are serving up some epic Greek fare. Other recommendations for casual eats include Zeus Street Greek and The Yiros Shop that can be found at various locations around Brisbane.
Tip: Keep it simple and order the marinated lamb on pita bread.
Hanging out for a hot curry? Spice and flavour come together at Heritij in the CBD, Punjabi Palace in West End, A Night in India in Toowong, Indian Mehfil in the city and Taringa and The Indian Brothers in Annerley. Super cheap and delicious Indian is also to be found at Indian Kitchen in West End. Our student ambassador Ameya seriously recommends the Pav Bhaji at Mirchh Masala in Woolloongabba!
Tip: For a healthy take on Indian cuisine, go to It’s Mirchi in Bulimba or Paddington.
Italy – the glorious home of pizza, pasta and gelato. Everything you eat in this European favourite is bound to please, but in Brisbane, you'll find the best saucy bites at Julius Pizzeria or Popolo's in South Bank, Beccofino or Tocco Italiano in Teneriffe, Coppa Spuntino in the city, Ripiena in Fortitude Valley, Il Verde in Bowen Hills, and Sugo Mi in Bulimba. On a budget? We suggest giving Italian Street Kitchen in Newstead a try – the pizzas are big, cheesy and a bang for your buck.
Tip: For all-you-can-eat pizza, stop into Salt Meats Cheese Newstead on Mondays to carb-load for only $25.
Indonesian student ambassador Arhdia's favourite place to get her fix of home are Sendok Garpu in Indooroopilly and Shalom Restaurant in Sunnybank Hills. Pop into Mamaku Street Food in Clayfield if you are in the north side.
Tip: Try the Nasi Uduk Ayam Kalasan which is Japanese marinated chicken served with coconut rice, lettuce, cucumber, and sambal terasi (shrimp chili paste) - delicious!
Show off your chopstick skills or lack thereof at the Sushi Edo trains around the city, Sushi Kotobuki in East Brisbane, Tatsu Yakitori in Fortitude Valley and Ku-o Japanese Restaurant in Sunnybank and Woolloongabba. Noodle soup lovers find their match at Taro’s Ramen in the city, South Brisbane & Ascot, Genkotsu Ramen in Toowong, and Hai Hai Ramen in Paddington. Japanese student ambassador Haruna recommends Bird’s Nest Restaurant in West End and Fortitude Valley, which serves some fine authentic Japanese yakitori. For fine dining on a budget, check Sake down at Eagle Street Pier or Sono in the city and Portside.
Tip: For fab Japanese food, BYO wine and your own cosy booth, visit Wagaya in Fortitude Valley.
Savouring the thought of your last sweet Singaporean dish? It’s time to go back for more. The best of the cuisine can be found at the Singapore & Co. restaurants in the city and Sunnybank. According to Singaporean student ambassador Yonas, the laska from Malaysian restaurant Taste of Penang uses rich broth packed with spice and similar flavours, which brings him back home.
Tip: Beef and black bean for life, and remember to BYO.
Make a date with Malaysian. The tastiest dishes are to be found at PappaRich in Wintergarden, Roti Place in the city and Malaya Corner in Sunnybank.
Tip: PappaRich in Wintergarden is a true gem – order roti canai with beef rendang.
With or without ponchos you can feast or fiesta at Mucho Mexicano in South Bank, Trash Taco in Fortitude Valley, El Camino Cantina on King Street, Pepe’s in Newmarket, Comuna Cantina in the city or El Torito in West End.
Tip: El Torito in West End has $10 daily lunch specials and you’ll want them all.
Whether you’re a die hard goat fan or an amateur curry lover, there’s something on the menu for you at Brisbane’s Nepalese restaurants. Check out Himalayan Café in New Farm, Bishnu’s Himalayan Kitchen in Stafford Heights, and Kathmandu Newa Chhe'n in Paddington, or stop by our Nepalese student ambassador Bibidh's favourite - Awesome Parmigiana & Steakhouse in Fortitude Valley - rumour has it, they have the best thali and momos!
Tip: All of these restaurants are BYO – you know what to do.
Brisbane’s Korean restaurants are next level amazing. Find the best hot stone pots and kimchi at Madtongsan in Sunnybank and Madtongsan II, Maru and Warawara in the city.
Tip: Can’t decide between Japanese and Korean? Head to JAKO in Auchenflower. It has the best dishes in both cuisines!
Whoever knew cooking meat on a stick would taste so good? Add some hummus and we’ve got the best Middle Eastern food at MADO, Ahmet's and Baba Ganouj in South Bank, NAÏM in Paddington (even for brunch), Caravanserai in West End, and Byblos at Portside for finer dining and river views.
Tip: Eat early at Byblos to catch a stunning sunset over the Brisbane River.
Filipino student ambassador Simeon thinks Yes Please in Kangaroo Point is the best Filipino restaurant in Brisbane. The adobo, crispy pata, sisig, kare kare and kwek kwek are all very popular dishes. Other Filipino restaurants around the city include Best Friends Kainan in Fortitude Valley, Felix & Amor Cafe in Capalaba, Phileoz in Stafford, and Karinderia by the Filipino Street Food at Eat Street Northshore.
Tip: For dessert, try the “Halo-Halo” which literally means “mix-mix” or a mixture of boiled sweet beans, gelatin, preserved or fresh sweet fruits, tapioca, and other sweet ingredients topped off with shaved ice, and evaporated milk - yum!
Grab your amigos and get ready to salsa. You’ll find amazing tapas at Ole Restaurant in South Bank, El Matador, Alba or Blackfire Restaurant in the city, and the perfect paella at Toro Bravo in Fortitude Valley. For top self Spanish cuisine, Moda at The Barracks is using local produce to produce tasty share plates and entremeses, while across the road, Peasant is pairing jugs of sangria with a selection of tapas – make sure to leave room for the churros.
Tip: Visit The Sangria Bar (behind Ole) Monday - Thursday from 3-6pm for the Sunset Tapas special - enjoy 3 servings of tapas and one jug of Sangria for just $49 for 2 people.
There's a Thai dish for every occasion. Head to Pochana in the city for the best combination of authentic, affordable Thai dishes and great atmosphere - a live band performs there every single day. Other popular Thai restaurants include Phat Elephant in the city, Thai on High in Highgate Hill, Siam at South Bank, Thaiways in Albion, Longtime and Thai Wi-Rat in Fortitude Valley and Heart Thai Food in Milton.
Tip: Try our student ambassador Simon's favourite Papaya salad at Pochana that guarantees to cure your homesickness.
Dreaming of fresh chilli and basil, rice noodles and some un-pho-gettable pho? Give yourself a dose of fresh Vietnamese at Vietnam House and The Vietnamese in Fortitude Valley, Little Saigon Grill and Pho City in the city, Pho Hien Vuong Pasteur in Sunnybank, Pho An in Inala, Pho Queue in Annerley, Quan Thanh in West End, Mrs Luu's in various locations, Hello Please at South Bank, and District One in Fortitude Valley and at Eat Street Markets.
Tip: For a more modern approach to Vietnamese/Chinese cuisine, try a bao bun filled with fried chicken, roasted pork belly or peking duck from Mr Bunz in West End.
Did we miss any? Let us know if you have a suggestion to add to the list at [email protected]