It feels like only yesterday that rooftop bars were a thing reserved for the big smokes – really big smokes – like London, New York and Melbourne. Yet here we are about to rank the best of the Gold Coast’s rooftop bars. It’s enough to make us pinch ourselves and squeal in pleasured disbelief. In fact, let’s just take a moment to dwell on the enormity of the concept with due respect: there are so many rooftop bars on the Gold Coast we need to gather them together…pause, reflect…Yes, it’s real and true. There are enough of them to make a complete list. By Jove it’s good to be alive.
As if the truffle oil and chilli margaritas weren’t enough to drag us back time and time again. Justin Lane went ahead and graced us with a rooftop bar. Complete with 'misting system' for the summer months and seating for 70, this elegant Italian rooftop is a Sunday afternoon sorted. If you're looking for one of the very best rooftop bars on the Gold Coast, you've found it.
The Collective Rooftop
If vintage champagne coupes and copper cocktail shakers set your tail wagging, then The Collective Rooftop in Palm Beach should be high on your priority list. Of course the décor, stunning outlook and cheerful vibe are all worth raving about, but it’s their 11-page drinks menu that we really take our hats off to. From lavender liqueur to praline syrup, with a whole selection of winter warmers to boot, sipping booze infusions here under a blanket of stars is quite the weekend treat.
The Island Hotel & Rooftop
When fairy lights meet city skyline lights, you know you’ve found yourself in a magical setting. Surfers Paradise boutique hotel The Island has graced us with a rooftop bar that completely shakes up our relationship with the city centre of the Gold Coast. Equal parts elegant and laid back, the space is accessible from the street as well as the Pool Deck, and offers complete versatility with its seated dining areas, private party areas and standing and seated bars. Gin and live jazz on a Thursday complete with truffled mushroom arancini – living your best life or what?
Nineteen at the Star
Don your Camilla kaftan and get your puckered up pout ready for some freshly shucked oysters. Nineteen at the Star is here to remind us of the Gold Coast’s glitzy heritage. Complete with floating VIP booths, day beds and an infinity pool, you’ll feel both literally and figuratively sky high sitting here on the 19th level. For a more low-key rooftop from the shiny new Star, try visiting the Balcony Bar at Cucina Vivo for teleportation to 'the cliff-tops of the Amalfi Coast'. They’ll be serving champagne cocktails Friday and Saturday evenings from 5:30pm.
8th Ave Terrace
It’s of no surprise that an establishment serving hazelnut fettuccini and tempura eggplant with miso broth has a special name for their rooftop. The open-air terrace of 8th Ave wins our hearts with ocean views, hanging bulb lights and live music. Recently winning a battle with council to raise the noise allowance of their outdoor terrace from 75 decibels to 90, expect a livelier atmosphere from 8th Ave Terrace; unless you arrive on the creative occasion that they are hosting an experimental sip and paint.
Once restaurateur Simon Gloftis parted ways with The Fish House, he had a whole lot of energy to spare on Hellenika. Lucky for us he channelled it into a rooftop! Facing the Gold Coast hinterland and catching the creamy rays of sunset, it offers a scaled down version of Hellenika’s sought-after Greek sharing plates and of course, plenty of booze to sip. When the yellow umbrellas meet a clear blue sky, you could very well be on a European island.
Mr P.P.’s Deli & Rooftop
This best rooftop bars on the Gold Coast list entry is proving Southport is a force to be reckoned with. Using their rooftop space for trivia nights, live music and casual after-work drinks, the rooftop of Mr P.P.’s is the perfect compliment to their downstairs deli, and the perfect spot to devour their much loved pizzas. Right near a tram stop for ultimate Melbourne vibes.
Gotham Grill & Rooftop
Answering the prayers of the northern Gold Coast is the Gotham Grill Rooftop found in Runaway Bay. Serving up a range of menu items from burgers and pizzas to decadent handmade pastas like prawn agnolotti, it’s a gem of a find with ocean views and the prettiest fit-out in the neighbourhood.
Wildernis Rooftop Bar
The rooftop of Wildernis has just celebrated its first birthday, and what a year it’s been. Featuring a retractable rooftop and batman-style entrance from a side street, it’s the perfect space for soaking up views of the beach and devouring cheeseboards, or any one of their delicately presented menu items abounding in fresh produce. Hosting three happy hours from 3pm to 6pm Thursday to Sunday, most of your week should now be spent in Palm Beach.
Worked your way through the best rooftop bars on the Gold Coast? How about these sweet cafes?
Image credit: Hayley Williamson for The Urban List