Brisbane is a city blessed with a subtropical climate that makes getting outdoors a joy most of the year. In addition, as the capital of Queensland – Australia’s Sunshine State – Brisbane offers art, adventure, sport and culture. And, importantly, great food and drink.
Whether you’re out soaking up the sun, shopping with friends, or on the search for a great night out, Brisbane is home to some of the country’s best bars.
So, we have put together a list of our favourite hotspots in the city. There’s something for everyone, whether you want to wet your whistle or excite your palate.
From rooftop bars to intimate wine bars, and from cocktail clubs and whiskey hideouts, Brissie has them all.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s dive into our look at the best bars in Brisbane.
Location: Eagle Lane, Brisbane, 4000 QLD Ph: (07) 3221 1604
Despite the name, Brooklyn Standard is not your standard bar. Instead, it’s an underground surprise filled with live music from a range of different genres and eras.
The music hits the stage six nights a week and includes soul, blues, funk, pop, rockabilly, and much more. With such variety, there’s bound to be a band that appeals.
As far as drinks are concerned, the bar is well stocked with liqueurs and cold beers.
All in all, this is a Brisbane bar that is totally worth the visit.
Location: Ground Floor, 51 Alfred Street, Fortitude Valley, 4006 QLD Ph: (07) 3852 4838
Located on Alfred Street, Dutch Courage Officers’ Mess is a quirky, plantation-style Brisbane cocktail and tapas bar. It’s unique decor takes its inspiration from the British colonial outposts of the latter half of the 19th century.
With live music, over 100 gins to choose from, a well-crafted house cocktail list, and a never-ending back bar, Dutch Courage promises both quality drinks and good times all night long.
It was even nominated for Australian Gin Bar of the year in 2017, 2018, and 2021.
If you’re looking for a spot where you can grab a cocktail prior to dinner, see our post of Bucci Restaurant.
Location: 49 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane City, 4000 QLD Ph: (07) 3243 4800
You’re promised a night as fun as the name at the Boom Boom Room.
Located on Elizabeth Street, it used to serve Sichuan flavours from Donna Chang upstairs. These days, the food is distinctly Japanese as Boom Boom offers an exciting izakaya menu to go with it’s innovative cocktail list.
Housed in a heritage-listed buildings’ old bank vaults the Boom Boom Room is a great place to spend an evening. Especially if you love sake or a Japanese-influenced cocktail.
Talking of izakayas, here are our top Japanese Restaurants in Brisbane
Location: Fish Lane, South Brisbane, 4101 QLD
Moving on with our run through of the best bars in Brisbane we have a small, but perfectly formed venue.
If you’re in the mood for a cold beer or tall glass of wine, look no further than Maker.
Tucked around the corner from Gauge, which is its sibling venue, Maker is the creation of Sourced Grocer’s Jerome Batten.
Featuring an arresting brass bar set in a velvety black space, Maker has a strong sense of identity. This attention to detail is also evident in the original cocktail list. And we love that this hip spot cares enough to change both its bar food and drink list every month.
A Brisbane bar with an artisanal touch, Maker promises to impress.
Update: Proving that the team at Maker totally deserve their spot amongst our top bars in Brisbane, their Mezcal-based cocktail – Coil – took out 42nd place at the 2022 Boothby Drinks of the Year Awards.
Location: 32 Commercial Road, Newstead, 4006 QLD Ph: (07) 3854 0834
Located on Commercial Road, Mrs. Brown’s Bar and Kitchen serves up some moreish sharing platters as well as a bar filled with a range of beverages. This is the kind of place where you can easily spend an enjoyable night drinking and grazing.
We really love their both their Lamb and Haloumi Paratha Pancakes – stuffed paratha bread, fried. Absolutely delicious!
It’s a great place to visit any time of day. What’s more, the exposed brick walls with hanging plants and industrial touches of an old warehouse make it all the more attractive on a sunny afternoon in the city.
Keep your drinks chilled in the Brisbane heat with this stylish FineDine Double-Wall Stainless Steel Insulated Ice Bucket.
Location: 543 Coronation Drive, Toowong, 4066 QLD Ph: (07) 3051 7617
Another themed entry on this list of the best bars in Brisbane, The Walrus Club is a speakeasy bar built for the finer ladies and most dapper gentlemen.
It has an authentic prohibition ambience and is designed to be an escape from the reality outside. It’s known for its specialty rum range and offers over 150 different blends.
But if rum is not your thing, they also offer a selection of unique spirits and a delightful cocktail menu developed by professional mixologists.
Editor’s Note: We been informed that the Walrus Club is currently closed. We’ll let you know when we know more.
Location: 1000 Ann Street, Brisbane, 4006 QLD Ph: (07) 3253 6999
Bar Kazba offers a cocktail experience like no other.
With cocktails that are hidden within hollow hardback novels, Sazeracs which are poured from glass bottles bursting with smoke, and punch bowls that look like disco bowls, Bar Kazba is a sidebar filled with theatrics to impress.
It offers a 1940s themed lounge, glamour and glitz, and some of the best drinks in the city.
We recommend the Turkish Coffee Martini and suggest you pair it with one of their famous vegetarian delights. Their chili halloumi savoury doughnuts would be our choice.
Location: 757 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, 4006 QLD Ph: (07) 3067 7447
Maya is a bar inspired directly by Mexico’s Riviera Maya, So not surprisingly, it offers an authentic Mexican dining and outdoor drinking experience.
Offering a range of Mexican street food and designed to go with a margarita or two, this place was built to give you a taste of Mexico down under.
Some of our favourites include crispy prawns grilled in tequila, battered jalapenos with homemade guacamole, and twice-cooked pork belly with spicy corn puree.
If you have room for dessert, don’t be afraid to try the desert cacti or and the greenery galore.
When it comes to a drinks menu, they offer five kinds of margaritas to keep true to the Mexican theme. In addition, there is an extensive cocktail list, sangria jugs, plenty of tequila and mezcal, and a variety of Australian wines.
Whip up classy cocktails with ease using this 24-Piece Cocktail Shaker Bartender Kit with Stand. Including a cocktail shaker, tongs, measuring jigger, corkscrew and loads more, it’ll turn cocktail creating into a breeze
Location: 702 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, 4005 QLD Ph: 0438 886 809
Found behind the famous blue door located on Ann Street, Finney Isles comes from the people that brought you Brisbane’s Cobbler and Saville Row.
What makes it so different however, is that the passion from the servers at this bar is unmatched.
They love the bar culture of their beloved Brisbane and are keen to share that with tourists and locals alike.
The bar is filled with boutique gins, rums, whiskeys, and unique spirits. However, their cocktails and wine list are what most visitors recommend after their visit to Finney Isles.
If you’re hungry, they also offer a charcuterie board that pairs perfectly with a cocktail as well as a Bento Box filled with delights from grilled oysters to miso soup.
Pop it on you list of must-try bars in Brisbane.
Location: 36 Burnett Lane, Brisbane City, 4000 QLD
Death and Texas is the bar for you if you’re looking for somewhere that promises a sophisticated, elegant drinking experience. This classy joint is tucked away in Burnett Lane – the city’s oldest laneway.
It’s known for its outstanding cocktails and the exciting CBD outside turns into an atmospheric, moody interior where you are promised not only some of the finest cocktail mixing in the city but also a range of over 40 wines that you can sip on all through the night.
Location: Shop 13A, 23 James Street, Fortitude Valley, 4006 QLD Ph: (07) 3252 2606
You’ll find Gerard’s Bar on James Street and yes you guessed it, it comes from the same people that created Gerard’s Bistro.
A fancy bar at night but a casual spot for dining in the day, you’ll be able to sip on some Australian wine whilst also enjoying a range of Middle Eastern-inspired snacks.
Known for their extensive vegan and vegetarian menu, Gerard’s Bar caters to everyone so is perfect for catching up with old friends or for a casual date night on the weekend.
Location: The Basement, 97 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill QLD 4000 Ph: (07) 3148 3415
If you’re looking for entertainment, as well as a good drink, look no further than Arcadium Adventures.
Not only do they provide a speakeasy-style bar with a range of cocktails and delicacies, but they also host a variety of escape rooms where you can either step into your favorite book or travel through time portals to find some legendary artifacts.
A place of fun and adventure, Arcadium Adventure promises to open your eyes and explore the world like never before.
Location: 71 Eagle Street, Brisbane, 4000 QLD Ph: (07) 3211 9020
If you are looking for something popular with the locals, Riverbar and Kitchen promise not to disappoint.
With views of the Brisbane River and Story Bridge, you can dine on seasonal produce and in-house liqueurs whilst looking over into the beautiful city.
Not to mention, breakfast is their best seller and if you end up in the area in the morning, we highly recommend going for their Riverbar Breakfast.
Editor’s Note: Riverbar has had to close temporarily due to the flooding that has savaged parts of Brisbane. They hope to reopen soon. As this is the case, why not try here instead…?
Location: 67 Castlemaine St, Milton, QLD 4064 Ph: (07) 3367 0490 Also at Brisbane Domestic Airport Visitor Information Centre, Level2, Airport Dr Brisbane Domestic Airport, QLD 4008 Ph: (07) 380 4013
Now, not all bars serve fancy cocktails and expensive bottles of wine. Happily, some also focus on a good ol’ frosty beer. And one such place is the Newstead Brewing Co. And according to the locals, it’s rapidly becoming one of the most popular bars in Brisbane.
Ironically, the premises in Newstead are closed. But don’t worry, the Newstead Brewery is very much alive and kicking over in Milton. Here both the brewery and their spaceous brewpub reside in a high-ceilinged, roomy industrial-chic warehouse.
And whilst most punters come for the beer, that’s not all that’s on offer. The kitchen does classic pub grub fare like Burgers and a Charcuterie Board and the place is also dog-friendly – making it a great option for a lazy arvo of drinking with mates.
It might be a bit of a hike, but if you find yourself down in Melbourne and you love a good beer, check out Deeds Brewing in Glen Iris
Location: Emporium Hotel South Bank, Level 21/267 Grey Street, South Bank, 4101 QLD Ph: (07) 3556 3333
If it is a drink with a view you are after, The Terrace is a rooftop bar the will not disappoint.
Sit on elevated seating in the sky and take in views that stretch to Moreton Island whilst you sip on carefully crafted cocktails or a long glass of Australian white wine.
In the open alfresco area, you’ll also be able to see the city skyline, Story Bridge, and the South Bank below.
Location: 59B Gardens Point Road, Brisbane City, 4000 QLD Ph: (07) 3306 8565Here are some of the best bars in Brisb
Will & Flow is a summer favorite in the city. Perched over the river and starting the day as a cafe serving up coffee and acai bowls, it’s no wonder why it’s such a popular choice for locals and tourists alike.
As the day continues, find woodfired pizzas, seafood platters, and summer cocktails hit the menu, as well as a range of cold beers and wines, so you can keep sipping and eating, whilst soaking up the afternoon Australian sun.