Whether you want to enjoy a social cocktail with friends or you want to be fist-pumping to David Guetta until 5am, the iconic Surfers Paradise glitter strip has just what you need.
It’s a place you can let loose, have fun, and wake up the next morning with possible regrets, but a guaranteed story. So let’s be bold shall we? Here’s our pick of the best bars in Surfers Paradise.
The Island Rooftop
Adjoining boutique hotel, The Island, Gold Coast’s biggest rooftop bar and sprawling alfresco patio, The Island Rooftop is bringing the cool back to Surfers Paradise's after-dark scene. With DJs, a retro-styled cocktail bar, ample seating, nooks and, in the winter months, heaters. Their new Gin & Jazz Thursdays are set to become a hit with Bliss Sunday sessions already heating up the afternoons with DJs and live vocalists from 2pm.
House of Brews
House of Brews is one for the lovers of hops. With a staggering 32 domestic and international craft beers lining their tap wall (offering solid support for local brewers of Black Hops, Burleigh Brewing, and Fortitude), an American BBQ-inspired menu (hello, hot wings!), a rooftop cocktail bar, and regular live tunes to sink your beers to, this new venue has quickly nuzzled its way among the best bars on the Gold Coast. In the words of Homer Simpson, cheers to BEER, “the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems!”
Elsewhere isn’t your typical Surfers Paradise club. In fact, while you’re there, you’ll probably feel like you’re ‘somewhere else’...d’ya see what they’ve done there?! This little hot-spot is a hub of alternative electronic tunes, a Saturday Night Fever-style dance floor, and delightfully gorgeous hipsters. It’s not unusual to catch a live gig from a small-time DJ for $10 on the door one night, then end up seeing them ruling the EDM world a year later. Elsewhere is a thriving community who bond over their love of music, partying, and the colour maroon. Without question one of the best bars in Surfers Paradise, check it out if you dig that vibe (chunky boots, ironic t-shirt, and beanie essential).
Part of the illustrious QT Hotels brand, Stingray Lounge has quite a few similarities to actual stingrays. Stingrays lay low, are pretty chilled and are hugely unique from all other marine life. But every now and then you get stung, and you get stung hard (*cough* Tequila Thursdays *cough*). Aside from this extremely advanced metaphor, Stingray is the ultimate establishment for functions; whether it’s for an 18th or an 80th you can count on a consistently fantastic night with friendly service, tasty eats, and an extensive list of beverage choices. Oh, and don’t be afraid to get dressed up ladies — talent galore.
Coocoon Lounge Bar & Dining
If you want to drink where the beautiful people drink, Cocoon Lounge Bar & Dining is scenic in more ways than one. Overlooking the Nerang River, this Surfers Paradise gem features a contemporary white fit-out and is littered with angelic cabanas draped in flowing white chiffon. Waterside venues are always especially stunning during the day, but Cocoon’s location, mirrored by upscale properties and reflected sunlight really is a day drinker’s paradise. Lock down a cabana with a drink in hand while listening to some funky beats, and you’ll never want to leave.
Okay, so this might be a house dedicated to burgers and greasy American nosh at its finest, but with those neon lights and tasty cocktails beckoning, many a burger mission to Brooklyn Depot has turned into an all-night drinking sesh at this Surfers Paradise bar slash diner.
Humming away on Surfers Paradise’s touristy beachfront esplanade, this hip and breezy beer bar is serious about brews (and cocktails!). At the ready to share their crafty knowledge, the Sandbar team have rotating beer taps and around 100 bottled options chilling in the fridge (many of which are small-batch types). Sandbar’s popularity with Gold Coast’s beer-loving punters makes it one of the best craft beer bars in town.
A recent addition to the best bars in Surfers Paradise, these guys have gone all out with the Steampunk theming; commissioning artwork and custom-made everything. Expect cogs, piping and machinery gauges; antique clocks and post-apocalyptic gas masks, industrial fans, grandeur period leather couches and lamps, exposed globes, all surrounded by a copper-coloured bar, walls and flooring. Just like the eccentric theming, Steampunk’s cocktail list is far from ordinary with quirky creations and $10 espresso martinis, all day, erry day!
If there’s ever a venue that's iconic, it’s The Avenue, a GC institution in the heart of Surfers. From its origins in the 70s as one of Australia’s first nightclubs, it’s benefitted from a multi-million dollar refurb (and a move across the road) to bring it back to the right side of modern (while all the good vibes remain). Its buzzing atmosphere guarantees you and the crew will have a fab afternoon, but not at the expense of genuinely good food: think an Italian-influenced, New York-style menu of oysters, entrees, gourmet burgers, charcuterie platters, pasta, steaks and salad, all washed down with plenty of drinks. Quintessential beachy Surfers Paradise feels!
Where do the beautiful people go? Somewhere called Vanity of course! At Vanity, it’s okay to strut. Your sexiest dance moves are not only welcomed, but encouraged by a well-stocked bar, and a pumping dance floor. One of the best bars in Surfers Paradise, it’s got all the excitement, hustle and chaos you need for a truly wild night and the most luxurious bathrooms you’ll find on the Coast; with gold framed mirrors, a make up artist, couches so comfy you’ll sink right in, and an Instagram-worthy backdrop. And if that’s not enough, wait until you hear the music. Something a little different from the typical Pitbull and Kesha nonsense, the Vanity resident DJs are up there with the best, taking you on an intense musical journey and rocking you at every turn. The perfect club to dance at ‘til you’ve got blisters and drink ‘til it’s kebab time.
Want to fill that hole in your stomach before hitting up the best bars in Surfers Paradise? We've rounded up our fave Surfers Paradise restaurants here. You're welcome.