Explore Gold Coast Bars: Top Picks & Hidden Gems

Explore Gold Coast Bars: Top Picks & Hidden Gems

02 May 2024

Experience the highlights of Gold Coast’s bar scene at some of the premium drinking establishments around town. From sophisticated wine bars and rooftop venues to local nightlife spots and secret speakeasy-style drinking holes, discover the best bars Gold Coast has to offer.

Drinks With a Difference: Themed Bars

Marilyn’s Bar

Inspired by the one and only Marilyn Monroe, this venue is unique and glamorous as the starlet herself. With a pleasing palette of soft pinks and mint green and a soundtrack courtesy of old school vinyl records, Marilyn's is the perfect place for a fancy drink or three. The cocktail menu includes many of the classics and an impressive variety of Margaritas, with snacks, burgers, side salads and fries served up too. The waitstaff welcome you like friends and by the time you leave, you will be. Because who doesn’t love a mate who can craft the perfect cocktail?
Location: 14/104 Surf Parade, Broadbeach 


Cambus Wallace

Named after a ship that sunk off the Gold Coast in 1894, The Cambus Wallace is a nautical themed run and whisky bar in Nobby Beach. The low-lit and moody interior adorned with ship-inspired memorabilia creates an intimate vibe and the mixologists here are magicians. It’s a firm favourite with locals for the incredible cocktails, extensive run and whisky menu and regular live acoustic tunes. Good time ahoy!
Location:  4/2237 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

The Scottish Prince

Younger sibling to The Cambus Wallace is Palm Beach’s The Scottish Prince, also named after a ship that ran aground and also home to a menu filled with next-level drinks and over 150 varieties of whisky. In keeping with the nautical theme you’ll find a cosy below deck aesthetic with low lighting, wooden accents, ship-inspired artwork and a touch of tartan. Come for cocktails, live tunes, charcuterie boards and Tuesday comedy nights.
Location: 27/1176 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach

Soho Bar

Look for the red phone box entrance and step into Soho, one of the coolest bars in Broadbeach. With style inspo from London’s East End, every wall of this cosy speak-easy style bar is filled with Banksy-esque graffiti art. Famous for its fine spirits and creative cocktails, the drinks menu is so extensive you might struggle with decision paralysis. But fear not - you can’t go wrong with the sublime sips from behind the bar. One thing that sets Soho Bar apart is that there’s no kitchen here,  but you’re welcome to BYO food from the many nearby eateries and take aways to enjoy alongside a cocktail.
Location: 4/2713 Main Place, Broadbeach

Mixology Magic: Creative Cocktail Bars

The Exhibtionist

If you prefer cocktails with a side of culture and a panoramic rooftop view, take the elevator to level five of the HOTA Gallery and expose yourself to The Exhibitionist. When they say specialty drinks here, they mean it. Their cocktails are inspired by the major art exhibition showing in the gallery below so changes regularly, but one thing that remains constant is the high standard of mixology you’ll find at this arty bar. There’s some fabulous food available too, from shared snacks to gourmet pizzas and sandwiches.
Location: HOTA Gallery, 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise

HOTA, Home of the Arts

Malibu Racquet Club

Serving a quality shot and some epic cocktails too, the Malibu Racquet Club is centrally located on the highway in Burleigh Heads (right next to Rosella’s if you feel like taking a cocktail tour). With minimalist styling and maximum vibes, the modern cocktail bar has a mid-century aesthetic that looks great on the ‘gram. In keeping with the tennis theme there’s a mac Enroe cocktail that you should try along with the classics, beer and wine and a tempting menu of tasting plates. 
Location:  1740 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads 


Revel in all things Australiana when you step inside Rosella’s. From an extensive wine list featuring natural Australian wines, to cocktails inspired by Aussie icons, such as the Blinky Bill and a top tipple inspired by the Matildas, you’ll be feeling true blue by the time you leave. And yes, you can also get local craft beers on tap or an  ice-cold schooner of Foster’s. Feeling peckish? The nostalgic and native fare includes XXXX and fig damper and chips with chicken salt.
Location: 1734 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads 

Rosella's Bar


Hidden Gems: Speakeasy and Secret Bars

Lockwood Bar

Secret sophistication is the name of the game at Lockwood Bar in Burleigh Heads. A speakeasy style of establishment, the entrance is cleverly concealed from view. Found on Justin Lane, you need to text a number on arrival to be allowed in and once you are, you’ll pass through a thick velvet curtain and into the cosy space beyond. Behind the bar you’ll find an incredible selection of whisky, plus an absolutely stacked cocktail menu. Settle in for the night and ask the bartender for a recommendation. They really know their stuff. Open from Monday to Thursday from 7pm and Friday, Saturday from 5pm. 
Location: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads  


The Star Gold Coast has a sweet little secret - Veladora. This candle-lit Mexican-inspired speakeasy will take a little bit of finding. Keep your eyes peeled for a for a red palm tree once you’ve passed through the glass doors past Harvest. Once inside you’ll find a cocktail menu dreams are made of. Order a Midnight in Cancun (Don Julio, Woodford, almond and homemade Yucutan cordial) to sip on and pair it with unusual bar snacks like a Peanut and Cricket Trail Mix (yes, the insect). Open from 7pm Friday and Saturday. (Image: Image: Mitch Lowe Photo)
Location: The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach


Roosevelt Lounge

Step back in time to the roaring 1920’s, a champagne in hand and dressed to the nines at Roosevelt Lounge in the heart of Broadbeach. With gilded edges and Chesterfield leather, you won’t find a finer secret establishment than this. Found between The Loose Moose and Sofitel Broadbeach, Roosevelt Lounge is perfect for a fancy nightcap, and you can’t go past a good, old-fashioned Martini here; made to your liking. Nibble on share plates and delight in the hidden magic of this impressive space. Open from 5pm Friday and Saturday. 
Location:: 75 Surf Pde, Broadbeach


Burleigh’s rock n’ roll dive bar is a guaranteed good time. With live music, a moody, low-lit vibe and plenty of enthusiastic revellers at any given time, you’ll want to pay Nightjar a visit. Found down the actual Justin Lane (which is right next to a venue of the same name) tucked behind the Gold Coast Highway, Nightjar offers a mouth-watering selection of cold beers, spirits and of course, cocktails and you’ll absolutely need to don your dancing shoes. Open from 6pm Tuesday to Thursday and 7pm Friday to Sunday, look for the roller doors and Nightjar neon. 
Location: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads


Hidden in plain sight, Suga is a Palm Beach favourite right on the Gold Coast Highway. It’s a plantation-style rum bar, with an intimate, speakeasy vibe and a carefully curated cocktail list that’ll knock your socks off. The Alligator Wine is made up of Triple Sec, Licor 43 and Orange Zest and it’s the perfect Autumn tipple to treat yourself with. There’s live entertainment every night and once you’ve stepped inside it’ll be like nothing else exists in the world. Heaven. Open Thursday to Sunday from 6pm until late (very late Friday to Sunday). 
Location: 1142 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach 

Stylish Sips: Boutique Bars

Destino Wine Bar

If you’re dreaming of Mykonos, a trip to this Med-inspired venue should be on your list for holiday inspo. Channeling sundrenched Greek Islands with white washed walls and natural textures, Destino Wine Bar in Sanctuary Cove is a sublime spot to spend an afternoon sipping, socialising and grazing. With wines from around the world and artisinal cocktails that taste as good as they look, it’s one of northern Gold Coast’s most popular drinking spots. If you’re feeling hungry there’s a tasty array of share plates, charcuterie and cheeseboards to choose from.
Location: 4601 Masthead Way, Hope Island

north gold coast destino

The Gin Parlour

Housed in the creative precinct of Miami Marketta, The Gin Parlour is a feast for the senses. There are over 105 gins on the drinks list, and each bottle is beautifully showcased and backlit against the wall behind the bar. The rest of the space is equally appealing, with an eclectic vibe of rustic timber bar tables, sculptural pendant lights, polished concrete and vintage touches. Be sure to look up because the ceiling is a masterpiece. Order a cocktail or choose from the extensive list of local and international gin. Can’t decide? Opt for a gin tasting board, and if it’s not your drink of choice, there are plenty of other options including craft beer, vino and bubbles.
Where: 23 Hillcrest Pde, Miami Marketta

@PLAY Campaign Hero

Paloma Wine Bar

Take a stroll down James Street in buzzing Burleigh and pull up a stool in this stylish little venue that was voted Wine Bar of the Year by Gourmet Traveller in 2022. Understated and sophisticated, Paloma is the sibling venue to nearby Restaurant Labart making it the perfect choice for a pre or post dinner drink. The extensive wine list features Australian and international wines, and has been curated to encourage you to step outside your comfort zone. This is not the bar to order your usual drop - try something different and you won’t be disappointed. Freshly shaken cocktails are also available, and so are gourmet small plates should you desire some snacks. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
Where: 1/12 James St, Burleigh Heads


Elevated Experience: Rooftop Bars

Justin Lane 

If your kind of jam is spending evenings under the stars with a mouth-watering cocktail in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other, then add Justin Lane Rooftop Bar to your hit list – this joint knows how to throw a soiree and serve the perfect beverage with a laid-back setup, ocean views, killer menu and feel-good vibes.
Location: 1710 Gold Coast Hwy

The Island Rooftop

The Island Rooftop is the Gold Coast’s largest open air rooftop bar and boasts the best cocktails, eats, entertainment and good-times. Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise with views overlooking the CBD and the famous, it boasts an unrivalled atmosphere, offering a truly unique Gold Coast experience. Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday features entertainment ranging from tropical house to new and old-school funk grooves – wear your dancing shoes.
Location: 3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

The Island Rooftop Bar

Skyline Rooftop Bar

When cocktail o’clock stokes head upstairs from Waxy’s Irish Pub in Surfers Paradise to the Skyline Rooftop Bar. As the name suggests, it looks out over the city skyline and the atmospheric alfresco rooftop courtyard is strewn with twinkling fairy lights. It's a vibe once the sunsets and the city lights up.This elevated venue is a popular spot for sipping delicious cocktails, listening to live music and playing a game or two of pool.
Location: Level 1/ 3206 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Keen to discover more of Gold Coast's unique bar scene? We've got some of the best rooftop bars with sea breezes and stunning views. Discover them here.

Kirra Smith
Kirra Smith

An experienced Gold Coast writer and photographer, Kirra has called this sparkly city home for over 12 years. A lover of travel, good food and all things art and culture, she is passionate about telling the stories of the incredible people and businesses that make South East Queensland so beautiful.


Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. 
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.