NAÂMi, Burleigh Heads: Inspired by the bustling backstreets of Vietnam and disguised as an unassuming takeaway restaurant of the same ilk, this immersive speakeasy is well worth seeking out. Take a seat at the bar (if you’re lucky) and watch as the masterful bartenders put on a show to create cocktails that are not only clever, but delicious. Hot tip, try the NAÂMi No.5.
Aloha Bar & Dining, Broadbeach: Get your tropical fix without whipping out your passport at this bonafide Broadbeach gem. The hidden tiki bar is tucked down a nondescript laneway and feels like stepping into the retro luau of your dreams. We’re talking cocktails in pineapples, delicious bites and good old-fashioned weekly events like musical bingo.
La Bella Cellar, Burleigh Heads: For a selection of quality wine and cheese (and Italian bites!), La Bella Cellar is where it’s at. With only some eye-catching printed terracotta tiles, two tiny initials hovering overhead and olive tree by a doorway, it’s entirely possible you could wander past the Burleigh bolthole none the wiser. Venture inside and you’ll discover a small but mighty wine cellar from which you can select your drop, before indulging in a selection of cheeses, small plates, and a scattering of perfectly crisp pizzas loaded with top-notch Italian toppings to munch on.Iku Yakitori Bar, Burleigh Heads: Hidden behind a pair of curtains, Iku Yakitori Bar is a traditional Japanese-style eatery and bar, specialising in whisky and omakase. Whether you’re in the mood for a nightcap or a fanciful Japanese-inspired feast, Iku is an excellent choice.
Suga, Palm Beach: Clad in recycled timber and without a sign, it’s easy to miss Palm Beach speakeasy Suga – although we recommend seeking it out. The sustainable bar is intimate and welcoming, with a focus on small-batch distillers and a tastebud-tingling array of cocktails. Rum not your spirit of choice? There’s also a fine selection of gins, whiskies, tequilas, craft beers and flavoured vodka to sip.
Hidden Cherub, Miami: Wander past the peach-hued and vine-covered Heartfill store in Miami and you’ll find Hidden Cherub. As the name would suggest, the bar is tucked away but worth finding – with a killer happy hour including margaritas and beers on tap, it is the perfect afternoon session spot. The warehouse-inspired space is adorned with pops of neon and greenery and has a casual vibe. The bar is equipped with local craft beer on tap and in the fridge as well as a tight list of wines and a fun collection of cocktails. Plot twist – the food menu is entirely plant-based! Oh, did we mention Hidden Cherub also hosts some of the city’s hottest DJs every Saturday night? Well, they do! Veladora, Broadbeach: As a rule, if there’s tequila and mezcal, you’ll find us here. Keep your peepers peeled for a red palm tree at the entrance of The Star Gold Coast, and it’s your first indication you’ve come to the right place. Text the phone number on the tree and you’ll be granted access. This speakeasy’s specialty is the Mexican spirit and boasts an impressive selection of tequila-based cocktails alongside a scattering of Mexican beers and wines by the glass or bottle. If you’re feeling adventurous then peruse the bar snack menu, which includes squid-ink popcorn, black guacamole and spiced salsa or peanut and cricket (yes, cricket) trail mix with chilli and lime.
Nightjar, Burleigh Heads: The back alleys of Burleigh are a veritable hub of hidden bars, and Nightjar’s locale is no exception. Flanked by carparks and illuminated by a neon sign (some would say, a glimmering icon of a big night ahead), the Burleigh Heads bar is laidback, industrial and dimly-lit – perfect for those who prefer grunge over glamour. With $5 wine and beer from 4:00–6:00 pm and an array of spirits on offer, Nightjar is an unmissable stop for those keen to get the party started.
The Cambus Wallace, Nobby Beach: Again, not exactly ‘hidden’ however it would be remiss of us not to include this old faithful. Legend has it that the cargo of the Scottish Cambus Wallace, that shipwrecked off Stradbroke Island in the late 1800s, was the reason the island is in two parts now. Dynamite was its cargo, dangerous waters was its downfall. Salty tales like this are plentiful at the old-world Nordic rum bar – its own cargo spanning sixty rums and forty whiskies. On taps is its own craft ale, along with a rotation of other local craft beers. Sailors be warned, time is sucked into the abyss behind the timber doors of The Cambus Wallace – is it 5:00 pm or midnight? Who knows?! If you love The Cambus Wallace, be sure to check out its sister venue The Scottish Prince in Palm Beach.
Fig & Frankie’s, Broadbeach: Okay, so not technically ‘hidden’ but any excuse to visit Fig & Frankie’s is quite alright by us. Nestled in the laneway that links Cha Cha Japanese to Main Place at the back of The Phoenician (note: if you get lost, walk to Cha Cha and look slightly left – it’s down that alleyway). Here you’ll find quality cocktails and refined bar snacks, as well as a concise list of wine and local beers.
Lockwood, Burleigh Heads: Tucked out of sight along Justin’s Lane, Lockwood is a speakeasy that celebrates top-shelf tipples, especially whiskies. There are around 140 different bottles of spirits that have been hand-selected and placed behind the Lockwood’s impressive cement-topped, timber-clad bar, meaning that there’s always something new to discover.
Taboo Tiki, Surfers Paradise: Nestled in the midst of bustling Orchid Avenue in Surfers Paradise, just up from House of Brews and Hollywood, lies a hidden laneway – but this is the type of hidden laneway that you’ll actually want to walk down. When you spot the festoon lights and the neon tiki-head sign, you’ll know you’ve arrived at Taboo Tiki. From the same team behind Aloha Bar & Dining, the Surfers space boasts a similar tropical and tiki-esque vibe to its Broadbeach sibling. Taboo Tiki specialises in rum, and also serves a series of rum-based tropical-style cocktails. You’ll also find beers on tap and a selection of other spirits on pour, including small-batch Australian gins.