Here’s where to find the very best Brisbane laneways
Over the past decade, the network of laneways in Queensland’s capital has transformed into a place where the city culture comes alive.
So, pack your appetite, walking shoes and a sense of adventure. It’s time to venture down the road less travelled – the laneways changing Brisbane.
1. Ada Lane
Where: Off James St, Fortitude Valley
Why it’s one of the best: This laneway is so new, all the retailers haven’t even opened yet. Underneath the Calile Hotel on James Street is Ada Lane, a food and beverage micro precinct.
The first restaurant to open here is Beaux Rumble, a two-storey restaurant that fuses French Beaux-arts design with modern Australian wood-fired cuisine (with a focus on plant-based and seafood dishes).
Watch this space, because soon every local will be talking about it.
2. Fish Lane
Where: Parallel to Melbourne St, South Brisbane
Why it’s one of the best: It’s home to some of Brisbane’s best bites and all within walking distance of QPAC, making it the laneway of choice for pre-show antics.
Here you’ll find favourites like Julius Pizzeria, Chu The Phat, Gelato Messina, Gauge and Billykart, to name a few.
Discerning drinkers should make tracks to the watering-hole-in-the-wall, The Next Episode. This cocktail bar knows its stuff. They’re so good at their craft they make ordering a classic margarita seem like a drink for the uninitiated.
3. Albert Lane
Where: Off Queen Street Mall, Brisbane City
Why it’s one of the best: You know laneways are bang on trend when property developers fall over themselves to squeeze a laneway into big development projects.
That’s exactly how Albert Lane (the pathway which connects Queen and Albert Streets) came to fruition.
What Albert Lane lacks in grunge appeal, it makes up for in polished design and selection of dining options.
Pack your appetite for this laneway-cum-food court and tour your taste buds between Little Singapore, Vapiano, Comuna Cantina, and Harajuku Gyoza – all within steps of each other.
4. Bakery Lane
Where: Off Ann St, Brisbane City
Why it’s one of the best: Take a turn off Ann St and you’ll find the home of Brisbane’s best brownies and cocktail bars – and all within a city block.
By day, Cake and S**t and Nom Nom Korean have your meals under control and by night, Johnny’s Pizzeria and the Laruche bar know how to guarantee a good time.
This has all the hallmarks of a great laneway – exposed brickwork, alfresco dining, and boutique shops that stock products you won’t find anywhere else in Brisbane.
5. Winn Lane
Where: Winn St, Fortitude Valley
Why it’s one of the best: There’s definitely a correlation between time spent in Winn Lane and improvements to your street credibility.
We think its cool factor has got to do with the fact Winn Lane is a laneway off a laneway, which almost intensifies its appeal in the same way a double shot of coffee does to your morning heart-starter.
Don’t expect to find mainstream stores here. It’s all about boutiques like Sunday Social and food dished up by Ben’s Burgers.
These pocket-sized stores are often on rotation as savvy store owners host pop-ups in the laneway rather than take on a full lease. The best way to stay tuned with what’s on in the lane is via their Facebook page.
6. Burnett Lane
Where: Parallel to the Queen Street Mall, between George St and Albert St, Brisbane City
Why it’s one of the best: Brisbane’s oldest and most well-known laneway, Burnett Lane, has you covered from your first espresso of the day to your last espresso martini.
In fact, once you’re in Burnett Lane there’s really no need to leave when you’ve got Felix cooking up breakfast, Brew taking care of lunch and Survey Co. doing the rest.
Of course, it’s more than just Brissie’s best bites that make Burnett Lane significant. The lane was the main player in Brisbane’s early history. Not only is the lane named after our first colonial surveyor, but Burnett Lane started life as a prison yard, back when Brisbane was a penal colony.
It was this history alongside its superb location that supported Brisbane City Council’s decision to give Burnett Lane a spit and polish in 2010 as part of its Vibrant Laneways Project.
This $2.5m makeover breathed new life (and street art) into the forgotten real-estate between George and Albert Streets – and Burnett Lane was reborn.
7. Spencer Lane
Where: Off Margaret Street, Brisbane City
Why it’s one of the best: Spencer Lane off Margaret Street brings a touch of New York City to Brisbane. Think exposed brick, external fire escapes and the kind of mood lighting that makes everyone look good.
This laneway has been architecturally pieced together, joining venues Urbane, The Euro and Laneway Bar into one seamless space.
Spencer Lane is proof that good things come in small packages – packing these three culinary heavyweights into a tiny space (read more here).
Crowned as one of the Top 100 restaurants in Australia by both Gourmet Traveller and Gault&Millau’s 2018 awards, chic dining darling Urbane has long been one of Brisbane’s best-kept secrets.
8. California Lane
Where: Corner of Brunswick and McLachlan Street, Fortitude Valley
Why it’s one of the best: A newcomer to Brisbane’s laneway scene, California Lane has transformed a former cafe (aptly named California Cafe) to an up-and-coming urban space.
Paying tribute to its history through retro elements like neon signs and pastel walls, the lane is home to haunts like Doughlord, The American Diner & Co, and Fat Dumpling, with more to come.
Trust us, you’ll be seeing plenty of this place on Instagram so take this as your invitation to visit.
9. Eagle Lane
Where: Eagle Street Pier, Brisbane City
Why it’s one of the best: Eagle Lane and Eagle Street Pier might be the yin and yang of the dining world, but together they balance dining perfection.
Skip the Pier’s river views and fine dining, and slip behind the buildings on Queen St in favour of Eagle Lane.
This lane is home to bars and restaurants like Brooklyn Standard, with a dining culture so comfortable you’re likely to stay longer than just a few drinks.
The laneway ramps up its cool factor with regular pop-up gigs and art exhibitions, making it the place to be come sundown on Friday.
10. Eden Lane
Where: Between Gibbon and Hubert Streets, Woolloongabba
Why it’s one of the best: Connecting Gibbon and Hubert Streets in the ‘Gabba‘ is Eden Lane – one of Brissie’s emerging laneways.
Start your day on the right note with breakfast at Coffee Supreme, pick up sweet treats at 31 Degrees Custom Chocolates and get a closer shave at Jimmy Rods Shave Saloon.