The Toowoomba restaurant scene is thriving and features a strong contingent of international food options.
Start the day at Ortem, right next to Toowoomba station: a smart little spot for coffee, brekkie or brunch that serves up artfully plated dishes. Later, when a hearty pub lunch calls you can’t go past Fitzy’s, which dishes up all the pub staples: calamari, burgers, chicken parmas, steaks with beer battered chips. After lunch, pay a visit to the venue’s Tapestry Bar, which specialises in craft beer, whisky and cocktails.
Come dinner, try out Chimac for size: known for its Korean fried chicken, friendly service and generous portions, there’s almost always a queue for this local Korean eatery. Another local contender for the city’s best Korean is Kocu. Or, for a no-frills restaurant that turns out noteworthy Thai street food, visit Smiling Thai. Run by husband and wife team Kevan and Suwapat, the menu runs the gamut of Siamese classics (tom yum spot, green curries, fish cakes, pad thai).
If you’re in the mood for a burger then you can’t go past Queensland-born mini-chain Betty’s Burgers. And if fine-dining calls, then book a table at Encores at the Empire. One of the pricier establishments in town (two courses for $60, or three for $70), this restaurant consistently earns top marks for the execution of its Modern Australian menu (think beef cheek with soft polenta and XO sauce, and fresh snapper with a chilli lime butter).
Otherwise, you can’t go wrong at brightly decorated Ice n Spice: known to serve a mean curry, it’s your go-to for Indian in Toowoomba. The highly rated, service-focused restaurant even offers its diners a taste of their chosen curry post-order just to check that it’s the right level of spice. Or, feast on Anatolian food (mezze platters, chargrilled meats, pide and more) at cosy Sofra Turkish Cuisine.