*Disclaimer: Due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19, some of the venues listed may be closed or have changed hours. Follow the latest health advice and contact individual businesses for information about their operations.*
Want to know how to do a pub crawl on the Gold Coast while you’re on holiday? We’ve put together the best Gold Coast bars, pubs and clubs so you can get the most out of your night.
If you’re holidaying on the Gold Coast, be warned: exploring everything this sprawling city has to offer isn’t easy. There’s so many amazing places, and you probably don’t have time to visit them all. One easy way to get to know the GC intimately is by dedicating an afternoon/evening to a pub crawl that takes you all the way from Southport to Surfers Paradise to Broadbeach.
If you’re travelling solo, it’s a great way to branch out and make some new friends. If you’re a couple or parents with kids, it’s a great way to decompress as you familiarise yourself with the Goldie spirit. Non-drinkers, don’t stress: a pub crawl doesn’t have to involve alcohol. The experience of exploring awesome news bars and eateries is just as fun if you’re sipping on ginger beer instead of gin and tonics.
Load up on cash and make sure you’ve got that Uber handy, because it’s time to hit the streets and get a taste of the Gold Coast at night. Are you ready?
Start your beer-soaked meander along the coast at Parkwood Tavern, a staple of the Parkwood/Southport scene and a favoured hangout of uni students. This casual, very GC pub is all about quantity – load up on schooners of pale ale, grab a bottle of JD from next-door Dan Murphy’s or check out their live events, which feature artists as diverse as 1927, Shannon Noll and Black Slate.
Parents, if (for some reason) you’re not actually embarking on a full-blown pub crawl, there’s kids’ play areas for the little ones, as well as the on-site Graziers Steakhouse, which features classic Aussie dishes like steaks and parmis.
Mr P. P.’s Deli and Rooftop
Take the classiness up a notch by migrating to Mr P. P.’s, a trendy, multi-storey pizzeria and rooftop bar. With craft beers on- and off-tap, as well as a great line-up of cocktails and spirits, it’s time to wash the taste of XXXX Gold from your mouth and embrace your inner sophisticate.
Dissect antipasti and deli platters, or go Italian with classic pizza and pasta dishes. Vegans, rejoice – there are salads available too. Kick back in al fresco roof-top dining and feel like a king as you survey the streets of Southport.
Last Night on Earth
Directly opposite Mr. P.P.’s is Last Night on Earth, an intimate corner bar that embraces its grunge vibe with off-kilter décor and a distinctly urban aesthetic. You can choose to keep cosy by staying up near the bar, or, if you’re with a larger group, spill out onto the footpath with open-air tables.
Although Last Night’s beverages certainly aren’t anything to scoff at – what kind of person would turn down a nice craft beer? – you’re coming here to be reminded of those wild uni-student evenings when throwing up in the toilet was considered a mark of sophistication.
For something extra, check out the cheeky comments plastered inside Last Night’s bathrooms.
Slick and spacious, Stingray Lounge is Mexican chic that pairs amazing cocktails with DJ performances on Fridays and Saturdays. We hope you’ve been pacing yourself, because this upscale bar isn’t going to let you in if you’re rocking the thongs-and-stubbie vibe – Stingray requires that you ‘dress to impress’.
The good news is, once you’ve been accepted, it’s time to soak up all that alcohol – with everything from fried calamari, hot wings and pizza to nachos, quesadilla and tacos, you’ll be able to settle you stomach and hit the road with a fresh dose of energy.
Yes, you might look a little strange hitting the clubs if you’re not under twenty-five, but, hey, this is the Gold Coast – you won’t be alone. Shooters is probably our favourite Cavill Avenue dance spot; it’s the perfect way to ease yourself back into the scene if you haven’t been out for a while.
Nothing too crazy here, just insanely loud music, flickering strobe lights and lots of people getting very drunk. If the thought of having your eardrums intensely caressed by house music isn’t appealing, just duck in, grab a cocktail, and hit the road as soon as possible.
House of Brews
Unleash your inner hipster at the House of Brews, just a couple of doors up from Shooters. Marketed as celebrating “all things rock, brews and BBQs”, it’s the perfect counterpoint to the seething crush of Cavill Avenue’s intense clubbing scene.
Relax at their rooftop bar with a schooner of craft beer, or try something from their extensive international dining menu. If good food and good grog in a quirky atmosphere sounds like you, maybe skip Shooters and have two drinks here instead.
Head south to D’Arcy Arms, a low-key Irish pub along the Gold Coast Highway that’s all about the comfort food. If the crawl is getting a bit intense or you’re feeling like maybe you shouldn’t have had that last cocktail, settle things down with some classic Irish cuisine like bangers ‘n’ mash or a rump steak.
What’s that? You want to keep drinking? Well, loosen your belt and unholster your credit card, because the Arms have the best Guinness on the Coast, and we’re pretty sure one pint won’t be enough.
A visit to the Gold Coast’s bars, pubs and clubs wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Star, the Coast’s biggest and most impressive casino. With multiple onsite restaurants, a well-stocked bar and widescreen sports TVs, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Oh, and the gambling. Did we mention the gambling? If you’re looking to feed greenbacks into the pokies or watch your week’s wage disappear at the blackjack table, these guys have got you covered. What’s money compared to memories of an amazing night?
Enjoy this article about the Gold Coast’s top bars, pubs and clubs? Subscribe to our newsletter. It’s completely free, and we’ll keep you updated with quality articles about everything holiday-related in the South Pacific. What are you waiting for?