Bars & Pubs

30 Of The Best Bars In Brisbane

By Tione Zylstra

There have been very few things as difficult as narrowing down a list of the best bars in Brisbane/Meanjin, but we’re giving it a go. We here at Urban List have spent many a night trailing around our city, sampling one too many drinks and bar hopping all in the name of narrowing down this list.

From artisanal cocktail bars that never go out of style, to secret locations behind unmarked doors and just seriously good wine bars that provide glass upon glass of mouthwatering vino, we’ve scouted a huge range to choose from. Here are some of the best bars in Brisbane to check out.

Death & Taxes

36 Burnett Lane, Brisbane CBD

Look, we know kicking the bucket and filling out tax returns are usually two things no one likes, but when it comes to Brisbane CBD bar Death & Taxes, we're fans of both. Tucked away down the city's oldest laneway, this sleek and moody bar has really mastered the art of cocktails, as you'll see from one flick through their lengthy menu. Not a cocktail drinker? You're bound to find something you like on their back bar wall of 1000 boutique and artisinal spirits. 


7 Browning Street, West End

Image credit: Cobbler | Supplied 

If you’re a whiskey enthusiast, Cobbler is for you. Boasting a line up of Scottish, Irish, Japanese, Australian and even Canadian varieties of the liquor we know and love, this West End whiskey bar is stylish without a hint of pretension. The down-to-earth staff behind the bar are always are keen to help you find the perfect drink for your taste—and with 150+ options up for grabs, that’s no easy feat.

Gerard’s Bar

13A/23 James Street, Fortitude Valley

Do you like your cocktails with a side of Middle-Eastern flavours? We sure do. That’s where Gerard’s Bar comes in. Their extensive cocktail list boasts creative sips like the Delightful Turk, with vodka, white cacao, orange blossom, rose water, watermelon, with lemon milk clarification, alongside a curated list of wines, beers and spirits. Their Lebanese-inspired bar menu isn’t to be missed either. So order up a couple drinks, chow down on some mezze, and relax outside on the leafy deck under the fairy lights. 

Savile Row

667 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

Image credit: Savile Row | Facebook

Tucked away behind an unassuming orange door in the Valley, you’ll find Savile Row. Here you'll be greeted by a warm mahogany bar, a liquor shelf stacked up so high the bartenders need a ladder to get to your choice of spirit, and the yellow glow of a plethora of chandeliers. And we’re not kidding about the size of their liquor collection—this place has the second-largest back bar in Australia, so you're going to want to try a few. 


9 Fish Lane, South Brisbane

A hole-in-the-wall joint tucked away on Fish Lane, Maker is an exclusive experience you don’t want to miss. Only taking walk-ins of 20 people at a time, the tiny bar has a hefty focus on local produce and craft spirits. Unique and seasonal cocktails are all the rage here, so go with an open mind and trust your bartender to make you a drink to remember.

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Frog’s Hollow Saloon

26 Charlotte Street, Brisbane CBD

Image credit: Frog’s Hollow Saloon | Instagram

Bringing a taste of the country to us city-slickers, Frog’s Hollow Saloon serves up good beer, great whiskey (with a focus on indie sips), and better vibes. Let the sweet tunes of Luke Combs and Taylor Swift—in her debut era—serenade you as you sit among wine barrels, wagon wheels, and fairy lights. It’s a wholesome Southern vibe—think Texas, but without all the confederacy and more suits than trucker hats. The team are also a pretty dab hand at cocktails and dish up a handful of bar snacks, so don't think of this as a one-trick pony. 

Alba Bar & Deli

34 Burnett Lane, Brisbane CBD

San Sebastian meets Brooklyn at Alba Bar & Deli. This effortlessly cool laneway bar, decked out in green tiles, hanging lights, and metal barstools, doesn’t just talk the talk—it walks the walk. With delicious tapas and wines to match, it’s sometimes hard to decide if it’s a bar with good food or a restaurant with some great drinks. Feeling adventurous? Taste your way through their colourful cocktail menu. 


16B Logan Road, Woolloongabba

Image credit: Canvas Bar | NIRA Creative

You may not have heard of Woollooongabba staple Canvas. But we’ll let you in on the tea—it’s good. The eclectic bar, nestled within a heritage-listed building, is adorned with graffiti, plants, and, of course, fairy lights. The rest of the decor is sourced from local second-hand stores and vintage sales. But lets not forget about the most important thing though—the drinks. Boutique wines, craft beers, and a whole range of creative cocktails are up for grabs, with plenty of delicious bar snacks to go with them. 

The Nixon Room

181 Robertson Street, Fortitude Valley

Who isn’t a sucker for a hidden bar? Walking down a fig-covered lane in the Valley, you’ll come across a brass door. Wander through it to find the mystical world of The Nixon Room. The intimate bar from the team behind neighbouring Essa serves up funky snacks and creative cocktails all the way until midnight—and you’ll want to stay till then. Kimchi toastie paired with a martini or two? Yes please.

The Gresham

308 Queen Street, Brisbane CBD

Image credit: The Gresham | Facebook

Cedar doors, Chesterfield couches, high metal ceilings, whiskey for days—yes, we’re obviously talking about The Gresham. Their extensive drinks list—72 pages, to be exact—has only the best of the best, from wine, to bourbon, to cider, to rum, to beer, and, most importantly, to a whole range of cocktails for you to enjoy. This bar is simply that. A good old fashioned bar. And we’re here for it.

Dr Gimlette

109 Edward Street, Brisbane CBD

The only time a plague doctor mask is a welcome sight is when you see Dr Gimlette. The cocktail bar, located in one of Brisbane’s oldest buildings, comes from the minds behind both Death & Taxes and Cobbler—so you can be sure they know how to run a bar. Unique cocktails—or “antidotes and remedies”, as they’re called here—are their specialty, with the options broken up into three flavour combinations: “wood, spice and smoke”, “earth, herb and leaf”, and “fruit, floral and citrus”. Pick your poison, the doctor will see you soon.


46 James Street, Fortitude Valley

Image credit: Los | Anyday Website

LOS, AKA the “Land Of Smiles” does not falsely advertise. Smiles will abound as you slurp your way through Thai-inspired cocktails, 110 different types of tequila, and their 140 wine strong menu. Deep green tiles surround you as ivy cascades down the brick walls. Feel free to order up some bar snacks from sAme sAme downstairs and have a round of knockoff drinks like never before.

At Sixes and Sevens

67 James Street, Fortitude Valley

Beautifully decked out with an industrial-20s-meets-plantation-chic vibe, At Sixes and Sevens is the perfect place for a light feed washed down with a sophisticated cocktail or craft beer. The unique Queenslander-inspired public house is an everyday-type joint for locals, with a funky but relaxed atmosphere that anyone would enjoy. Have a jalapeno margarita and a black bean quesadilla—you know you want to.

Babylon Gardens

145 Eagle Street, CBD

Image credit: Babylon Gardens | Markus Ravik 

One of our favourite riverside spots, Middle-Eastern restaurant Babylon’s sister venue, Babylon Garden is a sight for sore eyes. The open-air bar is right on the Brisbane River, perfect for some after-work drinks with a view. Grab a seat, let the breeze ruffle your hair, order up some Mediterranean snacks, and sip on a Turkish Espresso Martini or two. We won’t judge.

Mr Percival’s

5 Boundary Street, Brisbane CBD 

Sitting right below the Story Bridge, Brisbane’s iconic overwater bar Mr Percival’s takes complete advantage of its river and city skyline views. You can feel the freshwater breeze as you sit on their deck, taking in all the sights from their prime location as you sip on a cheeky cocktail or two. If you’re heading there on a weekend, though, it’s best to get there early to beat the crowds. This place isn’t a secret.

Finney Isles

702 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

Image credit: Finney Isles | Grace Elizabeth Smith 

Step into the roaring 20s—1920s or 2020s, does it matter?—at Finney Isles. Across the road from the iconic orange door of Savile Row, there’s another door from the same crew…and this time, it’s blue. With custom cocktails, bespoke liquors, and, most importantly, a range of charcuterie, this bar is the place to go for some sophisticated drinks with a date. 


195 Elizabeth St, Brisbane CBD

You might expect an 80s-themed rock and roll bar to be divey and rough around the edges—but that's not the case at Alice. Tucked down a laneway with nothing but a red neon sign indicating it's there, this dimly lit watering hole is unexpectedly slick, as are the cocktails being poured behind the bar. While bourbon is the star liquor here, it's not the only spirit you'll find being shaken, stirred and muddled into intricate sips, and music comes courtesy of a restored vintage jukebox. Best of all, they're open until 3am seven days a week. 

Suzie Wong’s Good Time Bar

678 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

Image credit: Suzie Wong’s Good Time Bar | Sophie Spencer

Another one of Brisbane’s hidden bars, you’ll find Suzie Wong’s Good Time Bar through an old refrigerator door in the Valley—and let’s just say it’s not the fridge that makes this place cool.  Inside you’ll walk into a Hawaiian dive bar unlike anywhere else in town. Decked out in vintage paraphernalia, neon lights, and a giant swordfish, it’s more of a grungy surf bar than anything else. Get keen for some live rockabilly music with a pina colada in hand.


63 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane

Tucked away in Fish Lane, Kiki is a leafy al fresco kiosk serving coffee and banh mi by day, and cocktails and dim sum by night—and by night, we mean midday onwards. The little sibling of Southside restaurant, you can expect the food to be mouthwateringly good. And don’t even get us started on the cocktails. Beach negronis, spiked Vietnamese iced coffees and more? You’re kidding.


757 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

Image credit: Maya | Ranyhyn Laine

A striking Mexican-inspired rooftop bar adorned in cacti, Maya is where the beautiful people hang out. You can look over Brisbane from the comfort of your seat, sipping jalapeno mango margaritas over plates of ceviche and golden fish tacos. With a drinks menu 18 pages long, there’s something for everyone. Spirits, wines, ales, beers, even absinthe—you name it, they’ve got it.

Lina Rooftop

80 Tribune Street, South Brisbane

Take your drinks to new heights at Lina Rooftop. The sky-high bar, named after Catalina Island, takes inspiration from the Mediterranean oasis, with hanging plants, cabanas to lounge in, and a 30-metre infinity pool for you to wash away your sorrows in. Take a quick dip or just take in the view as you drink, eat, and relax to your heart’s content.


48 Burnett Lane, Brisbane City

Image credit: Antico | NIRA Creative 

Taking over the space that was once our dearly beloved Super Whatnot, European-inspired bar Antico has quickly won over the hearts of us city-slickers. The grunge exterior makes way to a classy interior, where you can order high end spirits and classic cocktails. Settle into their sunken lounge area and look up at their gorgeous dome bar as you sip a pina colada out of an uncharacteristically quirky tiki cup. Whatever floats your boat, we guess.

Ruby, My Dear

12 Longland Street, Newstead

Music lovers, get ready for this one—there is a vinyl bar in Newstead, called Ruby, My Dear. Live music, records, and very tasty drinks, it’s all on the table here. Inspired by Japanese jazz cafes, this cosy and dimly-lit venue serves up izakaya-style eats, cocktails that everyone will enjoy, and sweet sweet tunes for your ears. 

Sunsets Rooftop

95 Linton Street, Kangaroo Point

Image credit: Sunsets Rooftop | Alex O Creative Studio

The newest on the rooftop bar scene, Sunsets Rooftop has already concreted itself a position as a must-visit in Brisbane. In case you couldn’t guess from the name, this bar is the best place to catch a sneaky sunset snap. Desert vibes bring a funky feel to the sprawling rooftop, with cacti, neutral tones, and woven hanging lights adding to the aesthetic of the whole place. Photoshoot for the ‘gram with a pineapple daiquiri in hand? Can’t say no to that.

Felons Brewing Co.

5 Boundary Street, Brisbane CBD

Look, we’ll keep it plain and simple—you haven’t been to Brisbane if you haven’t downed a cold one at Felon’s Brewing Co. The massive 1000-square-metre watering hole is the go-to for locals, as it sits on prime real estate, looking over the Brisbane River at the skyline—and Story Bridge—ahead. Waterfront tables, cool drinks, sunshine, and good food, what else could you possibly want?


3 Winn Street, Fortitude Valley

Image credit: Stranded Bar | Website

If you like your drink with a side of concert, Stranded is the bar for you. More of a live music venue than a regular bar, this place hosts gigs very regularly. When you’re not there to headbang, though, you can still have a good time. With a massive range of signature cocktails, beers, wines, and liqueurs, as well as a couple of share plates and pizzas up for grabs, the music won’t be the only reason to do a happy dance.


186 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley

A bar for introverts, nerds, and gamers alike, Netherworld is a place to have a drink with a healthy dose of competition. Decked out with vintage arcade games, board games, and a wide range of drinks, there’s no way you can possibly be bored here. Try your hand at some Donkey Kong on a Gameboy while you skull a Strawberry, Basil, Pepper & Beetroot Ale. Alcohol makes you smarter, right?

The Prince Consort

230 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley

Image credit: The Prince Consort | Urban List Archives

An eight-in-one type venue, The Prince Consort really gives off a “choose your own adventure” vibe. Walk in for a tipple in an old English-style pub, and then walk through to enjoy a sip in their outdoor Garden Bar. Once you’re sick of that, head up the ornate staircase for a sophisticated martini or two in La La Land—or check out the other end of the spectrum down below in underground bar Greaser. There’s also a tequila bar and gaming lounge somewhere in the venue, but you get the gist.

The End

73 Vulture Street, West End

Giving off the exact vibe that people think of when they picture West End, The End is covered in hanging lights, unique plants, and vintage furniture. It gives off a hipster, too-cool-for-school energy, while also somehow being your friendly neighbourhood bar. Often hosting events like open mic nights and free gigs, The End really brings the community energy—and the creative cocktails—to West End.


641 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

Image credit: Cloudland | Instagram

Look, you probably know Cloudland as the decadent and luxurious club in the Valley that you always feel too poor to enter. We get it. But it’s so much more than that. Housing a restaurant, two bars, and even a rooftop brewery, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. And yes, we said rooftop brewery. Valley Hops Brewing, located on the roof of Cloudland, is a venue you don’t want to miss. Creeping vines, metal arbours, picnic tables, and, obviously, beer—sounds like a good time to us.

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Image credit: Death & Taxes | Grace Elizabeth

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