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BEST OF 2017
Honouring the very best arrivals on Brisbane's scene this year
By Concrete Playground
December 05, 2017
By Concrete Playground
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]

  • JUNK

    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.


    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.


    Your new Japanese street food haven.


    A put-together pizza and drinks joint in the 'burbs.


    Bangin' out bagels and coffee in a cosy weatherboard cottage.


    Artisanal slices, three-cheese toasties and a cheese-worshipping seasonal menu right in the CBD.


    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.

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