The Winner: The Scottish Prince, Palm Beach
This nautical-themed whisk(e)y bar has been attracting sippers in droves since it first joined Palmy’s bar and dining scene at the pointy end of 2017. While it’s armed with a stash of around 200-plus whiskies, The Scottish Prince is far more than just a spot to sip a dram – there’s a stellar cocktail collection, a delicious food offering and a killer line-up of live blues music, making it a worthy recipient of the city’s best bar.
Runner-Up: Mr PP’s Rooftop Bar & Deli, Southport
Well known for its top-notch cocktails and fine selection of spirits, Mr PP’s has earned its spot as one of the coast’s best watering holes. You can soak up the sunshine with a beer in hand by day, or enjoy a night under the festoon lights sipping martinis and negronis while nibbling charcuterie and cheese until late.
Runner-Up: Bar Hellenika, Nobby Beach
Basking in the sunshine, a Mythos beer in one hand and zucchini chips in the other – it might not be Greece but this is as close as you’ll get. Hellenika’s own rooftop bar is well-equipped with cocktails, spirits, beer and an extensive selection of wines. Its laid-back vibe makes for a popular sipping spot for locals.
The Cambus Wallace, Nobby Beach
From the same owners of the Best Bar winner The Scottish Prince, The Cambus Wallace delivers a similar moody vibe and nautical aesthetic in the heart of Nobby Beach. The cavernous bar is known for its rum and whisky – and its also home to one of the city’s best cocktail lists.
Lockwood, Burleigh Heads
Keen for cocktails? Curious about whisky? This dimly lit laneway speakeasy is where you want to be. Pull up a seat at the bar, tell them what you like (and don’t like) and be taken on a journey with both classics concoctions and intriguing creations.
Eddie’s Grub House, Coolangatta
This gritty southern dive bar is a moody haven for local whisky lovers and burger fiends. Swing in for a feed and stay for sips until the wee hours. You’ll find plenty of local beers, American whiskey, fun cocktails, karaoke nights, jam sessions and good times all ’round.
Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
While known for its pizzas, Justin Lane’s rooftop bar is ideal for day drinks and evening tipples. There’s a top-notch wine list to explore dotted with natural and minimal-intervention varieties, while those partial to a cocktail (or two) can sip their way through colourful concoctions. Our pick? The classic house negroni on Brookie’s Gin.
Aviary Rooftop Bar, Southport
From cocktails to gin, whisky, rum and tequila, Aviary boasts a significant offering of sips – which are all enjoyed with skyline and hinterland views. The cocktail list has a lean toward native Australian ingredients and is well worth exploring – think Gold Coast-made honey, macadamia-nut orgeat, and elixirs engulfed in Australian Red Gum smoke.
Roosevelt Lounge, Broadbeach
With a gold-trimmed bar, shiny leather chesterfield lounges, intimate booths, elaborate candelabras, glistening chandeliers and red-velvet stools, Roosevelt’s luxe fit-out sets the scene for a sophisticated night out. You’ll find an extensive offering of cocktails, spirits and quality wine, along with weekly live music (including saxophone nights!).
Garden Kitchen & Bar, Broadbeach
Whether you’re after a spot to soak up the heat of the day with a beer in hand, a breezy hang for afternoon cocktails or an after-dark night cap (or two), Garden Bar has you covered. The expansive venue sprawls out onto a lush green lawn that’s dotted with picnic tables and deck chairs, with live music and tasty eats on the side.
Best New Bar
This true-blue Australiana bar has quickly generated a hefty following of locals since its opening in January 2019. The Rosella’s team slings a fun series of cocktails on the daily, underscored by a top-notch list of natural and minimum-intervention wines. Start with a tin of Fosters, chase it with the Pet-Nat Slush Puppy, then fuel up with a cheese and Vegemite jaffle.
Runner-Up: Burleigh Pavilion
If there was an award for ‘bar with the best view’, we’re pretty sure The Pav would take top gong. Open from midday daily, it’s the perfect spot for beers and bites in the sunshine while watching the waves roll in just metres from your seat. There’s also extensive wine and cocktail lists to work your way through.
Runner-Up: Granddad Jack’s
This small-batch gin and whisky distillery operates its tasting room from 3:00 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There’s live music, gin and whisky-based cocktails on pour from its bar, as well as house-brewed beer fresh from the tap. Like what you sip? Grab your favourite gins and whiskies to take home!