9 of the best restaurants and bars at Howard Smith Wharves
Nestled between Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge and the New Farm cliffs with a 180-degree vista of the city skyline and river sits Howard Smith Wharves, Brisbane’s vibrant new dining and lifestyle precinct.
Just 10 minutes’ walk from the Brisbane CBD, this once-neglected piece of land has been transformed and is now a bustling pedestrian boardwalk lined with restaurants, bars, hotels, and event spaces.
Join the locals and soak up the famous Queensland sunshine by the water, drink in hand, or enjoy a meal overlooking the river at one of the world-class restaurants. One of the best things to do in Brisbane at night, the precinct comes alive as the city lights come out and the many bars and eateries stay open till late.
Felons Brewing Co
Any visit to Howard Smith Wharves should include a stop at Felons, a brewery and gastro-pub housed in a huge shed in the heart of the precinct, with plenty of seating overlooking the water.
Founded by Brisbane locals, Felons joins a slew of breweries in and around Brisbane, and brew and serve their own selection of beers and ciders. The menu includes a selection of modern gastro-pub fare, including steaks and an extensive menu of wood-fired pizzas.
New Australian-Cantonese restaurant, Stanley, is already making waves thanks to its charming old world Hong Kong-inspired decor (the venue is named for Hong Kong’s Stanley Bay) and menu of classic dishes. The Peking duck pancakes, steamed reef fish, and Moreton Bay bug or mud crab served four ways are stand outs.
The two-storey bistro, housed in the heritage-listed former headquarters of Brisbane’s water police, has a cool, dark interior, ideal for whiling away a hot summer afternoon, or dine on the deck in the sunshine with the Story Bridge towering above you.
Perched over the water in the centre of the action is Mr Percival’s, an eye-catching octagonal bar sitting directly under the Story Bridge. A go-to spot for drinks in Brisbane, the vibe here is always busy.
Find a seat on the expansive deck and watch the sun go down over the city skyline as you enjoy drinks and a bite to eat from the aperitivo menu, which includes a selection of caviar, prawn cocktails, pizzas, and Moreton Bay bug rolls.
Once the sun sets and the city lights come out, head inside for cocktails and dancing; you’ll find the in-house DJ spinning decks above the mirrored bar.
Sydney restaurateur Jonathan Barthelmess of famed Greek restaurant The Apollo has finally ventured north to give Brisbane his own take on the food of the gods. You’ll find contemporary Greek taverna, Greca, hidden among the olive trees overlooking the river.
If you can’t decide between classic favourites like dolmades, spanakopita and lamb shoulder, then why not go full Greek (quite literally) and enjoy it all with a set menu.
And everything on the menu goes down well with their signature watermelon spritz.
Next to Greca you’ll find another Jonathan Barthelmess venue, Japanese izakaya turned bistro, Yoko Dining. A recent opening, but already a firm favourite with locals, Yoko channels the energy and fun of Tokyo’s late night record bars in a split-level venue.
Offering sophisticated, sustainable Japanese cuisine, with a seafood leaning menu, raw bar, and plenty of bar snacks, the heart of the kitchen is a hibachi charcoal grill, turning out dishes such as the grilled prawns in kombu butter. The playful Japanese-inspired cocktail menu includes yuzu slushies, and, for dessert, you have to try their signature soft serve.
With ample seating outside and in Yoko is a great option for warm and cool weather dining by the river.
Casual Italian cafe and eatery, Ciao Papi, is a newcomer to the Howard Smith Wharves restaurant scene, but this charming venue has already stolen hearts around Brisbane.
Occupying one of the best spots by the river nestled under the cliffs on the New Farm end of the precinct, Ciao Papi is the ideal location to enjoy a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine while the sun goes down.
Fiume at The Fantuzzo
Located in chic Art Series hotel, The Fantauzzo, rooftop bar Fiume is set above the hustle of the Howard Smith Wharves, and offers some of the best views of the Brisbane river, the city skyline and the Story Bridge.
Perch on a stool on the balcony and enjoy cocktails – the menu includes an impressive range of spritzes – before heading downstairs to dinner at Italian eatery, Polpetta.
Inspired by the streets of Rome, and set against the backdrop of the Brisbane river, Italian restaurant, Polpetta can be found on the ground floor of The Fantuzzo hotel.
Serving robust, rustic dishes like pan seared Queensland cuttlefish, slow cooked sovereign lamb, and beef ragu bolognese, the menu is designed to be shared, making this a great option for group dining. If you can tear your eyes away from the view, you’re likely to spot a few original Vincent Fantauzzo works on the walls.
Noosa’s famous burgers have made the move south and settled into prime position underneath The Fantauzzo hotel.
With its classic line-up of Shake Shack style burgers, onion rings, fries, frozen ‘concrete’ desserts and family friendly feel (and price-point) it’s understandably a Brisbane favourite for burgers.
Howard Smith Wharves is accessible by bus, ferry, and car, but the best way to visit this precinct is by foot, with kilometres of boardwalk joining the Wharves from Brisbane City to New Farm. Two lifts are located at the top of the cliffs on Bowen Terrace for direct access into the precinct.
On-site parking is available, and the City Cat ferry stops at Riverside, just a 15 minute stroll to the precinct (ideal for taking in the river views).
The Howard Smith Wharves are located under the Story Bridge, at 5 Boundary St, Brisbane City.