With quirky cafes popping up on every corner, crazy food and drink trends taking the city by storm and an ever-expanding food culture, it’s safe to say Brisbane has become a foodie hot spot.

Once upon a time, restaurants like Sizzler and all-you-can-eat Pizza Hut were the epitome of great dining, offering up unique meals you just couldn’t get anywhere else at the time. When the chains were at their peak and booming (from 1985 to early 2000s), some would even go as far as saying they were some of the fanciest restaurants in Brisbane – imagine, what those people would say about our food scene now!

Today, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to food, with a new venue popping up just about every week proving that wining and dining has become a Brisbane way of life. Let’s go back through the years to some of the best foodie trends in Brisbane – do you remember them?

Moving through the years

The first wave of food trends to hit Brisbane was fine dining, catering for the people who appreciate the fancier things in life. Although it was around and many restaurants were already doing this, this style of dining became really popular between 2010 and 2013. The style focused on wine and cheese matchings, degustation menus, multiple course meals and meticulous dessert creations, all made from top quality ingredients and produce.

In 2013, Brisbane began to see a big change in the food scene, with foodies wanting more convenient and indulgent options. Brisbane was introduced to Eat Street Markets and soon after a wave of market-type foodie events swept across the city. Food trucks and food

Gelaspresso Donuts
Gelaspresso Donuts

containers (shipping containers turned kitchen) were the new way to dine out. Now with live and roving entertainment, stores to browse and food from every corner of the world, this trend is still very popular today with many markets around the city – including Eat Street, Eats and Beats, Mt Gravatt Marketta and more.

Today we’ve completely turned away from fine dining, with a range of more quick and easy junk food type options. We first saw the influence of American cuisine back in the 1970s, but as they say, history repeats itself and American food has now come back to us – bigger than ever before. We’re talking bigger-than-your-head burgers, spicy hot wings, loaded hot dogs, loaded fries, New York style pizza, bacon flavoured milkshakes and doughnuts (yep!) and ice-cream sandwiches. American style restaurants like Brooklyn Depot, Lord of the Wings, Miss Kays and The Manhattan Line have popped up all over the city, offering big greasy servings and over-indulgent food options (is that a bad thing?).

We’ve seen so many changes in the foodie scene over the years – of course, change is inevitable – but what could be influencing our desires for more creative, unusual and overly indulgent foods?

Reality TV Influences

Eat Street Markets - Donut Fries
Eat Street Markets – Donut Fries

Some would argue (who’s arguing, it’s food?), the changes seen in Brisbane’s food scene and culture can be related to the introduction of reality TV cooking shows and the growth of certain social media platforms.

In 2009, Australia was introduced to Channel Ten’s reality cooking series MasterChef, followed by Channel Seven’s My Kitchen Rules in 2010. Both series opened up a whole new world for aspiring chefs and at home cooks, allowing them to see that they could create more than just the traditional ‘meat and three veg’ dish at home.

When they first aired, the TV shows introduced us (everyday cooks) to a huge world of new foods and foodie experiences, including cuisines from all over the world, creative masterpieces, food art and unique flavour combinations. Over the years, viewers have been introduced to more and more food ideas and possibilities (they’re endless), and as a result the demand for variety and once-in-a-lifetime food experiences not only at home, but within the foodie society has reached an all-time high. Customers are no longer after a satisfying meal, they want the whole experience – art, taste, creativity, atmosphere and social media share-ability.

Brooklyn Depot hotdogs
Brooklyn Depot hotdogs

Social Media Influences

Social media platforms have had a huge influence on Brisbane’s food culture as well – especially Instagram. Many viral food trends have started with a simple Instagram picture, including the vegan junk food trend and the towering donut milkshakes epidemic (what a delicious epidemic to have). Since then, cafe’s and restaurants all around the world, including many in Brisbane, have jumped on the ‘Instagrammable’ food train, creating dishes and drinks specifically to lure social media fiends into their venues to try their creations and hopefully tell the world how good they are. It’s great marketing!

2017 Instagram Food Trends

  • Injectable Doughnuts – you may have seen these at Eat Street Markets, these delectable creations literally have a syringe hanging out of them filled with chocolate.
  • Hawaiian Poke Bowls – cubed raw fish, pickled ginger, seaweed, spring onions (other toppings) on a bed of rice or noodles.
  • Unicorn-Inspired Drinks – first it was Starbucks colourful Unicorn frappe, now a range of other cafes around Brisbane are recreating the colourful drink.
  • Activated Charcoal – said to help with bloating, gas and digestive function, activated charcoal is being included in everything from cakes to cocktails, burgers and juices.
  • Doughnut Topped Milkshakes – topped with donuts, cookies, cakes and other garnishes these milkshakes are insanely calorific. Some of these creations have even seen burgers placed on top!

Whilst we’ve seen many good and bad (bad for our waistlines) trends sweep through out city, Brisbane’s food scene will continue to evolve and change. The possibilities are deliciously endless.

What do you think our next food trend will be?