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
Lockwood: 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.
Aloha Bar and Dining: 18 Main Place, Broadbeach
Wander down this Broadbeach laneway and say aloha to the tiki bar of your dreams. With tasteful cane 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.
Live and loud
Miami Shark Bar: 296 The Esplanade, Miami
Local’s haunt Miami Shark Bar is one of the Gold Coast’s best kept secrets when it comes to the alternative music scene. The likes of Press Club, Luca Brasi 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 Miami 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
Chinatown Street Markets: Davenport Street and Davison Lane, Southport
Taste your way across Asia as you soak up the atmosphere of the Chinatown Street Markets in Southport. Held on the first Saturday of every month (Christmas period excluded), market vendors and local businesses in the precinct come together to deliver an authentic cultural immersion complete with live entertainment and children’s activities.
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.
Take a swing
Topgolf: 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.
Nineteen at the Star: Level 19 at The Darling and The Star Gold Coast, Casino Drive, Broadbeach
Rub shoulders with the rich and famous at swanky Nineteen rooftop bar at the Star Casino.
With a luxe fitout overlooking the lavish infinity pool and terrace, Nineteen is the ideal location to sip on champagne with your girlfriends. The DJ takes control of the deck when the sun sets, so be prepared to carve up the dancefloor.
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
Grandad Jacks Craft Distillery: 45 Lemana Lane, Miami
Raise your glass and toast to local craft distillery Grandad 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? Grandad Jack’s taproom is BYO food – UberEats away!
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.
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.
San Sebastian: 1/1089 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
If you’ve missed the boat on booking a Europe trip this year, don’t despair – you’ll feel like you’ve landed in Spain when you step foot in Palm Beach eatery San Sebastian. Dishing up authentic Spanish fare and a relaxed atmosphere, you’ll feel like you’re noshing on pintxos in its namesake town.
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.
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.