We're drinking well right now. This month some great openings have arrived. While there's always room for a drink at one of Brisbane's best bars, it's always fun to try somewhere new, too.

This is our edit of Brisbane's best new bars from the past 12 months, updated monthly. Some could become your new favourite; others may just be good for one memorable night. All are worth a try.

Here's a tip: come hungry. A lot of these bars have killer menus that deserve to be explored.

Related Pages
Best New Restaurants in Brisbane
Best New Cafes in Brisbane

Suzie Wong’s Good Time Bar

The Bowery was one of the best cocktail bars in Australia. The place was an icon, and in its 17 years of operation it managed to win just about every major industry award it went up for. But it closed in January 2020, leaving some big shoes to fill. Perhaps wisely, its new owners have taken the space in a very different direction. Suzie Wong’s is a good-times Hawaiian-themed dive. It comes courtesy of the team behind the nearby Brooklyn Standard, so there’s a similar focus on live music. Suzie’s is loud, colourful and crowd-pleasing. It should go down well with Valley regulars.

678 Ann Street, Brisbane

Tetto Rooftop Bar

Mediterranean arches, white stucco walls, orange and coral fabrics – this isn’t the Amalfi Coast, it’s a new rooftop bar in Everton Park. After several Euro holidays, Tetto owner Tim Johnson wanted to bring a slice of summer back home with him. There’s a breeziness here (sometimes literally – most of the bar is al fresco) which bleeds through to the food and drinks on offer. Spritzes and approachable cocktails dominate, with blockbuster snacks such as bolognese arancini and house-made meatballs making up the bulk of the food side of things.

1/807 Stafford Road, Everton Park

Stone & Wood

Expectations were high, but Stone & Wood’s first tap room outside of Byron Bay doesn’t disappoint. This 150-seat, eight-hectolitre brewpub is in a heritage-listed warehouse on Bridge Street. The industrial atmosphere is complemented by the fit-out: exposed brickwork, steel and timber beams. There are 24 taps pouring the core range of beers as well as a number of limited releases brewed on-site. They’re joined by a couple of wines and a cider, too. The food offering from the canteen here changes every few months, but it’s always crowd-pleasing and very beer-friendly.

99 Bridge Street, Fortitude Valley

Brewdog Dogtap

Brewdog’s huge new Brisbane brewery isn’t just the lynchpin for the Scottish craft beer giant’s Australian distribution plans, it’s also a damn fine place for a drink and a meal in its own right. The handsome, well-thought out space is defined by rough-hewed timber, banks of blue leather booths and an enormous keg feature wall. Outside, communal tables provide riverside views. The food menu is accommodating, ranging from Korean-style chicken wings and burgers, right through to barramundi fritters and tomahawk steaks. The beer selection is a mix of Brewdog favourites and guest brewers.

77 Metroplex Avenue, Murarrie

Death and Taxes

The DNA of some of Brisbane’s best bars – including Cobbler and Finney Isles – runs through Death and Taxes. Martin Lange, his old Sling (remember that place?) business partner Blake Ward and Lange’s wife Wiebke Lange have created this venue (long-term Lange lieutenant Sam Tripet is manager). It’s inspired by the underground bars of London and Paris. It’s hidden in a heritage-listed warehouse in Burnett Lane, and stepping through Death and Taxes’ double doors is like entering another world: there are beautiful leather booths, and there’s 100-year-old flooring and a four-metre-tall back bar with 600 bottles. There are 30 cocktails, a 40-bottle wine list and BYO food is encouraged.

36 Burnett Lane, Brisbane

Ivory Tusk

This winsome Palm Springs-inspired bar has on-tap cocktails and a breezy Mexican-inspired menu. And it’s in the Valley. In short, you’re going to be parked there all summer, and for the foreseeable future after that. It’s in the space that once housed Woolly Mammoth alehouse; dark and rustic finishes have been replaced with pastel hues, bright pops of colour and mid-century-inspired furniture. The food menu and cocktail list have been written with sharing in mind. Food includes a lamb barbacoa with rocket, queso blanco and burnt orange. And Baja fish tacos with red slaw and burnt chilli mayo. After something over-the-top to drink? The Hola Chica Bonita – a giant frozen Margarita – should do the trick.

633 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

Proof BBQ and Booze

Kentucky bourbon and low-and-slow barbeque are long-time partners in crime. At Proof, they’re both done justice. It’s in the former premises of Harry’s Diner, but the old cafe’s iconic car park spot is virtually unrecognisable. The rockabilly character has been erased and replaced with classic Bentwood chairs and warm timber. The “food, drinks and snacks” menu means hard-to-find whiskey and craft beer served alongside smoked meats, shrimp grits, burnt-end chilli beans and mac‘n’cheese.

14 104 Newmarket Road, Windsor

Alba Bar and Deli

Old-world San Sebastian meets New York in the ’90s. That’s how owner Jamie Fleming likes to shorthand Alba Bar and Deli. And with its mustard-trim wooden banquettes, dark green tiled bar-front, crisp white walls and classic pintxos-style of eating, Fleming’s first venue mixes funky design with a neat dash of culinary authenticity. With Alba, the former Masterchef contestant is attempting to distil his experience into something simple and unpretentious. The neat 50-seater serves unfussy pintxos plates such as Movida sardines, Cuca tuna and three different types of jamon. The wine list leans towards Spanish varieties deliberately chosen to complement the food. There’s also a slick mixed-drink selection.

Sea Legs Brewing Co

34 Burnett Lane, Brisbane

The Woods

When much-loved craft-beer bar The Mill on Constance closed in June, the Valley lost an institution. Owners Gillian Letham and Gerard Hartnett have refreshed the space: now it’s The Woods, and it’s more neighbourhood bar than beer den. There are still 60 or so beers sold by the bottle and can, but now they’re joined by different vinos such as blends from the Urban Winery Project. There are also 20 gins on the back bar. For food you’ll find braised lamb shanks, crispy pork belly and rib fillet alongside smaller bar snacks such as popcorn chicken and fish cakes.

Blackwood Street, Mitchelton

Hello Gorgeous

This Pinterest-worthy spot opened in the former digs of Chester Street Bakery in February this year with a stunning pink-tiled bar, neon signage and tropical palm leaf wallpaper. Look past its eye-popping looks though and Hello Gorgeous is just a great place in which to spend a long afternoon with friends. For food there’s share plates of grilled Skull Island prawns, Wagyu ragu tortellini and coconut-crusted drunken prawns. The lengthy selection of drinks includes 30 red, rosé and white wines, and 10 sparklings and champagnes by the bottle.

32A Chester Street, Newstead

City Winery

Picture a vineyard in your mind. You’re probably seeing rolling hills and rows of vines, right? City Winery has none of that, but that’s partly the point. Co-owners Adam Penberthy and Dave Cush are bringing the best grapes from around the country right into the heart of Fortitude Valley and using them to fuel a working winery, cellar door and restaurant. City Winery steers clear of traditional styles of Australian wine, instead pouring fiano, grenache, gewürztraminer, nero d’avola, nebbiolo, tempranillo and sangiovese.

11 Wandoo Street, Fortitude Valley

Reuben's Deli

Growing up in New York City, Manny Rosenberg would visit his grandparents in Manhattan every Sunday. On his way back he used to stop by the local Jewish deli for a sandwich. When he moved to Brisbane he couldn’t find the kind of food he grew up eating, so he decided to make it himself (with his wife, Peggy Rosenberg). Reuben’s Deli serves authentic sandwiches, subs and hoagies inspired by the Big Apple. As you’d expect, the signature dish is a Reuben sandwich on grilled rye, but other sandwiches such as chopped liver, pastrami on rye and braised brisket are also worth your time. A host of other mains and a fun and tight drinks list are available too.

1/208 Given Terrace, Paddington

Altitude

The panorama at Altitude extends from the Valley’s heritage brick buildings in the east to the towers of the CBD in the south. Rooftop bars are defined by what you look at once you’re up there, and Altitude offers something distinctive. It opened in July on top of the heritage-listed Forester’s Hall on Brunswick Street. Together with the 140-seat Foresters Restaurant and Bar on the ground floor, these two venues are looking to galvanise this rapidly developing corner of the Valley. Alongside classic drinks there’s a creative list of cocktails to choose from. Try the If You Musk: Absolut vodka shaken with musk syrup, elderflower liquor and lemon juice. Or a Salted Caramel Espresso Martini with a popcorn garnish.

209 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley

Sea Legs Brewing Co

This handsome boozer opened in the dying days of 2018. The 15-hectolitre brewery is a warehouse-style venue with exposed tanks and beams, overhead string lighting and an eye-catching breezeblock facade. The range made in-house includes the Sea Legs Milk Stout, a Breakaway IPA, Tropical Lager, Dr Swift’s Golden Ale and Sea Legs Pale Ale. Food is simple pub grub: burgers, wings, charcuterie boards and hand-stretched pizzas.

89 main street, kangaroo point

Miss Demeanour

This 140-seat cafe, restaurant and bar is enlivening a subdued corner of the CBD. It’s in the basement space that was the former Sonny’s House of Blues. While those are some big shoes to fill, Miss Demeanour shows serious promise. There’s head chef Matt Casey’s all-day menu of well-executed crowd-pleasers. Then there’s what’s going on behind the bar: more than 100 spirits and 10 rotating beer taps to choose from. That’s a lot of tipple. Luckily, this place goes till 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Rowes Lane, Brisbane City