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The Gold Coast’s best hidden bars

Maggie Gray | January 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

1730 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

2/29 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 and California-inspired eats from Friday to Sunday. Neon lights and good times guaranteed.

La Bella Cellar

9/3 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!

Rabbath

7A / 1837 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.

Bo’teku

6/110 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Bohemian-inspired Bo’teku is well worth a visit if you’re cruising down the southern end of the Gold Coast. 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.

Lockwood

7B 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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Broadbeach

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

114 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!

Suga

1142 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!

The Whisky Lounge

2A / 58 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.

Backbone Bar 

12 / 489 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

49 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.

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