Virginia Woolf once said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well”. How true – in a lot of different ways. The key to dining well is choosing the right establishments. So the haven team has come up with some ideas to keep the tastebuds happy and the hunger pains away while you also dose up on some quality time with the most important people in your life.




Date night dinner


Ribs & Burgers // If I didn’t see it with my own eyes, I would not have believed it. A degustation menu. Of meat and bones. Imagine the tastiest, gooey, most satisfying ribs you will find, in so many cuts, so many meat types and so many flavours and you are at Ribs & Burgers in James St, Fortitude Valley. While this place is probably not the first place that springs to mind when considering Brisbane date night destinations, let me tell you ladies that if you are looking to impress your carnivore bloke then this is the way to do it. It blew the socks off my hubbie! Let us think strategically for a minute, girls. Need to break the news about the ‘real’ price of that Mimco handbag before the statement comes in the mail? Need to plant a seed about the upcoming girls’ weekend away? Need him to watch the kids while you go shopping? Simply take him to Ribs & Burgers, fill his stomach with tender meat and whisper sweet nothings in his ear (insert Mimco and girly travel plans here) while he’s blissed out in his Ribs & Burgers meat coma. Sorted.

In actual fact, Ribs & Burgers is the best test for those newly dating. If you’re both OK with watching yourselves sauce up your faces, drop bits in your lap and lick your fingers clean after each delicious rib, then you know its love. And speaking from experience, there’s no time or requirement for poise and cutlery in this place. Ribs- mouth-repeat – the easiest way possible. The meat is that good.

Hot tip: Wear stretchy pants. That is all. Oh, and a tip for blokes. As suitable as you think it is to tell her she’s got “a nice rack” over your Ribs & Burgers meal, it is not // ribsandburgers.com/au


Chur Burger // Chilled vibe, casual dress code, hip street-style atmosphere.

Hot tip: This place does the BEST sweet potato chips // www.churburger.com.au


South Side Diner // Super casual with a fun and relaxed date night vibe.

Hot tip: Get the mac and cheese from this place – it is so tasty // www.southsidediner.com.au


Bavarian Beir Café // Low key, city river nibbles and drinks.

Hot tip: The share platters are the perfect option for a date night // www.bavarianbiercafe.com


Ladies who lunch


Cha Cha Char Wine Bar & Grill // Cha Cha Char Wine Bar & Grill at Eagle Street Pier mixes fine dining with a fine drop – or 10. The owners and staff are seriously passionate about steak and wine. This place has won multiple national awards for their mouth-watering meat and the variety and quality of the wine list is impressive. Another huge selling point for Cha Cha Char is the wonderful staff. Everyone in this place is super professional, bubbly and uber helpful which just makes the overall experience that much better. Fine dining, a nice drop and its riverside location makes Cha Cha Char the perfect backdrop for ladies who lunch.

Hot tip: If you are looking for a cheeky side to accompany your main, you can not go past the new roast potatoes with triple smoked bacon // www.chachachar.com.au


Family friendly


Jamie’s Italian // Jamie’s Italian on George St, brings a little bit of rustic Italy to Brisbane’s CBD. The restaurant has a really relaxed yet energetic vibe that is sure to keep the most restless of children entertained. There are legs of smoked ham and vines of plush cherry tomatoes hanging from the bar, which provides a really playful and rich energy and loads of interest for the kids. The food is absolutely delicious, with a range of different gourmet abbreviations of traditional Italian dishes that are sure to delight both the adventurous and safe eaters. Really, what child does not love spaghetti bolognaise? There’s also a dedicated kids menu divided into ‘big kids’ and ‘little kids’ sections – now there’s a great idea, Jamie. Thanks for that. Another massive perk of this place is the absolutely gorgeous and decadent dessert menu. Once again, Jamie has perfected the art of taking something as simple as a brownie and turning it into something so much more. Just make sure that you book a table in advance to avoid disappointment.

Hot tip: Save room for desert and if you are stuck for choice, hit up the brownie! // www.jamieoliver.com/italian/australia


For more ideas to keep your tastebuds happy, check out our Gold Coast & Byron Bay guides.




haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.