This riverside inner city suburb nestled only four kilometres away from Brisbane’s CBD is unlike any other destination I’ve come across in my travels. Easily my favourite spot in the ‘River City’, Bulimba is a picturesque, leafy and vibrant suburb however it still encompasses a relaxed close-knit community vibe.
Here you’ll experience numerous award-wining alfresco dining and bar options, beauty, health and wellbeing services, cutting edge local fashion outlets, antique and art stores and more. Most of these located on the suburb’s main strip called Oxford Street.
What I love the most about Bulimba is even though it’s an inner city suburb with a vibrant urban culture – it is also family-friendly offering great parks and public spaces, activities and events. You won’t find any high-rise apartments – instead houses/townhouses are most prominent in the area, unlike most inner city suburbs where apartment living easily outweighs the reality of living in a home. Bulimba is easily accessible via the city’s ferry services (CityCat and Cross River Ferry), bus route 230 or a short drive from the CBD where street parking is available.
If ever in the Brisbane area, Bulimba is a highly recommended destination to grab something to eat and drink, play and if you’re lucky stay.
Here are my recommended things to do in Bulimba, Queensland:
Eat: For a delicious Italian lunch or dinner a nice spot is Delizioso on Oxford. Offering a mixture of traditional and modern Italian dishes and flavours, this relaxed alfresco-style venue will allow you to unwind, enjoy the buzzing atmosphere of Oxford Street and give your tastes buds a pleasant ride. Some dishes to sample include Linguine All Scoglio (linguine pasta served with mixed seafood, garlic chilli, parsley and white wine), Zucca (pizza topped with roasted pumpkin, fetta, pine nuts, rosemary and garlic), Porchetta (rolled pork belly served with truffle mashed potato, apple puree, gorgonzola cream and red wine jus) and don’t forget their amazing Arancini for entrée (simply to die-for).
Located: 205/209 Oxford Street
Cost: $14-27 (entrée), $17-65 (mains), $13-29 (dessert)
Open: 7 days for lunch and dinner
Not only is Bulimba popular for lunching and dinner dining but breakfast/brunch is a popular activity for locals and visitors and one place that does it well is the Riverbend Books and Teahouse. Enjoy its casual atmosphere and outside deck seating area that’s decorated with bamboo and greenery. Riverbend Books and Teahouse offers a simple, fresh and delicious menu highlighting local, seasoned and organic ingredients. What is lovely about this venue is it’s attached to an award-wining independent bookshop, and customers can simply drift in and browse the store’s collection of books.
Located: 193 Oxford Street
Open: 7 days from 8-5pm (Teahouse), 8-6pm (Bookshop)
Finally for a dessert fix head to the Oxford Street Bakery, located 151 Oxford Street – they make the most incredible baked goods, cupcakes (OMG the red velvet cupcakes!) and brownies.
Drink: For a city view and chilled atmosphere the Jetty Oxford is a lovely venue for an early evening or Sunday afternoon drink and tapas. Located right on the riverfront of Oxford Street, it offers amazing views with its open plan décor inviting the outside in. A well-known place with Brisbanites, the Jetty Oxford caters to a variety of tastes – whether it’s a casual ice-cold beer, coffee catch-up, elegant glass of wine or a modern cocktail infusion, they do it! With its wood features, stone walls and natural lighting it makes for a cosy and intimate spot (ideal for the casual date). To match its beverage choices, The Jetty Oxford’s menu is ever changing reflecting the current season and promising homely cooked dishes and tapas such as wagyu meatballs, crumbed and stuffed olives and marinated sardine bruschetta.
Located: 1B Oxford Street
Open: 7am-4pm (Mon), 7am-10pm (Wed-Sun)
Play: There’s a bunch of things to do besides dining and wining in Bulimba, as mentioned it’s a family-friendly destination and if you have young children then a visit to the Bulimba Memorial Park is a perfect idea. Featuring jungle gyms, swings, slides, seesaw and more – the kids go crazy here and as the memorial park spans for yards it allows plenty of room for families to throw down a blanket, kick a soccer ball and relax. Also across the road is a cute little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop serving aromatic coffee and treats. Otherwise Oxford Street Bakery is only a quick stroll down the street.
Another thing I enjoy about Bulimba is the Balmoral Cinemas – this small, comfy and classic cinema venue offers all the new releases and some indie films at a fraction of the price. Adults cost $8.50 and children $4.50, plus they do 3D movies (costs extra). Combining this with a meal at anyone of the alfresco cafes or restaurants along Oxford Street – makes for a great date or catch-up.
Located: 168 Oxford Street
Cost: $8.50 (adults), $4.50 (children)
TIP: Don’t forget to walk along the riverfront of Bulimba to take in the city views. This runs from the Jetty Oxford to Bulimba Riverside Park.
Have you eaten, drank or played in Bulimba, Queensland? Tell us your thoughts on this inner Brisbane suburb?