The round-up: soak up summer vibes at Brisbane City’s best open-air and rooftop bars
Brisbane summers are a pretty wild time – the temperature rises, the festive vibes start flowing and hemlines gradually creep higher as we embrace the new season and all it brings. One of the best ways to beat the heat and soak up the atmosphere is with a cheeky drink or two – all the better if your watering hole of choice is a breezy haven or a rooftop oasis. We’ve rounded up the best open-air and rooftop bars in Brisbane City for all of your seasonal sippin’ needs.
Sixteen Antlers: The stunning views at Sixteen Antlers aren’t the only thing that will make you giddy with delight – the open-air rooftop locale has a cocktail list that’s to die for. Perched 16 floors up the Pullman Hotel a world away from the bustle below, this swish bar serves a signature range of tipples and some tasty snacks to accompany.
Lennons Pool Terrace & Bar: It’s hard to believe that the perpetually pulsing Queen Street Mall is home to a chilled-out urban oasis, but the lush Lennons Pool Terrace and Bar at NEXT Hotel is just that. The leafy green palms and brilliant blue pool set the tropical tone at this slice of paradise, where you can sip on a range of killer cocktails, craft beers and top drops of international wine.
Riverbar & Kitchen: The City’s Riverside precinct is always a great spot for a brew with a view, and Riverbar & Kitchen has everything you could want. Gather your crew to order cocktails by the jug and share plates for days – how could you possibly resist a lychee mojito paired with a mezze platter piled high with kofta and labna? The thriving thoroughfare is also a great spot for people-watching if you’re flying solo.
Blackbird Bar and Grill: Loaded with opulence and 1920s glamour, Blackbird Bar & Grill is a liquor lover’s dream come true. The riverfront views are complemented by the amply stocked bar that features rare and exclusive spirits (no lacklustre house pours to be seen) alongside seasonal snacks. As a very fun bonus, the cocktail list is split into decades – from prohibition to the millennium, you’ll find it here.
Pig’n’Whistle: With your pick of three charming CBD locations, Pig ‘N’ Whistle is a prime choice for a little revelry no matter where you find yourself. The twinkling lights at King George Square, the gorgeous water views at Riverside or the middle-of-the-action Queen Street Mall spot each have flowing beverages on tap and a menu of British-style pub classics to fill your belly.
Bar Pacino: Fancy yourself a bit of a gangster? Don’t worry – you don’t have to be a mob boss to enjoy the spoils of Bar Pacino. This vibrant riverfront spot takes on a distinct Sicilian feel with its delectable cuisine and bespoke cocktails, taking cues from Italian flavours and aesthetics to create an all-in experience. Oh, and did we mention that it has Nutella shots? Enough said, really.
Stock Exchange: Brisbane locals may associate the Stock Exchange Hotel with student nights and gaming, but this inner-city gem is all grown up now. The Rooftop Garden Bar is dripping with ambience and buzzing with atmosphere on any given night of the week, boasting a well-stocked bar of craft beers, classic spirits and fine wines. The fairy lights and white picket fence draped in greenery also make for a very Insta-worthy background to your evening shenanigans.
Sazerac: For fans of all things sky high, Sazerac is hard to top. Sitting pretty at a whopping 40 storeys atop Four Points by Sheraton, this sophisticated stunner celebrates the future of cocktails by adding modern twists to old favourites. Aside from the signature Sazerac being a must-try, you can also sip on delights such as salted caramel martinis, peach mint juleps and Bloomsbury punch.
Bar OTTO: Anyone for an aperitivo? Sitting opposite its older sibling OTTO Ristorante at the illustrious 480 Queen and boasting the same breathtaking river vistas, Bar OTTO is an irresistible Italian dream. The bar has a focus on after-work or pre-dinner drinks and assaggi (small bites) – simple but delicious snacks that all fall under $12 pair perfectly with traditional aperitivos of Aperol spritzes and negronis.
Bavarian Bier Cafe: Steins of German beer, sweeping river views and mouth-watering schnitzel definitely doesn’t sound like the wurst (heh) way to spend an afternoon, right? The Bavarian Bier Cafe brings together the atmosphere of a German beer hall with an air of refinement – if authentic European brews by the litre are your jam, you’ll be very comfortable here.
Customs House: Behind a stunning Queen Street-facing facade is one of Brisbane’s best-kept secrets for an outdoor tipple. Customs House backs on to the Brisbane River and boasts a stunning terrace space that plays host to a Sunset Spritz pop-up bar through the spring and summer. Refresh in style with Aperol spritzes, negronis and limoncello Collins paired with Italian-style canapes.
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