The ultimate resource for all things digestible GoodFood put together a list of the 50 best Melbourne bars for 2016. Call it a hunch but we have a feeling they know what they’re talking about. And while we here at Man of Many are based in Sydney, we’ve got our drink on all around the continent and are therefore no strangers to the best Melbourne bars ourselves. Hence, we’ve selected 10 of the newer bars from the GoodFood list for you to peruse at your leisure. We also included the remaining 40 entries at the bottom. Read on, drink up and be merry!
In this modern age of over-themed bars and over-concocted cocktails, sometimes it’s refreshing to enter a dimly lit watering hole that just wants to serve up a stiff drink and a good time. Heartbreaker is that watering hole. Straddling the line between dirty and trendy, this is where you go to throw some coins in the jukebox, shoot pool, and just get your drink on the way people used to. For those who would rather take the party home, one of the best Melbourne bars even offers bottled cocktails to go.
234A Russell Street, Melbourne CBD VIC 3000
Housed in a former massage parlour, Hard Rubbish gives a new kind of happy ending to an otherwise drab street in Preston. That’s all thanks to a modest but killer selection of beer and a small kitchen churning out delicious jaffles. The décor, like the menu, is simple and straightforward–because you’re here to soak up alcohol with a jaffle, not take a course on interior design.
670 Plenty Road, Preston VIC 3072
Pretty Mama has all the trappings of a restaurant that you bring someone to whom you’re trying to impress. For starters, what a great name! Then there’s the location–it’s hidden away in the recesses of a residential building. Last but not least is the menu, loaded to the gills with rum cocktails and delectable Caribbean offerings. If your date isn’t at least a little dazzled then allow us to suggest it’s her, not you.
220 Spencer Street, Melbourne CBD VIC 3000
The Ugly Duckling
In spite of its underdog label, The Ugly Duckling came out the doors swinging with a sleek décor and tasty drink menu that aims to please. Pull up a chair at one of the best Melbourne bars and let your knowledgeable bartender be your guide.
238 Swan Street, Richmond VIC 3121
Seriously, what’s up with all the awesome bar names, Melbourne? Misery Guts rocks a vintage atmosphere complete with old VHS tapes and army posters, a tough to beat happy hour, and a classic drink and snacks menu. Their website is also good for a few laughs.
19 Grey Street, St Kilda VIC 3182
Little Drop of Poison
Not to beat a dead horse, but we’re seriously starting to wonder if Melbourne holds a bar naming contest every year. Like so many other best Melbourne bars with cool names, this quaint and rustic gem is somewhat tough to find, hidden on a laneway off Main Street in Eltham. Featuring a menu as renowned for beer and wine as it is for breakfast and coffee, Little Drop of Poison is the ideal place to drink away the night and return in the morning to nurse your hangover.
937B Main Road, Eltham VIC 3095
Bar Liberty is for the modern day connoisseur who likes an eclectic variety of spirits, beers, wines and dishes. The décor is stark and the offerings crafted with extreme precision. Don’t go here if you’re one of those idiots who take stars off his Yelp reviews for things like price point or a lack of accessibility. Go here if you have an adventurous palate and love to explore the world by way of food and alcohol.
234 Johnston Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Back Alley Sally’s
Yet another hard-to-find hotspot with a wild name, Back Alley Sally’s is a hassle-free establishment located in oft-ignored Footscray. Come here to get an excellent draft beer and a solid slice of pizza from neighbouring Slice Girls West. Expect a communal atmosphere and a diverse crowd that includes all age groups and stereotypes.
4 Yewers Street, Footscray VIC 3011
GoodFood’s 2014 Chef of the Year Andrew McConnell keeps his streak of excellence alive at this phenomenal wine bar and restaurant. One of the best Melbourne bars is awakening taste buds to new stratospheres of flavour and almost single-handedly turning the neighbourhood into an acclaimed epicurean destination. Try everything on the menu because there is simply no way to go wrong at Marion. This is a beautiful representation of everything a great restaurant can be.
51-53 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Embla is a classy establishment that delivers the goods on all fronts. Save up some extra cash, bring a group of friends and splurge by getting a little bit of everything. Pair your food with some painstakingly curated wine selections that you probably won’t find anywhere else.
122 Russell Street, Melbourne CBD VIC 3000
Here are the remaining 40 entries (in no particular order):
- Boilermaker House – 209-211 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne – boilermakerhouse.com.au
- Bar Exuberante – 438 Church Street, Richmond
- The Kilburn – 348 Burwood Road, Hawthorn
- Whisky & Alement – 270 Russell Street, Melbourne – whiskyandale.com.au
- Gin Palace – 10 Russell Place, Melbourne – ginpalace.com.au
- Bad Frankie – 141 Greeves Street, Fitzroy – badfrankie.com
- The Nelson – Unit 2, 56 Acland Street, St Kilda – thenelsonstkilda.com.au
- Vaporetto – Rear 681 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn – vaporetto.com.au
- Hihou – 1 Flinders Lane, Melbourne – hihou.com.au
- Bar Di Stasio – 31 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda – distasio.com.au
- Harry and Frankie – 317 Bay Street, Port Melbourne – harryandfrankie.com.au
- Smalls – 20-22 Yarra Place, South Melbourne – smallsbar.com.au
- Gerald’s Bar – 386 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North – geraldsbar.com.au
- Boney/Magic Mountain Saloon – 62 Little Collins Street, Melbourne – magicmountainsaloon.com.au
- Loch & Key – Upstairs, 34 Franklin Street, Melbourne
- Siglo – Level 2, 161 Spring Street, Melbourne
- Le Bon Ton – 51 Gipps Street, Collingwood – lebonton.com.au
- Bar Ampere – 16 Russell Place, Melbourne – www.barampere.com
- Heartattack and Vine – 329 Lygon Street, Carlton – heartattackandvine.com.au
- Rook’s Return – 201 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy – therooksreturn.com.au
- Hampton Wine Co. – 444 Hampton Street, Hampton – hamptonwine.co
- Sun Moth Canteen – 28 Niagra Lane, Melbourne – sunmoth.com.au
- The Lincoln – 91 Cardigan Street, Carlton – hotellincoln.com.au
- Marquis de Lorne – 411 George Street, Fitzroy
- The Palace Hotel – 505 City Road, South Melbourne
- The Rochester – 202 Johnson Street, Fitzroy – therochey.com.au
- East of Everything – Level 3, 72 Auburn Parade, Camberwell – eastofeverything.com.au
- Carwyn Cellars – 877 High Street, Thornbury
- Catfish – 30 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy – thecatfish.com.au
- Hats and Tatts – 78 Cecil Street, South Melbourne
- Nighthawks – 136 Johnston Street, Collingwood
- Leonard’s House of Love – 3 Wilson Street, South Yarra
- Union Electric – 13 Heffernan Lane, Melbourne – unionelectric.com.au
- The Beaufort Bar – 421 Rathdowne Street, Carlton – thebeaufort.com.au
- Bar Americano – 20 Presgrave Place, Melbourne – baramericano.com
- Eau-de-Vie – 1 Malthouse Lane, Melbourne – eaudevie.com.au/melbourne
- Romeo Lane – 1a Crossley Street, Melbourne – romeolane.com.au
- The Black Pearl – 304 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy – blackpearlbar.com.au
- The Everleigh – Upstairs, 150-156 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy – theeverleigh.com
- Jungle Boy – 96 Chapel Street, Windsor – jboy.com.au