With so many bars in Noosa, and only so many nights in your visit, it can be hard to know where to spend your precious sunset and after-dark hours. Life’s too short for an average cocktail, after all.
From spacious drinking holes with sweeping views to tucked away small bars where lo-fi wines and obscure whisky are the stars, start your night off right with this list of the best Noosa bars.
Petite and somewhat Parisian, with coffee by day and gin cocktails by night, this intimate bar is a classy addition to the Hastings Street strip. Local distilleries are championed in the lengthy gin list, and gin-based cocktails are best accompanied by the likes of baked Woombye Blackall washed rind cheese or organic sourdough smeared with duck and cherry pate.
You could come here for a cocktail or two, or you could book for a gin masterclass that will see you enjoy a matched southern coastal Indian feast that runs from Dad's puchkas to whey brined tandoori chicken and Aunty Carol's love cake. There’s a wide line-up of Noosa beers on tap but really, it’s all about the Queensland gins.
A bar stool, a cracking happy hour and an unbeatable view – what more could you ask for on a sunny afternoon in Noosa? Sunset Bar on the top floor of Noosa Boathouse throws in live tunes on Sundays as well as a bar menu filled with snackable fresh prawns and salt and pepper calamari.
Suave and sophisticated with serious cocktail nous, Locale is the spot to pull up a stool at the bar and enjoy aperitivo like you’re in Trastevere in Rome, not nudging the sands of Noosa Main Beach. Narrow down the negroni menu (there are nine to choose from) or sip a bacon old fashioned or non-alcoholic sour made on Seedlip while you peruse the lengthy wine list. You’ll definitely end up ordering more than one round here.
It might be known for its plant-centric eats, but it’s in its cocktail list where Herbert really shines. Try creative concoctions like the Pot Plant with an Ezra Brooks bourbon base and an edible soil finish, or the Austin Powers with its delicate flower ice spheres. Nab a spot at the bar to watch them take shape.
Known for their late-night bites and unpretentious vibes, you’re guaranteed to meet a few locals at Village Bicycle. Pull up a pew in the beer garden with a bottle of your favourite brew – Heads of Noosa and Boiling Pot are amongst the Queensland-leaning list – and smush your way through a freshly baked pretzel with cheese dip. There’s also poutine, buffalo wings and burgers on the menu. Sensing a theme here?
A high street stalwart for cocktails and good times, Miss Moneypenny’s celebrates everything from “‘80s cruise ship drinks” to a gin-and-tonic edit featuring local gins and Australian native tonic. If you want to learn how to perfect that Grasshopper or Istanbul Old Iced Tea, get a group together for one of their cocktail classes.
You can’t go past a cheap and cheerful frosty with arguably the best view in town at the Noosa Heads Surf Club (especially if you’ve got the kids in tow). Although, adding on a bucket of fresh Mooloolaba prawns is always a good idea. Be warned: Wednesday and Thursdays are karaoke nights.
Not only does the wine bar at Embassy XO have a fireplace to keep you warm in winter but their line-up of yum cha snacks really hit the spot as you while away an afternoon (think duck pancakes, sweet potato dumplings and crispy lamb wontons). Just as the bites colour outside the lines, so do the cocktails. Try a clash of two cultures with their Italian Margarita or sip the signature XO Martini made on Four Pillars Olive Gin with a hint of sake and soy.
A little wander of the alleyways of Noosa Junction will throw up more than a few welcome surprises, none better than the hard-to-find New York-style speakeasy Nudge Nudge Wink Wink, where you'll find retro-cool interiors, late night Burlesque, an expertly curated wine list, and some of the best cocktails this side of the Atlantic.
Theo’s is the neighbourhood wine bar you never realised was missing in Noosa. With 80-odd labels lined up behind the bar – mostly limited-run, low-fi varieties – it’s the perfect spot to treat your taste buds to something new as you nosh on a 100% local grazing board.
With an ex-sommelier of now-shuttered Wasabi at the helm, come for the “weird and wonderful white varieties” and Spanish-leaning snacks with views over the Noosa River. Try something new by the glass or dive straight into a South East Sour, infused with 2020 Distillery gin from just up the road in Cooroy.
If whisky is your poison, this riverfront bar has your back with more than 75 bottles and helpful staff who can recommend a new favourite or hold your hand in designing a tasting flight if you’re new to the game. Pop in for a wee dram or pair your pour with a hefty Tomahawk steak or drunken chicken – the grill is the supporting star here.
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