Ipswich must-visit restaurants

Have a fun-filled foodie experience in Ipswich with this guide
10 Oct 2023
Ruth Johnston, Australian & World-Traveling Mum

Ipswich has slowly made a name for itself in South East Queensland. It is no longer just known as a mining and train town, but has slowly turned into a popular destination for food lovers. Today, you’ll find some of Australia’s best chefs in Ipswich when you walk into many of the eateries. This means good food and amazing thirst-quenching drinks. But how do you really find the best restaurants in this progressive city? Here is a list of some of the best cafes and pubs to consider while in Ipswich.

Dancing Bean Cafe

Dancing Bean Cafe

A play on words, but I bet you’ll start singing and want to dance! From the moment you walk into this award-winning cafe, you want to start dancing and feeling alive. From the perfect aroma of freshly ground coffee beans to their delicious freshly-made breakfasts, this is the place to be seen.

Tucked away down a little lane, Dancing Bean is a favorite place for many locals, as it is located off the main street. It is dog-friendly too, and, whether you are dining inside soaking up the industrially designed vibe or out on the patio soaking up some sunny rays, this is the perfect cafe in central Ipswich to head to. We loved the friendliness of the manager, and of course, breakfast was just perfect.

Tranquil Tea House – High Tea or Tea Tasting

Tranquil Tea High Tea

Tranquil Tea is run by Sri Lankan-born Dona Perera, who’s passion for the pure taste of real tea has grown into a thriving business.

This experience does need to be booked in advance, so gather a few friends, dress in your best outfit, and enjoy a beautiful morning or afternoon in the fresh air.  Tea tasting or High Tea can be set in an orchard, or a well-decorated indoor dining space that is large enough to accommodate up to 20 of your friends. Just make sure you arrive with a hungry appetite and a thirst for quality tea – because you’ll leave very satisfied! 

Tranquil Tea high tea in the grove

The Sourdough Crust Co

Sourdough Crust Co

The best Sourdough crust pizza has arrived in Australia and you can experience it right here in Ipswich, at one of the newest Italian Restaurants this side of Brisbane. From the perfect antipasto platter to start, right through to the freshest pizzas, you’ll adore The Sourdough Crust Co taste sensation. What’s more, is that the pizza is woodfired, resulting in a signature sourdough crust that’s hard to achieve with other types of oven. There are also take-home packs if you’d like to prepare your sourdough pizza from home. So, have you tried sourdough pizza yet?

The Retro Diner


We love authentic retro diners! And we were really impressed with this dog-friendly diner in Ipswich. They brought out a bowl of water and also a bowl of fresh meat for Oscar the Exploradog.

The breakfasts were two of the best we’ve eaten with generous servings. Of course, the cappuccino was great – served in an Elvis mug. As if that’s not enough, the diner has a special menu for kids that is made up of some very sumptuous meals. Your young one will probably love the waffles served with ice cream and maple syrup or go crazy with the ham and salad wrap served with fries. If you are looking for the real deal in retro style, head to The Retro Diner Ipswich.

Elderflower Cafe

Elderflower Cafe1

Enjoy a scrumptious vegetarian full hot breakfast, a hearty meat-lovers option, or a mix of both and finish off with delicious carrot cake. The cappuccino was so perfectly delicious too.

I loved how Elderflower Cafe accommodates children as there is a blackboard and coloring supplies for them. Be ready to enjoy the ambiance and freshness created by the many plants and flowers planted all around. I know this is a bit of a secret hideaway spot in Ipswich, but you’ll probably not be able to keep it a secret from your friends. It is a lovely place to be.

The Rusty Nail

Exploramum at The Rusty Nail

The Rusty Nail is a great place to have a few drinks with friends and colleagues. The bar has a beautiful industrial-style interior that I found to be admirable. It is a bit compact but do not be fooled by that, since there is some extra space in the wine bar underground. You can also choose to sit in the seating space outside that spills onto the pavement.

We loved our time here and were so glad to have booked a table because this little bar is full of surprises. Our little table for two was nestled snuggly among others, so we quickly found ourselves making new friends at the next table. I recommend you try their tapas as we really enjoyed ours.

Barkley & Pips

Barkley and Pips

What a pawfect place! Whenever we head to Ipswich, we make sure to make an appointment with our favorite groomer at Barkley & Pips Dog Cafe. Here we sit and enjoy a superb coffee, smoothie, and cake, or if it’s the middle of the day then it is pawfect for an alfresco lunch.

We love the grooming here too – for me, it’s the special fiber separation drying technique they use on our Cavoodle that helps with any matting. And when Oscar the Exploradog has finished his groom, he enjoys a nutritious goat milk, ‘Puppaccino’, with turmeric.  Then to finish off, a lovely play in the doggy ball pen. Yes, it really is pawfect!

Jets Leagues Club

Jets Leagues Club

Here at Jets Leagues Club we thoroughly enjoyed a scrumptious traditional roast dinner served by the crackling fireplace. The food was accompanied by a perfect glass of full-bodied Pepper Jack shiraz.

We finished off with a melt-in-your-mouth pavlova and a warm fruity pudding with cream and ice cream. It was one of the best dinners I’ve had in a long time. I realised that members receive discounts on food and drinks, which I think is a great idea. Beyond food, I loved how the new marble bar added to the club’s beautiful interior. Hope you’ll love your visit just as much as we did.

Ruth Johnston Australian & World-Traveling Mum
Ruth is known as Exploramum, where on her website Exploramum.com and social media she shares her travel expeditions alongside her son (Explorason). The two travelled full-time for seven years since 2012 and were able to visit over 70 countries and 456 destinations across the globe. Being a single parent, Ruth was majorly motivated by the possibility of educating her son organically through travel. This desire was realised as her son acquired practical experience from his diverse interactions from different cultural backgrounds. Today, Ruth and her her son are back in Australia and are currently based in Queensland. They have a new family member, a pet dog named Oscar (Exploradog), with whom they have been exploring and discovering unique places closer to home in Australia. Check out their blogs if you’d like to know more about their adventure.

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