From rooftop nests to sweeping river views and the hedonism of a hotel pool-bar, Brisbane’s idyllic climate feels tailored for outdoor drinking. Here’s a guide to some of the city’s best outdoor drinking spots.
At Sixes and Sevens
At Sixes and Sevens feels like a purpose-built ode to Queensland summer. With an outdoor space covered in neon-green Astroturf, the venue is partially housed in an old Queenslander.
Two inside bars serve a curated list of beer, wine by the carafe or bottle, and cocktails by the pitcher, including Pimm’s, Mojito or the Sixes House Punch. Pair your drink with the menu of share plates (beef short ribs, poutine, or croquettes), pick a spot in the sun looking over James Street and people-watch your day away.
Blackbird Bar and Grill
On the edge of the Eagle Street Pier precinct, Blackbird has 180-degree views from the Story Bridge down to Kangaroo Point Cliffs. The bar menu is a succinct offering of the full Blackbird Restaurant menu lead by Jake Nicolson, and its mix of small plates, burgers and mains (charcuterie plate, spicy Watermark soft-shell crab brioche burger) pairs beautifully with the extensive drinks menu.
Cocktails are a seasonal affair, and currently draw inspiration from literature and a handful of liquor-heavy books (The Great Gatsby, The Drunken Botanist).
"Besides having a big open space with a great view, the drinks list is a massive part [of our venue],” says bar manager Mark Pinel. “Having a seasonal summer list with drinks that are fresh and light goes a long way to getting people into the venue and adding to the vibe."
Pinel’s pick for summer is the Melon and Pear Spritz. “We use Don Julio Blanco [tequila] mixed with pear liqueur, honey water, honeydew melon and charged with soda,” he says. “It's a great drink to have on a Sunday, sitting with friends, enjoying the view and soaking in the sun."
Eleven Rooftop Bar
Perched 11 stories above Fortitude Valley, Eleven is a newcomer to the Brisbane bar scene. The rooftop venue offers 270-degree views of Fortitude Valley and the CBD beyond, in a relaxed fitout of high bars and semi-private booths.
The menu offers grazing options of tapas (arancini, fish tacos, wings) as well as more substantial plates, while the cocktails are categorised by the craftsmanship behind them: built and shaken, and stir downs. Martinis and Old Fashioneds have a step-by-step process, with punters choosing the makeup of their drink.
Soleil Pool Bar
Soleil has made the hotel pool-bar hip again, with a crowd jostling for the waterside deck across the summer months. Wrapped around the Rydges South Bank pool, above busy Grey Street, the bar’s cocktail list reflects the tone of the season, with names such as Passion is the Colour Red and RA, The Egyptian Sun God, which features rum, blackcurrant liqueur, guava, apple, lime, and clove-and-almond syrup. These drinks stand alongside a food menu of sharing options including Peking-duck spring rolls and porcini arancini.
At the top of the Point Hotel in Kangaroo Point, small-bar Eagles Nest only comes to life at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon. With sweeping views of the city beyond, the twelfth-floor terrace makes for a private spot to hold fort with a cocktail and look out over the city.
There’s a small but tantalising tapas menu – including Manchego cheese croquettes and salt and pepper squid – to pair with a classic cocktail list that includes a 1L Pimm’s Jug, with mint, orange, strawberries, cucumber and topped with ginger ale and lemonade.
Limes Hotel Rooftop Bar
Limes was pushing the idea of a great rooftop bar long before it was a go-to in Brisbane circles. The oasis at the top of the Limes Hotel offers a secluded spot to catch the breeze and enjoy a 360-degree view of the Valley. There’s even a pair of plunge pools if you need to cool off.
During warmer months, the venue’s rooftop cinema fires up a selection of flicks under the stars, with food from sister venue, Alfredo’s Pizzeria. Pair it with a series of cocktail jugs including the Constance Punch, featuring vodka, peach, lime, passionfruit puree, sugar and soda.
This article is presented in partnership with World Class.