The capital of Australia's South East Queensland, Brisbane draws tourists from other parts of the country and other continents for its sunshine, scenic Brisbane River that meanders through the city, and abundance of parks. With a population of over two million, the Brisbane region isn't short on shopping, nightlife, and cultural attractions, either.
With all its tourism and healthy local population, the city also boasts a thriving food scene. The scene includes everything from fine dining to to casual eateries to counter-service restaurants. An up and coming segment of the food scene here in Brisbane is street food. Locals and tourists love the flexibility to get their food on the go and for a reasonable price. Touring the food vendors in Brisbane is like a trip around the world. You can get plenty of Asian meals if you enjoy Thai, Korean, and Chinese. Latin food, sweet treats, and Italian cuisine is here for you as well.
Before you embark on your food tour of Brisbane, stop at a Bounce luggage storage to safely stow your bags. Let's face it, you'll probably need both hands for eating!
The best street food vendors in Brisbane
Hello Pho Vietnamese Street Food
Steps away from the Brisbane Central Station, Hello Pho delights diners on the move with Vietnamese street cuisine like bahn mi sandwiches, noodle salads, and pho. The counter-service restaurant is small and efficient. The bahn mi is available with fried tofu or varieties of pork and chicken. Hello Pho combines tender meat with fresh flavors from coriander, chili sauce, and lemongrass. This is the perfect place to get your meal when you're getting on a train or before you set out on your journey sightseeing.
P'Nut Street Noodles
Serving authentic Asian street food based on traditional recipes from hawker street stalls in Bangkok, P'Nut Street Noodles is your one-stop-shop for everything Thai. The sauce bases are made in Thailand for a unique flavor you can't get locally. The sauces were actually created with the help of a Michelin Star Iron Chef, which tends to be an uncommon association with street foods. They offer vegan, gluten-free, and egg-free dishes. The variety of noodles and rice is outstanding, and if you're not on the go, the soups are worth a try as well. This brick-and-mortar restaurant has three locations in Brisbane, and the ones in Bulimba and Southbank are likely the most accessible to tourists.
Skewer Me is a food truck in Brisbane that unsurprisingly specializes in Asian-style skewers. The skewers are one of the easiest things to eat on the go and your taste buds will certainly thank you for stopping here. They are typically in the CBD on Fridays at the Albert Street Shared Zone, but it's best to consult their website to confirm their schedule. Opt for a variety of meats on a skewer topped with flavorful condiments like homemade satay sauce and Thai chili jam. They also have an option for tofu and a share plate if you can't decide what to get.
My Latino Fusion
Also often located in the Albert Street Shared Zone, My Latino Fusion brings the flavors of South America to downtown Brisbane. The owner is a trained chef passionate about Latin cuisine and offers delicious food with a twist. Their signature dish, the tequenos, are halloumi sticks with guacamole suitable for vegetarians. They also have the customary tacos and grilled corn on the cob with chipotle mayo, parmesan, coriander, and lime. To get your fill of fresh and unique Latin flavor, head here for your next meal.
Flavours of Eataly
Flavours of Eataly is a Brisbane-based mobile food business specializing in Italian fare, and who doesn't like Italian food? The truck moves around, but can often be seen in Fortitude Valley. The owner, a trained chef and pastry chef, offers catering services, appears at private events, and visits festivals around the area.
The menu at Flavours of Eataly is mouth-watering, and the iconic Neapolitan street food, arancini, is a must for any visit to this truck. Various pasta dishes, eggplant parmigiana, and gnocchi all feature heavily here.
Mr. Bunz is a small counter-service street food location in the West End. They serve up savory buns filled with unique combinations of flavors. The crispy chicken bao is a compact street food for travelers on the go and one of their bestsellers. The buns themselves are fluffy and made fresh daily. Toppings like jalapenos, cucumbers, roast pork belly, and a variety of sauces keep the buns interesting and the flavors are nicely balanced.
To finish off the list of the best street food vendors in Brisbane, let's go with something sweet. Kreamed is a mobile food truck that frequents the Botanic Gardens on the Brisbane River in the CBD most Saturdays. Famous for their ice cream sundaes, this truck is an ideal way to beat the Brisbane heat. There are four sundae choices made with gelato in two different sizes. If the Peanut Butter My Brownie sundae doesn't get your mouth watering, nothing will. It has peanut brittle chunks, brownie pieces, and crushed salted peanuts on a bed of peanut butter and chocolate gelato. Your only decision should be one scoop or two?
Where to find the best Brisbane street food spots
Depending on which neighborhood you choose to call home on your vacation, if it's within the core of Brisbane, you'll probably find some tasty street food a short walk away. Here are some of the highlights:
Unsurprisingly, the Brisbane city center tends to have the highest concentration of street food. Many food trucks frequent the area, and Kreamed, Skewer Me, and My Latino Fusion call this place home either permanently or on a rotating basis. Thai Street Kitchen, Banh Mi Now, and Hello Pho Vietnamese all provide excellent Asian street food in the district. There are takeout burger joints, chain fast food restaurants, and bakeries in this area, so if you are looking for a specific type of street food, chances are you'll find it here. In fact, this is one of the best places to get street food as you explore the Brisbane sights. The Botanic Gardens on Edward Street is a wonderful location for an impromptu meal with plenty of grassy areas to sit.
It stands to reason that the neighborhood known for the best nightlife in Brisbane has some of the best street food as well. Also home to Chinatown, the food here skews Asian, but there are lots of different things to try. Gung Ho Dumpling is an excellent spot for dim sum and dumplings in Bakery Lane and Snack Man offers regional Chinese cuisine in small plates. Nomnom Korean Eatery is also in Bakery Lane with a selection of Korean street food, a small patio, and the option to get a drink from the bar next door. This neighborhood is vibrant and quirky with tons of cafes, vintage stores, and both fancy rooftop lounges and dive bars. Get your food to go and meander through the charming lanes and colorful streets as you eat.
Boundary Street in Spring Hill is a great location to find street food. Wonder Sandwich Bar offers an excellent selection of sandwiches for takeaway. Spring Hill Kitchen offers food creations from Nepal and Mama Do Vietnamese is perfect for your Asian food fix. There are also fast food options for pizza, sandwiches, and burgers available here. The Roma Street Parkland is in this area and makes a relaxing place to take your delicious food. It's one of the best places to hike in Brisbane, so you can always take advantage of that to work off your meal. Otherwise, just stick to wandering as you eat and experience the charming historical streets.
A 15-minute drive south from the CBD gets you to the neighborhood of Moorooka, and while you may not expect to do any sightseeing here on your trip, for food trucks, this is the place to be. Arcana Brisbane hosts Food Truck Fridays in this suburban location. The trucks pull in to park around this warehouse-style space and if you're in Brisbane on a Friday, this is a must. The event runs from 5 pm to 9 pm and is both pet and family-friendly. Other than the food, expect an assortment of craft beer and cocktails alongside lively entertainment. The admission is free and you can even pre-book a table online.
Street food festivals in Brisbane
Eat Street Northshore
Eat Street Northshore is a permanent, weekend-only street food venue with over 70 food stalls to choose from. It operates on a wharf overlooking the Brisbane River in Hamilton, about 15 minutes from the Central Business District and less than that from the Brisbane airport. The venue itself is unique and really leans into the shipping-centric theme. The food vendors are found in old shipping containers and delight diners with meals from six different continents.
The space here is vibrant with five bars and live entertainment from talented locals. Eat Street is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and also offers shopping, so it's possible you might find the perfect souvenir as you browse. In all, this is one of Brisbane's most popular evening activities.
Fish Lane Festival
Taking place annually in May, the Fish Lane Festival is a big draw for foodies. The event boasts great food, fabulous music, and encourages you to dance the night away. What better way is there to burn off all the tasty food you're likely to sample? Fish Lane by itself is a quirky street with colorful murals, outdoor patios, and twinkle lights, so it's worth a visit anyway. But, if your trip happens to coincide with the festival, consider yourself lucky. The festival starts at midday on Saturday and runs well into the evening. The iconic laneway is filled with seating, pop-up restaurants and bars, and tons of people. This is a great way to experience Brisbane like the locals. They look forward to this event every year.
Paniyiri Greek Festival
For lovers of everything Greek, the Paniyiri Greek Festival is ideal. Held annually, also in May on the third weekend at Musgrave Park, this festival is known for its amazing food. Souvlaki, halloumi, and octopus are around every corner, and the event is known for its honey puffs. These sweet pastry puffs with honey and a sprinkle of sugar are so popular that each year festival-goers consume upwards of 300,000 of them. There is an entrance fee to the festival, usually around $10, but for that, you get tons of food and entertainment. It's especially fun to grab an order of slow-roasted lamb and find a seat to take in the traditional Greek dancing show. Other event highlights include cooking demonstrations and talks from professional chefs.
Although you may not travel to Brisbane just for the food, it's hard to resist the pull of the many restaurants and street vendors scattered around town. And, really, why fight it? No one wants to cook on vacation, and in Brisbane, you can get a meal from a different part of the world every day. While it might get pricey eating out so much, street food offers the perfect reprieve from the high cost of sit-down dining. With weather this good wouldn't you rather eat outside in a scenic park or square anyway?