The Spotted Cow is arguably the favourite Toowoomba watering hole for any cow, young or old. The current management since 1990 named it after an English pub. This family-run venue is famed for its live music on Wednesday nights. Returning and visiting bands include British India, Babaganouj (live on 24 April 2016), local band Suicide Swans and The Beards (live on 15 June). Band nights see visitors from as distant as Melbourne and 'out west' who love to meet the band members. An impressive line-up of signed posters grace the walls in one of the lounges. Little rooms create charm and intimacy while the Jersey Dining Room receives the larger bands. This steakhouse also has a variety in burgers with a regularly changing menu. Pinball comps popular. Atmosphere in the day is laid-back with jazzy sounds. Built in 1892, The Spotted Cow's front is heritage-listed, note the detail on the windows. Trivia games on Wednesday nights, except 20 April 2016 which hosts a 'tinny party'. Check out the Cow also on Facebook. Phone: 07 4639 3264 , cnr Ruthven & Campbell Sts.
Be seen dining downstairs and dancing above at the Cube Hotel . Slick city decor with retro furnishings and magenta-lit shelving behind the bar. Upstairs the veranda props up customers in old-boys' school leather lounges for a relaxed evening gazing out over the Margaret Street action. Outdoor fixed column tables under pumped music invade the public footpath. Exclusive stonegrilled meals include Angus Rump, Atlantic Salmon and Tandoori Chicken, cooked over 400-degree volcanic stones. Cool off afterwards with a mountain of ice cream. Less busy in the days dining to rock music, the Cube comes alive in the evenings. The Cube Hotel would love to host your next party. Phone 07 4632 4747, 169 Margaret St.
If you're Irish, come into the parlour at The Shamrock Hotel for some pulled pork burger with salad and chips, one of many fabulous food deals. Stylish but casual dining produces specials worth their weight in a pot of gold with chicken, seafood, steak and a taste of Italian. Little Paddies kids' meals are tempting. Intimacy in a booth or enjoy a group table. Live music, trivia nights, pool tables, Karaoke and free poker nights. Winter sees a crackling fireplace toast your toes. A happy atmosphere for your gang. Handy to and suitably posh for the Burke & Wills Hotel in the city heart. Phone: 07 4632 2666, 604 Ruthven St.
Grilled barra with crispy salad & aioli.
Club Glenvale is where country hospitality serves generous portions with gourmet presentation and value for money. Try the T-bone steak with chips, aioli, salad and cracked pepper. The most popular dish at our table was Beef and Cashew Thai Salad, with cool, crunchy salad. The grilled Barramundi with chips, aioli and salad was satisfying. Coffees are very strong and shots are available. Reasonable prices and friendly service at the bar. Play the pokies and Keno while overhead screens play sports and the kids play in the Kids' Room. Popular with large group bookings and celebrations. Phone 07 4633 1229, 564 Boundary Rd, $5 annual membership.
The Portadown Hotel
Formerly known as The Freemasons Arms, The Portadown Hotel was once the popular watering hole for the nearby Freemasonry lodge. The darkened bar suits the flavour of times past with iron door knockers and medieval hinges adorning old wooden doors. Tuesday and Friday nights host free Texas Hold 'em Poker at 6pm. See Tops Poker for more information. A tiny beer garden abuts the Gaming Room with plenty of pokies. The Sports Bar entertains with Hitz FM, a pool table and a Wurlitzer jukebox. Country atmosphere comes to life on Friday evenings, but no dining. Phone 07 4632 2611, 135 Herries St, Fri & Sat 10am-2am; Sun-Thu 10am-12am.
Fiveways Hotel / The Great Northern at Fiveways
An historic building with a little infamy in its past regarding topless waitresses, new management have face-lifted Fiveways Hotel and renamed it The Great Northern at Fiveways. Its historic appearance remains charmingly intact and the cleaned up act is great for families. Two pool tables, reasonably priced and tempting menu. Winner of Best Toowoomba Restaurant 2013. Menu offers include Mixed Grill with rump steak, sausage and bacon, Grilled Lamb Cutlets, Seafood Basket and Chicken Carbonara. Two local bands each month. Small, private gaming room. Budget accommodation. Phone: 07 4632 3782, 39 Mort St.