Sip, Sip, Here Are 10 Of Brisbane City’s Best Bars Fixing A Drink
Feelin’ thirsty?By Astrid Taemets | 1st March 2023
A city is only as good as its offerings, and while there’s no denying Brisbane’s got a lot to give, its most understated quality is its bars. Whether it’s food, fashion, or financial gain that draws you into town, all that adhoc is sure to work up a thirst. Luckily, BNE isn’t short on refreshments.
From after work drinks and date nights, to family-friendly hangouts and bars to meet your bestie in, here are ten places around Brisbane City to quench your thirst.
By the way, we consider everyone in this list the best of the best! To make finding your next favourite that much easier, we’ve ordered the list alphabetically by suburb and also have filtering tabs for your convenience. Did we miss someone from the list? Let us know here! Hide the form
- Brisbane CBD
- North Brisbane
- East Brisbane
- South Brisbane
- West Brisbane
- Gold Coast
- Sunshine Coast
- A - Z
- Z - A
With the only heritage bar licence in Queensland, The Gresham offers some of the best rum, whiskey, and wine in the country, with an extensive cocktail list that you have to see (and sip) to believe. Make no mistake: The Gresham welcomes all, and the diverse crowd is proof of that, however this good old fashioned bar is ideal for post-work drinks.
Riverbar and Kitchen
Looking for a place to meet your mates for a sip in the sunshine? You won’t find anywhere better than Riverbar! Perched along Eagle Street, Riverbar makes for a perfect pitstop while riding your bike through the Botanic Gardens, or via CityCat. With a VIP view of the Story Bridge and an extensive food and drink menu, it’s easily the best place for big group hangouts and family get-togethers on weekends.
Alba Bar + Deli
As the lil’ taste of Brooklyn-meets-San-Sebastian in the heart of the CBD, Alba has the warm, welcoming feeling of a neighbourhood hangout. With a menu that’s inspired by the flavours of Spain, this lowkey spot churns out some of the best creations in town. From aperitivo hour to way after dark, be inspired by their range of snack, smallish, and biggish plates that pack a punch, and don’t forget to sample their colourful cocktail concoctions.
Make a date with Dr. Gimlette, who’ll treat you to one of the town’s finest sips, served across a breathtaking nine-metre marble bar. Located on Edward Street in a heritage-listed building, expect nothing but superior drinks and exceptional service while being surrounded by luxury finishes. Slide into one of Dr. Gimlette’s Italian leather booths and wait for the martini cart to cross your way. Serving every type of martini with various garnishes, gins, and methods, this is one swanky escape in The City.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that nothing tastes better after a day of shopping than a crisp white and luckily, Brisbane City has the perfect place to perch. Nestled amongst high end fashion stores, you’ll find City Winery’s Edward Street Cellar Door – a hole-in-the-wall cellar stocking all your favourites, plus a couple of extras. Here, you can sit back, sip away, and watch the world go by, enjoy a self-guided wine flight, and learn the art of blending.
Keep your catch ups private and meet at Leonards Bar, the laneway cocktail bar of Leonards Bar + Bistro. What used to be called Dawn, this modern update on the hidden cocktail haunt is just what the doctor ordered. A seriously cool, calm, and collected space, Leonards Bar features an eclectic list of old and new wines from around the world, alongside bespoke cocktails curated from global award-winning mixologist, Marco Nunes. Relaxed enough for a mid-week post-work refreshment but equally as perfect for a date, make a booking and see what all the fuss is about.
Rothwell’s Bar + Grill
Those after a fancy affair will find the allure of Rothwell’s old world charm hard to resist, and that’s before you’ve even tasted anything. Taking inspiration from classic grill restaurants around the globe, expect a high-end yet approachable experience in a setting that oozes vintage luxury, which will have you lingering long into the night. The 40-seat foyer bar, which overlooks Edward Street, serves timeless cocktails including the star of the menu – a martini served alongside an iced silver carafe, so you can top up your tipple at the perfect temperature.
Before + After
Heading into town for an evening date? Consider this your official pre- and post-dinner hang out. Specifically designed to be the place for before and afters, this cosy basement boozer is dedicated to Amaro – an Italian liqueur that is flavoured with herbs. Showcased across a range of cocktails, pop in early for a signature negroni, or saunter in late for a vintage tipple such as the Fernet Branca from 1970 or a 1940 Zucca Rabarbaro. Up for a nibble? Before + Afters own menu of food features amaro-spiked appetisers like shrimp rolls, Olasagasti anchovies on toast, and a grilled cheese sanga with lillet-soaked pear and amaro mustard. Find the black door just off the Queen Street Mall if you can…
Take a trip to the land of the rising sun without catching a flight at 1603. A contemporary speakeasy hidden inside Hotel Indigo, this new haunt offers local beer, wine, and cocktail faves with a saké twist. Based on traditional izakaya concepts, this 90-seater bar and restaurant will ensure you feel thousands of miles away from the bustling city at your door.
Red Queen Gin School
Tucked away in the old heritage-listed Metro Arts Theatre building on Edward Street is where you’ll find Red Queen – an intimate, dimly lit steampunk and gothic-inspired venue where you can sip on a 30-strong list of creative cocktails, wine, and beer while sampling the bar’s namesake Red Queen Gin. And, much like Artisan Gin School’s West End location, this inner-city site is equipped with copper stills for gin making classes, so you can craft your chosen spirit from a selection of 180 botanicals and take it home to proudly take centre-stage on your bar cart.