Brisbane's drinking and nightlife scene is separated into some distinct areas. Anyone planning a night on the town should be aware that after 3AM no more patrons are allowed into pubs and clubs. This is a safety measure, coupled with increased security presence at taxi ranks. Additionally, smokers should beware of strict anti-smoking regulations. Smoking is now banned in 'all areas where food & drink is served', both indoors and outdoors. This means that smoking is banned in all hotels, clubs, and cafés except in designated smoking areas.
The drinking age is 18 and only an Australian license or 18+ card, or a foreign passport is accepted as proof of age. Other forms of ID such as a student card are not accepted. These regulations are strictly enforced - for nightclubs in particular your ID will always be checked at the door, and while venues serving food may let you in, most are very prudent in checking ID if you wish to purchase alcohol.
RegattaExpect a wait to get in on Thur, Fri and Sat nights, but a must-go for the best sessions on Wed and Sun nights when the venue is completely taken by students Royal Exchange (RE) Hotel10 High StPhone: +61 7 3371-2555Generally a good, down-to-earth pub, more so than the Regatta, which tends to cater to a slightly trendier crowd
Both Regatta and the RE have reputations (which they more than live up) as student haunts, being located reasonably close to the St Lucia campus of the University of Queensland.
Catch a citycat to Bulimba for some trendy shopping on popular Oxford Street, great cafes, hip bars or for a picnic in the park.
Chalk Hotel735 Stanley StPhone: +61 7 3896-6565A prominent Brisbane hotel since converted into extremely popular, multi-million dollar, modern southside bar/restaurant. Very popular on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as during/after matches at the nearby Gabba Stadium or special events at South Bank.
Belgian Beer Cafe169 Mary StCaters for a slightly more upmarket clientele, with a "gourmet" or "boutique" style to its all-Belgian-sourced beers, also serves meals, with a particular favourite being traditional Belgian mussels.
Brew Lower Burnett Lane - This alleyway joint is a relaxed, bohemian cafe by day and a trendy boutique bar by night. Brew serves some of the best coffee in Brisbane, as well as a wide range of micro-brewed beers, in a welcoming, creative environment. Down an alleyway off the Albert St Mall heading to King George Square, next to the Rocking Horse.
Caesars15 Adelaide StA new nightclub featuring R'n'B style music.
Conrad Treasury Casino130 William StBrisbane's casino has a number of bars, from quiet lounges to dance floors. Known for its well-priced daiquiris. Open 24 hours a day (no lockout), though the individual bars vary.
Criterion Tavern239 George StA newly renovated bar, recommended for those who are looking for a quick beer and some country music.
Down Under Bar308 Edward StA well known haunt for travellers, with a number of pool tables, dance floor and unashamedly little class. Messages left by visitors from all over the world adorn the walls. If you are studying in Brisbane or just backpacking, this is perfect bar for meeting people of other nationalities.
Exchange Hotel131 Edward StSomewhat popular with a wide, although decidedly young, demographic, including students, young professionals and tourists, who all stream in later in the night after cheap drinks finish at the other hotels nearby. Newly renovated with stylish interior and 2nd floor open roof bar.
Fridays123 Eagle StA very popular nightclub which also features dining (not recommended after 10PM). Especially popular with the Friday after-work crowd. Smart dress code (business style shoes and shirts for the guys), always enforced.
Gilhooleys124 Albert StPossibly the liveliest of Brisbane's Irish pubs, you can still get a quiet pint over a hearty lunch.
Irish Murphy's175 George StGood food, a lively atmosphere and a great pint at this Irish pub on George St.
Mick O'Malley's Irish Pub171-209 Queen StOne of the many Irish pubs in Brisbane. Has a reasonable selection of food to enjoy with your pint of Guinness.
The Port Office Hotel38 Edward StTrendy bar downstairs dance floor upstairs popular spot in Brisbane. Crowed with students on Thursday.
Sportsman Hotel130 Leichhardt StCommonly called "Sporty's", this gay and lesbian pub has two bars upstairs and one private members bar downstairs. Lunch and dinner are served. Drag shows and karaoke on certain nights.
The Fortitude Valley is a unique area of Brisbane catering to the live music scene. A large number of Brisbane's hippest clubs are located here. Through the 1960s and 70s it was seen as Brisbane's bohemian hub and has maintained a certain degree of that reputation. More recently it is sometimes thought of as being one of the more dangerous areas of the city but this attitude is changing as the area becomes more popular and hence, safer. This however has had an adverse affect on the area's creative vibe as locals turn their back on the area, forcing the creative epicentre of Brisbane to other areas of the city such as West End and Paddington. As with anywhere, simple common sense, caution and courtesy will keep you out of harm's way.
Alhambra Lounge12 McLachlan StVery stylish interior with a modern Arabic/Spanish theme, young professional and student crowd, good atmosphere and excellent cocktails. Various styles of house music. Located right next door to The Family.
Anise697 Brunswick StPromotional price range from $5 to $10. Near the corner of Barker and Brunswick St in New Farm - this great restaurant has an extensive range of French, Spanish and Swiss absinthe available
Bank - Vault LoungeAnn St - Party Bar, OK atmosphere, recently renovated, the Vault Lounge is perfect for functions. Outdoor seating available, woodfire pizza and pasta. Barsoma22 Constance StTrendy little bar tucked away on Constance Street (off Ann St) offers great cuisine & an array of delicious (& creative) cocktails. On some nights it plays alternative dance music parties. The Beat677 Ann StDownstairs has three dance areas dedicated to hardcore/rave, electro and popular music, upstairs is gay (generally a younger crowd than the Wickham) & has two dance floors & a beer garden Birdee Num Num608 Ann StOK atmosphere, mainly student (popular with this crowd because of the lack of cover charge) and backpacker clientele. Commercial dance music. Bowery Bar676 Ann StA small & chic New York inspired bar. Formal/Smart dress code. Amazing cocktails. Cloudland641 Ann StRecently opened cocktail lounge on Ann Street with a retractable roof, 10 metre waterfall, 5,000 plants and a glass bar made from 17,000 glass balls threaded by hand. Caters to a very upmarket, sophisticated crowd. Smart dress code which is strictly enforced on busy nights.
Club 299299 Brunswick StFantastic if you enjoy metal, emo or any kind of alternative music.
The Empire339 Brunswick StAlternative dance club, nice long balcony overlooking busy Brunswick Street, a few levels, less pretentious but darker than other dance clubs in Brisbane although no less expensive. Elixir Rooftop Bar646-648 Ann StA sophisticated style roof top bar situated above the hustle and bustle of Ann St. This is an atmospheric cocktail bar open to the public seven days a week and provides live entertainment Thursday through to Sunday. Great atmosphere, great drinks and great food. The Family8 McLachlan StA bit pricey to get in, but it's one of the biggest club in Brisbane and has great music and atmosphere. Decor is now outdated to other clubs, but still attracts large crowds; Sunday nights (fluffy) are gay. Also Glass Bar420 Brunswick StVibrant atmosphere, small restaurant & bar/lounge, really expensive drinks. GPO740 Ann StBar and nightclub situated in a former Post Office on Ann Street; trendy spot with great tunes. Limes Hotel142 Constance StreetRooftop bar and cinema situated above a boutique hotel. Gets busy on weekends with young-professional crowd. Try the mojitos! Mana Bar420 Brunswick StSmall cocktail bar, with video games to play with other patrons while working through the themed drinks menu. Very unique concept, which pulls a surprisingly diverse and sociable crowd. The Met256 Wickham StThe biggest club in Brisbane. Host to many international DJs. Amazing decor with great attention to detail. Many different rooms to explore. Although a bit expensive, a huge variety of different types of people inside. Monastery621 Ann StTop dance club in Brisbane plays house and Electro/Electronic. Small but action packed. Freshly renovated interior. The Press Club339 Brunswick StSmall club with large lounges to stretch out on. Host to funky Jazz blended with dance music. Rics321 Brunswick StLive music most nights. The Valley's hipster institution. Venue also includes "Fatboys Cafe", which is a popular restaurant serving breakfast, steaks, pizza and pasta. Royal George (RG) Hotel327 Brunswick StLarge Beer garden in the Brunswick St Mall, great atmosphere, great food deals most nights. Spanish Tapas Bar455 Brunswick StThe only authentic Spanish Restaurant in Brisbane that embraces the Spanish food and Culture. The Sangria is excellent. The Wickham308 Wickham StA gay & lesbian dance club with outdoor seating, drag shows most nights x&y Bar648 Ann StOne of the least pretentious venues in The Valley. There is no strict clothing policy and you're likely to get in so long as you're wearing shoes, long pants and a shirt. Has a variety of music from live bands, DJs and special events. Zuri367 Brunswick StUpmarket ambience, strict door entry conditions regarding clothing and shoes. Male to Female ratio strictly enforced. Quite expensive drinks.
Less crowded than 'the valley' or the city, this bohemian district popular with locals offers a few hip clubs, intimate restaurants and a very laid back atmosphere.
Lychee Lounge94 Boundary StIntimate setting, sensual cocktails, beautiful crowd Uber100 Boundary StOpulent, sophisticated & funky restaurant/bar/lounge/dancefloor. nice spot, popular with working professionals. Especially popular on Wednesday nights. Archive Beer Boutique100 Boundary StLocated at street level beneath Uber, Archive stocks over 200 different craft beers, primarily Australian. The food is generally excellent, although the menu is in no way as extensive as the beverage list. Prices are reasonable, particularly on Sunday "Beer O'Clock" where the price on the majority of bottled beers are reduced to $5. The Boundary Hotel137 Boundary StWest Ends oldest pub has recently (2011) completed extensive renovations. This is perhaps the largest drinking establishment in West End, with two bars downstairs and a beer garden & deck on the upper floor. The food is fairly plain but well priced, and the drinks menu is about the same. Excellent live blues acts Sunday afternoon and evenings from Wednesday to Saturday are the main reason to visit. Sling Lounge153 Boundary StExtremely knowledgeable cocktail staff, with a huge range of drinks on the menu. Bigger than it appears from the outside, you'll find a garden hidden out the back with high ceilings and a great atmosphere complemented by the jazz and lounge music usually playing. It can get busy on Friday and Saturday nights, with a resulting increase in wait times for your beverage. Well worth visiting, especially during quieter times - the staff are more than happy to walk you through the process of making your drinks, including the reasoning behind each individual ingredient being included. Tapas is also available, but prices are a little high considering serving size.
Rumpus Room56 Russell StreetGreat cocktails, and a good selection of spirits and bottled drinks. The music here is primarily funk and hip-hop, with live DJs on the weekend and during the latter half of the week. The beer garden out the front is a great spot to relax in the shade on a hot day and meet some locals. The crowd tends to be a lot thicker and drunker on Saturday nights, however.
Lock n Load142 Boundary StFriendly staff, live music most evenings and a decent array of cocktails. The beer garden at the back is a nice spot to relax, but is often crowded. Excellent spot for a light meal. The End73 Vulture StCalls itself a "boutique bar for everyone". Quite small inside, so if you're not there early you will probably miss out on a seat to 'hipper than thou' types. Decent selection of beers at the average price, ever-changing seasonal cocktail menu. The Joynt48 Montague RdA nice dingy little pub in a big beautiful old Queenslander-style building. Most nights there will be a band playing jazz or funk. Usual selection of drinks, the pizzas are nice but pricey, and the profits from the alcoholic slushies go the band. Also note the free arcade machines and the stack of board games you can play.