01 Mar, 2022, 3:39 pm
Any Gold Coast local or regular visitor worth their salt knows that Burleigh Heads is where the magic happens. This chic coastal town brings together all that is special about the Coast into one delightful little pocket. From the lush national park headland and glistening blue waters to the bustling James St precinct and array of boutique stores, it’s the ultimate paradise for every occasion.
In fact, we’d go as far as to say that no trip to the Gold Coast is complete without a stop in at Burleigh. While you can make your way here during the day for an acai bowl on the sand or a morning walk with a coffee in hand, be sure to stop by a little later in the day to see this outdoor wonderland turn into a true playground of fun.
When you next find yourself in this neck of the woods and the sun is approaching the horizon, you’ll want to make sure you’ve parked up at one of the many bars dotted around the place for an evening you’ll simply never forget. Thankfully, there is no shortage of places to quench your thirst.
With so many incredible joints on every corner, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start! The beauty with Burleigh is that you really can’t go wrong! While every bar offers enough to tick all your boxes, there are a select few that go above and beyond to deliver a truly special experience. The team at Wicked Nightlife has rounded up our top picks so that you can make the most of your night out.
One of the true star attractions in Burleigh is undoubtedly the Justin Lane Establishment. With neon-lit walls, a grungy-meets-sophisticated ambience and a seriously impressive menu, this popular restaurant shifts things up a gear as the day turns to night. Come by in the afternoon for a drink on the sun-drenched patio, where you can take your pick from any number of classic or creative cocktail concoctions. It goes without saying that you’ll need to order a handmade sourdough pizza to pair with your drink of choice too.
And when the sun starts to set, the volume turns up, the dance floor starts cranking and the mood reaches an all-time high. With a Justin Lane Colada in hand, you can strut yourself to the tunes of local DJs and even the odd live act. While you might not be able to hear the crashing ocean waves just metres away, it’s still a pretty epic feeling to be partying the night away in a location as incredible as this one.
Where: 1708 – 1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
In true speakeasy style, until you’re in the know, Lockwood is not easy to hunt down. Even when you do know where to look for Burleigh’s secret bar, you still need to request entry via text message and wait outside the unmarked door until you’re let in.
But once you’re inside, it’s well worth the effort. Pull up a stool at the bar, where stylish bartenders dressed in ties, waistcoats and flat caps will be ready to throw some banters while stirring your Rob Roy – a stiff scotch whisky version of the much-loved Manhattan. With the backing track of mood-inducing blues and rockabilly tunes, you’ll quickly understand why the bar’s regulars don’t want word getting out.
Where: Justin’s Lane, Burleigh Heads
Iku Yakitori and Whisky Bar is a relatively new addition to the Burleigh bar scene, but one that’s been welcomed with open arms. Let’s set the scene. Think: flawless ambient light, surrounded by panels of dark, aged hardwood, a cobblestone-topped bar and a totally sinkable blue velvet lounge with ample room for all your mates. Sounds epic, right? It is!
Here, you’ll find the incredible bartenders serving up a weekly cocktail menu with a focus on whatever’s in season at the time. As the name would suggest, you can also expect an absolutely bonkers Japanese whisky menu. With an effortless touch of dinner theatre and intimate jazz bands making an appearance, you’ll stay long after your ‘just one drink’ promise.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Hidden away in a back-alley car park of Burleigh’s central hub, Nightjar is a grungy late-night den that is absolute brimming with all the industrial feels. As you arrive at this dude’s den, you’ll be greeted on the renovated roller doors, exposed red clay bricks, Besser blocks and naked concrete floors. While the space itself is raw, the offering is anything but basic.
The small bar skips out on the food to put all its efforts into the drinks. We’re talking enough beers, rums and sessionable cocktails to keep absolutely everyone happy. If you’re ready to strap on your dancing shoes before the sunsets, they usually offer a pretty unbeatable happy hour between 4pm and 6pm, where all beer, house wine and basic spirits are up for grabs for just a fiver.
Where: Justin’s Laneway, 1731 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
The Burleigh Pavilion is undoubtedly an icon of the Gold Coast. Boasting sweeping views of Burleigh Beach down to the Surfer’s Paradise coastline and with enough room for 600 people, beachside cocktails don’t get much better. The setting is an Instagrammer’s dream come true, with terrazzo tables, fairy lights, exposed timber rafters, splashes of pastel pink and a whole load of crisp white.
The space is made up of two areas. The northern side is home to The Tropic, which is a sit-down restaurant that serves up the kind of food you’ll still be dreaming about months later. On the other side is The Terrace – a more casual affair where you can sport sandy feet during the day or flats after-hours. Plus, with a 90-strong wine list, local beers like Balter on tap and superb cocktails, it’s an absolute must-visit for everyone.
Where: 3a/43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220
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