As much as we love the countless high calibre Brisbane bars on offer in the Valley and CBD, sometimes it’s nice to kick back somewhere local. Whether it’s for the relaxing interiors, cozy atmosphere, or ridiculously cheap Uber fare home, there are so many reasons why you should become familiar with your neighbourhood bar. Here are a couple of our old faves and some fresh-faces for your next Sunday sesh in the ‘burbs.
The Junk Bar
This retro, hole-in-the-wall drinking den is the kind of bar we all wish we lived around the corner from. With dim intimate lighting, vintage couches you can sink into, and soul music from a time gone by, The Junk Bar is a local secret that I am happy to share with you.
If you’re after good quality, hearty British-style meals served up with pints of beer, then nestle into local gastropub London Fields, popular with the locals for its sunny Queensland take on the quintessential British pub.
Hope & Anchor
Whilst Hope & Anchor is very much a fresh addition to the local bar scene, Paddington locals are already flocking there and I totally understand why. Where else in Brisbane can you kick back with a schooner and classic chip butty, spread with black garlic mayo and house-made tomato sauce? I am frothing.
Woolloongabba locals have long bragged of Padre. Masquerading as an unassuming hole-in-the-wall, Padre is a laid-back dive-bar that will draw you in and keep you coming back, with a cocktail menu that changes with the seasonal eats (although the owners have guaranteed us that there will always be burgers of offer—thank God).
If you’ve lived in Brisbane for a minute then surely you’ve heard of Shady Palms. On the scene for a couple of years now, the team at Shady Palms know how to serve up a good time, thanks to their oasis-esque décor, hearty meals, and drinks menu with more than just the usual suspects.
Kitschy-cute west coast decor, and a So-Cal/Mexican inspired menu, California Native is worth traveling across town for. With generous portions, an impressive selection of craft beer, the kind of laid-back atmosphere that will bring you back again and again, don’t let the locals keep this one a secret from you.
Sailor and Walrus
Manly locals are #blessed to have this enchanting wine and tapas bar right in their back yard. With a menu that explores the best of Spanish and Italian antipasti and a wide range of local and imported bevs, Sailor and Walrus is a standout tapas bar, perfect for seafarers and locals alike.
Claret House Wine Bar
Stylish without being ostentatious, Claret brings a little bit of extra class to laid-back Teneriffe. With shared dining, alfresco seating, and a wine list that makes my soul soar, Claret is the local secret that will impress any date.
Too Zero Bar
Too Zero Bar has a gorgeous Franco-style fit-out, but my favourite piece about this local gem is their drinks list. With Euro-inspired cocktails, a decadent array of liqueurs, and craft beers sourced locally, this is the kind of joint where you can enjoy a tipple or two (or three or four) whilst digging in to truly decadent meals such as fat duck pancakes, Baba Ghanoush, and Coq Au Vin.
Seymour’s Cocktails and Oysters
Seymour’s is super new on the Brisbane bar scene and they are everything we didn’t realise we were missing out on. So fresh the locals haven’t even had time to consider how they will keep this one on the down low! A New Orleans-style speakeasy style décor, a cocktail list that makes us tipsy just reading, and trays of oysters, all just in time for summer. Genuis.
When the sun is shining, check out Brisbane's best beer gardens for sunshine drinking.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson