Brisbane lets kick back, sip on a cocktail and soak up some sunshine at these 10 best rooftop bars the city has to offer.
Summer is finally here and that means it’s the perfect season for spritzes, seltzers and scoping out the coolest places to chill in Brisbane all with a cocktail in hand. Whether you want to relax poolside or get the party started, this selection of Brisbane’s best rooftop bars includes something for everyone.
While we may not have as many skyscrapers as Sydney or Melbourne, there are plenty of rooftop bars with stunning views and even more impressive menus and, arguably, we experience some of the best weather that makes for the perfect conditions for outdoor hangs. So to swing into summer the best way we know how, check out these 10 best rooftop bars in Brisbane for the definitive guide on pairing panoramic views with weekday knock-offs or weekend kick-ons.
This pop-up Mexican bar in the heart of Fortitude Valley offers up the rich diversity of regional Mexican cuisine created with the best Australian produce – perfect if your summer vacation to Mexico was canned this year. Taking the place of Eleven Rooftop Bar for only a short time, this pop-up restaurant and rooftop bar is one you have to visit before it’s too late. Take the elevator to the 11th floor and step into an oasis of white-washed walls, olive trees, cactus gardens and live music all with a knockout view of the city’s skyline. The menu features contemporary renditions of traditional Mexican street fare, mezcal and artisanal tequila. This is a perfect spot for a relaxing lunch or sunset drinks.
Open Thursday through to Sunday, this Neo-Turkish rooftop cocktail bar is hands down one of the coolest places to head to this weekend. Topping Fortitude Valley’s The Constance hotel, the Dirty Sultan offers up street-food-inspired cuisine with a modern twist and some of the best custom-made cocktails in Brisbane. Not to mention the view. Hooked on the tantalising sights, scents and sounds of Istanbul and left dreaming about the cuisine, founding partner Dilan Ildes returned to Australia with a vision. Together with Tom D’Arcy, The Dirty Sultan was created; a bespoke cocktail bar, a private shisha lounge and a flavourful Neo-Turkish street food experience all rolled into one.
The Pool Terrace and Bar
This is one of the coolest spots in Brisbane, quite literally. One of the best places to be when those hot summer days hit; it doesn’t get much better than relaxing high above Brisbane city, sipping on cocktails and dipping your toes in the cool water of the 20-metre infinity edge pool. This gorgeous bar is part of the Next Hotel, but all you need is a drink purchase and you can enjoy the most scenic swim in Brisbane. The Pool Terrace and Bar is a staple of Brisbane’s rooftop bar scene, which is hardly surprising with their top lineup of live DJs, stunning views, the famous prawn cocktails and a seasonal food menu. This is the perfect spot to soak up all that Brisbane has to offer, both day and night.
Fiume is a glamorous outdoor bar and terrace channeling Los Angeles rooftop vibes, set directly above the bustling Howard Smith Wharves precinct. Nestled at the bend of the Brisbane River, the Howard Smith Wharves have been refurbished into an entertainment and lifestyle precinct surrounded by heritage listed buildings from the 1930s. But above all of the weekend crowds you will find the glamorous urban oasis of Fiume. With an extensive cocktail list, cocktail jugs and stunning views, this newcomer to Brisbane’s rooftop bar scene has certainly made a splash. Pair your drink with their Italian-inspired bar snacks and kick back by the pool, or kick on with a cracking soundtrack and get the party started.
In the heart of South Bank you’ll find one of Brisbane’s most iconic open-air rooftop bars, The Terrace. Picture a luxurious open space with walls of greenery and a 180-degree view of the Brisbane skyline. This elegant 21st floor hideaway features a bespoke retractable ceiling and operable glass roof, so you can live it up in a subtropical paradise all year round. The Terrace is open early for all-inclusive breakfasts until late with their extensive range of the best local and international beverages. Sip on boutique wines or one of their luscious signature cocktails. The food menu should not be missed, with fresh and locally sourced Australian produce featuring front and centre. Sample delectable local oysters and raw kingfish, or try the spicy Karaage Popcorn Chicken ($16).
Elixir Rooftop Bar
Elixir Rooftop Bar is an open-air fourth-floor oasis hidden above bustling Ann Street. This is a cosy spot for after work drinks with a buzzing atmosphere that grows as the night goes on. Elixir are known for their signature cocktails such as Beyond the Clouds with gin and elderflower; and All Tomorrow’s Parties, a spicy caramel twist on a classic piña colada. The bar takes its inspiration from a Chinese folk tale where up on the moon, the moon rabbit is constantly pounding ingredients for the elixir of life, sacrificing everything to keep the beautiful moon immortal. The team at Elixir were inspired by this tale and the cocktail alchemists embody the hard work of the moon rabbit in every mouthwatering drink they serve. We’re not promising the actual elixir of life, but with the creative cocktails and mouthwatering food menu, this is a close second.
End your work week the right way with a relaxing tipple at the Limes Hotel Rooftop, Brisbane’s original rooftop bar. With classic and signature cocktails, tropical decor and a laid-back vibe, this is the ideal wind down spot after a tough week. The Limes Rooftop is in the centre of the Alfred and Constance precinct of Fortitude Valley. There are lots of cool bars and restaurants in this trendy locale, but with the 360-degree views from Limes, we don’t think you’ll want to go anywhere else. On weekdays you can enjoy the rooftop cinema and bring on the weekend for the full rooftop bar experience in a fun atmosphere. As an added bonus, the rooftop bar is situated atop the Limes Boutique Hotel, so this is also the perfect spot for a city stay-cation.
Above the well-known Mercure Hotel, you’ll find one of Brisbane’s newest rooftop bars, Sixteen Antlers. The bar takes its name from the roof ‘branches’ which kind of look like deer’s antlers. Along with the leafy decor, you’ll find an intimate space with comfortable seating which is perfect for a midweek break or a fun Friday night. Sixteen Antlers offer a selection of boutique beers and quality wines, as well as their delectable signature cocktails. Pair the great drinks list with their impressive seasonal tapas menu and you have a recipe for a perfect evening. Plus, every Friday and Saturday night the bar hosts live DJs. The best part of it all is the uninterrupted city view, with the Brisbane skyline transformed into a twinkling light show each evening.
At the top of The Fox Hotel, you’ll find the neon-lit Dandy’s Rooftop, with views across South Bank and back towards the city centre. This bar is described as an adults playground and has been a staple in the Brisbane rooftop scene for many years now. With scrumptious handmade pizzas and refreshing cocktail jugs, there’s a reason this place is so popular. Dandy’s Rooftop hosts local and international DJs as well as cool functions and events. Head on up to the fifth floor for a night to remember at one of the most Instagrammable bars in Brisbane.
If you’re ready for some high altitude beverages look no further than Sazerac. At 30 stories up above the Four Points by Sheraton, Sazerac is the highest rooftop bar in Brisbane. Sazerac pays homage to cocktail creations from the 1920s, drawing inspiration from New Orleans speakeasies in the prohibition era. So whisky fans who’ve never tried a Sazerac, this namesake bar is the best place to do it in Brisbane. Alongside their classic cocktails, you’ll find a seasonal snacks menu to keep your group going long into the evening. Come for the stunning views, stay for the classic cocktails.
Looking to get outdoors some more? Make the most of golden hour with these top 10 sunset viewing spots around Brisbane. Or to help appease your hunger, these 10 best Brisbane steakhouses will sizzle up a storm.