Nightlife

From the Valley to the CBD, South Bank, West End, Toowong and the suburbs Brisbane has a fantastic array of options for those who want a night out on the town, whatever the chosen activity.
 

Clubs and Pubs

City

The city is the mainstream nightlife area with a mix of pubs, bars and clubs. The dress code is fairly straight forward. Blokes – nice closed in shoes, jeans and a good/funky collared shirt. Girls, anything as long as it looks tidy and not like you’ve just come from the beach (no thongs – flipflops to you northern hemisphere people).

 

  • Pig n Whistle - Queen Street Mall
    Small and smack in the middle of the mall this is a great meeting place because it is easy to find and very open.
  • B confidential - Spring Hill great restaurant bar and gentlemens club with free entry every second wednesday has a liveband on as well.
  • Pig n Whistle - Riverside
    Bigger than the one on the mall it is also a good place to relax, watch the football (mostly soccer unless there is a big game on). Relatively cheap drinks.
  • Gilhooleys - Albert Street
    Cheapish drinks and a ‘typical’ Irish pub feel. Smells of Guinness and floors are sticky but they have a great Irish band on Saturday nights and Irish dancers, plus the food is reasonable.
  • Irish Murphy’s - Elizabeth St
    Best of the Irish pubs in the city. Good food (for the price) reasonable drinks, two levels one with DJ and one with a band.
  • Her Majesty’s Bar - Wintergarden
    Serious rock and rol!! Very very loud.
  • O’Malleys - Wintergarden.
    The most traditional of the Irish pubs if you're looking for a good snug. Shows GAA and rugby matches
  • The Pav Bar - Riverside
    Trendy  mostly business clientel
  • Jade Buddah, Riverside
    Restaurant and bar, very funky and tends to be populated by the beautiful people.
  • Fridays , Riverside
    Looking out over the water Friday's is an old Brisbane favourite. Try happy hour cocktails on a Friday night.
  • Port office Hotel, Riverside
    Trendy  mostly business clientelin the early evening moving into a younger crowd as the night goes on 
  • The Vic  - Edward Street
    One of Brisbane's best known pubs. Live music and Karaoke downstairs and DJs and dancing upstairs. Burnt down and was recently rebuilt
  • The (Stock) Exchange, opposite the VIC
  • Grosvenor on George
    used to be classy 'suit' venue, now a sports bar with topless waitresses
  • 251 - George Street.
    Another suit venue with a big legal clientel. It is common to see many of Brisbane's legal eagles lunching here and having an after work drink
  • Belgian Beer Café - Edward street
    Expensive but the beer is fantastic.
  • Barvarian Bier Café - riverside
    Expensive but the beer is fantastic.
  • Down Under Bar - Edward Street
  • One of the best backpacker bars in the southern hemisphere, cheap food and great party
  • atmosphere 7 nights a week, always busy
  • Guilty Rogue  - George Street
    Great Food, Good Atmosphere, more relaxed feel, great meet up place
  • Trans - George Street
    As above and same area
  • Grind - Burnett Lane
    This little gem can be hard to find. In a basement at the bottom of an alley this little bar and bistro is a great place for a Fiday evening drink.
  • The Survey Co - Burnett Lane
     This little bar and restaurant is a great place for lunch but can be very noisy come the evening.
  • Public -Turbot Street
    Very trendy and fantastic food, great place for the Friday night cocktail.


Fortitude Valley

The Valley is the centre of Brisbane’s fringe culture and has a wide range of type and themes in the pubs and clubs. From the ultra trendy to the ultra laid back. The dress code is far more nebulous and even the most seasoned clubber can have trouble deciphering it.

  • GPO - Ann St
    Big and trendy but a nice place to go.
  • Monastry - Ann St
    Dance club.
  • Family - McLachlan St
    Brisbane's most popular dance club, two public levels. Tight clubbing dress code, leave those sneakers at home.  Has won 'Best Nightclub in Australia' for a number of years.
  • Alhambra Lounge - McLachlan St
    Dance club next to Family with a modern Arabic/Spanish theme.
  • Cloudland - Ann St
    Super mega duper club with more superlatives than you can shake a stick at. It has a retractable roof, 10 metre waterfall, 5,000 plants and a glass bar made from 17,000 glass balls threaded by hand.
  • Bowery - Ann Street
    Smallish, very 1920’s Chicago prohibition style jazz bar. Great cocktail menu. Consistently the coolest bar in town.  Head there any night of the week, be prepared to queue late on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • The Beat - Ann Street
    Best gay club in the Valley. 
  • Glass - Brunswck Street
    Slightly out of the centre of the Valley, in Brunswick Street.  This means the younger, trashier crowd are not a feature.  Tends to be a 25-45 well heeled but casual crowd.  Friendly staff, good vibe and great cocktails. Usually busy, but not over the top crowded.  Early in the week is quiet, but if you're on your own the staff like a nice chat.
  • Elephant and Wheelbarrow - Wickham St
    English pub which generally caterers for the backpackers living above it.  Carpet can be sticky.  But has a great beer garden out the back.
  • Barsoma - Constance St
    A warehouse style bar and live music venue which was a labour of love for the original 'live fast (unfortunately) die young' owner.  Retro wallpaper and groovy bits and pieces abound.  Standard jeans, trainers or better on your feet, and cool t-shirt or collared shirt.  Too quiet mid-week.  Really only gets busy Friday and Saturday nights - take a crowd.
  • Press Club - Brunswick St
    Very relaxed - dim lit, check out the light fixtures! - and chilled out environment. On weekends has a very vibrant and busy atmosphere, lots of couches and tables to sit down and unwind as well as an open standing atmosphere. Drinks are typical of the Valley - few beers, plenty of specialty mixes and prices are inflated - but a great bar to recover for a bit from the nights clubbing.
  • Cru Bar - James St
    A 10 minute walk from the centre of the Valley.  Brisbane's most stylish 'see and be seen' bar.  Very extensive and excellent wine list.  Older crowd of 30+ due to the prices.  Service can be stand-offish, but there's no doubting it's the place to be for those with cash to flash.  Guys rarely need a tie in Brisbane, but you'll do well to wear a good shirt or dress.
  • Ric's Cafe  - Brunswick St Mall
    Cafe by day and bar/live music venue by night.  Head to Ric's if you want a grungier, more alternative scene.  Great champion of local bands and singers.
  • The Zoo - Ann St.
  • One Of Brisbanes oldest Live music Venues, awesome atmoshere & a great friendly crowd, no dress code, can be very hot in summer.
  • The Tivoli- costin st
  • The tivoli is an awesome live music venue, lots of sold out gigs here, many national & international touring artists play here
  • beautiful decor(built in 1917)
  • The Jubilee - St Pauls terrace
  • old pub, cheap drinks, good music venue
  • Zuri - Brunswick St
    The new 'place to be seen' (this week anyway), in the old Sunbar space on the corner of Brunwick/McLoughlin. An fortune has been spent on the Fitout and recent celeb visits include Chris Brown & Snoop Dog.
  • Limes Hotel - Constance St
    Brisbane's newest Boutique Hotel ( there's now 2!). Has a fantastic rooftop bar - think New York or Barcelona.
  • Royal George Hotel (RG) - Brunswick St Mall
    Cheap drinks always draws a big crowd at the top of the Valley mall

South Brisbane/West End

South Bank, South Brisbane and West End is, on the whole, a quite a laid back area.  You can get there from the city by walking (up to 20 minutes) or catching the 192, 196 or 199 buses.  Like Fortitude Valley, the dress code is a hard one to figure out.  Definitely no thongs (flip-flops) and you should be OK.

  • Lychee Lounge - Boundary St, West End
    A local favourite.  On Friday and Saturday nights it's a place to be seen but without being pretentious.  The unusual interior and fabulous cocktail list always draws a crowd to this small bar
  • Era Bar - Melbourne St, South Brisbane
    Live jazz every Sunday from 1pm - 4pm.  This is upmarket but still has a relaxed vibe.  Sensational tapas, extensive wine list, and good cocktails.  Era is a pleasant spot to unwind as well as to grab a quick bite before seeing a show at QPAC.
  • The Fox Hotel - Cnr Melbourne & Hope Sts, South Brisbane
    Draws mainly the mid-20s and under.  Lots of different bars and lounges to choose your vibe.  Also has a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the city lights at night.
  • Sling Lounge - 153 Boundary St, West End
    Cocktail bar.  Doesn't look like much from the street but there's a courtyard at the back.  Great spot to relax with a group of friends and sample the cocktail menu.
  • The Melbourne Hotel - 10 Browning St, West End
    Lots of different bars to choose from depending on whether you want drinks, food, dancing or gaming.
  • Uber - 100 Boundary St, West End
    Attracts the under 25s crowd.  Feels more like a pub than a nightclub but can be a good place to go to dance on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • 5th Element - Southbank
    Trendy tappas lounge with one of the best selections of wine in the southern hemisphere. Only place in the world you can try Grange by the glass. 
  • Plough Inn - Southbank
    relaxed pub atmosphere with live music Thursday - Sunday 
  • Fifth Element, French Martini and Ole - Southbank
    All trendy, all serving great food and fantastic cocktails. 

Toowong

The pubs at Toowong can easily be reached from the CBD via the CityCat.  The Regatta is across the street from the City Cat stop; the R.E. is a five-minute walk away.  This area is really university student central but can be enjoyable to go and watch a big football game on the big screens.

  • Regatta Hotel - 543 Coronation Dr, Toowong
    Generally draws a younger crowd and university students.  Popular on Fridays for afterwork drinks.  Also popular when the football (any code) is screening.
  • The R.E. (Royal Exchange) - 10 High St, Toowong
    Extremely popular with university students.  The beer garden has live music six nights a week.

Further afield

Suburban Brisbane offers some great 'local' pubs which are a great way to spend the night if you are in the area.


  • Pig n Whistle - Indooroopilly
    Located in Indooroopilly shopping cente. Typical 'english' pub fair but more sedate than the city venues
  • The Newmarket - Newmarket Rd, Newmarket
    Once a very tacky pub with topless waitresses has now been redone and is very popular with the younger student crowd
  • The Alderley - Samford Road, Alderley
    Much like the Newmarket. Beware of the local pool sharks
  • The Colmslie - Wynnum Rd, Colmslie
    Sports club style pub popular with the afterwork crowd (mostly tradies and sales). Also well known for cheap meal deals
  • The Norman - Ipswich Rd, Wooloongabba
    Touts itself as Brisbane's worst vegetarian restaurant - famous for its steaks
  • The Broadway - Wooloongabba
    local pub that can be a little rough round the edges. Jazz on sunday afternoons and $10 steaks. Also hosts farmers markets on Saturday mornings
  • The Manly - Manly esplanade
    hopping on a Friday and Saturday. Does good food and also has accomodation available