Rooftop bars are without a doubt the flavour of the year with plenty of newbies popping up across the Gold Coast.
Makes sense because we locals are all about sipping drinks in the sunshine and snapping selfies with picturesque backgrounds for Insta-bragging purposes.
So, in honour of bars in high places, here are 12 next-level (haha) rooftop bars you should make it a priority to visit next weekend (most of which have ocean views as it happens).
Gotham Grill & Rooftop Bar
New York-style sophistication made its mark on Runaway Bay earlier this year with the long-awaited opening of Gotham Grill & Rooftop Bar. The space is home to two distinct venues, with the rooftop bar featuring a wrap around verandah and beautiful views of the Broadwater. Head up there for pizzas, pasta, burgers and the best cocktails around.
Where: 6 Bayview Street, Runaway Bay
Aviary Rooftop Bar
The baby of the rooftop gang, Aviary Rooftop Bar opened atop Mantra on Sharks recently meaning Southport is home to not one, but two, open air establishments. With 180 degree views over the Surfers Paradise skyline and the ocean right behind that, it’s the perfect place for an after work beverage or Sunday arvo session with the crew. There’s wood-fired pizza, tapas and activated charcoal cocktails (among others).
Where: Mantra at Sharks, Melia Court, Southport (next to Southport Sharks)
Mr PP’s Deli & Rooftop Bar
A game-changer in Southport’s food and beverage scene was Mr PP’s, a deli and rooftop bar boasting city views and plenty of good vibes in the century-old postal building. Again there are pizzas, tapas and charcuterie boards and this folks, is the reason we love rooftop bars. Plus cocktails and local tipples obviously, of which there are many at Mr PP’s. Live music on Sundays too. Happy days.
Where: 43 Nerang Street, Southport
Last Night on Earth
Fairly sure that if it were in fact your last night on Earth, you would want to spend it at a sweet rooftop bar with bulk cocktails at the ready. Which maybe isn’t the point of Southport newbie Last Night on Earth but a good intro nonetheless (weird word that one). Last Night on Earth is the work of local legend Arran Wollams and his crew and it’s a somewhat underworld themed rooftop bar in the heart of Southport offering good times aplenty. It’s a dive bar but not as you know it. Check it out.
Where: 50b Nerang St, Southport
The Island Rooftop
Find the Gold Coast’s first and much-loved rooftop bar perched on top of the Island Resort in Surfers Paradise. The Island Rooftop is part nightclub, part bar, part live music venue and all the parts are a fun time no matter the day of the week. Head there for an Island Colada in paradise.
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
nineteen at The Star
The fanciest of the bunch is certainly nineteen at The Star, complete with velvet booth-style seating, an infinity pool and ocean views for days. Found in the brand new (deluxe) addition to The Star Gold Coast, The Darling, nineteen is the perfect place for people watching, dressing up and sipping on fancy tipples while dancing the night away.
Where: The Darling, Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach
New kid on the block Loki took over the space where Hellenika once lived and a month or so on, it’s a firm favourite amongst locals. Found on the top level of the restaurant, the Mediterranean-inspired rooftop bar is reminiscent of a European summer with yellow striped umbrellas and perfect for afternoon cocktails in the sun. You can nibble on bar menu eats while you’re up there, living the dream.
Where: 2235 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
A much-loved favourite, Justin Lane was the southern Gold Coast’s first rooftop and to this day, is packed with revelers every night. The space is intimate with booth-style seating overlooking Burleigh and plenty of cocktails to tickle your fancy. Downstairs is all the delicious pizza you could possibly need so fill up on that, then head upstairs to mingle with the gang.
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
The Palmy Mexi restaurant doubles as a rooftop bar with views out to the ocean and lots of salty ocean breezes. The eats are fresh and flavoursome and there’s many a margarita on the list to soothe that sweltering summer humidity we’re currently experiencing. Get in to Frida Sol.
Where: 1176 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
Wildernis Café & Rooftop
Another Palmy good time is Wildernis Café & Rooftop Bar, again overlooking the ocean and with plenty of delicious options to indulge in. Big sister to Wildernis Café downstairs, the rooftop bar was a 2017 addition to the space that was instantly loved by locals and visitors alike. It’s bright, open and, with a retractable roof, can be enjoyed any time of the day or night.
Where: 1166 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
Everyone’s favourite multi-restaurant establishment, The Collective also boasts a sweet rooftop bar with some epic cocktails for your sipping pleasure. You can also order eats from one of the five menus on offer and watch the sun set over the ocean while you’re at it. HIGHLY recommend.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
Moxy’s Rooftop Bar
The latest of the bunch is Moxy’s, a rooftop bar down Coolangatta way with ocean views, lots of live music and an impressive cocktail menu that’ll keep you coming back for more. It’s a small bar so they don’t do eats but you can order from the Mexican joint downstairs and we’re fairly sure there’s nothing that pairs better than bulks cocktails and tacos. Good times.
Where: 2/152 Griffith St, Coolangatta
Words by Kirra Smith