December 05, 2017
Brisbane’s cultural ecosystem is booming. Cafes and bars are opening on a (almost) weekly basis, restaurants and pubs are more forward-thinking and imaginative than ever and you can find innovative cultural events and pop-up spaces to visit every day of the week.
As we continue to attempt to define Australian cuisine, chefs continue to push the boundaries. We’ve seen (and tasted) emu tartare and black ants, eaten baos topped with dumplings and tasted whole kimchi-glazed fish in a cocktail bar. Bars continue to offer immersive, imaginative experiences that take you beyond their drinks lists — you can drink cocktails at a bar hidden in a bottle-o, climb the stairs of a two-level gin oasis and sip house-made sodas while playing arcade games.
The cafe culture is stronger than ever, too, with new cafes not only guaranteeing a stellar cup of Joe, but also innovative lunch snacks and sleek interiors that’ll really make you reconsider that desk sandwich.
Pubs are popping up riverside and brewing their beer in-house, while continuing to champion other local brands, artists and events. The bringing together of the art and food scene has expanded beyond pubs, with venues spending more time on their appearances, collaborating with local designers, architects and street artists to create stunning spaces.
Event organisers have created smart and clever new events, celebrating the city’s cultural ecosystem and bringing people together to run away from zombies in museums, look at innovative art and discuss the future of health, wealth and technology. At Concrete Playground we encourage exploration and showcase innovation in our city every day, so we thought it fitting to reward those most talented vanguards pushing Brisbane to be a better, braver city. And so, we are very pleased to announce Concrete Playground’s Best of 2017 Awards.
This year, we will be awarding a People’s Choice and Overall award in each of the following five categories:
- Best New Restaurant
- Best New Bar
- Best New Cafe
- Best New Pub
- Best New Event
These 30 outstanding Brisbane ventures have been handpicked by Concrete Playground for their combination of originality, innovation, creativity, approachability and sustainability. We straight-up love them.
WIN We’re giving away one $100 voucher to the restaurant of your choice from the nominees for Brisbane’s Best New Restaurant of 2017. Will it be a Chinese feast at Happy Boy? A pizza affair at Neighbourhood? An Australian spread at Detour? It’s up to you. All you need to do to enter the draw is cast your vote below. The winner will be drawn at 5pm on Thursday, December 14 and the voucher will be valid for six months.
Cast your People’s Choice votes below by 5pm on Wednesday, December 13 (you can only vote once per category, so make those votes count). People’s Choice and Overall winners in each category will be announced at 3pm on Thursday, December 14. Please note that your vote is recorded as soon as you make your selection in each category, but that you can edit your votes right up until when voting closes. If you have any questions or feedback, hit us up at [email protected]
The brains behind Donut Boyz and Hello Harry are putting gyoza in bao because they can.
You'll find Australian-leaning dishes (emu tartare, anyone?) and inventive cocktails at this Woolloongabba haunt.
HUMMINGBIRD - CLOSED
Sit in the courtyard, or at the bar, and dig into a steak and one of the (seven) martinis on offer.
Provincial Chinese cuisine in the heart of the Valley.
TATSU YAKITORI BAR
Your new Japanese street food haven.
A put-together pizza and drinks joint in the 'burbs.
A hidden brew bar accessible only through a bottle-o fridge.
THE CLOAKROOM BAR
Head down the laneway and look for the doorman under the fire escape.
DEATHPROOF - (CLOSED)
Slam toasties and tacos and drink cocktails from a glass skull at this New Farm bar.
Brisbane's retro arcade and board game bar.
A multi-faceted bar with a secret whisky room.
COVENT GARDEN WEST END
Sample gins from around the world at this West End bar.
Bangin' out bagels and coffee in a cosy weatherboard cottage.
THE CHEESE PLEASER
Artisanal slices, three-cheese toasties and a cheese-worshipping seasonal menu right in the CBD.
STREET LAB SPECIALTY COFFEE
Emporium's coffee spot serves up more than just a caffeine fix.
Brisbane's newest vegan cafe is definitely one for the rotation.
All-day breakfast, good coffee and jalapeño waffles with chicken nuggets.
The Little Loco owners second cafe is pretty as a picture — and there's stellar coffee and food, too.
THE MONTAGUE HOTEL
This new West End gastropub does $10 espresso martinis all day, every day.
Everything old is new again as the Ann and Constance corner favourite returns to its original name, look and layout.
Snack on street food and crack a brew while taking in some of the best views of the river.
NEWSTEAD BREWING CO MILTON
A bustling pub-slash-brewery for all your craft beer needs.
BEYOND THE PALE
From morning coffee to late-night bar snacks, this Coorparoo establishment covers all bases.
LITTLE BIG HOUSE - CLOSED
Belt out karaoke and drink beer in a renovated police station.
ESPRESSO MARTINI FESTIVAL
Try as many different espresso martinis as your heart can handle at this well-caffeinated festival.
The South Bank restaurant gets experimental with its new monthly dinner series.
More than 100 speakers ponder the future of culture, health, money, cities, and work and play.
Head north for a new two-day arts and creativity festival.
CONTAINMENT — DIRECTORS OF THE EXTRAORDINARY
Zombies come to Brisbane Powerhouse as part of this live, interactive game.
SUPERCELL: FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY DANCE BRISBANE
Getting stormy on the stage instead of in the sky.
Concrete Playground Trips
Book unique getaways and adventures dreamed up by our editors