Best Bars

The good news is, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to bars in Brisbane. The even better news is we have done our due diligence (you’re welcome) and put together a list of the best. Whether you’re fresh to Brisbane or are a local looking for a new place to try, this list of Brisbane’s award-winning bars, watering holes we love and venues we keep coming back to guarantees you a good time.


Brisbane City

The Gresham 

Brisbane’s favourite whisky saloon has won a swag of awards, a legion of fans and a reputation as the city’s go-to joint for rare and exclusive whiskey, rum and wine since it opened the doors to its Heritage-listed building in 2013. Sink into a chesterfield lounge, rest your whisky on a table made of rich mahogany and soak up The Gresham’s old-world charm and good old-fashioned hospitality.

Location: Brisbane City

Good for: Whisky tastings featuring drops not stocked anywhere else in Australia

What to drink: Whisky, Whisky, Whisky

The Boom Boom Room

Beneath the elegant Donna Chang modern Chinese restaurant, The Boom Boom Room serves opulent cocktails within the Heritage-listed building’s old bank vaults. No need to lift a finger (except to tap along to the jazz, soul and blues tunes filling the air) as the venue offers bottle service and delectable bar snacks.

Location: Brisbane City

Good for: Intimate groups of two-to-four at most

What to drink: Bespoke cocktails

A couple walking out of Mr Percival's at Howard Smith Wharves.

Mr Percival's, Howard Smith Wharves

Mr Percival's

This hexagonal-shaped over-water bar sits under the iconic Story Bridge with incredible skyline views across Brisbane City. Drop in for a lazy afternoon on the open-air deck, aperitifs at sunset and live music to ease you into the night.

Location: Howard Smith Wharves, Brisbane City

Good for: Friendly catch-ups with a view

What to drink: Cocktails and spritzes made from the towering stack of spirits that serves as the bar’s centrepiece 

Felons Brewing Co.

Tucked in an old warehouse under the Story Bridge, Felons is a pumping microbrewery in the heart of Brisbane’s City. Sitting on the riverbank in the Howard Smith Wharves precinct, drop in for a locally brewed ale and pizza.

Location: Howard Smith Wharves, Brisbane City

Good for: Brews and views

What to drink: Craft beer, cider and seltzers brewed on-site 

WET Deck

Sip on a Sunshine State of Mind cocktail and make a splash at the W Brisbane’s WET Deck pool. This bar offers epic riverside views and luxury sun lounges to make you feel like it's summertime all the time. The bar menu caters to all appetites, making it the perfect place to sip your afternoon away.

Location: Brisbane City

Good for: Effortlessly cool bar eats and drinks with friends

What to drink: Signature cocktails, champagne and sparkling wine 


Blackbird brings Gatsby-esque glitz and glam to the river’s edge. Located on Eagle Street, this opulent space has elevated and uninterrupted views of the Story Bridge and Brisbane River. Each prohibition-era-inspired cocktail is a work of art served with theatrical flair.

Location: Brisbane City

Good for: Dressing up for a night out in The City

What to drink: Blackbird Zombie or Roaring ‘20s

Super Whatnot

Tucked away in Burnett Lane off the bustling Queen Street Mall, Super Whatnot is a small bar with a big personality. Its well-travelled drinks menu features a rotating range of craft beer, boutique wines and an impressive cocktail list of classics.

Location: Brisbane City

Good for: Small groups of friends

What to drink: Top-shelf brews

Brooklyn Standard

Love live music? You’re in luck! Musicians take to the stage of this all-American-themed underground laneway bar six nights a week. With free table pretzels, Brooklyn lager on tap, a bunch of awards and a dance floor that gets more use than most nightclubs, Brooklyn Standard is every bit as cool as it sounds.

Location: Brisbane City

Good for: Dancing to live music, hiding in a booth eating pretzels, late nights with friends

What to drink: Brooklyn lager

Riverbar Kitchen

This freshly renovated riverfront oasis will whisk you from the centre of the business district to a distant holiday place. Find a spot under the yellow and white striped umbrellas and order a cocktail jug to share.

Location: Brisbane City

Good for: After-work drinks with a relaxed vibe

What to drink: Pimms jug

Walter's Bar

With dark wood panelling and rich mahogany, the warm and welcoming Walter’s offers an extensive list of rare and unique wines. Featuring drinks of yesteryear, it’s known for its classic cocktails created using modern techniques. Think quality, simplicity and experience!

Location: Overlooking Botanic Gardens, Brisbane City

Good for: Pre and post-dinner drinks with old friends

What to drink: Southside or 1855

Fat Angel

Swing into this American-style sports bar that doesn’t strike out. Baseball, basketball, NRL, boxing and AFL are just a few of the sporting events shown on the big screens. Study the sporting memorabilia littering the walls as you wait for your all-American bar food to accompany your tipple.

Location: Brisbane City

Good for: A Bud with a buddy

What to drink: Pink Power or Cherry Old Fashioned

Bar Pacino

Overlooking the stunning Brisbane River and Story Bridge, Bar Pacino offers a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere. It’s perfect for a Friday after work wind-down or catching up with friends on weekends.

Location: Brisbane City, Eagle Street Pier

Good for: Epic antipasti platters and sweeping views from the deck

What to drink: Be creative with your cocktail ordering – the bartenders love to use flames for an added wow factor


Hidden underground, experience this intimate 10-seat wine bar adjacent to Exhibition’s exclusive 24-seat restaurant. Housed in a historic former theatre in a grand 130-year-old building, the bar serves an evolving short list of wine, spirits and sake as well as a concise cocktail offering. A specially curated bar menu features freshly shucked oysters, cured meats and caviar. 

Location: Brisbane City

Good for: Intimate dinners with friends, date nights

What to drink: Elderflower Martini 

Death & Taxes

Stop by the city’s oldest laneway, Burnett Lane, and discover one of Brisbane’s hidden hospitality gems. Death & Taxes is an iconic whisky bar with a moody atmosphere, warm interiors and – most importantly – a 30-strong cocktail list and a back bar with more than 600 bottles of spirits, liqueurs and mixers.

Location: Burnett Lane, Brisbane City

Good for: Drinks with friends

What to drink: Award-winning cocktails

A couple talking on Emporium Hotel Terrace Rooftop Bar overlooking the river with seafood plater at the front.
The Terrace Rooftop Bar, South Bank

South Bank

The Terrace

Ride the eye-catching elevator to the top of Emporium Hotel South Bank for an all-class drinking experience. The Terrace rooftop bar specialises in cocktails and focuses on local suppliers and flavours. Try signature cocktails incorporating local liqueurs from Tamborine Mountain Distillery including lemon myrtle and lavender liqueurs and wild citrus vodka.  

Location: South Bank  

Good for: Rooftop vibes with epic views of Brisbane City  

What to drink: Cocktails with exotic local liqueurs  

OTTO Osteria 

OTTO Osteria embraces Brisbane’s al fresco lifestyle with a prime waterfront location, open deck and expansive views across the river. Enjoy a casual bite to eat from a bar menu inspired by the regions of Northern Italy while you take in the view. The wine list also pays homage to Italian varietals and is filled with local curios as well as classic and esoteric Italian wines. 

Location: South Bank  

Good for: Long lunches and lazy afternoons with river views  

What to drink: A glass – or bottle – of Italian wine

Two people cheersing at MAYA Mexican

Fortitude Valley  

Maya Mexican  

Ride the elevator to the 11th floor and you've arrived at Maya. Brought to you by Eleven Rooftop Bar, this little patch of Mexico in the sky is where the local produce-inspired menu channels Mexican influences. Enjoy lashings of tequila, mezcal and sotol and peruse the impressive cocktail list.  

Location: Fortitude Valley  

Good for: The views and vibes 

What to drink: Tequila, of course  


Brought to you by the team behind Za Za Ta, Brisbane’s popular Middle Eastern eatery, Kazba is a treat for the senses. The charming cocktail bar creates cocktails inspired by the boulevards of Tel Aviv using house-made Middle Eastern cordials, sodas, teas and unique produce for garnishes.  

Location: Fortitude Valley  

Good for: Delicious bespoke cocktails and vegetarian bar snacks  

What to drink: Turkish coffee martini or the fig rum old fashioned 

Savile Row  

Step through the orange door and step back into time into a delightful speakeasy of yesterday. A jaw-dropping drinks wall behind the bar gives bar staff free rein to create their own concoctions or you can select a signature cocktail from the bespoke menu. Score a seat upstairs and settle in for the night.  

Location: Fortitude Valley  

Good for: A Saturday night escape from the bustle of Brunswick Street  

What to drink: Any of their cocktails or try a whisky, neat  


An old-school arcade games bar and diner, Netherworld is home to retro and vintage games that will transport you back to your childhood. There are pinball and arcade machines, classic consoles and countless board games from the ‘70s to the present day.  

Location: Fortitude Valley  

Good for: Pinball machines and plant-based bar food  

What to drink: Craft beer  

Gerard’s Bar

Gerard’s Bar is a neighbourhood meeting spot tucked off James St, serving colourful Middle Eastern-inspired food and drink. The drink selection is vibrant and fun with young and interesting wines as well as established and favourite varietals as an extensive list of signature cocktails. The menu pays tribute to the culinary traditions of Lebanon with a selection of mezze, snacks and seasonal vegetable dishes. 

Location: Fortitude Valley

Good for: Small groups or for date night

What to drink: Anything that pairs with charcuterie

The Osbourne

Beer lovers, rejoice! With an impressive 31 beers on tap – housed in two bespoke copper bulkheads, the only ones of their kind in Australia – The Osbourne’s breezy bar is truly a sight to behold. Lounge in the indoor-outdoor spaces with a beer in hand, while poring over a comprehensive menu including pizza, burgers, steaks, oysters and more.

Location: Fortitude Valley

Good for: Balmy evenings best spent in a beer garden

What to drink: Beer – of course

The Lodge Bar & Dining 

Melding fashion, food and wine, The Lodge offers a truly memorable experience. Its heritage Queenslander building houses two bars: a ground-floor corner bar with banquette seating and a stylish bar with a spectacular wrap-around balcony that allows for panoramic views of the James Street strip on the upper level. Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas has curated an expansive wine list with New Zealand wines at its heart. 

Location: Fortitude Valley

Good for: Rosé with a side of retail therapy

What to drink: Wine from an independent New Zealand producer

Sixes and Sevens

Spilling out of its converted 18th-Centuray cottage, Sixes and Sevens is both a local for New Farm residents and a weekend destination for partygoers from across the city. Pull up a bar stool in its courtyard and people-watch along James St or step inside and claim an intimate lounge space or long table for catch-ups with friends. Settle in and order from its extensive list of ciders, beers on tap, wine served from the barrel and fresh cocktails pitchers. 

Location: Fortitude Valley

Good for: Saturday nights with your crew

What to drink: A pitcher of white peach or spiced apple sangria


Sip on a cocktail while a DJ spins vinyl at this hideaway perched above Winn Lane. Stranded has a punk rock heart, an ear for music of all genres, a bar stocked with tequila and mezcal and bar staff skilled in the art of cocktail wizardry. 

Location: Fortitude Valley

Good for: Late nights, good friends and great music

What to drink: A tipple from the dedicated mezcal and tequila menu.


Welcome to the jungle! Soko Rooftop is an elevated wonderland of lush greenery, elegant bar seating, Amazonian décor and a Peruvian and Japanese-inspired menu. This fusion menu is complimented by a carefully curated wine and saké list and a cocktail menu with more than 40 flavours of Pisco Sour. Bliss out in a booth high above Fortitude Valley. 

Location: Fortitude Valley

Good for: Escaping to the Amazon in the heart of Brisbane

What to drink: A Pisco Sour – try the melon and wasabi or mango and togarashi

Mrs Brown's Bar & Kitchen exterior view at night at Newstead and Teneriffe.
Mrs Brown's Bar & Kitchen, Newstead

Northern Suburbs

Mrs Browns Bar & Kitchen

Mrs Browns Bar & Kitchen is known for its lively atmosphere and good vibes. With great food, an impressive drinks list and exceptional service, Mrs Browns is an easy crowd-pleaser with plenty of options to keep you going long into the night.

Location: Newstead

Good for: Getting the crew together

What to drink: Weekend cocktail special

Range Brewing Co. 

Range Brewing Co is one of the best in the business when it comes to Craft Beer. Pair a crisp, cold beer with a crispy, hot pizza made with artisan sourdough bases and a mouth-watering array of toppings. Explore Range’s award-winning pale ales or try its fresh draught pours made on-site at its Newstead brewery.

Location: Newstead

Good for: Beer and pizza

What to drink: Beers, beers & beers!

Ruby, My Dear

Passers-by will be drawn in by the pumping beats that spill from the bar and dining room, through the outdoor dining area and onto the street. They'll stay for the menu of izakaya-style eats and a creative drinks menu that features gin and whiskey-centric cocktails.

Location: Newstead

Good for: Hungry music and culture lovers   

What to drink: Sake negroni

Fitz & Potts

Pull up a cane bar stool on the deck of the retro-styled bar in Nundah. Sporting the perfect amount of kitsch, Fitz & Potts is the spot to take friends and whittle away an afternoon with small-batch liquors, craft beers and simple bar food.

Location: Nundah

Good for: Neighbourhood catch-ups

What to drink: Something local

Stratton Bar & Kitchen 

Eat, drink and celebrate at Stratton, an airy venue sprawled across two former World War II hangars. Book a table in the modern, industrial restaurant and bar area or meander next door into its plant-filled atrium. Come for a drink or stay for a meal, the casual and welcoming bar is open until late. 

Location: Newstead

Good for: Knock-off drinks and weekend hangs with friends.

What to drink: Cocktails with native Australian spirits and botanicals


Well known for its fine-dining experience, Byblos is also a quality bar. You’ll want to take your time browsing its drinks menu, poring over its array of national and international wines, four pages of cocktails and all the spirits you could ever need. If you’re finding it hard to make a choice, leave the decision in the capable hands of Byblos’s expert bar staff.

Location: Portside Wharf, Hamilton

Good for: Sunday session on the river

What to drink: A Byblos signature Turkish Delight daquiri

Junk Bar

Located inconspicuously behind an ageing shop front, Junk Bar features quirky décor including deer antlers, forest wallpaper, small palm trees, old couches, dim lamps, and vinyls played on an old record player.

Location: Ashgrove

Good for: Discovering new and emerging musicians

What to drink: Cocktails, cocktails, cocktails

Cardigan Bar

Cardigan Bar is Sandgate's neighbourhood laneway watering hole and a great place to listen to live music over a drink or two. The boho atmosphere is complemented by folk, jazz and blues music nightly from Thursday to Sunday. There are often food trucks on-site or you can BYO food.

Location: Sandgate (across the road from Sandgate train station)

Good for: Local vibe and stand-up comedy nights

What to drink: Mulled wine in winter

Southern Suburbs


Like whisky? You'll love Cobbler. This small, West End bar boasts an astounding 400+ whiskies from around the world including Scottish, American, Canadian, Irish, Japanese and Australian varieties.

Location: West End

Good for: A nightcap

What to drink: Why, whisky of course


A sibling venue to Southside restaurant, Kiki is a lush urban oasis nestled between Fish Lane and bustling Melbourne St. The striking circular bar pumps out a selection of natural wines, cocktails and Asian beers as well as Vietnamese bahn mi and bar snacks until late. Slide into a seat amid this verdant urban garden and watch the world go by. 

Location: South Brisbane

Good for: A pre-dinner drink or post-show tipple. 

What to drink: Cocktails and wine by the glass. 

Saccharomyces Beer Cafe

Tucked away along Fish Lane, Saccharomyces has a huge selection of beers on tap and a fridge full of brews from independent and small-batch brewers. Pull up a table, select one of their board games – or try your luck on a pinball machine – and order from the rotating seasonal drink and food menu for an evening to remember.

Location: South Brisbane

Good for: Sinking a few beers with friends

What to drink: Local brews, Belgian beers or Norway’s Nogne O

The End

This is The End, my friend – a small galley of a bar popular with West End locals. The bar plays ‘90s films on the back wall (a tribute to Trash Video, the store it replaced), often has live music or a DJ spinning vinyl and offers an impressive cocktail list and craft beer offerings.

Location: West End

Good for: Mingling with local hipsters

What to drink: Natural wines


These cocktail kings shake up the classics and stir up new surprises. Each cocktail gets a name, a quote and a hashtag. Canvas also realises the power of an espresso martini so serves them for breakfast on weekends.

Location: Woolloongabba

Good for: Cheese boards and drinks with friends, late-night desserts and learning about spirits

What to drink: Cocktail of your choice or flight of spirits

Electric Avenue

Once a hotspot for antiques, this Woolloongabba venue tips its top hat to Brisbane’s rich and sometimes surprising history. Slide into the cosy dining room or pull up a table on the sidewalk and order a bite to eat while you peruse the extensive wine list. For those in the know, whisper in the bar staff’s ear and they’ll direct you to the hidden speakeasy on the top floor.

Location: Woolloongabba

Good for: Nightcap and toe tap

What to drink: Wine downstairs, whisky upstairs

Purple Palm 

This urban sanctuary features a lush canopy of foliage, a chilled atmosphere and a 10-foot wall of gin. Purple Palm is not only an oasis for gin lovers, it is a bar dedicated to introducing drinkers to the palate-pleasing products of small-batch Australian spirit distillers. Settle into a cushion or couch with a drink in hand and watch the Purple Palm sway to life as the sun goes down. 

Location: Woolloongabba, South City Square

Good for: Discovering your new favourite distiller

What to drink: A classic G&T with 78 Degrees artisan gin

Lina Rooftop 

Lina elevates all-day lounging to new heights. The South Brisbane bar sits high above the city with frangipani-shaded tables, banquette and booth seating and Mediterranean-style day beds aplenty to soak up the sun and the spectacular views with a glass of sparkling in hand. There’s even an infinity pool for those adventurous souls making the most of Brisbane’s enviable year-round climate. 

Location: South Brisbane

Good for: Breezy Brisbane afternoons and views across the city

What to drink: Whispering Angel rosé 

Eastern Suburbs

Melrose Wine Bar 

Fresh and contemporary cocktails are the go-to order at this stunning Asian-inspired cocktail bar, located next to its sibling Melrose Restaurant in Bulimba. Think yuzu merlot, hibiscus-infused tequila and tum yum-flavoured rum spiking classic cocktails and forming the foundation on your new favourite tipple. 

Location: Bulimba

Good for: Pre-dinner drinks

What to drink: The Tom Yum Collins


Brewdog is a haven for craft beer and epic feeds on the river under Brisbane’s Gateway Bridge. The brewery’s OG Murarrie taproom serves 28 beers on tap and a menu it proudly describes as “farm-to-table junk food”. Its huge riverside patio is both dog and child-friendly and overlooks the Brisbane River. The brewery has also opened a second big venue in Fortitude Valley. 

Location: Murarrie (also at Fortitude Valley) 

Good for: Big parties and gatherings the whole family can attend

What to drink: Craft beer from local and independent brewers, fresh from the taproom

Adelita Wine Bar 

Snack on oysters and charcuterie as you peruse the 80-strong wine list at this quaint and cool wine bar overlooking Moreton Bay. Its chic and classic interior is matched by a restaurant-quality bar menu and a thoughtfully curated drinks list. 

Location: Wynnum 

Good for: Sundowners overlooking Moreton Bay

What to drink: Modern Australian wines

Western Suburbs

The Walrus Club

Beneath the iconic Regatta Hotel lies The Walrus Club – a raw brick, chesterfield couch-laden rum den. The large rabbit warren of space is great for groups, and you can catch the CityCat straight to its door. Fitting, as the speakeasy draws its name from the SS Walrus, a Brisbane ship that was briefly a floating rum distillery.

Location: Toowong

Good for: Finding a private corner or set of lounges and hanging out with groups of friends

What to drink: Rum

Newstead Brewing Co.

Local microbrewery Newstead Brewing Co offers so much more than a few barrels of beer. This gastropub features an affordable gourmet menu to pair with its award-winning brews, and the bar stocks a full range of spirits.

Location: Milton  

Good for: Catch-ups with mates

What to drink: Beer (best paired with chicken wings)

Hope and Anchor

This no-fuss watering hole keeps the food classically simple and the drinks flowing. Transport yourself to England with a hearty homemade pie of the day and an ale of your choice or choose a drop from the never-ending wine list.

Location: Paddington

Good for: English pub food and a pint of brew for the locals

What to drink: Wine

Darling & Co

This darling of Paddington is an indisputable local favourite. With its Hamptons-style glamour and a menu that showcases sustainable and seasonal produce, finding an excuse to leave can be difficult. Choose a luxe experience in the communal dining area upstairs or enjoy a casual affair at the bar while sipping on a sensational selection of cocktails, beers or wine.

Location: Paddington

Good for: Enjoying a casual drink with friends or colleagues

What to drink: Saison – seasonal French farmhouse ale

An image of some European dishes with hands holding the food and glass of wine.