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Travel guide Brisbane

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Good living in the city


One of the many temptations of any visit to Brisbane is experiencing the lifestyle and cuisine of the city's precincts. Within a ten minute radius of town you have dining choice of European, Mediterranean, Asian or contemporary Australian restaurants.

To begin with, Brunswick Street in the heart of urban Brisbane runs from Fortitude Valley to New Farm. This precinct is notably influenced by Asian and Italian foods, sometimes grungy but always lively, and home to a host of restaurants, cafes, retro clothes' stores and colourful Saturday markets.

Breakfast at Fat Boys Café in Brunswick Street draws a crowd, whilst the shops and markets surrounding offer a unique Brisbane appeal. Discover the fine dining at Isis Brasserie or stop in at Gertie's Bar and Restaurant for a drink and to watch the passing parade. Or head to the Chinatown Mall to sample a variety of Asian cuisines.

At the foot of the city side of the Story Bridge precinct dubbed the East End is bustling with new restaurants, bars and luxury accommodation. E'cco Bistro was the first of the east-ender eateries, and has been joined by Lat 27 and Circa Restaurant.

Mid-week in Brisbane, the Riverside Centre and Eagle Street Pier cook up a storm, boasting a diverse range of eating and entertainment venues. With spectacular views of the Brisbane River, cafes, bars and restaurants offer the highest quality dining. Every Sunday, Riverside and Eagle Street overflow with people shopping at the Riverside Markets. Here you will find a kaleidoscope of colourful stalls, craft goods and curios.

If it's coffee you want, Bar Merlo reigns supreme. Caffeine fanatics line up each morning at Merlo's four city locations for freshly ground-roasted blends.

Illuminated by spotlight in the evening, Kangaroo Point Cliffs promise spectacular views of the city. Day and night rock climbers dangle precariously from the cliff face and in the evening free barbecues make this a busy outdoor dining spot. Artistic sculptures colour the River Boardwalk which wraps around the base of Kangaroo Cliffs through to South Bank which is a hub of food, wine, entertainment and culture. At South Bank, you'll find many restaurants, and the Queensland Cultural Centre, home to the Queensland Art Gallery, the Museum and the Performing Arts Complex. Dining venues such as the River Canteen take full advantage of outdoor dining by the river's edge.

On the southern side of the city is West End. The electric crowd that frequents this precinct seeks the perfect espresso coffee and light fare at Espressohead, has breakfast at the Gun Shop and Three Monkeys and evening drinks at the Lychee Bar and Tongue and Groove. In addition, West End is well-known for its delicatessens, Vietnamese and Turkish restaurants, grocers, coffee and tea merchants.

Above all, Brisbane's reputation as the alfresco dining capital of Australia remains second to none.

About the author
Margie Benson wrote this article

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