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By Concrete Playground
November 21, 2018
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By Concrete Playground
November 21, 2018
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WIN We’re giving away dinner for you and a friend at Brisbane’s hottest new restaurant. But first, we need you to help us decide what it is. Vote in our Best of 2018 Awards below (and fill out the comp form) and you’ll be in the running to score a free dinner at the winning restaurant.

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Seven new hotels. Two new food precincts. A new European-style market (complete with personal shoppers). Two permanent large-scale light installations. Dozens of new bars, restaurants, cafes. Brisbane has had a big year, and it’s the most fun and animated it has ever been.

As the city continues to grow, its venues and spaces continue to evolve — each one more impressive than its predecessor. Chefs — established and new — continue to experiment and specialise, opening Chinese fine diners in former CBD banks  and futuristic eateries decked out with Prince-themed crockery inside hotels. Bars no longer just serve good drinks, but distill onsite, and serve their own spirits alongside restaurant-quality snacks (sometimes inside 350-seat beer halls). Cafes continue to roast coffee, too, as well as bake, roll and batch in-house, serving up gluten-free doughnuts that achieve almost immediate cult status.

The city’s cultural calendar, not restricted to just bottomless brunches and high teas, brims with immersive experiences, spine-chilling installations and free outdoor art galleries. And, the city’s most stunning spaces are more dramatic, futuristic and sustainable.

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 2018 Awards.

This year, we will be awarding a People’s Choice and Overall award in each of the following five categories:

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.

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Cast your People’s Choice votes below by 5pm on Wednesday, December 12 (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 13. 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 hello@concreteplayground.com.au

  • DONNA CHANG

    A luxe Chinese fine diner in the CBD.

  • HELLENIKA AT THE CALILE

    Located inside Brisbane's new hotel The Calile, you can enjoy spanakopita, seafood and Greek wines in smooth surrounds.

  • LITTLE VALLEY

    Top-notch Asian fare from the folks behind Burleigh Heads' Rick Shores.

  • SALON DE CO

    Old-world design meets futuristic fare at the Ovolo Inchcolm's adventurous in-house restaurant.

  • RESTAURANT DAN ARNOLD

    A French fine diner in the heart of Fortitude Valley.

  • HERITIJ

    An inventive take on Indian cuisine from a Michelin-starred chef.

  • FREJA'S

    A patisserie-cum-cafe in the heart of Wilston.

  • MACHO MACHO

    An Ashgrove eatery serving up robust and colourful meals from morning till night.

  • DICKI'S

    Vegan eats and colourful cocktails in New Farm.

  • NODO

    Newstead's gluten-free bakeshop has revamped its cafe, with more room to serve its doughnuts and brunches.

  • ALPHABET CAFE

    Head along to this cafe for the A to Z of sweet treats in Brisbane.

  • PENNY COFFEE CO

    A Dutton Park hang-out slinging quality coffee and creative brekkies.

  • FLOWSTATE

    A temporary creative space with a glowing arc-like LED installation, workshops and a year-long program of free events.

  • PATRICIA PICCININI: CURIOUS AFFECTION

    GOMA has pulled together 70 of Piccinini's arresting works, including a field of 3000 flower sculptures.

  • BOTANICA

    Turning Brisbane's City Botanic Gardens into an outdoor art gallery.

  • SEANCE

    The spine-chilling shipping container experience is popping up South Bank — enter if you dare (and aren't claustrophobic).

  • SUGAR REPUBLIC

    A pop-up dessert museum where you can jump into a pink ball pit, climb inside a gumball machine and help yourself to lollies.

  • ARBORIA

    A huge immersive installation, inspired by the forest, is popping up by the beach.

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