The Best Bars in Brisbane

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Picture this. An out-of-town friend is coming to Brisbane for one night only. You want to show them a real good time – loose and boozy with a high probability of late-night singing, dancing and random encounters. Something typically “Brisbane”.

A cocktail bar, a wine bar or even a pub just won’t do. You need the bars on this list. While they may incorporate elements of the above, they’re a genre unto themselves, experts at creating good, rowdy times night after night after night. Let’s hope your friend doesn’t have an early flight.

  • More than 600 bottles in heritage-listed digs on Brisbane’s oldest laneway.

  • Share some charcuterie at the more casual cousin of Gerard’s Bistro.

  • Queensland’s only heritage-listed pub has a refined charm.

  • Lo-fi wines, smooth beats and a menu by an ex-Gerard’s Bistro executive chef. The spiritual successor to one of Brisbane’s favourite bars – inside the old Wandering Cooks space – is a win for West End.

  • A boundary-pushing cocktail bar from the team behind CBD laneway bar Death and Taxes. It takes service to a whole new level, with roving Martini carts delivering expertly made seasonal drinks to luxurious leather booths.

  • More than 550 ways to take your gin and tonic.

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  • Inspired by the vibrant nightlife of Tel Aviv, this ambitious bar is all about smoked drinks, Turkish Coffee Martinis and a menu of late-night vegetarian mezze. Also, vinyl – lots of vinyl. Find it at the base of the Ovolo Hotel in the Valley.

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  • One of Brisbane's best craft brewers has transformed this old warehouse into a striking brewpub.

  • Bar? Or spirits library? Hint: there are 400 whiskies stacked in the shelves.

  • A rooftop oasis with splendid views across Fortitude Valley and the CBD. Come for Italian-leaning small plates and cocktails designed by Sydney's Maybe Sammy – one of the world's best bars.

  • Creative cocktails and cosy cabin vibes.

  • An elite bartending team is behind this approachable cocktail den, slinging an imaginative signature drinks list, Guinness on tap and housemade toasties. It’s all housed behind a heritage brick-and-timber facade in the city centre.

  • While rooftop bar Eleven takes a break, we have this Mexican pop-up. There's ninety seats, a local-produce driven menu and a shedload of tequila, all set to those jaw-dropping views.

  • Down some damn fine cocktails.

  • Size isn’t a problem at this petite laneway bar.

  • It may be small, but this bar can lay claim to having its very own exclusive beers.

  • Brisbane’s first vinyl-listening bar is right up there with the country’s best. Come for the Japanese-influenced food and drinks offering, stay for the soothing sounds booming from four sweet, sweet Pitt & Giblin speakers.