Brisbane’s Greek Cafes: A Million Malted Milks has been named a finalist for The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award.

Written by Dr Toni Risson, author of Aphrodite and the Mixed Grill, the book uncovers Brisbane’s forgotten cafe culture, documenting the once thriving Greek cafe scene with a focus on the families behind the businesses.

A handful of Greek migrants were trading in oyster saloons in Brisbane during the 1890s, and by the 1920s a vibrant cafe society flourished in the capital under the watchful eye of more than 70 Greek proprietors.

They served banana splits and fish ‘n’ chips, mixed grills and malted milks, ice-cream sodas and toasted sandwiches – with every single sip and bite made from scratch on the premises.

READ MORE: A study of the iconic Greek cafe and milk bar [PHOTOS]

Brisbane’s Greek Cafes: A Million Malted Milks is one of eight books nominated, among them some big names in the literary world, including a Miles Franklin-winner.

“This is wonderful recognition of the contribution Greek migrants made to economic and social life in Australia,” Dr Risson told Neos Kosmos.

The award is determined by public vote, with the winner named Queensland Book of the Year.

Meanwhile the State Library of Queensland approached Dr Risson to curate an exhibition about Greek cafes titled ‘Meet me at the Paragon’, which opens this Friday, 27 September and runs until March 2020.

Voting closes 14 October, 2019. To vote online, visit

READ MORE: Australia’s oldest continuously Greek-run cafe is being put on the market