West End, or Best End as you might like to call it after you have followed the instructions in this article: home to cafes, restaurants, shops, pubs, bars, live music, parks, weird art (namely, the praying mantis/bug thing that spurts light and smoke), markets and many, many other fun and fascinating things.
There is so much to do and consume in West End, that the following could only ever be a suggested itinerary and, besides, it's the secrets you discover on your own that make the place so unique.
Breakfast – for me, it is impossible to go past the Gunshop Café. The place has won heaps of awards, including best café in Australia in 2010 (Delicious magazine). A pretty impressive feat, but nowhere near as impressive as their potato and fetta hash cakes. Seriously. They are amazing. They don't take bookings for breakfast, so get there early or be prepared to wait.
The significant advantage to starting the day at the Gunshop is that it is situated at one end of West End's main artery: Boundary Street. You now have a few hours to kill before lunch, so best to have a stroll and browse the boutiques lining Boundary Street. If it happens to be the third Sunday of the month, you should definitely pay a visit to Marky Markets at the HiFi bar. If not, the personal shopping highlights for me are Avid Reader and Bent Books, two of Brisbane's best bookshops. Avid for its excellent variety and community-feel (not to mention they have lots of author events and book clubs), and Bent for its selection of good-quality, second-hand books.
If you are like me, you will have now spent most of your morning (and probably your money) at the bookstores and be pretty keen to get reading. Maybe time for a quick, light lunch before heading to Davies Park to spend the afternoon reading and dozing in the sun. Or, if it's a Saturday, you can have a stroll round the Davies Park Markets, and get your light lunch at one of the many food outlets.
Around about two or three pm, it's time to head back to main West End and start thinking about how to spend the evening; hit Lock'n'Load for an afternoon ale while you decide.
The dinner options in West End are pretty endless – with almost all cuisines and cultures represented: Greek (Kafe Meze), Indian (Punjabi Palace), Vietnamese (Trangs), native Australian (Tukka); Turkish (Caravanserai) and Mexican (El Torito), to name a few.
Following dinner, you must decide, will it be Three Monkeys for coffee and cake, Rumpus Room for some beers, Sling Lounge for cocktails, the HiFi bar for a gig…or all four?