The Weekend Warrior’s Guide to the Coast

By Brooke Darling
21st Apr 2016

Queensland’s beachside hub has gone through somewhat of a resurgence of late, and has cool oozing out of all its pockets. You just need to know where to look.

Are you visiting for the weekend? After a lazy day beachside, let us point you in the direction of hip and happening haunts of Coolangatta and Kirra in the south through to Burleigh Heads, Nobby Beach, Mermaid Beach, and Broadbeach in the north, plus squeezing out some d-floor action for those lasting the distance.

The Gold Coast’s new crop of epic bars will capture the attention of even the most seasoned weekend warrior.

Bread ‘N’ Butter

Bread 'N' Butter is somewhat of a chameleon as it evolves from a laid-back eatery with kick-arse wood-fired pizzas and live music by evening, then on weekends the crowd of jolly revellers builds, the DJ decks move in, and tables are cleared for some shoulder-shimmying on the dance floor. With crazy-good muddled drink specials late on Friday and Saturday evenings (let it be known, these guys mix some of the best cocktails on the Gold Coast!), Bread ‘N’ Butter is a go-to for those holidaying in the south.

Where: 76 Musgrave Street, Kirra

Burleigh Brewing

For hops-lovers, there’s nothing comparable to the tank to tap to pint glass experience, and at Burleigh Brewing’s seriously impressive new brew house, you can do just that. Open to the public four afternoons each week, it’s worth a jaunt into the industrial area to try their famed brews as well as limited edition concoctions from their trial system. Soon to be joined by the likes of Balter Brewing (owned by four Gold Coast-based pro surfers, including shark-puncher world champ Mick Fanning) and Black Hops, proving the Gold Coast is finally holding its own among the country’s craft beer scene.

Where: 2 Er Harvey Drive, West Burleigh

Ze Pickle

Everyone knows beers and burgers are a match made in heaven, especially when those burgers are some of the best you’ll find on the Gold Coast. Our cheeky mates at Ze Pickle are so damn popular they’ve recently expanded to Brisbane and Sydney’s Surry Hills—so come see where the legend was born. Ze Pickle rotates 12 taps with craft beers from across Australia and abroad, and rocks a witty cocktail list with bevvie names such as the Bubba Hubba Hubba, Luv U Long Time, and Hood Juice. Part eatery part bar, it’s a rad hangout with cool tunes and even cooler clientele.

Where: Corner of Park Avenue and Connor Street, Burleigh Heads

Justin Lane Rooftop

Since re-launching late last year with a stellar makeover and rooftop bar and patio, Justin Lane Establishment has been rocking our world and we’re not afraid to say so! You’ll fall hard for Justin’s undeniable style, killer cocktails (go for the Justin Coladas—bliss!), and delicious home-made pastas and sourdough pizzas. Without question one of the best bars on the Gold Coast, this is where the beautiful people head for Sunday sessions in the sunshine.

Where: 1708—1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

The Cambus Wallace

Hidden behind an intriguing wooden façade on the main drag of hipster-lovin’ Nobby Beach, step inside this moody vintage night-spot where the effortlessly cool crew will happily make a recommendation if you’re struggling to choose from the dozen or so bottled craft beer options, rotating taps, and smashingly good rum cocktails (the Kraken black spiced rum espresso martini, perhaps?). The Cambus Wallace is also part restaurant so, go on, line that belly before you get too carried away.

Where: 4/2237 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach

BonBon Bar

Mermaid Beach’s Bonita Bonita dishes up the best Mexican on the Gold Coast, so if you need to do the responsible thing first (aka eat), you might as well start here. Conveniently, one of the best bars on the Gold Coast is located right next door, an intimate and sexy tequila bar affectionately known as BonBon. One hundred tequilas behind the bar is dang impressive, plus you can order all the delicious Latino delights from the talented culinary team at Bonita Bonita, while you sip on the best margarita of your life—the Bonita Margarita.

Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Garden Kitchen and Bar

After recently being acquired by The Star group, Jupiters Hotel and Casino is undergoing a vast renovation, with Garden Kitchen and Bar currently the centre of attention. Forgo the gaming room and head straight for the most striking vertical garden wall on the Coast and a breezy, sun-drenched patio perfect for a looonnggg Sunday brunch or Saturday night cocktails under the stars. Check it out now, and next time you return to the Gold Coast, book yourself into the luxe six-star hotel that’s currently in the works.

Where: Jupiters Hotel and Casino, Broadbeach

Pop-up: Aloha Bar and Dining

From the same team that introduced the Gold Coast to the wildly successful Commune Café and Etsu Izakaya (two spots definitely worthy of a visit for breakfast and dinner), Aloha Bar and Dining is the newest addition to the best bars on the Gold Coast. Aloha is the first project of Exotic Pets Presents; whose concept is to take short-term leases in various locations around the Coast. Tucked down a non-descript Broadbeach laneway, the owners have been getting crafty with all manner of nautical knick-knacks and island-themed paraphernalia, creating a buzzing space with nooks and tiki-styled rooms that sucker you in to keep exploring. Just remember, this bar and eatery is here for a good time, not a long time, so hunt it down—STAT!

Where: 18 Main Place, Broadbeach


If you’ve hit the rest and are ready for some d-floor action, then this should be your final destination. Elsewhere isn’t your typical Surfers Paradise nightspot, it’s a Gold Coast institution. In fact, while you’re there, you’ll probably feel like you’re “somewhere else”… see what they’ve done there?! This little hot-spot is a hub of alternative electronic tunes, a multi-coloured Saturday Night Fever-style dance floor (start dancing, and we bet you can’t pull yourself away), 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.

Where: 23 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Image credits: Hayley Williamson, Brooke Darling

Editor's Note: This article is proudly sponsored by Gold Coast Tourism and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy. 

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