Eating and shopping your way around the Sunshine Coast’s best restaurants and boutiques can be thirsty work.
Luckily, our glorious shores are also blessed with a bevvie of fab bars in which to whet your whistle. While the definition between watering hole and restaurant gets a little blurry these days, we’ve compiled a bucket list featuring 15 of the best bars on the Sunshine Coast.
Prepare yourself for a night you won’t remember.
Housed in a black single-level building with a sprawling deck in the centre, Hong Sa Bar sits on the same bamboo-covered property as one of the Sunshine Coast’s best restaurants, Spirit House. Serving sensational craft cocktails, incorporating house-blend gins and bourbons, head here when you really need to impress a special someone.
Can’t convince your man to take you to a fancy-ish bar? You can always bribe him with beer, woodfired pizza and incredible Italian cicchetti like gnocchi tossed in a rosemary and sage cream. Incredibly romantic, the dimly-lit Locale is one of the best restaurants in Noosa but it’s their bar area, complete with lounge booths, that we’ve really fallen for.
You might know Rice Boi as one of the Sunshine Coast’s best Asian restaurants, but did you know it also boasts an upstairs dive bar and a newly-opened waterfront beer garden? Now you do! Both areas also dish up their famed menu, so you can get comfortable knowing you won’t have to move anytime soon. Hot tip: don’t leave without trying the espresso martini on tap.
The Bison Bar
Nambour locals might not like us sharing their hidden drinking spot, but we can’t go past this funky Art Deco nook when pulling together our list of the best bars on the Sunshine Coast. Go to The Bison Bar for the live music, stay for the cocktails and cheese platters.
Kiki Bar & Eatery
The sleek and sexy decor at Kiki’s has you vibing before you even take a sip. But what we love most is that Kiki Bar & Eatery heroes the best Australian spirits, beers and wine around, and the fact they have kombucha on tap, means you simply must try their Slow Gin Smash with mint, berries and kombucha. With a menu as classy as their cocktail offerings, it’s easy to let time slip away as you munch on marinated olives, jamon croquettes, and deli cheese and meats with condiments.
Complete with festoon lights, astro turf and some serious street art, Village Bicycle’s beer garden is next-level awesomeness. If you can find a spare table, that is. This place gets packed with locals and in-the-know tourists ready to throw back a beer and some cheap nosh, but it all adds to the party-on vibe.
Kick back with some funky beats in Old Soul’s lounge with a top-shelf single malt, or we dare you to try and choose just one of their cocktails. Don’t get too comfy though, because when the DJ steps it up, you’ll want to hit the d-floor quick smart.
Pair a couple of Paradise Arcade’s tostadas with a margarita on tap and you’ll understand why we’re rating this Mexi-Cali restaurant as one of the best bars on the Sunshine Coast. With a super-cool interior, complete with a loft space for larger groups and a festoon-lit courtyard, this is the perfect place to spice up your summer nights.
The granddaddy of Ocean Street night life, Sol Bar is at the centre of all great Maroochydore nights out and is hands down one of the Sunshine Coast’s best bars. The landing spot for any music heavyweights visiting the region, we have a lot of drunken memories (if that’s what you call them) to thank these guys for.
The Sunshine Coast's new gin and coffee bar has been making waves ever since it opened a few months ago. Only the best local gins have a space on the Moonstruck shelf, including a few rare limited-edition bottles. A new gin is added every week and is carefully paired with the tonic or mixer that will make it shine the most. Great cocktails plus a cosy, European vibe; what more could you want?
Okay, so this might be a diner dedicated to burgers and greasy American nosh at its finest, but with an awesome beer garden and an upstairs whisky bar beckoning, many a burger mission has turned into an all-night drinking session at Rick’s Garage.
The Rooftop Bar & Garden
Taking the Sunshine Coast bar scene to a whole other level quite literally, The Rooftop Bar & Garden is a grand, seven-storey-high lavish bar in the heart of Maroochydore. Home to incredible views, a stunning fit-out with a retractable roof, cocktails that’ll have you ordering another on first sip, and a global menu packed with fresh flavours—it’s safe to say one visit here won’t be enough.
Among our list of the best bars on the Sunshine Coast, locations don’t come much better than Pier 33’s. Sitting on the waterfront in Mooloolaba, in what used to be the old yacht club, Pier 33 is light and bright with a Hamptons-esque theme throughout. Sip on cocktails in the bar and lounge area, or step outside where you can grab a picnic table overlooking the marina or sprawl out on the lush lawn. Sophisticated but casual, if anywhere is made for day-drinking, it’s this place.
The Good Bar
Boasting one of the only RnB sessions in the region, The Good Bar is the answer if you’re lurking around Mooloolaba with mates and searching for epic (read: huge) burgers, cold beers and fun times.
Boston Shaker Bar
This old-school cocktail and music bar is tucked away in Mooloolaba’s newly-revived Wharf precinct, and is the hidden gem of the Sunshine Coast. Boasting live music performances almost every night and a regular open mic night every Tuesday, the Boston Shaker Bar is an intimate, soulful venue with lots of heart. Come for the live music, stay for the cocktails.
If you're into nightlife, here are all the best live music venues to hit up on the Sunshine Coast.
Image credit: Lumea Photo for The Urban List