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Published July 30th 2016
Discover the West End, Brisbane with this list
Have the perfect day out and explore Brisbane like a local by visiting West End. West End certainly does give visitors a sense of neighbourhood life within just minutes from Brisbane's CBD.
This colourful suburb is a melting pot of vibrant culture, a haven for foodies, unique shopping and glittering nightlife, the list below include top things to do in West End:
1. Food Time!
For a multicultural experience try Lefkas Tavern (170 Hardgrave Rd) who have been opened for more than 21 years and serve up traditional food followed by traditional dancing. For something healthier you cannot go pass Insane Acai Bar (120 Boundary St) where you will find classic acai bowls full of fruit, grains and superfood goodness and it is perfect for vegans too.
The Trang Restaurant (2/59 Hardgrave Rd) serves up delicious Chinese & Vietnamese cuisine making it perfect for a lunch stop, while Mu'ooz (54 Mollison St) is a non-for-profit African café which supports refugee migrants through job training and employment and it is the top place for authentic North-East African fare.
2. Cheers! For the best brews at West End Lock 'n' Load Bistro (142 Boundary St) will give you a truly Aussie bohemian experience with the tranquil courtyard and having fun on the dance floor with live music, while Blackstar Coffee (44 Thomas St) is a revolutionary in the coffee scene as it offers the best and most original hot and cold-pressed coffees you can find this side of Brisbane- there tends to be a queue at this spot, so be prepared to wait for a while. The Archive Beer Boutique (100 Boundary St) is certainly a different venue for a bar- it is lined up with bookshelves and comic-strip wallpaper with vintage sofas and classic pool tables and it serves more than 400 domestic and imported bottled beers.
If you are a night owl on weekends the Three Monkeys stays open till 11:30pm and serves up late-night cakes, coffee and its famous bowls of chai.
3. Shop Till' You Drop The iconic Mick's Nuts (31 Hardgrave Rd) is the perfect place to stock up on organic deli goods including dips, cheeses, oils, dairy products and nuts. If you want to dress to impress then SWOP Clothing Exchange (161 Boundary St) is a treasure-trove for eclectic vintage and preloved fashion and every Friday & Saturday nights the Boundary Street Markets (cnr Boundary & Mollison Streets) comes alive with some of the city's best makers, bakers, designers, growers, entertainers and some of the best street food.
4. Discover Culture If books are better than cocktails for you then a bookshop crawl is for you! For new books the Avid Reader is a must stop and next door the little ones will love Where The Wild Things Are, where you will find kid's books and up the road Bent Books is home to second-hand novels.
If comics are more your thing then Junky Comics, home to new and old comic books, is worth checking out. For a multicultural experience pop by the St George Greek Orthodox Church to see the spectacular space inside- in 1958 the foundation stone was laid for the building. The cultural experience does not end there, in summer the Brazilian Street Parade is a must-see as it is a cultural experience not to miss with Brazilian carnival, colour and costumes, while the West End art culture on the bohemian suburb's alleyways is filled with street art and you can take a free tour with Brisbane Greeter to experience it all.
5. Time To Relax After spending the day exploring and experiencing, pack a picnic from the goodies purchased from the delis and have a picnic as you relax at Orleigh Park which offers spectacular views of West End and the whole CBD, there are plenty of shade picnics and the "frog park" is a winner with the kids.
And for something different why not relax and have fun with the Escape Hunt Experience where there are three puzzle rooms and you must solve the crimes within an hour!
6. Festival Time
If you are not visiting in summer or missed out on the Brazilian Street Festival, do not worry as the West End Fire Festival (every full moon the festival happens) is the perfect way to end your evening with fire spinning and twirling entertainment.
7. The Nightlife / Dancelife
Dance like no one is watching with the No Lights No Lycra where it is an alcohol-free dance venue with dark dance floors, so you can dance like no one is watching! If you enjoy the finer things in life then head to Loft West End for late-night lounge and dining.
The Lychee Lounge is a unique design of French boudoir meets Chinese opium den... making it the perfect place for a great conversation starter, inspired by the neighbourhood's pre and post war housing and vibrant art sub-culture, this lounge offers Asian-inspired and wicked cocktails.