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All the latest and greatest places to eat, drink, stay and play in your city.

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Hidden Gems: Discover the Best Kept Secrets in Brisbane

Discover Brisbane’s secrets and hidden gems that make our city oh-so-special.

Whether you’re a Brisbane local through and through or you’re the new kid in town, Brisbane has a whole horde of hidden gems up its sleeve to keep you busy. Offering a never-ending variety of activities from food, to culture, to the downright quirky; we’ve listed some of Brisbane’s most historical hotspots as well as some fresh new players on the scene.

Keep scrolling to discover Brisbane’s secrets and hidden gems that are just too good to be missed!

Next Episode

Next Episode

An unassuming barber shop fronts onto Fish Lane and you may be inclined to walk right past it if you’re not paying attention. Pick up the red phone on the wall, and enter a secret code to unlock a secret speakeasy.

Often hosting a local DJ to ensure the vibes are top-notch, Next Episode is the perfect spot for a cocktail after work. Head to their Instagram account for clues on gaining access to one of the best kept secrets in Brisbane.

27 Cordelia Street, South Brisbane

Antico Bar

Antico Bar

The talented crew behind some of our favourite Brisbane bars, Death & Taxes and Dr Gimlette, have just raised the stakes on the sipping scene with their brand-new venture; Antico Bar.

This stunning Italian-inspired, three-level cocktail bar is housed within the CBD’s Burnett Lane (the oldest lane in Brisbane, that once served as an exercise yard for prisoners!), and is set to become one of the best kept secrets in Brisbane city.

48 Burnett Lane, Brisbane City

Arcadium Adventures

Arcadium Adventures

Brisbane’s most immersive escape rooms are secreted away in a basement in Spring Hill, waiting for plucky adventurers to discover them! The Arcadium Adventures crew will whisk you away into an immersive and fantastical realm of mystery, magic and intrigue to ensure you have a night full of curiosity, exploration and riddle-solving.

We highly recommend sipping a cocktail from their extensive and creative menu to begin your night, before solving your way around the five escape room challenges that await you.

The Basement, 97 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill

The Record Exchange (Photo credit: Search Secondhand)

The Record Exchange

For lovers of Empire Records, this new and used record store will become your mecca! With over 200,000 new and used records in store to pore over, you can easily lose hours exploring this quirky music store that’s also full to the brim with books, band merchandise, collectables and curios.

The Record Exchange is one of the best kept secrets in Brisbane, but we recommend spreading the word to support this fascinating CBD store.

Level 1, 65 Adelaide Street, Brisbane

Mr Vain (Photo credit: Brent Ottley)

Mr Vain

A sleek new addition to Brisbane’s dining scene, yet Mr Vain isn’t on everyone’s radar. But this venue won’t stay a secret for long. Tucked down a little laneway off Ann Street, Mr Vain is a moody, nineties-inspired restaurant serving up incredible fine European fare and top-tier cocktails.

It’s the best new hot tip to share with your group chat for your next dinner outing, so you best get around to making a booking.

610 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley Brisbane

Doc Brown

Doc Brown

A favourite amongst West End locals, Christian and his friendly team serve up stellar coffee and mouthwatering brekkie bites to the residents of West End at the Doc Brown cafe.

Greeting their regulars by name and with a big smile, your morning coffee run becomes a visit to your friends at this true hidden gem of a cafe.

Sitchu Tip: Double your morning adventures by popping past Doc Brown for a coffee on your way to the riverside walkway and exploring some of the best walking trails in Brisbane.

Shop 1/10 Buchanan Street, West End

Soak Bathhouse

Soak Bathhouse

A dreamy bathhouse hidden in the sky, ten minutes from the city… sounds too good to be true, right? But Soak Bathhouse is real and an utter dream come true. Enjoy magnesium water spas, a body temperature magnesium pool, sauna, steam room, massages and cold plunge pools to reinvigorate your senses and refresh your energy after a long and draining week.

​​Level 2, The Eaves at West Village, 111 Boundary Street, West End

Garden Room

The Garden Room

The Roma Street Parklands are quite the hidden gem themselves, but there’s more in store for you when you visit this little pocket of heaven in the heart of Brisbane City. The Garden Room is a charming cafe tucked in the centre of the parklands, serving breakfast through to afternoon tea from their nature-inspired cafe packed with refreshing snacks.

Located right in the heart of the city, the Parklands and Garden Room are definitely one of the best kept secrets in Brisbane.

1 Parkland Boulevard, Brisbane

Antiquities Museum

Antiquities Museum

If you’re a bit of a regular around the Brisbane Cultural Centre, you might think you’ve spied all that Brisbane has to offer in terms of historical exhibitions. But stray a little further from the city and head to the University of Queensland campus, where their very own Antiquities Museum is open to the general public. This teaching museum houses the most prominent collection of classical Mediterranean antiquities in Queensland.

Level 2, Building 9, University of Queensland, St Lucia

Spring Hill Reservoir

Spring Hill Reservoir

Ever seen an opera performance underground? An experience that you didn’t know that you needed is regularly available at the Spring Hill Reservoir, which has become a hub for art, events, exhibitions and performances over the past few years. Enter the reservoir and descend six metres underground for an ambience like no other.

Spring Hill Reservoirs, Spring Hill


If you’re yet to stumble upon Kenjin, there's a treat or two in store for you. This tasty Japanese restaurant has a secret kept right under your nose... a hidden bar out the back that becomes a nightclub!

The dark and glamorous space offers booth seating under koi fish-adorned walls and an illuminated Sakura tree. Begin your evening by dining on elevated Japanese cuisine, and move to the secret nightclub out the back to dance away your cares for the perfect night out in Brisbane.

​​247 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley

Valley Laneways

The Valley Lane Ways

Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley is full of curious nooks and crannies, including their laneways. These small cultural hotspots champion small businesses, independent brands and purveyors of artisanal treats.

Whether you’re dancing to disco in Winn Lane, sipping coffee from Reverends in California Lane, or devouring mouthwatering morsels in My Bakery Lane, there’s plenty to keep you inspired and entertained.

Various locations

Walter Taylor Bridge

Walter Taylor Bridge Tour

Hidden in plain sight, the heritage-listed Walter Taylor Bridge is familiar to Brisbanites on the west side of town. You may not know that this is Australia’s only inhabitable bridge, with the most recent tenant completing their occupancy in 2009.

The Brisbane Greeters team run regular tours so that you can explore what life was like for the toll-masters and university students who once resided there, many years ago. Email the Brisbane Greeters team to book in your tour!

Walter Taylor Bridge, Indooroopilly

Archive Fine Books

Archives Fine Books

The Brisbane CBD is home to Queensland’s second-largest used bookstore; Archives Fine Books. Archives boasts an inventory of over one million books, covering every topic within its walls... and when you step inside, you’ll believe this claim to be the pure and unadulterated truth.

With high shelves stacked full-to-bursting with books, and so many nooks and crannies to tuck yourself into, you can easily lose an hour or two inside Archives and leave with many treasures to call your own.

40 Charlotte Street, Brisbane

John Mills Himself

John Mills Himself

Once you’ve finished poring over the hundreds of books in Archives, it might be time for a cup of something cosy. John Mills Himself is a little nook in the same heritage-listed building, named for the 1970s stationary and letterpress merchant who owned the building.

During the daytime, you can slip through a secret door and staircase, from the back of Archives into the cafe. We can’t get enough of this hidden gem, so pop it on your to-do list the next time you're in town.

40 Charlotte Street, Brisbane City

Spring Hill Baths

Spring Hill Baths

Built in 1886, the heritage-listed Spring Hill Baths is Brisbane’s first in-ground public swimming pool. With quaint, classic change rooms, grandstand seating and a 25-metre heated pool, the Baths are the perfect spot to practice your laps or to take the kids for a splash.

Whilst this well-kept secret in Brisbane might seem hard to miss due to the sheer size of the place, in our experience it’s truly a hidden gem hiding in plain sight.

14 Torrington Street, Spring Hill

If you’re on the hunt for more nooks and crannies around Brisbane to explore, why not set out on foot? Don’t forget to look up, down and around to take in the little pieces of history around our beautiful city. It’s also worth noting down all the free things to do in the city, to make the most of your next day out!

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