See & do

Gold Coast Nightlife: More than clubs and pubs

Dominica Czaczka | March 11, 2019

While our nightclubs and surf clubs are some of the best in Australia, there is a new wave of nightlife on the Gold Coast.

From sipping cocktails in stylish locales, head-banging along at gigs, filling your belly with tasty treats to cheering on your local team, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to evening entertainment on the Gold Coast. No matter your tastes or budget, there’s something for everyone in our guide to coast nightlife:

Hole-in-the-wall watering holes

Granddad Jack’s Craft Distillery

45 Lemana Lane, Miami
Raise your glass and toast to local craft distillery Granddad Jack’s. With exposed brick, copper stools and rustic wooden furnishings, this distillery is the epitome of cool and is sure to be a hit with even non-gin drinkers. Gin enthusiasts will drool over the craft spirits and signature cocktails, while tours and tastings are on offer for the uninitiated.
The best part? Granddad Jack’s taproom is BYO food – UberEats away!


7A Justins Lane, Burleigh Heads
Tucked away in a back alley in Burleigh, Nightjar is the dive bar that dreams are made of. With laidback vibes, no dress codes and epic live tunes stringing from Thursday through to Sunday, it’s the ideal spot to let your hair down once the weekend comes knocking.

Aloha Bar and Dining

18 Main Place, Broadbeach
Wander down this Broadbeach laneway and say aloha to the tiki bar of your dreams. With coastal chic rattan furnishings, tropic vibes and more palm trees than you can poke a pineapple at, this hidden gem will have you feeling like you’ve caught a flight to Hawaii in no time. Combine fruity cocktails with tasty tapas and you’re in for a treat.


7B Justins Lane, Burleigh Heads
Tucked away in the backstreets of Burleigh (literally, it’s hidden behind a red door), this speakeasy-style bar oozes charm with its mahogany touches and décor from an era bygone. Taste your way through the creative cocktail menu or sit back and enjoy the tinkling piano keys as you sip on a tipple.

Get tropical at Aloha Bar and Dining. Image credit: @alohabaranddining
Lockwood Bar. Image credit:
Play a round at Holey Moley. Image credit: @holeymoleygolf

Live and loud


Currumbin RSL,165 Duringan Street, Currumbin
Local’s haunt Soundlounge is one of the Gold Coast’s best kept secrets when it comes to the alternative music scene. The likes of Tijuana Cartel,  In Hearts Wake and British India have all rocked out on stage, with the local hangout an institution amongst diehard fans. With cold beers on tap and a classic pub menu, this Currumbin venue shrugs off all pretentiousness and puts the focus back on live music.

Miami Marketta

23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami
No stranger to sold-out shows, Miami Marketta’s main stage plays host to home-grown heroes such as Matt Corby, Ziggy Alberts, Vera Blue, Meg Mac, The Preatures and more. The venue also supports plenty of local talent, offering free entertainment for patrons in the main hall. Feeling peckish? The industrial venue is infamous for its laneway dining experience, with street food vendors selling cuisine from around the globe. Enjoy a main from Spain and satisfy your sweet tooth with something sugary for desert.

Street food fiesta

BBQ Bazaar

18 Junction Road, Burleigh Heads
Meat-lovers rejoice – there is now a food market dedicated to flame-grilled, smoked and chargrilled meats and eats on the Gold Coast. Serving up a smorgasbord of BBQ dishes, selection of craft beers and a rotating line-up of live tunes, BBQ Bazaar is sure to become your crew’s new weekend hangout. Vegetarians need not be afraid – a selection of meat-free options are scattered throughout the stalls.


BBQ Bazaar serves up a smorgasbord of BBQ dishes. Image credit: BBQ Bazaar


Take a swing


Roadshow Way and Entertainment Drive, Oxenford
No need to bring a caddy for this one; you’ll be teeing off from the comfort of a climate-controlled playing bay at Topgolf. Hit micro-chipped balls into giant targets on the outfield as you enjoy delicious drinks and tasty treats from the chef-driven menu.

Holey Moley

Circle on Cavill on Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
This one isn’t just your average minigolf course – prepare for sensory overload as you tee off for a night of karaoke, escape rooms, cocktails and a themed labyrinth of holes at Holey Moley. Expect the unexpected, with the outrageous styling paying homage to everything from The Simpson’s iconic couch to a cheeky tribute to Donald Trump.

Socialite soirée

Maman Bar and Kitchen

49 James Street, Burleigh Heads
Get excited – mouth-watering Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern eats have dropped in Burleigh right in time for summer. French for ‘mum’, Maman Bar and Kitchen is the latest coastal-inspired haven specialising in sustainable wines, no nonsense cocktails, and share-style feasts.

Nineteen at the Star

Level 19 at The Darling and The Star Gold Coast, Casino Drive, Broadbeach
Rub shoulders with the coast’s trendiest at swanky Nineteen rooftop bar at The Star Gold Coast. With a luxe fitout overlooking the lavish infinity pool and terrace, Nineteen is the ideal location to clink a glass and snap a selfie with the girls. Prepare for sensory overload, with the newly curated Sunday brunch menu, and when the sun sets, let the smooth sounds of Nineteen’s resident DJ take to the decks.

Burleigh Pavilion

3/43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
With beachfront views and crisp white interiors, new kid on the block Burleigh Pavilion is making waves on the social scene. The breezy rooftop bar is the epitome of cool, attracting a hip crowd with its extensive drinks menu and tasty bar menu. Grab a spot at one of the high tables underneath the twinkling lights and settle in for an evening of people watching – don’t be surprised if you find yourself mingling with a local celebrity.



Brew me up a cold one darl

Burleigh Brewing Co.

2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
Combine laidback vibes, stellar schooners and a sprinkle of character and you’ll get Burleigh Brewing Co. Brewing the perfect storm for post-work drinks on a Friday afternoon, the casual setting is ideal for kicking back with your best buds. Snag a spot at one of the communal tables in the spacious Taphouse, grab a bite from a local food truck and let the good times roll!

Can’t decide between a pale ale and lager? Sample the various flavours with a tasting paddle.

Lost Palms Brewery

11 Oak Ave, Miami
With pastel pink hues, long tables shaded by a canopy of umbrellas and a basketball hoop in the courtyard (yes, really), Lost Palms Brewery practically screams Sunday Session. Pouring a delicious range of sours, seltzers, IPAs and pale ales straight from their craft taproom, you’ll manage to convert even your non-beer drinking mates.

Tantalise your tastebuds with tapas

Tonic on Chirn

37 Musgrave Ave, Chirn Park
If you prefer not to be screaming over the top of loud music when out with friends on a Saturday night, say no more. Foray north to Tonic on Chirn, where you’ll be seduced by perfectly crafted cocktails and substantial share plates. The industrial- chic space channels some serious Melbourne laneway vibes, decked out with vintage wooden crate shelving, glossy high tables and leather seating.

Frida Sol

1176 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Fill the void of that cancelled overseas trip (thanks 2020) with round of sangria and tacos at Frida Sol. Dishing up modern Mexican fare and a relaxed coastal ambience, you’ll feel like you’ve landed in Tulum when you step foot inside this rooftop restaurant.

The Wine Barrel

8/59 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba
If you have an appreciation for good food and fine wine, you’ll be right at home here in the foothills of the hinterland. Country charm seeps through the rustic décor, with oak barrels and a log wall creating a warm and welcoming ambience. The modern-Australian menu is sure to delight, with the emphasis on local and organic ingredients shining through in the flavourful tapas on offer. People from all over the Gold Coasty flock to The Wine Barrel, with reservations recommended.

Share a plate or two at Tonic. Image credit: @toniconchirn
San Sebastian. Image credit: @san_sebastian_palmbeach
Tapas at The Wine Barrel. Image credit: @the_wine_barrel

Let’s get quizzical

Mr P.P’s Deli and Rooftop

43 Nerang Street, Southport
Looking for a fun midweek outing? Rally the troops in Southport and settle in for a bout of Thursday night trivia at Mr P.P’s. Test your knowledge of obscure facts and face off against strangers as you guzzle down pints with your mates.

Movies under the stars

Yatala Drive-In

100 Stapylton Jacobs Well Rd, Stapylton
Enjoy a blast from the past and settle in for a flick under the open sky this weekend. Yatala Drive-In channels old school vibes with its 50’s style diner and outdoor screens featuring blockbusters. Load up the family into the car or snuggle up with your sweetheart for a screening.