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My top 5

Do you like those ‘make a list’ style articles? Cracked specialises in outrageous list-articles like ‘top 3 stretching tips for licking your feet’ or  ‘5 reasons you’re obese and on fire’. It’s a bit of a cheap trick but my oh my does it get the clicks pouring in. So it’s with a bit of guilt that I must admit that this is one of those, prompted by the lovely kids at The Urban List shooting me some very specific questions. It was tricky, but these are my current top 5 places to eat, drink and have fun. I’ll try to keep this updated as cool things crop up.

Favourite Coffee Shop

Definitely ‘The Ground Floor‘ on Creek St. Aesthetics aren’t the main draw here – it’s the sheer, heart-shredding amounts of caffeine, served by lovely people. I had never experienced borderline caffeine toxicity from a single coffee until I tried the Iced Bolivian at this place. As an added bonus, in spite of being brutally potent, the coffee here tastes goddamn excellent.

Favourite restaurant

Hands-down, the clear winner here for me is Esquire’s casual dining area. You’ll need to save your pennies up for a couple months if you want the fancy degustation on the other end of the restaurant, but for a much smaller sum ($60ish) you can have a six-star meal of multiple courses and a couple of truly excellent drinks at the casual dining area. The charcoal-grilled stuff blew my mind into a thousand wet, watermelony pieces. If you’re a true beer fundamentalist (and I nearly am) this isn’t the best restuarant in the city because it focuses on wine and cocktails. That said, I got by very happily on cocktails and the superb Prosecco. Service is pin-sharp (if a bit salesman-like) and the decor and ambience are top-notch but never uptight.

I am going to have a review of this place done sometime soon, even if just as a reason to go there again. Spoiler: It’ll probably be positive.

Favourite place for a drink

The Scratch is my local and played a partial role in in my relocation to Milton. The vibe is good, the people are great and the beers are completely utterly fucking exceptional – the variety is vast and the taps rotate on a daily basis. Also, they do free tastings. Sure, this is a bit of a blokey place, but not in the ‘mechanical bull and rugby’ sense at all. It’s dark, it’s woody and you’re more likely to hear John Lee Hooker played here than any band that formed in the last 20 years. Still, cider-drinking ladies or the beercurious should definitely check this spot out too. Just watch out for the 60-patron limit at busy times.

Favourite shopping destination

Pfff. Shopping? Probably the bottle store behind Archive, which they call Next Door Cellars. It is aggressively cold in the cellar so don’t go in shorts. The selection constantly blows my mind – and budget.

Favourite indulgence

My favourite indulgence is constant indulgence, but for those on a tight pleasure budget I can give a sense of how to do it right in a single day: The Perfect Sunday. The pefect Sunday starts with a late breakfast at The Chelsea, followed by a chilled-out stroll down to GoMA. When you’ve had your fill of weird art, grab a citycat across to New Farm (the Brisbane Powerhouse), meet friends to picnic in the park until the sun sets. As dusk settles, catch some free comedy at The Powerhouse. Progress from there to Bitter Suite, and power through fascinating beers with a side of fried onion rings. Wrap it all up by strolling over to Brisbane’s best pizza at Arriva and you’ll have had a day of pure indulgence.

[read my latest reviews of other places to indulge here]

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