Bars & Pubs

15 Bars You Should Have Been To If You Live In Brisbane

By Rachel Lay
15th Mar 2016

If you live in Brisbane, and want to be able to call yourself a true Brisbanite, you've obviously been to each of these bars. If not, you're just not Brisbane enough, soz. Get your pens out people, and start ticking this list off!

#1 Maker

South Brisbane

Locally sourced ingredients are the bread and butter of Maker hidden down Fish Lane; that, and quirky cocktails. If you live in Brisbane and haven’t sampled the Whisky Wax Coffee (pollen, beeswax, macadamia, coffee and whisky served with black garlic bread) then you’ve got some serious explaining to do.

#2 The APO

Fortitude Valley

The APO may be new, but what it lacks in time on the scene it makes up for with an epic late night menu and super cool venue. The APO feels a million miles away from the Valley’s main drag. With an uber cool fit out, a balcony overlooking cool Brisbane laneway, Bakery Lane, and an epic drinks list we’re hoping for your taste buds sake you’ve already checked this out.

#3 Friday's


Friday's is an institution. I would be willing to place a fairly large wager on the fact that no night out in Brisbane has passed without ‘let’s go to Friday's’ being slurred at least once. The view on offer is epic, and while the d-floor is small it certainly makes up for its size with the bangers on offer.

#4 Ric’s Bar

Fortitude Valley

If you haven’t been to Ric’s you’re obviously lying, because everyone’s been to Ric’s. The barkeeps at Ric’s know their way around a basic: the rum and cokes are the stuff of legends, there’s not a trace of bogan in them and they’re delicious while the G&Ts are made with the most perfect tonic to lime to gin ratio and are way too easy to drink way too quickly.

#5 John Mills Himself


John Mills Himself is an uber hidden, uber cool bar in Brisbane that is perfect those Brisbanites among us that wish our bar scene was ‘more like Melbourne’. The hidden location, expertly poured drinks and the crowd make for an epic watering hole that every Brissy local should experience.

#6 Canvas


Canvas is the perfect East Brisbane watering hole. With drinks flowing from their breakfast service and late into the evening, there’s no time that Canvas isn’t the perfect option. The names of drinks are half the fun here, with Dumbledore on Tour and the Fresh Prince of Bombay you’ll be using the epic names as an excuse to order drink after drink.

#7 Walrus Club


The Walrus Club is no longer a secret; it has reached peak Brisbane bar level. Marked only by a walrus on a random door, you’ve gotta be a local to find this spot. The dark, exposed brick corridors make for a super secret bar experience with leather clad couches and a meticulously stocked bar.

#8 Gerard’s Bar

New Farm

Gerard’s Bar is the spot to be on a Friday night. Wedged between the luxe boutiques of James Street and their sister venue Gerard’s Bistro, it’s the perfect spot to chow down on their epic cheeseburgers and dagwood dogs with a decadent cocktail.

#9 Alfred & Constance

Fortitude Valley

You’ll be hard pressed to find a Brisbane dweller who hasn’t got at least one snap from A&C in their Facebook pics. The scorpion bowls from the aptly named Tiki bar are a performance art with the (super friendly) bar staff lighting them on fire for your drinking pleasure. The zombie, as well as acting as a premonition of you post trip to A&C, is an essential tipple, too.

#10 The Regatta


The Regatta is well and truly a Brisbane icon. There’s no finer place to sit back with a schooner of Gold and admire the beauty that is Brisbane than on the Regatta’s balcony. The Regatta serves all generations of Brisbanites from our broke uni student days to our Veuve sipping ‘adult’ days,; there’s always a spot at the Regatta for you.

#11 Saccharomyces Beer Café

South Brisbane
A new spot on the Brisbane bar scene, SBC have quickly cemented their position in the Brisbane bar hall of fame. Laneway bars are epic enough on their own, but when you throw in the extra cool factor that SBC has, you know you’re onto a winner if you’ve got your drink on here.

#12 Brooklyn Standard


Brooklyn Standard may be hard to find, but it’s a hunt the seasoned Brisbane drinker can master. Not that we need to give you directions, because you should have been there by now, but keep an eye out for their teeny tiny sign down Eagle Lane. Brooklyn Standard comes complete with dim lighting, moody booths, neon signs and most importantly, free pretzels.

#13 Eleven Rooftop Bar

Fortitude Valley

It’s customary to stop and enjoy how pretty Brisbane is over champagne and cocktails that will fool out-of-towners into thinking you don’t wear ruggers and Broncos thongs when you’re not schmoozing at Eleven Rooftop Bar. Enjoy Brisvegas views by day or by night, but let’s be real – we’ve all been here.

#14 Bloodhound Bar

Fortitude Valley

Bloodhound Bar is so Brisbane they even have a mural designed by Brisbane artists Frank & Mimi providing the perfect backdrop to the bar and local brews take pride of place at the bar.

#15 Dandys Rooftop Bar

South Brisbane

No Brisbanite can, hand on heart, say they’ve never had a wild one at Dandy’s Rooftop Bar. The innumerable flights of stairs that separate you from Dandy’s are totally worth it for the kitschy-cute rooftop and epic views. Plus, the cocktails on offer are delicious – cocktail jugs anyone?

Love Brisbane’s best bars as much as we do? Check out our list of Brisbane’s secret bars!

Image credit: Ariana Gillrie

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