Food & Drink

Sip Cocktails In The Sunshine At 12 Of The Gold Coast’s Best Rooftop Bars

By Urban List Gold Coast
12th Oct 2023

With an average of 300 days of sunshine a year—a scorching summer, delightful autumn, mild winter and stunning spring—it’s no wonder we love to wine and dine in the great outdoors on the Gold Coast.

Alfresco is our signature style, so we’ve rounded up the best spots on the Gold Coast to eat, drink, breathe in the fresh air and bask in the sunshine. Scroll on for 12 of the best rooftop bars on the Gold Coast in 2023.

The Island Rooftop 

Surfers Paradise

Plonked in the middle of Surfers Paradise atop a boutique hotel, The Island Rooftop is a drop of nectar amidst the glitter strip. It’s a rooftop bar setting that resembles Hawaiian luxe and New York sophistication with an extensive—and killer—cocktail list.

There's multiple venue hire spaces which are in a prime location for your next special event. This might just be your new island haven that you’ll never want to leave. You actually don’t have to—book a room at The Island and make it a staycation.

Nineteen At The Star

Broadbeach

nineteen at the star rooftop bar

Ladies, slip on your heels and gents, dig out that collared shirt, 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 a seemingly endless infinity pool, you’ll feel both literally and figuratively sky-high sitting here on the 19th level. Nineteen At The Star is one of the longest-standing and most well-known rooftop bars on the Gold Coast for obvious reasons. 

Justin Lane Rooftop

Burleigh Heads 

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 and we fell completely in love with Justin Lane Rooftop.

Come for the sun-drenched patio and hopping outdoor bar, people-watching and booths with views to Burleigh Beach; stay for Justin’s pina coladas and handmade sourdough pizzas. If you're looking for one of the very best rooftop bars on the Gold Coast, this vibey Italian rooftop bar has got you sorted. 

Burleigh Pavilion

Burleigh Heads

burleigh pavilion rooftop

Undoubtedly one of the most iconic Gold Coast venues, Burleigh Pavilion boasts sweeping views of Burleigh Beach and Surfers Paradise’s iconic skyline, plus enough room for 600 people. Beachside cocktails just got a whole lot better. Design-wise, it’s an Instagram dream.

Think: terrazzo tables, fairy lights, exposed timber rafters, four-metre ceiling heights, splashes of pastel pink and lots of crisp white. Burleigh Pavilion is a clear a standout among the coolest Gold Coast rooftop bars for drinks in the sunshine.  Book a table at The Tropic just next door if you're after a premium dining experience with Mediterranean influences. Bliss.

The Collective Rooftop

Palm Beach

All hail The Collective Palm Beach and the genius idea to combine five different restaurants under one (retractable) roof.

Open for lunch and dinner seven days, there is plenty of time to get cosy on their sunny rooftop and sip on colourful cocktails; because it’s always a good idea to extend that boozy brunch well into the afternoon. Hands down, one the Gold Coast's best rooftop bars.

Surfers Paradise Beer Garden

Surfers Paradise

After a multi-million-dollar renovation, Surfers Paradise Beer Garden is looking slicker than ever and is taking full advantage of its prime location. From the retractable roof inviting the gorgeous sunshine and salty breezes to come flooding inside, to the on-trend white and wood paneling, nautical accents, festoon lights and picnic tables donning umbrellas, you’ll love this Gold Coast rooftop bar.

The expansive bar lives on via a wraparound deck, with sinkable couches and tables overlooking the palm trees and Cavill Avenue—the perfect position for people-watching. 

The Exhibitionist Bar

Surfers Paradise

The Exhibitionist Bar is located on Level Five of The Gallery at HOTA, across 233 sqm of indoor and outdoor terrace spaces. The spacious rooftop bar boasts breathtaking panoramic views of the vibrant arts precinct, the Surfers Paradise skyline, the stunning Gold Coast waterways and a western outlook across the hinterland. 

If that's not enough to get you excited, The Exhibitionist Bar also features a luscious tapas style bar menu with specialty cocktails, an extensive wine list, house-made sodas and local craft beer.

Tropic Vice

Mermaid Beach

tropic vice gold coast rooftop bar

This bright, modern rooftop bar oozes laidback Palm Springs meets luxe Cali-cool vibes—with a Gold Coast twist, of course. Venture upstairs into the bright, sun-drenched space and you’re greeted with a luscious bar setting. The half open-half closed roof space is peppered with greenery and cacti, while turquoise booths hug the walls.

Tropic Vice's open-air dining section has sweeping, uninterrupted views of the Gold Coast and is the prime spot for sipping a cold drink, as a balmy sea breeze rolls through. The menu is described as ‘Florribean’ cuisine (yes, we were curious too), which is a tantalising combination of the flavours of the Caribbean and South America. 

Frida Sol

Palm Beach

Inspired by Mexico and the legendary Frida Khalo, this Palm Beach outdoor bar is the perfect place to enjoy a taco and margarita in the sunshine.

With tiki-style umbrellas, amble outdoor seating and a delicious cocktail list with delights like the Mama Cass (vodka, passionfruit, pineapple juice, elderflower liqueur and mint) and the Troppo Locco (strawberries, vodka, citrus and lemonade) you can't go wrong at Frida Sol.

Mr P.P’s Deli And Rooftop 

Southport

Mr P.P.’s serves a collection of cocktails on their rooftop that scream summer. If you’re after something refreshing, opt for The Seaside—vodka, soho lychee and passionfruit. More of a fruity drinker? Then the Summer Lovin is for you—Bacardi Blanca, Malibu, lime, pineapple, agave and egg white.

This multi-level Italian pizzeria and rooftop bar venue is the perfect spot to watch the summer sun go down behind Southport’s impressive skyline and is a buzzing Gold Coast rooftop bar if you find yourself on the northern end of town. 

Aviary Rooftop Bar

Southport

aviary rooftop bar gold coast

Another top choice for northerners among the best Gold Coast rooftop bars to hit, The Aviary plenty of rotating weekly specials that are absolutely worth hitting up—half price Wednesdays, yes please. 

Listen to live acoustics while enjoying sweeping views of the skyline and inhaling a wood-fired pizza. If you’re trying to keep it clean(ish), opt for one of their healthier cocktails made with kombucha.

Moxy’s Rooftop Bar

Coolangatta

Moxy’s Rooftop Bar creates a space that fits nicely between a thumping nightclub and a sit-down restaurant; it’s a casual venue to come together, enjoy some drinks, have a nibble, and take in live music and DJ sets. Located on Griffith Street, it’s an easy walk from the sands of Coolangatta Beach (post-surf beer, anyone?).

Made your way around the best rooftop bars on the Gold Coast? You might want to plan your way around the Gold Coast’s best cafes for breakfast next. 

Image credit: Burleigh Pavilion, Kaitlin Maree and Hayley Williamson for Urban List

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.