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Neighbourhood Guide: Fortitude Valley
By Concrete Playground
May 26, 2021
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By Concrete Playground
May 26, 2021
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From laneways to luxury brands and cultural hubs to cool pubs, Fortitude Valley is one of the liveliest suburbs in Brisbane.

More fondly referred to as The Valley, the area is best described as grunge meets sophistication thanks to its award-winning diners, vibrant entertainment venues and designer boutiques.

Start your day with a coffee and a croissant at Jocelyn’s Provisions before moseying down James Street. There, you’ll find an abundance of Australian fashion labels and a gourmet food hub, so you can shop to your stomach and heart’s content. Closer to the city is an eclectic mix of independent retailers and laneways harbouring everything from late-night spaghetti houses to fortnightly artisanal markets.

The energy here gets cranked up after dark. Whether it’s a casual brewski at Stone and Wood, a sultry cocktail at Savile Row or a night of dancing at X Cargo, there’s a place to go for wherever you want the night to take you.

From laneways to luxury brands and cultural hubs to cool pubs, Fortitude Valley is one of the liveliest suburbs in Brisbane.

DID YOU KNOW

Fortitude Valley is widely recognised as one of the most unique entertainment precincts in Australia. Its biggest venue, The Fortitude Music Hall, is also the country’s biggest ballroom-style venue. Over 3000 people can fit standing in the space, and big names in music flock to play to the crowds there.

GETTING AROUND

With so many venues within walking distance of each other, Fortitude Valley is best explored by foot. The train station, which is currently undergoing a $500 million reno, is about a ten-minute walk from most places in the area, while buses regularly make tracks in and out of the area.

PROPERTY PRICES

Buying a unit here will set you back $420,000 on average (according to Realestate.com.au). It’s a vibrant and energetic place perfect for those who don’t have a bedtime and want to take it all in. Check out NAB’s Property Report to learn more, then use its handy Home Loan Calculator to find out how much you can borrow. Or, book an appointment here.

LOCALS LOVE

As famous as the nightlife is, there are few places in Brisbane that rival the restaurant scene here in sheer quantity, quality and variety. Chinatown and Wickham Street boast lauded Japanese eateries and Cantonese institutions, sophisticated share plates are a staple of James Street and the back streets are home to hatted restaurants. Waste not, want not.

Living in Fortitude Valley

Discover the spots that could become your new local favourites.

Cafes

From cafes next to churches to space age-looking espresso machines, The Valley's caffeine scene is anything but boring.

1. The New Black

The Black Lab Coffee Co roaster's flagship store in Bakery Lane.

2. King Arthur Cafe

A contemporary cafe deserving of a crown.

3. Street Lab Specialty Coffee

Emporium's coffee spot serves up more than just a caffeine fix.

4. The Brooke

A charming coffee spot on the forecourt of a gothic-inspired church.

5. Reverends Fine Coffee

The hero of the space? A seriously space-age coffee machine named “Spirit” that welcomes you on arrival.

Casual Eats

Hit up these affordable eateries when your wallet is feelin' as empty as your stomach.

1. Maya Mexican

Pair sweeping city views with mezcal cocktails and next-level Mexican fare.

2. Happy Boy

Provincial Chinese cuisine in the heart of the Valley.

3. Honto

Enjoy Japanese eats from the Longtime team in The Valley.

4. Bloodhound Corner Bar and Kitchen

From the crew behind West End's Burrow comes The Valley's beer heaven.

5. Osbourne Hotel

Everything old is new again as the Ann and Constance corner favourite returns to its original name, look and layout.

Stellar Set Menus

Keen to kick things up a notch? Take the fuss out of fine dining with a degustation at one of the city's top diners.

1. Hellenika at The Calile

Inside The Calile, you can enjoy spanakopita, seafood and Greek wines in smooth surrounds.

2. Same Same

A two-storey Thai eatery in Ada Lane from the Longtime crew.

3. Joy

This cosy Bakery Lane restaurant only seats ten at the chef's table.

4. Restaurant Dan Arnold

A French fine diner in the heart of Fortitude Valley.

5. Agnes

The Same Same and Honto crew has joined forces with chef Ben Williamson to serve up woodfired dishes in an old brick warehouse.

Watering Holes

Fortitude Valley may be home to Stone and Wood — but it also boasts cosy wine bars, shipping container spots and more.

1. Cru Bar + Cellar

It's the ideal alternative for those wanting to avoid the chaos that is The Valley on a Saturday night.

2. Stone & Wood Brewery Brisbane

The Byron Bay-based label has opened a brewery and taproom in a heritage-listed Valley building.

3. City Winery

Brisbane's first inner city winery.

4. Dutch Courage Officers' Mess

Make like Snoop Dogg, sip on some gin and juice, and do your granny proud.

5. X Cargo

The multi-purpose Fortitude Valley venue combines an American-meets-Latin American eatery, three bars and a party venue.

Shops

Lose a few hours exploring the quirky boutiques and specialty stores around this inner city suburb.

1. Jocelyn's Provisions

It's near impossible to talk baked goods in Brisbane without mentioning Jocelyn’s Provisions.

2. Calexico

Find luxe designer labels and in-store tailoring at this sleek Brisbane boutique.

3. Wolfe and Ordnance

A one-stop shop for must-have linen dresses, cosy knits and denim staples.

4. St Barts James Street

This high-end homewares and fashion house will have you forgetting IKEA in no time.

5. Dinosaur Designs

Resin has never looked so delicious — and it's all thanks to this much-loved Aussie design label.

After-Dark Action

As Australia's first dedicated entertainment district, it comes as no surprise that The Valley is a hive of activity.

1. The Wickham

The Valley's stylish establishment that welcomes all walks of Brisbane.

2. Woolly Mammoth

The upstairs Garden Bar is a Hamptons-style tropical oasis with greenery, clashing patterns, white wood and Pimms on tap.

3. Netherworld

Brisbane's retro arcade and board game bar.

4. Oche Fortitude Valley

A two-storey electronic darts bar.

5. Holey Moley Golf Club

Putt off a turntable, in a bathroom, through a gym, around creepy, creepy clowns, down a tenpin bowling lane and past the Nine Iron Throne.

Living in Fortitude Valley

Discover the spots that could become your new local favourites.

CP's Picks

These are our favourite things to do in the area.

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