There’s a great bar to suit every taste in Surfers Paradise, the pulsing heart of the Gold Coast’s nightlife. Check out our list of the top 10 bars in Surfers, where you’re sure to find your own personal paradise in Australia.
elsewhere Bar is a cultural sanctuary on bustling Cavill Avenue, born from a disused storage room in 2003. An extraordinarily versatile venue, elsewhere hosts a regular line-up of live music. This music covers an eclectic range of musical genres with both artists and DJs performing in tandem or collaborating on sets. The decor and interior design are constantly evolving off the initial retro industrial base. The space has expanded in recent years to include a ‘pennylane’ alfresco area, where guests can socialize under the stars. This bar’s mission is to tirelessly support local designers, artists, and universities. This creative streak is evident behind the bar as well. Try one of the bar team’s creations, such as the espresso martini and the refreshing apricot gin fizz.
Bar, Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, Beer, Wine
Fix Bar at Hilton Surfers Paradise is a classy vintage establishment fit for a glam night out on the Gold Coast. The bar takes its name from a classic 1930s cocktail. A certain jazz age spirit pervades the venue, from the plush lounge chairs to the carefully chosen glassware. This ambience attracts a noticeably more refined clientele, as opposed to college kids looking for cheap shots and Top 40 hits on the dance floor. That’s not to say that Fix Bar is stuffy and lacking in playfulness. For example, a group of patrons can loosen up by diving into the popular Nitro Punch – a naughty blend of vodka, ciders and juices served in a vintage punchbowl. There’s also the tasty Surfers Sling, a mix of citrus vodka, blue curacao, fresh citrus and homemade lemonade. It is served in a tall colorfully garnished glass to show off its oceanic hue. Bar snacks come courtesy of celebrity chef Luke Mangan, whose own in-house hotel restaurant, Salt Grill, resides just across the corridor.
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Pigs and Pints at Chevron Island has mastered a triple threat that’s hard to pass up: pork, craft beer, and slider sandwiches. Beers on tap come from Burleigh Brewing Co., as well as Vale Ale, Doss Blockos and Monteith’s Bitter. That’s not to mention there’s a fine array of other Australian and New Zealand boutique beers. Head mixologist Oliver Bradley creates eccentric cocktail concoctions by infusing each drink with delicious ingredients. He dehydrates his fruit for a tasty and unexpected twist. His surprising yet tantalizing drink lists include the Poppin Corn, which tastes like caramel-coated popcorn in a cup. There’s also the Pig N Cider: a brain-bending combination of the house’s own bacon-washed vodka, ginger liqueur, lemon, chamomile tea syrup and apple cider.
Stingray mixes industrial chic with retro pop art and decor, resulting in a distinctly Californian vibe. The impressive cocktail list revolves around the bar’s equally impressive selection of 50 tequila varieties. These are perfect for pairing with Mexican-inspired menu items like the slow spit-roasted Cuban pork belly tacos. For something truly refreshing, try the devilishly good Watermelon and Cucumber Caipirinha (with Leblon Cachaca, watermelon juice, sugar, lime, and cucumber). For something sweet, the Vanilla Passionfruit Pisco Sour (with passionfruit infused Santiago Queirolo Pisco, lime, sugar, egg white, vanilla essence, and Peychaud bitters). Alternatively, for something spicy, resurrect yourself with the Day of the Dead (Cazadores Blanco infused with red chili, lime, mango agave, habanero shrub, and a mini chili). They also offer a full set of Skinny cocktails, made with a healthy dose of low-calorie agave nectar.
One50 Public House serves as a little slice of NYC in Surfers Paradise. This waterfront Gold Coast warehouse is mocked up to resemble a classic east coast watering hole. It is complete with live music most nights and a dedicated team of cocktail makers who can whip up a classic Cosmopolitan or Manhattan in a New York minute. You’ll also find an extensive list of craft and imported beers, ciders, spirits, and an award-winning wine list. The establishment also has a 70-seat gastropub, a lounge bar and an upstairs venue for larger private functions. Outside, there’s a large mural on the streetside wall of the venue created by artist Michael Perry.
Since 1925, the Surfers Paradise Beer Garden has stood undisputed as one of the best live music venues in the country. In 2009, the venue underwent an extensive multi-million dollar refurbishment. This was to bring the Beer Garden into the new millennium, while continuing its proud tradition of supporting live and loud local Australian and international acts. Its 23-meter-long wooden bar hosts a veritable beer library, ranging from local ales to international bottles. The signature house cocktail you absolutely must try is the Beergarden Bliss – vodka, paraiso, chambord and muddled lime with dashed lemonade.
A Gold Coast icon since 1984 and the true geographic centre of Surfers Paradise, The Avenue Restaurant and Saloon is the de facto meeting point for most local residents. It is a nightlife hotspot for out-of-towners. Famous for their instrumental role in shaping Surfers’ live music scene, The Avenue is also a hit among locals for its dedication to screening most major sporting events live across 16 large plasma TV screens. To match that number you’ll find a draft list of 16 craft and microbrew beers. This includes pale ales from local names like Little Creatures, James Squire and Tooheys. Cocktail lovers will find a timeless selection here, from smooth Old Fashioneds to sweet Cosmos and Daiquiris.
The Clock Hotel is not a hotel at all, but an entertainment nexus in the heart of Surfers Paradise comprised of three bars in three separate stories, each offering a distinct atmosphere. The Sports Bar is located on the basement level, a dedicated TAB and gaming area offering 10 plasma TVs for catching all the major sporting events. Up one floor is the Street Bar, a lazy afternoon hangout ideal for groups of friends looking to lounge and catch up. Amid modern decor in a warm color palette of olive, gold, tan and brown, patrons here are seated at large, timber counter-style six-top tables. Or, they can keep it casual and grab a stool at the bar. Finally, the lounge bar on the balcony level is a romantic roost for sunset beers and cocktails. The lounge’s moody, intimate atmosphere carries a clear Asian undercurrent in its design, from the blossom-patterned wallpaper to the gold-detailed timber trims and back-lit onyx marble bars. Slide into one of their booth seats with velvet drapes for a wonderfully plush, private date space.
Ride one of the world’s fastest elevators to the 77th floor of the Q1 Building, the world’s tallest residential building. Here, there’s a sleek and chic watering hole – the Skypoint Observation Deck. The refined venue is all glass and silver with state-of-the-art furnishings, and a smart dress code to match. The ticket entry cost is high compared to other Surfers Paradise drinking establishments, particularly when the venue closes at a respectable 12am. However, the refined atmosphere, stunning views, and weekend DJ and live music entertainment make for a compelling package.