Best Bars

11 JUNE 2024

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 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.
Good for: Whisky tastings featuring drops not stocked anywhere else in Australia.
What to drink: One of The Gresham’s speciality old fashioned.

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

Mr Percival's, Howard Smith Wharves


Tucked away in Burnett Lane, this three level Italian inspired old fashion bar is one that you can get cosy in for hours. Grab a bunch of friends and get comfortable in one of Antico’s green booths while you work your way through their cocktail menu.
Good for: Date night, relaxed catch ups.
What to drink: Blackberry Rob Roy.

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.
Good for: Intimate groups of two-to-four.
What to drink: One of the three Sake Flights.

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.
Good for: Alfresco spritzes with a view.
What to drink: A cocktail jug!

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.
Good for: Brews and views.
What to drink: Craft beer, cider and seltzers that are brewed on-site.


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.
Good for: Dressing up for a night out in The City.
What to drink: Blackbird Zombie or Roaring ‘20s.

WET Deck

Sip on a delicious cocktail or mocktail 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.
Good for: Effortlessly cool bar eats and drinks with friends.
What to drink: Signature cocktails.

Riverbar Kitchen

This freshly renovated riverfront oasis will whisk you from the centre of the business district to a distant holiday escape. Find a spot under the yellow and white striped umbrellas and order a cocktail jug to share.
Good for: Relaxed afternoon drinks.
What to drink: Pimms jug.

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.
Good for: Dancing to live music, hiding in a booth eating pretzels, late nights with friends.
What to drink: Brooklyn lager.

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!
Good for: Pre- and post-dinner drinks.
What to drink: Southside or Clover Club.

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 the weekend.
Good for: Epic share plates and sweeping views of the City.
What to drink: A house cocktail.

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.
Good for: A Bud with a buddy and watching your favourite team win.
What to drink: Pink Power or Cherry Old Fashioned.


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.
Good for: Intimate dinners with friends and date nights.
What to drink: Mango and Jackfruit cocktail.

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.
Good for: Drinks with friends.
What to drink: Award-winning, unique 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

Fortitude Valley 

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.
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.
Good for: Pinball machines and plant-based bar food.
What to drink: Craft beer.

Two people cheersing at MAYA Mexican


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.
Good for: Delicious bespoke cocktails and vegetarian bar snacks
What to drink: Turkish coffee or the smoked cacao and pomegranate old fashioned.

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.
Good for: Balmy evenings best spent in a beer garden or watching the game.
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.
Good for: A glass of Rosé in style.
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.
Good for: Saturday nights with your crew.
What to drink: A pitcher of beach boi or elderflower paloma.

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.
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.
Good for: Beer and pizza.
What to drink: Beers, beers & beers!

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.
Good for: Knock-off drinks and weekend hangs with friends.
What to drink: Cocktails with some of Australia’s best ingredients.

Customers dining at range brewing in Newstead.
Range Brewing, Newstead


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, large array 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.
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 decor including deer antlers, forest wallpaper, vinyls played on an old record player and more.
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.
Good for: Local vibe and open mic nights.
What to drink: Mulled wine in winter.

South Brisbane

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.
Good for: Sinking a few beers with friends.
What to drink: Local brews, Belgian beers or Norway’s Nogne O.


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.
Good for: A pre-dinner drink or post-show tipple.
What to drink: Cocktails and wine by the glass.

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 the 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.
Good for: Long lunches and lazy afternoons with river views.
What to drink: A glass – or bottle – of Italian wine.

Southern Suburbs

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.
Good for: Live music and drinks.
What to drink: Natural wines.

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.
Good for: Nightcap and toe tap.
What to drink: Wine downstairs, whisky upstairs.


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.
Good for: Cheese boards and drinks with friends.
What to drink: Choose your own gin and tonic adventure.

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, but also 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.
Good for: Discovering your new favourite distiller.
What to drink: A classic G&T with 78 Degrees artisan gin.


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.
Good for: A nightcap.
What to drink: Why, whisky of course.

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. With a seasonal drinks menu, you can be sure to order a drop that is suited to the weather. Don’t forget to visit during their sunset hour from 3pm-5pm Friday to Sunday for some drinks.
Good for: Pre-dinner drinks.
What to drink: The available Sake.

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.
Good for: Sundowners overlooking Moreton Bay.
What to drink: Modern Australian wines.


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.
Good for: Big gatherings or making new friends.
What to drink: Craft beer from local and independent brewers, fresh from the taproom.

James Street Fortitude Valley Restaurant Dining