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
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.
Dragonfly - 235 Edward Street
Walk down the stairs into this basement bar, with oriental decor, fresh steamed and affordable dim sum and plenty of space and comfy corners to relax. Turns into a busy nightspot at about 9pm. Great on Fridays.
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.
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 -
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 Beer 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.
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
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.
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.
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