What comes to mind when you think of the humble Piña Colada? Tropical getaways lazing by a pool with a balmy sea breeze rustling through the palm fronds most likely spring to mind. And the vast majority of people will probably agree with you.
The cocktail is a favourite worldwide and has origins in 1950s Puerto Rico, hence the tropical flavours and name. If you do love Piña Coladas (but not getting caught in the rain), you should be excited to learn next month celebrates a day dedicated to the drink on Saturday 10th of July. Because all the best things deserve a day wholly devoted to them, right?
In honour of such an exciting occasion, our list highlights the bars where you can celebrate in fabulous fashion and give thanks to these lush-styled drinks from the Caribbean.
If you haven’t found yourself sipping tiki-style libations in this back-alley Broadbeach haunt, then quite frankly, where have you been? When it comes to slinging the best drinks with a sprinkling of fun, you won’t find anywhere else that does it quite like these guys. There is always something going on here, so grab your best Hawaiian shirt and let Aloha take care of the rest.
Where: 18 Main Place, Broadbeach
Right on the water’s edge in the Broadwater Parklands, Café Catalina has steadily become a crowd favourite due to its stunning water views and modern menu. We all know what goes best with water views, don’t we? That’s right, a sweet, sweet Piña Colada, of course. The café is famously pooch-friendly, so grab your furry mate and settle in for a couple of cocktails.
Where: 10/11 Broadwater Parklands, Southport
The Island Rooftop Bar
Surfers Paradise’s largest rooftop bar is a favourite for any sunny Sunday sessions. The Island Colada fits this bustling and subtropical scene to a tee, constructed with love — including pineapple juice, coconut cream and Havana Charta — meaning it’s a traditional-style Piña Colada with some extra island vibes thrown in to get you and the party started.
Where: The Island, Corner of Surfers Paradise Boulevard and Beach Road, Surfers Paradise
This relative newcomer to the Burleigh Heads bar scene is already garnering the right kind of attention for innovative signature drinks; the like of which you can sip and discuss with a friend/colleague/tinder date for hours with ease. The Pav is Mine is a clever adaptation of the classic Piña Colada that deserves to be tried, and as it’s a vegan-made cocktail, there are absolutely no excuses!
Where: 4/57 James Street, Burleigh Heads
The tiki sensations are intense with this one — and that’s putting it lightly. With an upbeat setting and consistent line-ups of quality D.J.s, we suggest you pencil in this Surfers Paradise venue for celebrating international Piña Colada Day come next month. If you can’t wait that long, be sure to head along to one of their many party nights from Thursday through to Sunday to get a taste of the action.
Where: 19 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise
When the words dessert and cocktail can be found in close proximity to one another, you know things are looking up. So, when Cowch opens a flagship venue in The Oracle Broadbeach next week, you can expect sweet and alcoholic things to collide in an udderly (pardon the pun) delish way. The Hoola Girl is a whipped cream and lollipop garnished version of the Puerto Rican classic you simply must try.
Where: 1 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
The original naughty but nice excuse for a mid-week tipple or two: if Sticky Rice can’t get you out of the house for some next-level Thai cuisine accompanied by some seriously delish cocktails, nothing or no one can. The Pina Coladyboy (Dark Rum, Malibu, blended with fresh pineapple, coconut cream, lime & orgeat) is at the top of their cocktail list for a reason. Turn up the chilli in your Duck Red Curry and mellow out with the pick of the tropical cocktails.
Where: Shop 7, 443 Golden Four Drive, Tugun
Finding yourself amid a shopping frenzy can not only be a hit to your bank balance but a trigger for an unquenchable thirst, the type that can only be satisfied with some top-notch cocktails, of course. Crafty’s is the optimum spot to lighten the load and get your lips around a tasty little Piña Colada. Their take, The G.O.A.T., has lashings of pineapple-infused rum and should make the second half of your shopping spree a breeze.
Where: Harbour Town Eats, Biggera Waters
Edgewater Dining & Lounge
The attention to detail taken by this venue with their drinks offering is nothing short of remarkable. The drinks list is titled, Liquid Journey and from cover to cover, you can see this Isle of Capri restaurant has placed great emphasis on having great food and the drinks to match. Their signature Pirate on the Beach takes the modest classic and completely revamps it with deluxe inclusions of Fireball, Amaretto, and nutmeg.
Where: Shop 3 G7, Capri on Via Roma, Surfers Paradise
If you find yourself on the shiny side of town and think a couple of sophisticated cocktails are in order, then you need to consider Ms. Margots at The Hilton Surfers Paradise. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; the venue has you covered for when you feel like pushing the boat out a little. As Piña Coladas come, the house version is aptly named Beach Blonde Jenny and twists the original with the addition of macadamia nut liqueur and cacao: thus, you have a delicious drink that is also health-conscious. Ingenious stuff!
Where: The Hilton, 6 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
On June 13th each year we raise a glass to World Gin Day and the spirit that has certainly had its come up over the last little while. The Gold Coast boasts our very own gin distillery plus a host of bars making magic with local gins. All of which you won’t be surprised to learn we’re big fans of.
In honour of that, here are the best spots to get your gin fix on the Gold Coast this World Gin Day (or anyday for that matter). Happy sipping.
Tamborine Mountain Distillery
Tucked away on Mount Tamborine is one of Australia’s smallest and most unique distilleries with over 280 International Awards. Their gold medal award winning gin is the Lilly Pilly Gin, a pot still gin using botanicals such as Australian Lilly Pilly (Riberry), Juniper, Angelica root, Orris root, Citrus peel, Caraway, Coriander, Aniseed Myrtle, Elderflower, Mistletoe, Passionflower, Shepherd’s Purse and more. The best part about it, it’s got a delightful pink hue.
Where: 87-91 Beacon Road, North Tamborine
The Island Rooftop
It’s always a good time on the rooftop in Surfers Paradise, overlooking the city and with guaranteed good vibes. While all the sips are sweet, our recommendation is the Clover Leaf made with Beefeater gin, raspberry, lemon and egg white, so good.
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
Aloha Bar & Dining
How does a Saturn Juniper Uranus sound? Cool right. That’s exactly what you should order at Broady’s most colourful alleyway bar, Aloha Bar & Dining. It’s got Four Pillars gin, sloe gin, orgeat, passionfruit, lime and rosemary and it’s out of this world. The bar itself is decked out in full colour, with hidden rooms and moody, good time vibes aplenty. Follow the music down the alley and you’ll find yourself in a magical world of tiki goodness.
Where: 18 Main Place, Broadbeach
Fig & Frankies
Another delightful Broadbeach bar dedicated to exceptional sips and very good times is Fig & Frankies, also newish on the scene and also very well-loved amongst Gold Coast locals. Their cocktail list is tight and filled with delights made up of local spirits and you’ll want to try them all. Drinks are numbered rather than named and each is absolute perfection to be honest. We particularly loved Number One (aptly named) because it is made up of MAC by Brookies, clarified green apple and house lemonade and we cannot overstate tasty enough. Gather the crew and sip up a storm.
Where: 4/2707 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
A must-visit cocktail bar in Broadbeach, Roosevelt Lounge is one of the city’s sexiest spots for a cocktail, capturing the seductive style and glamour of decadent New York. For World Gin Day try the Down the Rabbit Hole Signature Cocktail made up of Ink gin, in-house chimmer liqueur (pink moscato, pisco, peach & orange blossom), blueberry vinegar, citric acid and life of cha crystal tea. Delightfully served in a tea pot, this cocktail is an Instagram dream.
Where: 75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
The Gold Coast’s first gin distillery Granddad Jacks are, quite obviously king when it comes to gin cocktails (and gin in general). Our number one on their list is the Seymour Street with their very own Greenhouse Gin plus Eucalyptus and fresh lime juice because it’s the ultimate in Aussie-inspired freshness and it tastes top notch too. Love your work mates.
Where: 45 Lemana Lane, Miami
Oh Rosella’s, little love of our lives. A refined Australiana bar in the heart of Burleigh Heads, Rosella’s is bringing all Aussie eats and tipples to the very appreciative people. On a list of cocktails that will 100% improve your life (especially the Pet Nat Slushie – love you) but for the purposes of this article let’s chat about the Kylie Minogue Martini with Vickers Gin from Beenleigh Distillery no less, vodka, elderflower, verjus and pink peppercorn. It’ll have you spinning around in no time.
Where: 6/1743 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Tucked away down Justin Lane behind a red velvet curtain is Lockwood Bar. They a serving up a sexy sip titled Brookie’s Aviation which fuses Brookie’s Dry Gin, lemon juice, Tempus Fugit liqueur de violette and Luxado Maraschino liqueur. Topped off with a maraschino cherry, you know it’s a goodie.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
An intimate little space down Palmy way is Suga, a cocktail and rum bar open until late and serving up cocktails that are quite unlike anything you’ve sipped before. On World Gin Day we recommend a Gin Lippy with Larrikin Gin, citrus syrup, housemade lemonade and a whole lots of tastiness. A very tasty tipple indeed. Pop on in for a few of those this weekend.
Where: 1142 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
The Collective Palm Beach
The Rooftop Bar at The Collective Palm Beach is a gin-lovers paradise with beloved gin-based cocktails including the Rose Hip Martini with Poor Toms Gin, hibiscus syrup, lime and grapefruit and the Unnamed Sympathy served Tiki-style with macadamia-infused Nobel Cut Gin, Bushfire Botanic Australis Gin and pine-lime allspice. Both of which are tried and tested by us and both of which are really very delicious.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Saint Helen’s Kitchen + Bar
If sipping cocktails seaside is your thing (and we know it is), you’ll love Saint Helens Kitchen + Bar signature slurp The Gin Thruster. It’s got gin, blueberry and tonic. It’s bright, refreshing and super Insta-worthy – if it lasts that long.
Where: Shop 2/78 Musgrave Street, Kirra
Words by Kirra Smith
Catalina Café, located along the picturesque shores of the Broadwater Parklands is the absolute perfect spot for a day out with the family, a business lunch or cheeky weekend cocktails. A location like this doesn’t come along often, so owner Anna told us she pounced on the position because it was simply irresistible.
Getting it’s name from the WWII Catalina planes that used to refuel right off of our beaches, the decor pays homage to the ‘flying boats’ that helped to keep our beloved shores safe, with photos of the classic planes scattered throughout the venue.
The cafe takes advantage of it’s absolute prime waterfront location. A large portion of Catalina Café is open air, but still undercover so you will be able to take in the glorious view without the sunburn.
Being located within one of the most family and pet friendly spots on the Coast, Catalina Café welcomes families and pooches with open arms. Bring your babies and fur babies on a Sunday to sit on a big, fluffy bean bag on the lawn and enjoy live entertainment while you sip one of their signature cocktails. The Frozen Lime Daiquiri with vodka, cointreau, fresh lemon & lime juice is fantastic choice for a typical Gold Coast day, but then again so is an ice cold Burleigh Brewing Co HEF.
Catalina Café is always packed on the weekends (and weekdays too for that matter), so the chef has created a menu that is simple but packed with flavour (that way you wont wait hours for your food either). He has stuck with classics we all know and love making choosing what you’ll have for breakfast or lunch easy as pie!
Some of those favourites include, Warm Rosemary Lamb Salad with mint, pearl couscous, seasonal veggies and harissa dressing; as well as the chef recommended Eye Fillet Baguette filled with melt-in-your-mouth eye fillet, red wine jus, rocket and swiss cheese all snuggled into a fresh, warm baguette. But don’t worry, you’ll never make it though everything Café Catalina has to offer, because they always have a new and exciting special of the day.
Leave room for dessert, because all of the sweet treats are made in house (we recommend the carrot cake)!
Open for breakfast and lunch. Mon – Thurs 7am – 4pm and Fri – Sunday 7am – 6pm
Live music from 3-6pm on Sundays
“All welcome (including your dog).”
Broadwater Parklands, 10/11 Gold Coast Hwy, Southport
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.