For our 1st birthday, the Pear and Ivy team decided to release one of the best posts that (we think) we’ve ever written. This comprehensive guide to Brisbane is our gift to you. Enjoy it and share it with your imaginary friends.
A is for Australia’s Third-Largest City
We’ve got cheaper housing prices than Sydney and fewer hipsters than Melbourne. Winner winner, chicken dinner.
B is for Bookshops
The top 3 bookshops in Brisbane include Bent Books in West End, the two-storey Dymocks in Queen Street and Archives Fine Books on Charlotte Street. Other great places for books and literary discussion include the Lifeline Bookfest and the Brisbane Writer’s Festival.
C is for City Cycles
Real Brisbane locals know better than to ride a City Cycle. They’re just not cool. There have been families that were torn apart because someone experimented with City Cycles.
D is for Doughnut Time
Doughnut Time was founded in Brisbane. So it’s technically a great way to eat more ‘locally’ sourced food.
E is for Eat Street Markets
The bustling agora of the Eat Street Markets is a delight for local foodies and hipsters. Home to cronuts, street food from every culture, Japanese pizzas, crêpes, cheesecake sundaes, gourmet sausages and other delightful creations, it’s one of the best places to visit in Brisbane.
F is for Food and Coffee Scene
Suburbs like Paddington, West End, Fortitude Valley and South Bank boast some of the most amazing restaurants and cafes in Brisbane. Places like Bean, Coffee Iconic, the Cat Cuddle Cafe, Atticus Finch Cafe, Brew and John Mills Himself are some of the best places to go to for quality coffee. There’s also places like Abode Cafe, Arriva Italian Restaurant, Chop Chop Sushi, Seoul Bistro (Sunnybank), Soul Bistro (Milton), and The Victory Hotel (their parmigiana is awesome). And the Brisbane kebab scene is pretty nifty (especially the 24/7 kebab shop on George Street. The halal snack packs are a gift from the gods).
G is for GOMA
You’ve recreated the ‘flying’ scene from Titanic on the City Cat. You’ve bought her dinner at the Jamie Oliver restaurant. What else is there to do in this relationship, you ask. Just take your beloved to GOMA for the day. Not only does it have air-conditioning and free entry, but she’ll think you’re so intellectual and cultured.
H is for History
Our local history is humble, but it features things like the Manning murder conspiracy, heaps of local legends and plenty of ghost stories. Places like the Boggo Road Gaol, Toowong Cemetery, Wolston House, Old Government House, St Helena Island and Newstead House are perfect for your local history fix. There’s also the remains of the Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum, but they’re always monitored by the police.
I is for Ibis
Brisbane is home to many bin chicken colonies. Places like South Bank, the CBD, QUT Kelvin Grove and the City Botanic Gardens are infested with trash turkeys.
J is for Jazz
The Brisbane Jazz Club is an amazing place to check out if you’re into jazz music. It’s described as being ‘the only venue totally dedicated to live jazz’ and it has a fantastic view of the Brisbane River, the Story Bridge and the city.
K is for Kangaroo Point
The cliffs at Kangaroo Point are an amazing place for rock climbing, jogging and taking in the scenery of the Brisbane River. It’s also a great place for a picnic.
L is for Local Music Scene
Brisbane has been the starting point of established bands like Ball Park Music, Savage Garden, The Veronicas, Violent Soho and Powderfinger. But there’s also many emerging musicians on the scene, including Belrose, Johanna and Jayden, Port Royal, Whalehouse, and The Jumpkicks. Head to places like Ric’s Bar, Sonny’s House of Blues, The Zoo, The Brisbane Jazz Club, Black Bear Lodge, The Milk Factory and The Foundry to get a glimpse of what the local music scene has to offer.
M is for Mt Coot-tha
The Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens are one of the most beautiful places in Brisbane. It’s the most serene place to have a picnic, but you can also visit the planetarium or walk to the top of Mt Coot-tha to check out a fantastic view of the Brisbane city skyline, or the sunrise if you’re hardcore.
N is for New Farm Park
New Farm Park has amazing gardens, excellent views of the city and the river, and it’s right next to the Brisbane Powerhouse. It also happens to have one of the most kickass playgrounds in Brisbane. You should definitely have your next picnic at New Farm Park.
O is for “Oh my God, the ibis have ruined our picnic”
Those feathery bastards are persistent. They will not rest until they’ve ruined your life and stolen your chips.
P is for Pear and Ivy
Out of all the food/lifestyle blogs in Australia, Pear and Ivy is clearly the one blog that deserves to rule the world.
Q is for QPAC
You can’t call yourself a true local if you’ve never seen at least one performance at QPAC. It’s the hub of sophistication and culture in Brisbane. Even if you go there to watch the ballet with your Nan, it’s something that will ensure your status as a true-blue Brisbanite.
R is for Retail Therapy
Even though online shopping is one of the marvels of the 21st century, there’s nothing like actually going shopping for some new shoes or another dress. Places like Queen Street Mall, Westfield Chermside and Indooroopilly are my go-to places for a bit of retail therapy.
S is for South Bank
If not for the 1988 World Expo, we wouldn’t have South Bank’s sprawling cultural hub. Sites of interest include the Nepalese Pagoda, the Wheel of Brisbane, Street’s Beach, the Maritime Museum (the current home of Jessica Watson’s boat)… and thousands of ibis.
T is for Theatre Scene
Brisbane has an amazing theatre scene. Companies like Queensland Theatre, Brisbane Arts Theatre, Brisbane Musical Theatre and La Boite Theatre frequently produce fantastic performances from local actors and performers.
U is for “yoU going to the Ekka?”
The Ekka is one of the most exciting events of the year. It heralds a time of show bags, strawberry sundaes, petting cute animals and exchanging the ‘Ekka flu.’ It is a sacred custom for locals to ask each other “you going to the Ekka?” and “what show bags are you gonna get?” prior to the beginning of the Ekka season.
V is for Valley
Fortitude Valley is not only home to Brisbane’s best pubs and clubs, but it also features some great cafes, restaurants and kebab shops.
TIP: Try the poutine (chips, gravy and cheese) from 5 Dogs Hotdogs. It’s amazing!
W is for Wax
Of course, there’s no point checking out any of these amazing places if your eyebrows look terrible. Before you resign yourself to a lifetime of wearing a paper bag, get in touch with Perfect Brow Design and book a brow wax and tint. The service and attention to detail (not to mention the final result) are amazing.
X is for I’m not eXaggerating, there are ibises everywhere
Some of the good picnic spots in Brisbane (South Bank and New Farm Park) are infested with bin chickens. You can either avoid these areas altogether, or you can make the most of it and try to coexist with the garbage geese.
Y is for whY even bother trying to shoo away the ibis?
Of course, no matter how much you try to shoo away the ibis, some of them are incredibly persistent. Scientific studies have proven that the ibis at QUT Kelvin Grove are some of the most persistent bin chickens on the planet.
Z is for Ziggy
Ziggy the Bag Man is one of Brisbane’s most intriguing local celebrities. Apparently, if you buy him his favourite ice cream, he’ll do an interview with you.
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Pear and Ivy x