drinks Lifestyle

Looking for Brisbane’s best cocktails

Plan for the weekend was simple: let’s find the best cocktail place in Brisbane. Our requirements were also incomplex:

  • comfy seating,
  • music in the background not too loud, so we could have an actual conversation,
  • long and diverse list of cocktails – diversity was important, our friend wanted gin based cocktails, my husband and I were looking for rum or vodka based ones,
  • CBD & close-by location,
  • knowledgable and professional staff would also be a nice addition.

Stop 1 – The Gresham Bar

The Gresham Bar, 308 Queen St, CBD

We started our research on Friday night at The Gresham Bar. It’s located in the NAB building and when I walked past couple of nights earlier I had a feeling it’s a more of a “grown-up” kind of place – the decor and the look of the bar made me think so. I was pretty disappointed when we walked in and we were hit by a wall of loud music. Are we staying for one cocktail? Quick look at the menu – quick because the cocktail menu is surprisingly short and it was a bit too dark in there for reading anyway, and we decided to give it a go. I went for Big Time based on a spiced Kraken Rum, guys settled for a basic g&t. Talking in a normal way was almost impossible, so we just sat there and looked around. It didn’t meet our requirements so we moved to the next place.

looking for brisbane's best cocktails

Stop 2 – Chester Street

Chester Street, 32a Chester Street, Newstead

We walked there with only one thing in mind: their delicious Coconut Cooler (white rum, coconut rum, mango, pineapple, lemon, grenadine). Hubby and I tried this one not so long ago and we’re truly in love. It’s a perfect summer cocktail. Unfortunately for us they were closing already (that’s why I don’t like when websites say “open until late”, I never know what they mean) and Alfred & Constance was recommended to us. So back to walking again…

Stop 3 – Alfredo’s

Alfredo’s Pizzeria, 39 Alfred Street, Fortitude Valley

A&C was a one loud house on Friday night, we didn’t even bother coming in. Fortunately for us, Alfredo’s is just next door and if you’re lucky (like we were) there will be a table in a more quiet corner. We settled there for the rest of the night, enjoyed fresh, tasty pizza and couple of g&ts. Good but didn’t tick all the boxes.

looking for brisbane's best cocktails

Stop 4 – Torba

Torba Restaurant & Lounge, 164 Little Stanley Street, South Brisbane

Torba was tempting me with their cocktails for a while now and this weekend was a perfect excuse to try them. We arrived about 7pm and it seemed to be a good timing – live music just started and we still were able to get a table (if you’re heading there on a weekend it’s better to book ahead). Finally a place providing us with some choice – the list is really extensive. We tried couple of different cocktails & enjoyed the live music, but we still didn’t feel like it’s exactly what we were looking for.

looking for brisbane's best cocktails

I had only 2 more ideas left for that day, so we went to check them out:

Stop 5 – Cove

River Quay, Sidon Street, South Bank

I’ve been to cove couple of times, usually for a small lunch and coffee and I really like the place. Great river views, lovely looking bar and quite good cocktail indeed. But it was just a quick stop that night. It didn’t have the right vibe for us.

Stop 6 – Mr & Mrs G – our favourite!

Eagle Street Pier, 1 Eagle Street, CBD

Our friend was telling us about all the great bars & cocktail places in Melbourne while we were walking in the home direction. This is my last hope, to show you we have some cool places in Brisbane too – I thought as we walked in. We were given quite a long list of cocktails, wines and other drinks (tick), we sat on comfy, soft chairs (tick), music was playing in the background – loud enough to hear it, quiet enough to be able to talk without shouting (tick). Cocktails came nicely presented, our expectations were high already. And then after first sip all three of us had the biggest smiles on our faces. Tick. Cocktails are great. Did I say it’s also very close to our place? Tick! And the cherry on top  – staff is excellent there. Yes, we stayed longer. Yes, we came back the next day. Yes, we’re planning to go there whenever we want some cocktails.

looking for brisbane's best cocktails

All photos were taken with phone cameras (I’m sorry!), I couldn’t risk taking my big camera to a bar crawl.

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  • Reply
    November 23, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Byblos at Portside 🙂 Try the lemon meringue martini

    • Reply
      November 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Thanks, I’ll check Byblos, shame it’s not in the city

  • Reply
    April 20, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Sling @ West End. Their cocktail list goes for about 10 pages 🙂
    They also do Margarita Mondays.

  • Reply
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