Sydney has the beaches but Melbourne has the bars.
Going out for a drink is what we do best in Melbourne and be it Wednesday or Friday, there’s always something going on.
I have carefully curated this list throughout the last few years living in Melbourne and while there are plenty more bars I could add, these 10 are some of the most Melbourne ones I could think of. I’ve tried to make this list varied including rooftop, hidden bars, budget-friendly options and places to splurge.
So, whether you’re after a cocktail with your mates (or a beer to cure the hangover), these are 10 Melbourne bars that you won’t want to miss. Cheers to that.
A cocktail bar, barely the size of a cupboard, that pays homage to the golden age of drinking? Only in Melbourne, I assure you does such a place exist. Complete with chequerboard floors, a complete lack of seats, a ‘we’ll mix you up what you fancy menu’ and a no photo policy, Bar Americano has to be one of the quirkiest drinking places around.
A late-night bar and brasserie, hidden behind a plain door that simply says MGX. This beautiful candle-lit place is very New York meets Parisian bistro. The dark interior with its cozy booths and beautifully ornate bar is all very romantic. The best place in Melbourne for a martini and some fine french cuisine.
Tucked in a quirky basement lounge, dimly lit with jazz music playing in the background is Gin Palace. As its name suggests, Gin Palace pays homage to everyone’s favourite drink, sporting a book-sized menu with a selection of gin and tonics from pretty much any country you could name.
Date? Post-work drinks? Friday night? Whitehart Bar is always a good bet. Tucked down the end of an alley off of Lonsdale street, this classy rooftop has a bustling atmosphere and is a little bit chicer than some of Melbourne’s other drinking establishments.
There was a time where I religiously went to the Garden State Hotel every Friday evening but you can see why- because everyone in Melbourne is doing the same. As soon as 6 pm hits, everyone flocks to this large, sophisticated bar for post-work drinks and they stay there until the early hours of the morning. Offering an extensive drinks selection, light bites to eat and a large open plan seating/dance area, it’s the only place to get drunk and make a fool of yourself in front of your friends.
One of Fitzroys finest, The Everleigh is one of those old world cocktail bars that you want to pass the hours in. It has won numbers of awards, most noticably making it into the World 50 Best Bars list two years running.
It’s very Fitzroy North and the type of place that you want to be seen at and probably will bump into someone who you do know. Monty’s is young, fun and no thrills but there’s something appealing about its deep booths, turntables and cozy backyard area.
News in, Collingwood’s Smith Street was just named the coolest street in the world, and when the hustle and bustle of vintage shops and bakeries dies down, where does everyone go: Bad Frankie of course. This trendy bar is intimate, contemporary and their staff really know their drinks. The bar’s 150 spirits are all sourced from Australia and their wine and beer selected is equally as impressive. Try a jaffle, the perfect way to offset one cocktail too many.
A rooftop bar in the CBD that serves Aperol Spritzes all day, every day for just $12? The rooftop bar at Curtin House is hard to beat. Located on the 7th floor of this non-descript building, getting to this bar is a bit of a trek up the many flights of stairs, past an eclectic mix of salons and shops. However once you make it to the top, you’ll find one of Melbourne’s best-hidden secrets: a fantastic rooftop bar and open-air cinema with unbeatable views if the CBD.
Not technically a bar but when else can you get dressed up, peruse art and simultaneously get drunk to a live DJ? Hosted at Melbourne’s National Gallery Of Victoria, on Friday nights from 6pm onwards, the downstairs of this venue transforms into a bar. Attracting a crowd of arty types and young professionals, NGV lates are the perfect networking opportunity and the ideal place spend a couple of hours enjoying the exhibition, tucking into dumplings and letting your hair down.
Are you interested in checking any of these places out? And more importantly, do you have any other favourite bars in Melbourne. Share your thoughts in the comments below or feel free to get in touch. More Melbourne related suggestions for the CBD and beyond coming soon.