Words by Carlie Tucker
Brisbane's up and coming dining scene keeps getting better, with a slew of new restaurants springing up across the River City. There's no doubt the locals are savouring the abundance of new flavours, but this dining renaissance also bodes well for hungry business travellers.
The opportunities for lunching in the city have exploded, providing options galore with plenty of quick and kind of quick places available. We're counting down a few of our favourites within easy walking distance to the city:
Image courtesy of vegerama.com.au
If There's No Time To Wait
Little Saigon Grill
123 Albert Street, Brisbane
A little slice of Vietnamese street food right in the heart of the city, Little Saigon Grill holds up a laneway spot under the ultra-chic Rio Tinto building. Dining is al fresco or takeaway, which suits these traditional dishes perfectly. Dig into offerings like noodle soup, banh-mi, pho, crispy pancakes, house-made drinks and desserts. Vegetarian and gluten free options are also available.
Be sure to try the Vermicelli rice noodle salad, with your choice of chicken, beef or pork. This heaping bowl of deliciousness is served up quick and can be taken back to the office if you're in a rush.
Shop 30, Post Office Square & Level E, Myer Centre, Brisbane
Dedicated to serving up tasty food that's good for you, this inner city spot is entirely plant based with heaps of vegetarian and vegan options. The menu is all about fresh and locally sourced ingredients. From house made samosa and salads to vege burgers and pizzas, there is plenty of variety to satisfy even the biggest of appetites. Cold pressed juices, yoghurt lassies and smoothies are also available.
If you need something quick, you can't pass up one of Vegerama's fresh salads. For something a little more substantial but just as easy, the Vege burger is a top choice.
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Image courtesy of red-hook.com.au
If You Can Spare A Bit More Time
Gresham Lane, Shop 3, 88 Creek Street, Brisbane
Another 'hidden gem' of the new laneway culture popping up in Brisbane, Red Hook is all about American style dishes. Takeaway is definitely available for those that need to get something on the go, but pulling up a seat in their al fresco dining area is best if you can spare a half hour or so to eat. Inspired by the New York street food scene, you can choose from dishes like the Grandmaster Flash Burger, Philly Cheese Steak or Char Sui Pork Tacos. Grab a side of fries or battered pickles just for good measure.
For a good all American lunch, the Brooklyn Cheeseburger with Champion Fries definitely hits the spot. If you care to indulge a little more, the fried Mac n Cheese Squares also come highly recommended.
La Pizzeria at Tartufo
1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
Just outside the CBD, this Italian restaurant holds up a spot in the popular Emporium dining precinct in Fortitude Valley. It's a little bit of a walk, but once you taste this hand thrown pie, it'll all be worth it. The pizzas only take about 60 seconds to cook, so it's best to get a table to eat it hot out of the oven. It's all about Italian tradition here with thin, bubbly crusts and toppings that range from classic marinara and margherita to the more adventurous diavola.
There's nothing better than a traditional pizza, which is why you should start off with the Marinara. It's all about the sauce. If you prefer cheese, opt for the Margherita. They're simple but done so well.
Image courtesy of Miss Kay's Facebook
If There's Time To Get A Table
185 George Street, Brisbane
If you want something that's good for all the wrong reasons, Brisbane's newest burger bar has what you need. The lines can get quite long, so you'll need to be able to spend a little time even if you are getting takeaway. Miss Kay's is all about over the top, American-inspired burgers with a whole heap of toppings. There are standards like the cheeseburger and OG Burger (standard beef burger), or get a little creative with offerings like the Lukakrisp (fried chicken burger) and Porky Pig (pulled pork and slaw).
Like most things, you can't go wrong with the classics. Stick to the cheeseburger with fries or onion rings for a satisfying lunch. Not up for a burger, there is also a Caesar Salad for something a little lighter.
Level 1, 315 Brunswick Street, TCB Centre, Fortitude Valley
Positioned right in the heart of Fortitude Valley, this Japanese restaurant is a fairly easy walk from the fringes of the city. Takeaway isn't an option, but service is quick making it a great choice for a standard lunch break. The menu is brimming with Japanese dishes, ranging from fresh sushi to bento boxes. Wagaya is also able to cater for larger groups, making it ideal if you're thinking of bringing the whole team along.
You can't go wrong with a steaming bowl of Ramen. There are a few variates available and each comes with a small bowl of steamed rice and two dumplings.