Wanting to find a cool spot to catch up with friends that is a little different to the regular drinking scene? While the Salt House, Pier Bar, Hemmingways and The Courtyard are all tried and tested favourites, switch it up this weekend with a few of these lesser known gems.
1. Fusion Art Bar & Tapas
Located on Spence Street, Fusion, a quirky and artistic tapas bar, is a great place to start your night. The exposed brick walls lined with unique artwork give this bar a serious vintage feel that meshes well with its origin.
The owners of Fusion originally managed the UnderArt Gallery next door but when the opportunity arose they chose to ‘fuse’ the bar and gallery together, to create a space and atmosphere unique in Cairns and it certaintly worked!
With indoor and outdoor seating available and the Under Art Gallery to wander through, Fusion is a great place to impress a hot date. Open from 3pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and 11am Friday and Saturday.
I recommend the BBQ Moroccan Chicken tapas share plate – delicious!
2. Elixir Bar
Live music, an inviting relaxed atmosphere and with even the occasional poetry slam and comedy night, Elixir Bar on Abbott Street has something for everyone.
With subtle hints of an underground scene, this cosy bar is a great spot to unwind after a busy day. Elixir is a great supporter of local talent and local beer making it a must-visit before leaving Cairns.
Open from 10am Wednesday to Saturday and from 3pm Sunday, enjoy a casual beer or grab a bite to eat here.
3. The Conservatory Bar
Tucked away on the cruise liner end of Lake Street, this high end Queenslander styled bar is a cheerful spot guaranteed to impress.
Perfect for a pre-dinner or post-dinner drink, an afternoon catch up with friends, or a first date, The Conservatory Bar is a great place to drink alfresco and enjoy the warm evenings and watch the world go by.
Open from 4pm Wednesday to Sunday, I recommend trying the tropical Beach Bubbles cocktail on your next visit.
4. Three Wolves
The Three Wolves is the ultimate back ally gem in Cairns. Boasting a very ‘New York’ cross ‘Melbourne’ vibe, this premium bar is very popular with Cairns locals. At certain times the Three Wolves can be found packed to the brim, however, it still keeps it’s alternative label in tact by continuously bringing a unique back end atmosphere night after night.
Hidden down an alleyway on Abbott Street in the Cairns CBD, you must follow signs to locate the entrance of the Three Wolves. Enjoy the cool air as you entered the cosy, dimly lit space and are welcomed by the friendly bar staff. The Three Wolves are known for unique and fancy cocktails that are best paired with a grazing board and share plates. Sit on the couches hidden in the corner, or stand, chat and dance in the middle of a location that feels very far away from the regular Cairns scene.
The Three Wolves are open from 4pm everyday and I recommend ordering the coconut espresso martini, for a tropical twist to an old school favourite.
5. McAlisters Brewery Company
McAlisters Brewery Company, located north of the Cairns CBD, in Cairns suburb Smithfield, is a charming bar that is truly unique to life in Tropical North Queensland.
Initially the owners of McAlisters were looking only for a warehouse to brew beer in, but once they saw the view of the surrounding sugar cane fields and mountain ranges, they realised it would be a waste not to add a bar – and thus, McAlisters bar was born!
Opened only in 2017, McAlisters is picturesque open area with scenic views that are the ideal backdrop to sink a few cold craft beers to. Sit back and watch as the sky turns golden over the mountain ranges and if you enjoy what you’re sipping – don’t forget you can take it home with you as McAlisters has 1 litre “refillables” available also!
You can get here by car, or any bus that is heading towards Smithfield Shopping Centre.