The Gold Coast’s best hidden bars
Maggie Gray | May 14, 2021
We’re taking you off the beaten track, slipping down alleyways and solving riddles to find the best clandestine hangouts and hidden bars on the Gold Coast.
IKU YAKITORI & WHISKY BAR
Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Wind your way through the dark back alley of Justins Lane, and you’ll come across a wooden door covered in bamboo and a blue neon light signalling the entrance to Iku Yakitori’s Whiskey Bar. Iku specialises in exclusive Japanese whiskey and delicious share plates fresh from the robata grill. The impressive fit out, paired with the intimate setting makes for a unique experience that transports you from the back streets of Burleigh to downtown Tokyo.
THE HIDDEN CHERUB
Lemana Lane, Miami
Lemana Lane is home to some of the Coast’s finest establishments – from Granddad Jack’s, Paddock Bakery and Black Hops – we really are spoilt for choice when it comes to this pocket of the Gold Coast. Newly opened, The Hidden Cherub certainly lives up to its elusive name. Tucked right behind The Heartfill Store, here you’ll find cocktails, beers, plant-based burgers and California-inspired tapas from Friday to Sunday. Neon lights and good times guaranteed.
LA BELLA CELLAR
Deodar Drive, Burleigh Heads
Discreet and oh so sweet, welcome to La Bella Cellar. Venture inside the doors with only initials to show and you’ll be greeted by an impressive cellar with fine Australian wine and some tasty drops from Italy, Spain and France. The menu here is actually designed to accompany the drinks to allow for the wine to shine. The white-washed bricks, terracotta tiles and contrasting cacti make for an aesthetic backdrop and a night well spent. Oh and did we mention there’s an entire section of the menu dedicated to cheese? Yes pleese!
Iku Yakitori Whiskey Bar
La Bella Cellar
The Hidden Cherub
Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Treat your tastebuds to a night out at the intimate and delightfully delicious Lebanese bistro Rabbath. Family owned and operated by brothers Pascal and Patrick, make you feel right at home as soon as you set foot inside. Open for lunch or dinner, Rabbath offers a range of unique Lebanese dishes that will leave you wanting more. You can choose your own share plates or opt to have the ‘Chef look after you’ – a decision you won’t regret. Don’t forget to add wine pairings for the perfect date night. Rabbath isn’t hidden behind any doors, but it is the low-key location that you’re going to want to make your local.
Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Bohemian-inspired Bo’teku is well worth a visit if you’re cruising down the southern end of the Gold Coast and aren’t sure where to wine ‘n’ dine. Bo’teku’s mantra is ‘eat, drink, relax’ – and they mean business. The seafood oriented menu has everything from tuna tartare to barbecued bugs and kingfish ceviche that melts in your mouth. With a cocktail jug at the ready, you’ll be imagining you’re sitting beachside in Bali in no time.
Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
Tucked away in the backstreets of Burleigh (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. Don’t forget to bring your smartphone – you’ll need to text the number on the door to get inside!
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Welcome to the Gold Coast’s newest underground bar – well that is … if you can find it! Broadbeach has upped the tequila game with a hidden speakeasy. If you can solve the riddle “Cross the bridge, where the monorail once lived, find the red palm tree for entry” – then you’ll be greeted by a seductive candlelit den complete with Mexican beer and exquisite tapas. Shh! Don’t tell anyone…
CROSS EYED MARY
Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Cross Eyed Mary have transformed the hole in the wall space where Tasca once resided into a quaint Italian eatery complete with epic cocktails and enough handmade pasta to sink a battleship. No reservations necessary – simply walk in and let the indulgence begin!
Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Suga is a sustainable rum and cocktail bar hidden along the Gold Coast Highway in Palm Beach. With no sign, it can be tricky to find – so keep an eye out for an intriguing timber facade. There’s over 60 different varieties of rum on the shelves as well as a fine selection of gins, whiskies, tequilas and beers on tap. At Suga, the fruit and produce used in preparation for drinks is sourced from local growers, and there’s a zero waste policy, so the elements that would normally be thrown away are re-used to make bar essentials like syrups and caramels. Guilt free sips, don’t mind if we do!
Cross Eyed Mary
THE WHISKY LOUNGE
Railway Street, Mudgeeraba
This hidden whiskey bar in Mudgeeraba offers over 130 whiskies from around the world. The friendly bar is small in stature but big on community spirit and intends to make guests feel like they are sitting in a cosy corner of a Scotland or Irish bar surrounded by good company and even better whiskey. There’s no food served at the bar, but you are welcome to bring along your own takeaway meals to tuck into.
Gold Coast Highway, Tugun
If you’re looking for somewhere to unwind in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere surrounded by craft beer, live tunes, and tasty Asian street eats – then look no further than Backbone Bar. There’s arcade games and pinball machines for the groms (and grown-ups!) and a cocktail, craft beer and wine menu that will knock your socks off. For rad times and self proclaimed ‘best karaage on the GC’, Backbone Bar has you covered.
MAMAN BAR AND KITCHEN
James Street, Burleigh Heads
Get excited – mouth-watering Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern eats have dropped in Burleigh. French for ‘mum’, Maman Bar and Kitchen is the latest coastal-inspired haven specialising in sustainable wines, exquisite cocktails, and share-style feasts. Entry is through the laneway to access this slick new venue. Maman is guaranteed to have your Insta followers wanting more.
James Street, Burleigh Heads
Not everything is as it seems. At least that’s certainly the case for Burleigh’s new Vietnamese takeaway joint. At first glance, NAÂMi is a nook slinging banh mi, spring rolls and pho, but look a little longer and you’ll notice a nondescript side door. Step through, and you’ll be transported to the bustling side streets of Vietnam complete with coloured parasols suspended from the ceiling, extravagant cocktails, late night DJ’s and friendly staff. You’re going to want to check this one out, pho-sho.
Maman Bar & Kitchen
The Whisky Lounge