The Brisbane Truck Show has evolved into much more than just a celebration of trucks.
As well as being the home of the Brisbane Truck Show, the South Bank precinct is also home to some of the city’s top restaurants and eateries, with an exceptional mix of everything from pub-grub to fine-dining. Here’s some top picks to tantalise the tastebuds.
Otto, South Bank
Otto is one of Brisbane’s most divine fine-dining restaurants. A masterclass in modern Italian cuisine, this riverfront dining spot is all about simplicity and amazing ingredients – and it’s only up the street from the show.
At the forefront of the Brisbane culinary scene, Otto has the awards to prove it, with recent gongs including Best Queensland Wine List by Gourmet Traveller Wine, as well as Wine List of the Year, Two Hats at the Australian Good Food Awards 2019 and Best Italian Restaurant QLD in the Delicious 100 2019.
If you’re a classy truckie, looking for the best Brisbane has to offer, head chef Will Cowper’s seasonal and produce-driven menu will certainly have you licking your lips.
Location: Sidon Street, South Bank, South Brisbane.
El Camino Cantina, South Bank
El Camino offers some of the best Tex-Mex food in Brisbane – plus a DJ club upstairs called Hotel Diablo.
It doesn’t get better than chomping down Tex-Mex staples like tacos, burritos and fajitas and then washing them down with a refreshing margarita at El Camino Cantina.
A huge 510-seater restaurant just off the South Bank foreshore, El Camino offers some of the best Tex-Mex food in Brisbane, that’s well-priced, with an electric atmosphere.
Location: 153 Stanley Street, South Brisbane.
Aquitaine Brasserie, South Bank
If you’re looking for indulgence, then say hello to one of Brisbane’s most decorated French restaurants, Aquitaine.
Located at River Quay, Aquitaine is well worth the short stroll through the South Bank Parklands from the Brisbane Truck Show.
Aquitaine boasts wonderful riverfront views and authentic French dishes inspired by the L’Aquitaine region of south-west France.
The restaurant prides itself on creating a menu made from quality produce and pairs this food with a fantastic wine list.
Location: Sidon Street, South Bank, South Brisbane.
Chu The Phat, Fish Lane
Located in the Fish Lane precinct, Chu The Phat takes Asian street food and wraps it up in a contemporary bow.
This spacious 300-seater venue has atmosphere coming out of its ears and is best experienced with a group of friends or colleagues while feasting on the incredible banquets or the much-loved dumplings.
With an amazing vibe, fantastic food and cocktails, Chu The Phat will have you longing for a trip to Hong Kong or Singapore for more.
Chu The Phat is the younger sibling to the iconic Madame Wu restaurant.
Location: 111 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane.
Julius Pizzeria, Fish Lane
This is among the best pizza joints in Brisbane. It’s also tucked away down Fish Lane, just a few hundred metres up the street from the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.
You won’t find a ‘top pizza’ list without Julius on it, and its popularity among foodies makes it a tough place to get a table at.
If you’re lucky or even organised, book a table in advance, if not, a takeaway will do just fine.
Location: 77 Grey Street, South Brisbane.
Billykart, West End
Billykart is the brainchild of world-renowned chef, Ben O’Donoghue, and is one of the best breakfast cafes and dining restaurants in town.
Take a short walk from the Brisbane Truck Show to the neighbouring suburb of West End, and you’ll find the laid-back, but impressive Billykart.
West End is Brisbane’s cultural hub and is renowned for its amazing eateries, and Billykart stacks up as one of the best in this part of the world.
Location: 2 Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane.
Pig ’N’ Whistle, West End
If a chicken parmy and beer while watching some footy is more your thing, the Pig & Whistle is your destination. Just to the rear of the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, the Pig ’N’ Whistle is as close to a cosy-styled British pub as you can get here in Brisbane.
Expect pub classics like burgers, steaks, and beef and Guinness pie. It isn’t fancy, but it’s delicious and best with a cold pint.
Location: Merivale Street, South Brisbane.
Bacchus, South Bank
After a nearly two-year hiatus during Covid, Bacchus — one of Brisbane’s swankiest fine-dining restaurants — hit the ground running when it reopened in 2022.
A new executive chef, a new menu and a thirst to pick up where it left off should mean Bacchus is a ‘must-go’ restaurant when here for the Brisbane Truck Show. And it’s situated right next door, in the Rydges Hotel.
It’s named after the god of wine, Bacchus, which seems fair considering its whopping 600-bottle wine list. If you aren’t into wine, that’s fine, just take in the decadent meals this award winning restaurant is serving up.
Dress code is smart casual, so ditch the flip flops and ruggers for enclosed shoes and some nice trousers.
Location: 9 Glenelg Street, South Brisbane.
Ahmet’s Turkish Restaurant, South Bank
Situated across the road from the South Bank Parklands on Grey Street is Ahmet’s Turkish Restaurant, a veteran of the South Bank food scene.
Breathe in the spices and Middle Eastern culture, marvel at the vibrant rubs, and bop along to the Turkish music.
It’s all part of the experience, preferably with a group of friends or colleagues. A restaurant you will go back to again and again.
Location: 10/168 Grey Street, South Brisbane.
Olé, South Bank
A Spanish marvel, here you’ll find the best tapas in South Bank. From the tapas to raciones grandes, all of Olé’s dishes are crafted with sharing in mind.
Olé imports staple ingredients to maintain the integrity and history of its dishes, while sourcing produce from local farmers to ensure freshness and quality.
Location: Shop/B12 Little Stanley Street, South Brisbane.