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 of 28 bars where you should have sunk a few drinks if you live on the Sunshine Coast.
Prepare yourself for a night you won’t remember.
Got a special date night? Book a table at the uber romantic Orleans and get your could-be lover to meet you there a bit earlier. While you wait for your table, hang at the bar and watch your cocktails getting shaken and stirred by some serious mixologists. It’ll get rid of any initial awkwardness and give you something to chat about.
La Canteena somewhere park yourself at one of the tables, tell your mates you’ll be hanging there for a few hours, and get ‘em to drop by as they please. You’ll stay hydrated with countless frozen margies, and plates of tacos and nachos will keep your stomach lined.
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’re gonna wanna hit the d-floor quick smart.
Yes, Paradise Arcade is the new kid on the block, but let’s be clear about one thing—it definitely deserves a spot on our list of the best bars on the Sunshine Coast. Pair a couple of their tostadas with a margarita on tap and you’ll understand why we’re big fans of this Mexi-Cali restaurant.
Just a short stroll from Paradise Arcade, Moto is a hip, motorcycle showroom-slash-bar, serving beers, wines, classic spirits and gourmet toasties.
El Capitano + Café Le Monde
A Hastings Street fave, Miss Moneypenny’s are renowned for their awesome theme days. From Afternoons In Havana on Sundays to their After Work Wine Down on Wednesdays (half price on pizzas and bar snacks), this is one bar that prides itself on looking after its regulars.
Complete with festoon lights, astro turf and a shipping container serving booze, 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, but it all adds to the party-on vibe.
Sprawling deck—tick! Hearty menu—tick! Made-in-house beers pouring straight from the tank to the tap to your glass—tick! Brouhaha Brewery is one very good reason to make the trek up to Maleny, stat.
Mooloolaba’s own slice of the Deep South, Dirty Moes is a must-hit on your Sunshine Coast bar bucket list. Dishing up the most fingerlicking grub—think smoked brisket, confit lamb shoulder and mac ‘n cheese—make sure you save room for dessert AKA the sticky date martini. Oh my!
Sitting pretty on Gympie Terrace, Flux does a range of specialty cocktails and craft beers—including some French and vintage finds (on tap, no less)—that can be served alongside locally-sourced seafood nibbles that will help to line the stomach.
We all know Catalina is a boat. But, it’s got a bar on there, so we’re making the call and giving it a nudge into our roundup of the best bars on the Sunshine Coast. Because, really, what could be better than drinking booze on a super stylish boat as you float along Noosa River? The answer? Nothing.
As close as we’ve got to a rooftop bar on the Sunshine Coast, Noosa Boathouse’s Sunset Bar is perched overlooking the picture-perfect Noosa River. A prime spot to down cocktails and watch the sunset (it’s all in the name).
Noosa Surf Club
Looking for a brew with a view, you can’t beat Noosa Surf Club. Sure, it isn’t technically a bar, but with a location that can’t be beat this joint deserves to be on any list.
You can’t skip Lot 104 for a great cocktail on a big night out in Mooloolaba, and we’re totally digging their whisky options. Alongside all the epic faves on their cocktail list, their winter whisky cocktail, The Highlander, warms your belly with whisky, red wine syrup, a clove-infused ice cube, and a pot of English Breakfast tea on the side to pour over everything.
Tucked away in Sunshine Beach, Embassy XO’s lounge bar stems off the city-sleek restaurant, and is the perfect place to grab a knock-off drink sans pub vibe.
The granddaddy of Ocean Street night life, Sol Bar is at the centre of all great Maroochydore nights out. The landing spot for any music heavyweights visiting the Sunshine Coast, we have a lot of drunken memories (if that’s what you call them) to thank these guys for.
Peak Wine Bar
One of our fave spots to people-watch over Ocean Street with a glass of red in hand, we highly suggest planning your next visit to Peak Wine Bar around their $2.50 Tuesday Slider Night.
Somewhere between an inner-city jazz bookshop and an alleyway saloon in New Orleans, The Piano Bar is where you start your Maroochydore bar crawl. After all, everyone knows the wildest nights start as the classiest, and this place oozes sophistication.
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. Go to The Bison Bar for the live music, stay for the cocktails and cheese platters.
Can’t convince your man to take you to a fancyish 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.
Rotating taps, board games, casual vibes—what more could you want? Stoker is the place to kickback and have a chinwag over a few schooners, rather than partying hard.
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 sesh at Rick’s.
Rumba Wine Bar
It’s hard to believe there’s a bar on Hastings Street that still goes under the radar, but Rumba Wine Bar, tucked away behind Massimo’s, has done just that. Pop in to this chilled lounge for a sneaky pre-drink before you head out for the night. Their wine list is phenomenal.
The Good Bar
Boasting one of the best trivia nights on the Sunshine Coast, The Good Bar is the answer if you’re lurking around Mooloolaba searching for epic burgers, cold beers and fun times.
The beach club decor makes 26 Degrees feel like you’re hanging in the Hamptons, so it's perfect for Sunshine Coasters on a summer bar crawl. Add in some snacks, bevvies and Pumicestone Passage vantage, and you've got yourself the perfect place for sundowners.
Black Bunny Kitchen
We tried to think of a better way to while away a Sunday arvo than listening to live music, slurping away at craft beers and chomping down on some southern fried chicken at Black Bunny Kitchen…but we couldn’t.
After all that drinking, you might need to work your way through the Sunshine Coast's best hangover feeds.
Image credit: Amy Higg for The Urban List