Friday night delights – the best bars for knock off drinks in The City
We begin our work week dreaming of the sweet relief that 5:00 pm Friday brings and where we will spend our newfound freedom once we clock off. So you can max out those weekend vibes – whether it be with your best mates, favourite work friends or your darling dearest – we have rounded up some of our favourite Brisbane City bars to cheers to the freakin’ weekend. Did someone say TGIF?
Where to grab cocktails with the pals
Letting loose on a Friday night with your best friends is a sure-fire way to kick off the weekend on a high note. Dial up the luxe vibes with a cocktail session at W Brisbane’s Wet Deck, where you can enjoy top-tier tipples, stellar views of the sunset and live beats from some of Brisbane’s best DJs. Had a buddy trip planned pre-COVID? Soak up Santorini vibes at Eagle Street’s Greek Islands-inspired newcomer Opa Bar + Mezze and settle in for a sipping session by the riverside. Match your spritz with some tasty Greek eats – think ouzo-soaked saganaki, flash-fried calamari, airy taramasalata and lamb souvla – and you’ve got one flavoursome Friday-night feast. Continue to cosy up with your best pals at much-loved Burnett Lane winner Alba Bar and Deli, where you can cheers with Spanish wine, cider and sherry-based cocktails. You won’t go hungry with the bar’s tastebud-tempting array of bites including house-made Spanish ‘bocadillo’ sandwiches and bite-sized pintxos. From there, take the party up a notch and make tracks to Eagle Lane basement bar Brooklyn Standard. Tune into live jazz, sip on cracking cocktails and American-inspired eats (helloooo mozzarella sticks and jalapeno poppers) – we can guarantee the night (or early morning) will end on the dancefloor.
Where to woo your boo
Friday evening is date night in The City and thankfully there are plenty of intimate settings to wine and dine your sweetheart. Modern Italian cocktail bar Toscano Bar + Kitchen is at the top of our list of dynamite drinking destinations to take your lover for a late-night libation – we suggest trying the Basil on Edward made with Gin Mare, basil oil, elderflower, lime and rosemary. Another tipple den that will knock the socks off your date is inner-city gem Boom Boom Room, which alongside a kick-ass izakaya menu also boasts a must-try drinks list. Taste test winners like the Reiki Master (a twist on a classic Penicillin cocktail, mixing Suntory Toki whisky, Laphroaig, umeshu, pickled ginger, honey, lemon and smoke) and the Hana, which blends Roku Gin with sakura (cherry blossom), peach, yuzu, sparkling rosé and lemon. Up the Friday night romance with a stop in at beloved waterfront location Customs House, which regularly hosts pop-up bars on its airy terrace featuring superb snacks and sips. Another worthy contender for date night is much-frequented cafe by day, beloved bar by night, John Mills Himself. This charming watering hole spotlights locally made beer, wine and spirits and features some tasty nibblies to share too.
Where to grab after-work bevvies
A cheeky beverage or two to welcome in the weekend is just what the doctor ordered after a long week at work and the perfect way to let off some steam. If you’re keen to level up the luxe factor from the local pub, perch with your colleagues at riverside venue Will & Flow for some post-work drinks. This breezy overwater venue looks across the Brisbane River to South Bank and offers a jam-packed menu of sips like dreamy spritzes, carefully crafted cocktails and plenty of wine and beer. Those who want to celebrate the rise of the weekend European style can hop over to laneway bar Dawn on Spencer. Wet your whistle with killer cocktails like the Son of a Peach crafted with baked peach and fennel pollen-infused Aperol, champagne acid, prosecco and soda water, or the Cheeks & Smiles crafted with Jinzu Gin, basil stem-infused fino sherry, limoncello, cherry blossom syrup and lemon. Not too far away is where eager revellers can discover speakeasy-esque laneway bar Super Whatnot, where cordial co-workers can congregate to enjoy old-world wines, classic cocktails and boutique beers. If you’re in some serious need of wining down after work, head over to City Winery’s cellar door at Eagle Street Pier. Grab a glass of vino (this bar boasts one serious grape-juice menu) and people watch or dig in to some pre-dinner charcuterie like house-made mortadella with green tomato and taleggio, a tantalising selection of Australian cheeses and sides like smoked pumpkin with honey and caper cream.
This article was written in partnership with our friends at The City.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.