Bars & Pubs

25 Of The Best Bars In Fortitude Valley

By Annabelle Allpass

Chances are, you’ve had a late night in Fortitude Valley once or twice. But with a host of new drinking spots opening over the last couple of years, and let's be honest, some favourites closing their doors, we felt it necessary to nail down Urban List's no-fail picks for a good time

From intimate drinking dens hidden behind freezer doors to cacti-filled rooftop oases pouring sunset margs, here are our picks for the best bars in Fortitude Valley. Bottom’s up.

Savile Row

667 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley 

Widely regarded as one of the classiest drinking holes in Fortitude Valley, Savile Row is the older sibling and across-the-way neighbour of Finney Isles. Named one of the Top 10 whisky bars in the country in 2018,  you can’t help but be reminded of the moody bars from Peaky Blinders upon walking through this venue's well-known orange door. With five different levels all offering various hidey holes and vantage points of the giant chandelier hanging above a very well-stocked back bar, you might ned a few visits to pick out your favourite perch. 

Finney Isles 

702 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley


Image credit: Finney Isles | Facebook

Okay so Saville Row has the orange door—Finney Isles sports a blue one. You'll find quite a channel change inside too, from the far more spread out interiors to the addition of refined charcuterie boards on the menu. The same hyper-passionate bar staff, science-defying cocktails, and impressively stacked shelves await you at the bar though, so even the most discerning cocktail snob is sure to not only find their reigning fave drop, but maybe even be recommended a new one.

Dark Red

694 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

Dark Red wine bar is just so likable. This place feels like hosting drinks at your second big-girl-apartment (way nicer than your first one) and the warmth that comes from reminiscing about said nights when you’re older. Yeah, a pretty hard vibe to nail right? They’ve done it at Dark Red. The heart and soul of this laneway wine bar lies in its extensive selection of wines, carefully curated to offer an unparalleled tasting experience. Unpretentious yet ultra knowledgeable staff can tell you all about the healthy range of pet nats they offer, and find you about three more new favourite wines in the process. It’s also woman-owned, so let's run it up. 

Stranded 

3 Winn Street, Fortitude Valley


Image credit: Stranded | Website

The Zoo crew’s own little pocket on Winn Lane is all about eclectic ambience–from Booze to Ben’s Burgers to the star of the show Stranded. If you weren't familiar with this little laneway you’d be forgiven for not being able to find Stranded, but once successful, this hidden gem is your ticket to an unforgettable night out. This experienced team manages to combine punk and rock ‘n’ roll-inspired themes in a cozy, dimly lit space adorned with quirky art, creating an atmosphere that feels like a cool friend's living room—intimate and inviting. But it's not just the ambience that steals the show, it's the carefully crafted cocktails that truly make Stranded Bar a standout. Here, it's all about harnessing the beast that is tequila to create works of art like the Sueno de Coco with Hacienda Reposado Sotol, banana liqueur, coconut puree and lime. 

The Nixon Room

3/181 Robertson Street, Fortitude Valley

Down a fig-lined alleyway, you’ll spot an unmarked golden door, masterfully adorned by James Street’s signature climbing greenery. Push your way through (carefully, it swings both ways) and settle into the moody marble surrounds of The Nixon Room. If you manage to snag a seat in the tiny, dimly-lit space, you can cosy up on the leather lounges and order up creative snacks and endless cocktails. Martinis are the signature sip here, but you'll also find a handful of other concoctions as well as wines by the glass on the concise menu. Sitting only 25 people at a time, it doesn’t get more exclusive than this.

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LOS

46 James Street, Fortitude Valley


Image credit: LOS | Website

Upstairs from Same Same on James Street, you will find LOS, a cosy, cocktail bar oozing sophistication, with a dark green-tiled bar inside and plenty of couches for lounging on outside on the patio. Overlooking Ada Lane and The Calile Hotel, the bar has a 140-bottle strong wine list, over 110 tequilas behind the bar and plenty of Thai-inspired cocktails. It’s not just the place to go before dinner, it’s a destination all on its own. Perfect for pre or post-feed drinks with your besties, you can even order bar snacks from the Same Same menu downstairs, so just abandon whatever complicated plans you’re involved in and settle in—drinking your way through the tequilas is definitely going to take a while.

Snack Man 

East Street, Fortitude Valley

Part Chinese eatery, part wine bar, Snack Man somehow manages to combine those two seemingly different thinks into one sleek and buzzing spot, and does it all under the fairylit trees of East Street to boot. Sibling to Happy Boy next door, Snack Man is slightly more luxe—the sophisticated older brother sipping a Baralo red, rather than a funky pet nat. The extensive wine list reads like a poetic journey through vineyards, offering a carefully curated selection of rare vintages, velvety reds, crisp whites, and delicate rosés. And you can scoff bao buns while you sip, how good?

The Gatsby 

740 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley


Image credit: The Gatsby | Facebook

The Gatsby is exactly what it sounds like: Fortitude Valley’s very own time machine to the Jazz Age. Nestled discreetly amidst the vibrant nightlife of the Valley, The Gatsby is a melting pot where sophistication meets debauchery, and vintage allure meets modern chic. Plush velvet, art deco accents, and a crooning ambience that glimmers with the essence of the roaring twenties. The bartenders, clad in suspenders and bowties, are masters of their craft, mixing up cocktails that are nothing short of liquid poetry. From a classic Old Fashioned to innovative concoctions that tantalize the taste buds, each drink is a masterpiece, served with a side of flair.

Netherworld

186 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley

Upon entering Netherworld, you're greeted by a symphony of blinking arcade machines, the aroma of mouthwatering burgers, and the buzz of animated conversation. Whether you're a joystick wizard, a food enthusiast, or someone seeking a night of camaraderie amid gaming glory, Netherworld invites you to embrace your inner geek. The menu features gourmet burgers, creative cocktails inspired by beloved franchises, and indulgent milkshakes that are practically desserts in a glass. 

Cloudland

641 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley


Image credit: Cloudland | Website

In the vibrant tapestry of Fortitude Valley’s nightlife, Cloudland remains a muti-faceted glittering jewel, home to a modern Italian restaurant, eclectic bars, private booths and function rooms. It’s hard to describe just how high the ceilings are here and just how opulent each and every small detail is. Seated in the main bar there's so much to see it's dazzling—look to your left and you see a waterfall, look to your right and your eyes are led up a dramatic staircase to a decadent crystal bar that looks like it belongs in Dubai. Whether you're seeking an intimate corner for a tête-à-tête or a lively dance floor to let loose on ( *cough* Fluffy and Soul’sa), Cloudland caters to every mood and desire.

Suzie Wongs Good Time Bar 

678 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

Walking in to Suzie Wong's Good Time Bar you may very well feel as if you've left the Valley behind and jumped through a worm hole to a retro Hawaiian dive bar. Here vintage American posters line the walls, neon signs ask 'who the f*ck is Suzie Wong' (we couldn't tell you) and frozen pina coladas await you at the bar. Live music gets the whole joint pumping five nights a week, but you never know whether you'll be shuffling to country and western or blues and funk—there's only one way to find out.

Maya

757 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley 


Image credit: MAYA | Supplied 

Perched atop the city skyline, MAYA truly feels like an actual inner-city oasis. In the insane Brisbane summer, there’s no better feeling than leaving the melting bitumen down below to float up to a sanctuary where the vibrant spirit of Mexico meets the elegance of high-end dining. MAYA is a secure member of Brisbane's best bars and their chilli mango marg is so iconically ‘Brisbane’ that there should be a pic of it on the Broncos jersey. There’s also a handful of other tequila, gin and vodka concoctions, as well as savoury and sweet sangria jugs, plenty of Australian wines, and a very lengthy list of tequila and mezcal. 

City Winery

11 Wandoo Street, Fortitude Valley 

City Winery has established itself as an iconic Fortitude Valley location for wine and food lovers alike, and also happens to be the city's only urban winery and cellar. Although the food can stand alone, it is best to enjoy it with a perfectly paired wine from the specially crafted selection on offer. The winery has regular tasting sessions so you can sample the riesling, rosé, shiraz and plenty more or head to one of their boozy wine workshops where you can blend and bottle your own vino. 

Sixes And Sevens

67 James Street, Fortitude Valley


Image credit: Sixes and Sevens | Website

A gem of a bar that embodies the spirit of James Street and frankly the whole city, Sixes and Sevens is the perfect spot to bring your out-of-town friend for a quintessential Brisbane experience. Somehow every night here feels like a neighborhood block party, and the host has impeccable taste and a penchant for craft beer. Inside this uniquely Queensland-style Public House, a variety of intimate lounge spaces and long tables of reclaimed timber create a welcoming haunt for solo locals, cosy couples and celebratory groups. They can of course throw down in the kitchen here, but you’ll find us working through the cocktail jug section, but mysteriously getting stuck on repeat at the Mango and Lychee Punch. 

Cielo Rooftop

209 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley

Settle in for a long night, because you’re not going to leave Cielo Rooftop until you’ve sampled at least half the cocktail list—the impressive views of the city skyline to take in are just a bonus. Must orders include the St Tropez Colada, with white rum, pineapple, coconut and Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial, and the Venice Beach, which combines a strawberry daiquiri and pina colada. Will you be able to walk out without a little wobble in your step? Unlikely. Here cocktail culture takes centre stage, though you can snack on share plates like fresh oysters, hummus and baked focaccia and kingfish sashimi while you sip. 

Soko Rooftop 

470 St Pauls Terrace, Fortitude Valley


Image credit: Soko Rooftop | Supplied 

High above the streets of Fortitude Valley, Soko Rooftop delivers up an exotic Amazonian experience filled with drama and style. The drama? 360 skyline views of Brisbane. The style? A rainforest treehouse-inspired interior where a prowling panther wouldn't feel out of place. In an unexpected twist, the food here is a combo between Peruvian and Japanese cuisines, pairing zesty bowls of ceviche with delicate sushi rolls, but if you're just here for the cocktails it's all about the Pisco Sour—there's over 40 variations to choose from. 

Dutch Courage

51 Alfred Street, Fortitude Valley

The dim, golden glow of ambient lighting at Dutch Courage casts a warm hue over plush leather seats and reclaimed wooden accents, creating an intimate setting perfect for a night of revelry. This is the kind of place where you can envision literary greats of the past, sipping gin and finding inspiration for their next masterpiece. For regular Brisbane residents though, Dutch Courage is for a sanctuary for gin enthusiasts, a playground for cocktail lovers, and a testament to the enduring appeal of this classic spirit. Dutch Courage takes pride in its extensive gin collection, boasting an impressive array of local and international labels that cater to every taste and preference. Oh and they do a gin bathtub—enough said.

BrewDog 

235 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley


Image credit: BrewDog | Supplied 

You probably wouldn't expect to find a huge three-level brewpub complete with a dog-friendly courtyard at the top of Brunswick Stret, but that's what you'll find at BrewDog. Here you can sip on the Scottish beer giant's flagship beers in an industrial-chic aesthetic with exposed brick walls, heritage elements and leather booths. There's plenty more than just beer on the menu, of course, not to mention a stacked line up of drinking food that includes a generous vegan and vegetarian section, because this is the Valley, after all. 

Summa House

43 McLachlan Street, Fortitude Valley

Summa House is a unique, open-air spot smack bang in the middle of the Valley where shipping containers have been ingeniously transformed into a buzzing bar. Adorned in street-art murals and fairy lights,  it's the ultimate spot for everything from Sunday afternoon cocktail jugs and tapas in the sun to busting a move under the stars at 2am in the morning as local and international DJs play live and loud to a packed dancefloor. It's definitely a quintessential Brisbane experience, whatever you're there for. 

Ling Lings

11/351 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley  


Image Credit: Ling Lings | Facebook

A venue hybrid in the best possible way, Ling Lings starts off the night as a restaurant and bar and graduates to a nightclub once the plates of dumplings and spring rolls have been cleared, making a whole-night affair dangerously easy here. Inspired by the ultra-cool neon-lit Japanese party districts but with a modern, urban vibe, they're famed for their ramen bowl cocktails, which you'll need a few friends to share. Make sure you venture through the secret refridgerator door to find Cindy Chows, their even cooler hidden cocktail bar, as well. 

Bloodhound

454 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley

The craft beers flying out of taps and off the bar at Bloodhound Bar are a treat for any craft beer aficionado. The ever-changing selection of local brews and international favourites caters to diverse tastes, ensuring that even the most experienced beer enthusiasts can embark on a tasting adventure. The bartenders are knowledgeable and friendly, always ready to recommend the perfect brew based on individual preferences. Without a doubt, it is a firm local haunt and the perfect spot to settle in for a casual sesh with pals or a big night on the tiles. 

Black Bear Lodge 

1/322 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley


Image credit: Black Bear Lodge | Google Maps

Black Bear Lodge gives a new meaning to what you imagine an intimate venue to be. In this cosy den, you’ll see live performances and craft cocktails converge to create an unforgettable night out. It feels dark and grimey in the best way–think the wild nature of bars like Greaser tamed by a grown-up, dimly-lit, curl up in a booth with a date vibe like Death and Taxes. It's also event central here–from comedy nights, and old-school dance parties to vinyl DJ sets, it's all going on. 

Jubilee Hotel 

470 St Pauls Terrace, Fortitude Valley

At the intersection of history and contemporary flair, there exists a boozy sanctuary that has stood the test of time—albeit with the help of an incredible multi-million dollar makeover. This is what you'll find upon walking into the new and improved Jubilee Hotel, whose once-dingy beer garden has been transformed into a stunning, light-filled atrium under a soaring ceiling, with a-frame booths lining one wall, and gleaming beer tanks brewing up their in-house brews along another. Other than that, the pub feeds are classic, the drinks are cold, and the vibes are stellar—what else could you need? 

The Prince Consort 

230 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley


Image credit: The Prince Consort | Website

This iconic establishment isn't just a bar—The Prince Consort is a cultural hub, a sophisticated fusion of historic charm and urban cool that beckons the city’s trendsetters and socialites alike. You can literally get lost in all the rooms of this mega venue—it’s a multi level heritage-listed hotel that boasts eight different bars and dining destinations all under the same roof. We meant it when we said it was a playground. The ground floor sticks to the theme of a grand old classic English pub, while out the back is the outdoor Garden Bar, an open-air pastel oasis filled with floral vibes. Underground, grungy underground bar Greaser is also part of the line-up, and just the spot for a whiskey and some live tunes. Meanwhile, up an ornate staircase is La La Land, a decadent bar with booth seating and a crystal chandelier overhead. Elsewhere in the venue, you'll find 400 Rabbits Cantina, a Los Cabos-inspired tequila bar and taqueria, and The Naughty Corner, which we’ll leave to your imagination. The best part of all these bars being in one spot? You’ll never be short of something to drink.

Valley Hops

641 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

Valley Hops is not an ‘old mate down the road in his backyard’ brewery. Things here are elevated to the absolute max—literally, they’ve snagged some prime rooftop realty atop Cloudland. Imagine a space adorned with cascading greenery, cozy nooks and even a fire pit for the cooler months. At the heart of this sky high escape lies a carefully curated selection of craft beers that cater to the most discerning of palates. From hoppy IPAs that burst with citrus notes to smooth and velvety stouts that warm the soul, the beer menu at Valley Hops is a testament to the artistry of brewing. Beer in a setting like this feels rouge but fitting—has Valley Hops really just managed to take beer up a step? We think they have. 

Looking for more Fortitude Valley drinking and dining inspiration? Head here: 

Image credit: Saville Row | Website

Urban List Best Of: has our highest stamp of approval—curated lists of the very best recommendations for you to eat, do, see, buy or book, carefully chosen by our Editors.

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