Food is not just a necessity, it’s an experience! Indulge in Brisbane’s biggest and best foodie hotspots and festivals during your semester in Brisbane. (Just remember to wear your ‘stretchiest’ pants to fit it all in!)
Year-round foodie adventures
Eat St Northshore
Eat Street Markets at Northshore is iconic to Brisbane. Eat St brings together all your favourite cuisines and all the ones you haven’t tried before in a colourful entertainment precinct with city and river views.
Catch the ferry from QUT’s Garden Point campus directly to the Northshore ferry terminal.
So, what should your budget be for an Eat St visit? Entry is only $3 per person and you’ll need around $15-$30 to fill up on delicious goodies. If you really want to indulge (because let’s face it, nobody ever had just one dumpling), budget for $40-$50.
South Bank is a stone’s throw across the river from QUT, meaning you can hop on a FREE ferry in-between classes and check it out! South Bank is your ultimate foodie paradise, with dozens of restaurants and night markets. There are also some great picnic areas, so get some mates together and have your own Aussie barbeque along the river. Whatever you fancy, South Bank is sure to have it!
Brisbane City Markets
The Brisbane City Markets are perfect for anyone looking to get local gourmet foods, yummy baked goods, and fresh fruits and vegetables. With over 80 stalls, you won’t know where to start! And, as an added bonus, it’s only a 10-minute walk from the QUT Gardens Point campus.
There are also heaps of other markets around Brissy during the week, and on the weekends. Check out Linette’s Brisbane Market Guide.
Market entry is always free, and since most of the stallholders are local, you’ll spend less than what you think! Budget about $10-$15 for lunch, but keep some spare change for those little extra treats, just in case something catches your eye!
Sunnybank is home to Brisbane’s best Asian cuisine. Treat yourself to a mouth-watering meal at one of the many restaurants in Sunnybank. You can find restaurants selling local food from countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Korea and Japan, just to name a few.
If you’re in search of some groceries to make your own, check out Nicola’s tips for groceries at Sunnybank.
Every June or July, Sunnybank holds the ‘Sunnybank $2 Food Trail’ where you can enjoy sampler plates of authentic Asian mini dishes for just $2 each. There are hundreds of options to choose from!
You’ll fill up quickly and cheaply at Sunnybank! Anywhere between $10-$20 will have you covered.
QUT Gluttony Society
The QUT Gluttony Society is a community that brings together people with a mutual love of eating and drinking. The club aims to use the social power of food to meet new people and create some all-around wonderful memories during your time at university.
Cost: You can get all sorts of sponsored discounts throughout the semester with membership. Depending on your guilty pleasure, you can expect to spend anywhere between $5-$25.
Semester 1 foodie adventures
Fish Lane Festival
Eat, drink and dance in one of Brisbane’s most iconic laneways. Fish Lane Festival is held in May each year and is the place to go to explore Brisbane’s coolest and most gourmet street food alongside an eclectic mix of pop-up bars and local music artists.
Located just across from the South Bank Cultural Centre bus station, it’s an easy destination to get to from both QUT campuses. Check out Chanoknan’s experience at the festival!
So, what will an experience at Fish Lane Festival cost? Entry is free but make sure you bring $50 to treat yourself to all the delicious options and don’t forget to budget for drinks!
Paniyiri Greek Festival
If you love halloumi as much as we do, then you must check out the Paniyiri Greek Festival! The festival is Queensland’s largest festival, Australia’s biggest and longest-running Greek festival, and is a celebration of all things Greek culture.
The festival is held at Musgrave Park in South Bank, right near the Greek Club and can easily be reached by bus from either QUT campus, or by ferry from Gardens Point.
Tickets are usually around $15 for adults and food and drink ranges (depending on what your heart desires).
Noosa Eat and Drink Festival
If you’re in Brisbane for Semester 1, you should make the trip to Noosa for the Eat and Drink Festival. Enjoy scrumptious food along the beach and hone your culinary talents in one of the many masterclasses. There will be heaps of food and drink stalls and live music to enjoy.
Noosa is about a 2-hour drive from Brisbane so why not grab a group of mates and head north to make a weekend of it?
This one will be a little more expensive than your standard market experiences, but the delicious seafood and beachside vibes will definitely be worth it! Don’t forget to budget for car hire and accommodation costs.
Brisbane Ice Cream Festival
Okay, this one is for the sweet tooths out there – the Brisbane Ice Cream Festival. You will be spoiled for choice with hundreds of flavours to choose from. Make your way through the maze of ice cream stalls and gelato goodness!
The Brisbane Ice Cream Festival is held at the West Village precinct in West End. It’s a single bus to the Cultural Centre from either QUT campus.
Cost: It’s usually free to enter, however, you need to register for an entry ticket. Get in early because the festival is very popular! (Who knew people love ice cream?)
Semester 2 foodie adventures
Say Bonjour to Le Festival! Experience authentic French culture and food, energetic entertainment, cooking masterclasses and VIP lounge areas on the celebrated Bastille Day, 14th July.
Can’t eat another croissant? Why not volunteer? It’s a great way to get involved and learn about events from ‘behind the scenes’. Not only that, but it’s also a great way to make new friends!
Entry is only $5 if you book online and $10 at the gate for daily entry. Keep an eye out for student concessions when you book for a potential discount!
Night Noodle Markets
Enjoy your favourite noodle dishes under hundreds of beautiful lanterns by the river at South Bank. The Brisbane Night Noodle Markets are the perfect place to explore Asian favourites, including plenty of non-noodle options for those who prefer dumplings or Korean barbecue.
The night wouldn’t be complete without dessert, of course! So, be sure to leave room for waffle sticks, ice cream, and all the other delicious desserts you can find. The best part? You can gain good fortune with $1 fortune cookies for charity!
Entry is free! 😊 Dishes are also quite affordable and $20 – $30 will fill you up for sure! Quick note: the event is cash-free.
Join fellow Scandis and Brisbane locals at the Scandinavian Festival. Devour Swedish baked potatoes and meatballs, Norwegian waffles, and your favourite Scandi classics.
Perry Park in Bowen Hills is just a quick walk from the Bowen Hills train and bus station, so one bus from either QUT campus will get you there!
Cost: Entry is normally just $2 but be sure to take a bit more so you can get yourself some delicious food!
Pretzels, bratwurst, and pork knuckle. Need I say more? That’s what you can get at Australia’s largest Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest Brisbane. Put on your lederhosen and dirndls and head to the Brisbane Showgrounds for a day of German food and culture.
Getting to the Showgrounds from either campus is easy with just a single bus and a short walk from Exhibition Station.
Cost: Entry ranges from $23 (online early bird) to $37 (at the gate) depending on which day you attend. The event is cashless so you’ll need to top up a digital wallet before you go which makes payments on the day easy. Don’t worry – you can apply for a refund of anything you don’t spend.
This article was written by Brisbane local and QUT staff member, Emma, in August 2020. Any prices are a guide only so please be sure to double-check them before the events and activities. Please also check the activity is operating normally during COVID-19 restrictions.
Head back to the QUT Study Abroad and Exchange web page