Once home to the unattractive BCC bus depot and the Coca Cola factory, Fortitude Valley really has come a long way in a short time.

Some of us here at H & H (the older members of the team!) remember catching the tram with their Nana to have lunch up the escalator at the old Coles supermarket in the retro red vinyl booths. Toasted ham, cheese and tomato and cups of tea was the order of the day!

Since the heyday of the 60’s and 70’s, the Valley fell into disrepute; emerging in the last 15 years with a new centre – James St, and a new lease on life.

These days, Friday and Saturday nights you’ll find the streets in and around the Mall alive with young revellers, who are spoilt for choice with the new Fortitude Music Hall on Brunswick St, featuring incredible acts such as Birds of Tokyo in September.

At the other end of the spectrum, just a short stroll down Maclachlan St, you’ve got the foodie/designer heaven of James St. Seriously, is this one of Brisbane’s best suburbs or what?!


+ The Calile is Brisbane’s uber-hip urban hotel, a cultural nirvana of architecture (think travertine, arches, crazy-paved slate floors and blonde brick), as well as foodie heaven, with Hellenika up the grand staircase, and the Lobby Bar serving fabulous food and drinks all day.

+ One of Brisbane’s last fabric stores can be found behind The Calile. It’s mecca to Brisbane’s fashion designers and home dressmakers. The lovely ladies behind the counter will show you just the fabric you’re looking for.

+ Fortitude Valley is very pet friendly. Your pooch needs clipping or babysitting? We recommend The Pet Pad, who looked after our cocker spaniel for years and years. Get all your other pet bits and pieces from My Pet Warehouse.

+ You’re totally spoilt for choice in the Valley for great food and coffee. Some of our favourites are Bellissimo, Jamies, Campos, Salt Coffee Roasters, Mosconi, King Arthur, Harvey’s, Cantinho, Cru Bar, Bucci, Gerard’s, OMG, the list goes on . . . Honto, Longtime, Happy Boy . . . we really are lucky in the Valley!

+ The Valley Pool is an icon of the area, and has been serving up laps to those donning the goggles and the Speedos for many, many years. Check it out if you like to keep fit in the water

+ Home to more than a few incredible art galleries, Fortitude Valley probably boasts the highest concentration of galleries compared to any other suburb in Brisbane. You’ll find everything from Ray Crooke to Michael Zavros at Phillip Bacon, Edwina Corlette hosts amazing artists such as John Bokor and Sally M Nangala Mulda, and Mitchell Fine Art is home to Margaret Loy Pula and Dr George Ward Tjapaltjarri, just to name a few.

+ Winn Lane is a special little hidden laneway tucked away off Ann St with a fabulous array of retailers and food outlets. Ben’s Burgers, Dreamboat barbershop, Tym Guitars, vintage markets and more.

+ One of the best things about Fortitude Valley is its walkability. From James St designer shopping, you can wander up the hill to Howard Smith Wharves in 10-15mins for lunch at Polpetta.

+ Of course, it goes without saying that Fortitude Valley is highly serviced by bus, train, and soon there will be an extra ferry stop at the Howard Smith Wharves. It’s an easy drive to the airport too via the M7.

+ And let’s finish with cocktails! We recommend Cru Bar, Eleven Rooftop Bar, Arc at HSW, Longtime, Little Valley, The Bowery, and Saville Row.

We hope you enjoy your time in the Valley!