Nestled in the Darling Downs, a short 90-minute drive from Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane, sits historic Toowoomba. Home to hundreds of parks and gardens as well as the iconic Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers spring event, the city also offers a range of fantastic bars, cafes and restaurants. The region routinely delivers some of Queensland’s very best fresh produce, owing to the rich, volcanic soil found throughout the Great Dividing Range and surrounds. Lucky for us, there’s no shortage of talented T-Bar locals turning great ingredients into unforgettable meals. To help you plan your perfect itinerary and make the most of all that great food, here, in no particular order, are 11 places to eat in Toowoomba! Scroll to the end for your free pocket guide.
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1. Emeraude at Bunnyconnellen
It’s safe to say Emeraude is one of my favourite restaurants of all-time and a must-visit while in the Toowoomba region. Currently located on the gorgeous, sprawling grounds at Bunnyconnellen, in Crows Nest, Emeraude is around 45 minutes drive from the heart of Toowoomba. Chef and owner, Amanda Hinds, takes the region’s very best fresh produce and turns it into a mouth-watering menu that truly celebrates local flavours. I always get excited to dine here and never leave disappointed! Stake out a cosy spot on the deck, beneath huge trees gently swaying overhead and tuck into a delectable lunch then stock up on goods to go at the produce stall and boutique before wandering the gardens. Trust me, you’ll be back again! Find Emeraude here.
2. Sweet Talk Coffee
Super cool breakfast spots don’t get much better than Sweet Talk Coffee. Tucked away in a quiet alcove of Longs Quarter in the Toowoomba CBD, this chic spot boasts a light and airy fit-out with indoor and outdoor dining spots. Open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch, the seasonal menu includes tasty favourites like avocado on sourdough, house-made crumpets and an epic brekky burger as well as shakshuka eggs, spiced cauliflower tacos and shawarma! The coffee is fantastic and the staff are friendly and welcoming too. Find Sweet Talk Coffee here.
Located upstairs in one of Toowoomba’s historic buildings, Kajoku combines some of the best things about life; Korean BBQ, delicious Japanese food, ice-cold drinks and karaoke! High ceilings and a very large screen with sumo wrestling matches projected on it set the scene for lunch or dinner at Kajoku. The extensive menu includes Korean delights like BBQ, fried chicken, Bibimbap, soups and stews. The Japanese menu offers dumplings, gyoza, takoyaki and plenty of other small plates ideal for sharing. Find Kajoku here.
4. Urban Grounds Cafe
You’ll find Urban Grounds Cafe set in one of Toowoomba’s iconic Queenslander style homes, with plenty of seating options in the sunroom or out on the deck. Nestled right near Laurel Bank Park, a visit in spring offers a glimpse at the vibrant flowers adorning the area as part of the annual Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. Open for all-day dining you may like to pop in for breakfast, tucking into Kiplfer hash cake, pancakes or their epic mega breakfast! For lunch and dinner, mushroom gnocchi, lamb rump fillet and boneless Portuguese chicken breast await. Find Urban Grounds Cafe here.
5. Phat Burgers
If you love burgers head directly to Phat Burgers on Ruthven Street in the heart of Toowoomba! A T-Bar icon, Phat Burgers is run by local legend, Alan, whose welcoming, laid-back nature infuses throughout the restaurant. Get cosy in a booth surrounded by band tee’s, vinyl records, disco lights and great music. Then, tuck into the delicious menu featuring a range of mouth-watering burgers from the classic, premium beef ‘Van Helsing’ to the crumbed chicken, bacon and cheese laden, ‘Foghorn’ to a selection of vegan and vego friendly options. Alan whips up old-school milkshakes, served in authentic stainless steel cups, that are so thick your straw will encounter serious resistance! He also makes great tomato chutney so be sure to grab a jar to bring home with you. Find Phat Burgers here.
Approach from Margaret Street and you’d be forgiven for thinking Fitzy’s is just your average pub. It’s not until you wander through to the restaurant that you realise it’s so much more. A bright, open space with booth and table seating dotted around the perimeter, the venue is warm and welcoming. With a wide selection of craft beers on tap and plenty of other draught favourites to choose from, as well as wines and cocktails, it’s the ideal spot for a refreshing beverage or two. Open from Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner, the menu boasts crowd favourites including Tasmanian salmon, grilled barramundi, Darling Downs steaks and a truly delicious plant-based salad. Whatever you do, don’t snooze on the dessert menu! Find Fitzy’s here.
7. The Finch
For any who loves great coffee, The Finch is a must-visit! Nestled among shopfronts on Ruthven Street, the cafe’s interior offers high ceilings and exposed brick, a spacious and airy destination open for breakfast and lunch daily. A true crowd pleaser, the menu is stacked with mouth-watering options including thyme and potato hash, 14 hour braised BBQ pulled pork burrito, roasted Goombungee mushrooms and pancakes lavished with Cambooya honey and honeycomb. As mentioned, the coffee is something special, served with a delightful little chocolate freckle on the side. Find The Finch here.
8. Ground Up Espresso Bar
Wander down an inconspicuous alleyway along Ruthven Street and you’ll find Ground Up Espresso Bar, surrounded by vibrant street art. A cosy spot serving up fantastic coffee and great bites for breakfast and lunch, Ground Up is a beloved favourite. Tuck into their huevos rancheros, slow cooked pork belly bao buns, slow cooked brisket burger and chilli scrambled eggs or sample the souvlaki lamb yiros, balsamic roasted root vegetables or epic fried chicken toasted sandwich served with a side of pretzels. Find Ground Up Espresso Bar here.
9. Cobb’s Coffee Shop
I have to be honest, I generally don’t eat the food at a museum as it tends to be overpriced and underwhelming. However, the crafty folk at the Cobb & Co museum have carved themselves out as the exception to that rule! Stop in for a delicious lunch and, if you like, peruse Cobb & Co Museum’s National Carriage Collection while you’re there. Cobb’s Coffee Shop offers a range of seasonal specials and, after meeting her briefly, it’s clear the head chef is passionate about food, which explains why it’s so good! Dive tastebuds-first into handmade bites and tasty options like perfectly cooked lamb or treat yourself to home made scones with jam and fresh cream. Find Cobb’s Coffee Shop here.
10. Urth Cafe & Co
A family-run business, you’ll find Urth Cafe & Co on Hume Street serving up delicious breakfast and lunch options! The dine-in menu offers plenty to choose from with loads of options for vegans and gluten-free folk as well as carnivore favourites too. But, as we discovered, Urth also serves up some absolutely epic grazing boxes! Stacked with everything you could need for an amazing breakfast or lunch outdoors in one of Toowoomba’s many parks and gardens, you can grab one to go along with fantastic coffee and smoothies. What’s more, the cake cabinet boasts a range of delectable sweet treats including clean, vegan and gluten-free goodies. Find Urth Cafe & Co here.
11. Season’s on Ruthven
Make the most of the gorgeous Toowoomba weather by heading to Seasons on Ruthven for a cold glass (or two) of white wine and a delicious cheese and antipasti platter, best enjoyed in the warm spring air. While we didn’t get to indulge in the entire menu, the lovely staff shared how often a few glasses of wine and some nibbles turns into dinner and it’s easy to see why. With seared King Sea scallops, Moreton Bay bugs, eye fillet steak and 12-hour marinated beef brisket on the menu, there’s no shortage of great options to choose from. Find Seasons on Ruthven here.
Your Toowoomba pocket guide:
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