Coast Beach Bar's upgraded Terrace is a winner, whatever the weather.
Coast Beach Bar's upgraded Terrace is a winner, whatever the weather.
If there’s one thing we love on the GC, it’s some good ol’ fashioned rooftop revelling. While we all love a good day spent soaking up the sunshine, sea breeze and million-dollar panoramic views… sometimes the weather has other plans.
Fortuitously (for those of us who fancy a spot of rooftop noshin’), Coast Beach Bar & Kitchen has sweetened the deal on one of Surfers’ most stunning vantages – unveiling a slick new all-weather look for its formerly open air Beach Bar Terrace.
Meaning we can now get amongst beachfront bottomless brunches and sip studded seafood and Steak Frites seshes – rain, hail or shine… Can we get a ‘hail yeah’?!
In the few short years since owners Justin and Elizabeth Allie threw open Coast’s doors, the beachfront beauty has earned itself quite the rep for delivering knockout nosh, sips and downright impressive views, inside and out. The only catch is the latter left the otherwise impeccable experience at the mercy of the elements.
After a few practical tweaks for the more casual of Coast’s two spaces, the Beach Bar Terrace now comes complete with all the mod-cons – namely, a state-of-the-art retractable roof and enhanced wind protection, because lbh, fielding windswept manes whilst dining is not a vibe.
In addition to the all-weather upgrade, the refurb also delivers a fresh, dedicated Terrace menu and a brand new kitchen for the oceanfront space – with a private dining room to capitalise on every square inch of that stunning shoreline to be revealed soon… we can hardly wait.
And with no chance of the weather raining on our parade, we can allow ourselves to commence drooling over the reimagined menu, which is tactically divided into ‘Beach Eats’, ‘Bar Bites’ and ‘Burgers’… plus ‘Fresh Seafood’, which we will begrudgingly include (because #yum) even though it kind of ruins the whole ‘b’ theme we had going there.
The plentiful pickings include everything from corn and jalapeño topped Fish Tacos, Fried Halloumi, and Crispy Buffalo & Blue Cheese Wings to set the tastebuds on fire. If you’re feeling a little more peckish, bacon stuffed Steak Sando’s, butter-laden Steak Frites served with skinny fries (oh the irony) and Bourbon BBQ Ribs are all up to the task.
If we haven’t already got your attention (and lbh, we have) the new and improved offering also includes live tunes every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with some irresistible mid-week eats specials to really seal the deal.
Seafood fans can get their fix sans splurge from 3–5pm every day, with half price oysters to slurp down alongside daily drink specials. Oh, and lovers of a boozy brunch aren’t forgotten, where every weekend $89 buys you two fanciful hours of food and bottomless beverages.
Yep, we’d say things are looking pretty darn watertight at the jazzed-up Coast Beach Bar Terrace. We suggest you throw caution to the wind and get on down as soon as practicable.
Where: Lvl 1 Meriton Hotel, 86 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
When: Tuesday & Wednesday 3pm–10pm, Thursday–Sunday 12pm–10pm
Friends, they’re the family we choose and worth their weight in gold. But LBR, don’t we all kinda fancy ourselves as the group authority on where to go for the best nosh, vibe and cocktail list? Well stick with us kids, we’ve got this!
Here are our tried and tested (on repeat) recommendations to elevate you to Queen Bee status. XOXO.
Anyone who’s someone is eating modern Vietnamese, and no-one does it better than Jimmy Wah’s. Named after Robyn Williams’ charismatic character in ‘Good Morning Vietnam’, it’s sure to get a thumbs up from your squad. If you really want to nail the dish recommendations, we suggest you handball this conundrum to the chef with the ‘Feed Me’ option. Choosing his top choices for 7 courses (plus a side), you’re guaranteed to please the posse.
Where: 1724 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Srsly, the mere mention of The Langham will have your mates nodding in approval. The bougee T’ang Court honours its Michelin-star sister restaurants specialising in fine Cantonese dining. Reflecting the timelessness of the Tang Dynasty, China’s golden age, score extra points for the epic cultural nod. The authentic Cantonese dishes are complemented by the high-end, contemporary fit-out. In the words of Nike, just do it.
Where: The Langham Gold Coast, 38 Old Burleigh Road, Surfers Paradise
Dripping in coastal-styled furnishings and high-quality on-fleek accents, COAST is the restaurant with the most! This spectacular $2.5 million-dollar venue adorning the first floor of the brand-new Ocean by Meriton is all about fine modern Australian shared cuisine, and breathtaking uninterrupted views of the big blue. Sink a margi with your gang at the 14m marble bar, a second one outside on the stunning terrace, and the next (several) with your designer dinner in the main dining room.
Where: Ocean by Meriton, 86 Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
Occupying arguably the most iconic turf on the Coast, Siblings packs wow-factor for days. This modern Aussie brunch and dinner hot spot at Kirra Beach Pavilions is dripping with 1950s Miami beach vibes from pillar to post. Beautifully styled with a colour palette and décor celebrating its glorious surroundings, a meal here should be on every Gold Coaster’s to do list. The food is on-point and there are 52 signature cocktails to enjoy with your chums. Nuff said.
Where: 15 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
When The Australian Good Food Guide awards you 14 points and two chef’s hats, you’ve officially arrived. With accolades like this, your fancy friends will be all over it like Pro Hart on a Stainmaster commercial. Situated in the stunning HOTA Gallery, Palette takes inspiration from artworks on display and major exhibitions to show just how naturally art and food blends. Fresh ingredients sourced locally where possible create a showstopping modern Australian menu guaranteed to woo.
Where: HOTA, Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
There just aren’t enough stars for this Burleigh blockbuster. Another modern Australian restaurant to dine for, it is fine dining at its, well, finest. The work of passionate husband and wife team Alex and Karla Munoz Labart, Labart offers a seasonal, share-style menu made with only the best produce and a sustainable wine list to match. The earthy, refined and understated interior creates a warm and welcoming ambience, providing the perfect setting for an intimate meal with friends.
Where: 8 West Street, Burleigh Heads
Focusing on fresh, locally sourced produce with the intention to share, soz but we don’t want to #TooGood. At one with the ocean, the infamous Rick Shores overlooks beautiful Burleigh and serves up some of the very best eats in town. With awards up the wazoo, it’s a sure thing when you want to impress. Speaking of, insist your mates order the Fried Moreton Bay Bug Roll and don’t be surprised when they weep tears of joy. Wash them down with a few of Rick’s cocktails and this is not the time to volunteer for DD duty. Happy days.
Where: 43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
The Glenelg Public House
If your peeps are fangirling/fanboying over perfectly cooked, juicy steaks of the highest quality (paired with the tastiest sides to level up the yum factor), look no further than Glenelg Public House in Mermaid Beach. The vibe of the low-lit space is relaxed and welcoming, encouraging you and your crew to settle in – with a glass of red in hand of course – for the long haul. May we recommend the banquet for a well-rounded, standing-ovation-worthy nosh-up. You’re welcome.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
The North Room
An intimate little beauty tucked away in Mermaid Beach, The North Room is the ultimate pocket rocket. Seating a maximum of 20 people, you feel extra spesh with super attentive service and food that embodies the ‘ole ‘you eat with your eyes’ adage. The seasonal menu encourages you to try something new each visit, with a focus on fresh, ever-changing dishes crafted from the highest quality produce. Add a sophisticated fit-out and Mind = Blown vibes are a given.
Where: 2527 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach (between Ventura Road and Cronulla Avenue)
Words by Bianca Trathen.
If Queensland weather doesn’t shout rooftop bars at you in a high-pitched squeal, we don’t know what will. Our climate, coupled with the amazing hospitality scene here in our city, means these open-air meccas of good times and delicious libations are the prime place to find yourself — any time of the year! It’s all about drinks in the sunshine and snapping selfies with picturesque backgrounds for Insta-bragging purposes.
So, in honour of bars in high places, here are 11 next-level rooftop bars you should make it a priority to visit this weekend — and next weekend, and the weekend after…
The Exhibitionist Bar
When HOTA opened its brand new state of the art gallery building last year (the biggest outside a capital city, by the way), we all knew the art scene was about to go up a level or two. What we didn’t realise was that a sublimely positioned rooftop bar was a part of the deal also. The highly talented Tom Angel heads up a bar and creative cocktail list, which is a seriously good spot for a sundowner — and the ideal place to take out of towners!
Where: Level 5/135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise
Glitzy, glamorous, and generally a wonderful time all around, Tropic Vice was the rooftop bar Nobby Beach was yearning for, and it came to fruition in 2021. The ideal spot for a weekend catch up, a mid-week cheeky cocktail, or an epic bottomless brunch every Sunday. Do yourself a favour: find yourself here sipping a cocktail whilst drinking in the gorgeous hinterland view.
Where: 2215 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
The Island Rooftop
Find the Gold Coast’s largest open air and much-loved rooftop bar perched on top of the The Island 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 the epic weekend Grazy Days lunch or just to feel like you’re on Island time.
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise
Nineteen at The Star
The fanciest of the bunch is undoubtedly Nineteen at The Star, complete with velvet booth-style seating, an infinity pool and ocean views for days. Found atop the The Star Gold Coast’s The Darling, Nineteen is the perfect place for people-watching, dressing up and sipping on fancy tipples while dancing the night away. Oh and be sure to take a snap on the runway that stretches out in the pool!
Where: The Darling, Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach
The Palm Beach 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 into Frida Sol.
Where: 1176 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
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. There is a generous menu full of pizzas, tapas and charcuterie boards and this, folks, is the reason we love rooftop bars. Plus cocktails and local tipples, of which there are many at Mr PP’s. Live music on Sundays too.
Where: 43 Nerang St, Southport
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 sunset over the ocean while you’re at it. We HIGHLY recommend.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
A much-loved favourite and the Gold Coast’s first official rooftop bar, Justin Lane is still one of the most popular rooftop’s since it’s opening in 2011. 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
Last Night on Earth
Pretty 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’s Last Night on Earth but a good intro nonetheless. Last Night on Earth is the work of local legend Arran Wollams and his crew; 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
Moxy’s Rooftop Bar
This rooftop bar located down in southerly Coolangatta has beautiful glimpses of the ocean, lots of live music and an impressive cocktail menu that’ll keep you coming back for more. Whilst they may not do eats, you can order from the Mexican joint downstairs, and we’re fairly sure there’s nothing that pairs better than bulk cocktails and tacos. Always lively and worth the trip down the Coast.
Where: 2/152 Griffith St, Coolangatta
Aviary Rooftop Bar
Perched atop Mantra on Sharks, Aviary Rooftop Bar’s views are as stunning as their extensive drinks list. With 180 degree views over the Surfers Paradise skyline and the ocean, it’s the perfect place for an after work beverage or Sunday arvo session with the crew. Ohh and don’t even get us started on their authentic Italian pizza’s, and tapas… if you know, you know.
Where: Mantra at Sharks, Melia Ct, Southport (next to Southport Sharks)
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
There’s never not something epic brewing on the GC, and an ever-growing proliferation of stellar bars and distilleries is certainly no exception. Whether you’re partial to sampling amber ales, small batch gins or wine by the carafe (or glass… or bottle…) the mere thought of attempting to work our way through the bountiful selection of brand spanking new sipperies we gained in 2023 is alone enough to get the head spinning.
As is custom, we’ve done the leg work tracking down the most froth-worthy watering holes we’ve welcomed to the fold in the last year. While it’s by no means definitive (cripes, can you imagine the dehydration if we tried) – consider it your handy cheat sheet to keep apprised with the newest players keeping us plied with the good stuff.
Marilyn’s Diner & Bar, a ’70s-inspired gem curated by Alex Marks, Rupert Critchley, Brad Morgan, and Johnny Rogers – brings sophisticated sips, American-style burgers, and a boatload of swagger to Broadbeach in the form of an intimate, 50 pax watering hole. The nostalgic, pastel fit-out is backed by eclectic tunes and crafted cocktails served in funky retro glassware. It’s the go-to spot for chic vibes and refined flavours in Broadbeach.
Where: 10/90 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
Spearheaded by Bella & Euan Lovell, Happy Endings emerges in Broadbeach as late-night sip spot taking inspiration from the success of neighbouring big sib, Fig + Frankie’s. The duo’s second, Asian-style bar, exudes Tokyo cool with an intimate, moody vibe – with Japanese inspiration also evident in the architectural selections and menu. Curated by experienced hands from renowned kitchens such as Moo Moo’s, Paddock and Elk – delectable dishes like Lotus Root with nori sesame mayo and Yakitori are served alongside inventive cocktails. The Tokyo Drift, made with wasabi-infused mezcal, melon liqueur + pineapple oleo, is a definite must-try.
Where: Level 1, 2707 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
A collaboration between brewers Brett McCallum and John Green, The Yard made its grand entrance as a beer garden go-to for the Southern GC, reviving the beloved former site of Alfred’s beach shack. True to the casual, café-meets-brewpub atmosphere, the short but sweet menu delivers classic, comfort foods best enjoyed alongside a frosty beer – such as pizzas, pulled pork burgers and ribs. Packed with local surf culture nods, funky murals, and plenty of charm – it’s the perfect spot to kick back under a brolly and sink a few frothies in the sun.
Where: 2389 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Still & Barrel
Still & Barrel is a new player amid Tweed’s nightlife scene – a speakeasy-style bar nestled in the heart of Twin Towns. Channelling all the drama of a bond film, the moody, modern interior is home to a hefty collection of rare spirits and top shelf single malts to win the affections of whisky aficionados. Gourmet grazing boards are served along with the specialty liquor selection, while live tunes courtesy of local crooners also frequent fixture. A prohibition-vibing hidden gem equally fit for catching a casual drink or a stylish soirée.
Where: Twin Towns, 2 Wharf St, Tweed Heads
Replacing Split and Fat Pig site in 2021, owner Jimmy Tantsis-Hall‘s original iteration of Tropic Vice first burst onto the Nobby Beach scene packed with Miami-meets-Palm-Springs vibes and a knockout, open-air rooftop vantage – one which unfortunately left it at the mercy of the elements. The reimagined Tropic Vice 2.0 brings all that, and then some – including a slightly more refined look and a much more practical, all-weather pavilion. Summery cocktails are served alongside light bites such as sliders, ceviche, tacos and bug rolls – a sizzling hot little sip spot indeed.
Where: 2215 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Levelling up suburb’s the somewhat sparse waterfront offering, Southport Pavilion brings Euro summer to the Nerang River with a spacious 300-seat, multi-level venue. Cabanas, picnic tables and beach brolly’s are plentiful on the sprawling sundecks – the perfect spot to perch up with a crafted cocktail and laid-back bites such as Wings, Halloumi fries or perhaps share in a luxe Seafood platter. It’s officially a whole new (elevated) era of sunset sips for Southport and surrounds.
Where: 2 Barney Street, Southport
Walk-ins Welcome, a fresh and funky bar by local tattoo artist, Sean Henry, signifies a very welcome addition to the somewhat watering-hole-challenged locale of Chirn Park. Oozing retro vibes inspired by his tattoo studio, the vibrant spot is stocked primarily with locally sourced craft beers and spirits, and a lively cocktail selection to boot. For fans of a punchy elixir, the Chilli Cherry Pow, made with Wildflower Gin, Luxardo Cherry Liqueur and Rose Lemonade, is a do not miss.
Where: 3a/37 Musgrave Avenue, Southport
Brought to us by the masterminds behind Black Hops Brewing – Burleigh newcomer, Haven, is the slightly edgier and more upscale sib to the more casual, brew-haus style offering we’ve come to know from this crafty crew. The chic, industrial style space offers a tapas-inspired menu, including munch-worthy morsels like Jamon & cheddar croquettes and Maple-infused pork belly with. Beyond their famed brews, Haven also offers crafted, classic cocktails like the Paloma and Southside. A sleek, grown-up.. dare we say, Haven – for both beer enthusiasts and cocktail lovers alike. Cheers!
Where: 4 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads
A familiar fixture for fromage fans, Mermaid’s Cheese Me Baby now also moonlights as Bar Pincho after dark – as owners Chelsea Clarke and Joseph Greene serve up wine, cocktails, and tapas throughout summer. From 4pm, Thursday to Saturday, the quaint spot assumes a Basque Country pinxto bar persona – with a hand-picked wine list and tantalizing small bites like house-marinated Boquerones and an assortment of exotic cheeses. Cocktail contenders such as the Gilda Martini and coffee rum based Cafemocho are also on hand for those who prefer their libations shaken and/or stirred.
Where: The Pod, 2375 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Lagoon Beach Club
Unveiling its jaw-dropping new upgrade, Lagoon Beach Club is the $2.5 million jewel in InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort’s crown. The first venue of its kind on the GC, the sprawling poolside oasis includes an expansive deck, cabanas – and most excitingly – locals can get in on the action too, with the amenities available to all. Partake in tantalising tropical cocktails, seafood, share plates, and gourmet pizzas, and soak up a side of holiday vibes by the pool with a Resort Pass for just $30 per person. For best results? The Chilli Sunset house cocktail, made with White Oat mango chilli gin, Aperol, pineapple juice, and passionfruit pulp is sure to seal the deal.
Where: InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, Sanctuary Cove, Manor Circle, Hope Island
Tank Beer Bar
A take on Nobby Beach big sis, Bine Bar & Dining, founders Scott Imlach and Simone Tunbridge welcomed their latest venture, Tank Beer Bar. On what we can only assume is their quest to conquer all the coolest suburbs on the GC, the local restauranteur royals revealed two thirst quenching levels of craft beer, cider, wine and cocktail selections to the pumpin’ locale of Palm Beach. Backdropped by surf views on the upper level, the breezy beachy bar assuages the appetites of patrons with tasty beer fare like Crispy Chicken Karaage and Texas Brisket Burgers.
Where: 1166 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Owned by Chris Macklin and Teagan Peake, Six-Tricks Distilling Co. is the slick new distillery shaking up Mermaid’s sip scene. Complete with a cool two million dollar price tag, the-state-of-the-art facility comes bearing a spacious indoor bar, a sunset deck and a dedicated barrel aging warehouse, along with some #mustsip artisan liquors. With the venue focusing on an innovative approach to the fundamental six spirits, the mouthwatering mixology selection includes creations such as the Mango & Rooibos Sour and Melon & Lime Highball, under head bartender James’ expert eye.
Where: 3 Brightlands Court, Mermaid Waters
Le Blancs Wine Bar
Founded by Gavin White of Backbone Bar and Kitchen fame, Le Blancs Wine Bar is one of the newest sip spots to join Tugun’s ranks. Studded with velvet seating and plush leather lounges, the cosy 50 seater offers chic indoor and outdoor options to settle in with a selection of crafted, classic cocktails and international vino’s. Complementing the wine list is a plentiful selection of sip complementing snacks like Luxury cheeses, dips Charcuterie Boards, Paté Terrine to pair perfectly with your refreshment of choice. Swing by Friday–Sunday arvos and consider those thirsts quenched.
Where: 10/489 Gold Coast Highway, Tugun
A brand new winery experience based in Southport, Carafe Wine champions exquisite Australian wine with a sustainable twist. Owned by industry vet Archie Cox, it’s an eco-conscious space offering top-notch wine from all the most renowned vino regions and zero-waste practices. With room for 100 guests, the spacious, industrial-style venue offers wine classes, workshops, and a unique menu of sharing boards, wine on tap, and brandy inspired cocktails. Well worth the visit for casual appreciators and discerning aficionados alike.
Where: 49 Johnston Street, Southport
A testament to the rise and rise of tasty, low-alc alternatives to a traditional brewski – Sobah Beverage launched Australia’s first non-alcoholic craft beer brewery, Sobah Brewery & Cafe in Burleigh. Owned by trail blazers Clinton Schultz and Lozen McDiarmid, the multi-million dollar, first-of-its-kind 650-sqm facility is a refreshing change of pace in more ways than one – blending non-alcoholic brews with native Australian ingredients and an industrial-luxe vibe. The home-grown focus continues throughout, with signature dishes like the Crocodile Burger and Black Wattle Hot Smoked Kangaroo Fillet, to complement the bush-tucker-infused craft beers.
Where: Unit 1, 314 Burleigh Connection Road, Burleigh Heads
Currumbin Valley Brewing
The handiwork of local brewers Pete “Smokey” Wheldon and Luke Ronalds, Currumbin Valley Brewing is the latest to join the creekside locale’s surging collection of watering holes. Kitted out with a 10hL Rolec copper cladded brew house, the new taproom and brewery was a facility several years in the making, with a little help from the local community to get it over the line. Known for unexpected and inventive brews like Grape Bubblegum Sour Ale, the new venue offers 16 beers on-tap, poppas for the ankle biters and a gourmet menu of boujee bar bites such as the Confit Lamb Shoulder Burger.
Where: 27 Traders Way, Currumbin Waters
Beech Mountain Distillery
Borrowing some real estate from neighbouring BFF, Pink Galah restaurant, Beech Mountain Gins expanded their offering – unveiling a brand new bar and tasting booths dedicated to their bespoke spirits. Julian Hoyle and Clyde Watts are the dynamic distilling duo known for churning out award winning small batch creations – such as the Siberian Route Gin, and Strawberry Gum Eucalyptus Olida Gin – winning silver and bronze respectively at the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards. With a stellar spirt selection, and prohibition style, old-world tavern vibes surrounded by lush, mountain surrounds, Beech Mountain Distillery is a must visit.
Where: 707 Beechmont Road Lower, Beechmont
Words by Kellie Leader.