The time has come when Brisbane's daily temperatures are not soaring into the mid-thirties, and hipsters everywhere can stop sweating under their beanies. No longer can you stroll carefree into the evening without needing a light sweater, or sip a cocktail in a breezy courtyard without feeling slightly chilled.
Instead, we welcome the season of following our noses to spicy brews of mulled wine, woodsy interiors that allow us to play make-believe, and snuggling just a little closer to your bar buddies.
And although Brisbane doesn't truly commit to winter like our frostier counterparts further south, it does commit to bringing you the cushiest, toastiest bars around. In order to give you that little push to finally peel off those fuzzy socks and pop those trackie bottoms in the wash (god knows they need it), here is a list of Brisbane's coziest bars.
Black Bear Lodge
Black Bear has the winter trifecta down. An intimate, lodge-style atmosphere, a spicy mulled wine on the menu, and stirring indie bands that grace the stage most nights. So cabin-esque that you half expect to walk out into a snowy forest and not the mean streets of Fortitude Valley.
A place to take your wintertime snug buddy, The End is dark and squishy enough that you would be forgiven for a little gratuitous PDA. With an extensive drinks menu, music that has you whipping out your Shazam every three minutes, and a cooler-than-thou crowd, The End makes for the perfect wintery night out.
The Walrus Club
Tucked under The Regatta Hotel sits one of Brisbane’s best kept secrets. Sip a rum cocktail in a cosy leather armchair, enjoy the flattering flicker of candlelight—heck, wear a fur if you want to—because this hidden Brisbane bar is as cosy as they come.
Tucked away under the Queens Arms Hotel, Brisbane bar Farrier rocks a Game of Thrones-level stonework fit out, with a maze of quiet corners left behind from its days as a stable. Low lighting, live music, and a supper menu that can be enjoyed until 2am every night of the week, mean we know where we’ll be making flirty eyes at our red wine for the rest of the season.
Junk Bar in Ashgrove is the bar equivalent of staying in bed, with its ample lounges, mood lighting, and lack of inner city snobbery. Also boasting an impressive drinks menu, Junk Bar is the perfect place to burrow into a nook and drink, flirt, and chatter the winter blues away.
There is no need for those pillar-of-fire heater things here, stepping into Brew almost feels like stepping underground. With an extensive menu of craft beers and cocktails, as well as some tasty bar food, Brew is perfect for escaping the draughty city and putting off that inevitably cold bus ride home.
What could be hotter than the sweaty streets of South east Asia? Heya Bar in the valley brings the heat to the frigid Brisbane streets with spicy Asian-inspired cuisine, and a hefty drinks menu. If your budget doesn't stretch to a return ticket to steamy Bangkok (and whose does), Heya bar is the next best thing.
The bar equivalent of a snug bear cave, Canvas brings the cosy factor with obligatory sunken leather couches, low ceilings, and lots of toasty heaters. On the menu this winter is a warm cognac, banana and spice lemon number that will warm your soul, and a whole range of drinks that are actually on fire. It’s like having your own tiny fireplace for your belly.
If this Brisbane bar was a person, it would probably wear a monocle and call everybody sir or madam. With cozy leather couches, moody lighting and more than a few whiskeys on the menu, The Gresham is perfect for holing up on wintry nights and scooting a little closer to your gentleman or lady friend.
Brisbane's little slice of New York living, The Bowery serves up a carefully curated drinks menu and a lively atmosphere. With live jazz during the week, and a DJ spinning dance tracks on the weekend, The Bowery promises a night worthy of pausing that Netflix marathon.
Death & Taxes
A new addition to our list, Death & Taxes is a moody, old-world boozer from the crew that brought us Cobbler and Savile Row, so you know you’re in for a good time once you step through the massive red doors. A four-metre-tall back bar is filled to the rafters with top-notch spirits, so if the dim lighting and leather stools don’t shake you out of your winter blues, the uber creative cocktail list sure will.
Want more of the best bars in Brisbane? Search 'bars' in our Directory!
Image credit: Death & Taxes