Melburnians love a good drink, and thankfully there is an array of cool pubs and bars around the city to cater to the diversity of the thirsty. Maybe that’s why it can be hard to decide exactly where to go in Melbourne for a bevvy. Equally as difficult, is the task of whittling the list of the Coolest 25 Bars in Melbourne down from the thousands of potential candidates. Melbourne’s bar scene continues to be the envy of the rest of Australia. After a 2-month trial – and a decision to not extend it permanently – there are no lockout laws here. Plus, Melbourne bars are as diverse as the city itself, which sees the people of Melbourne spoiled for choice when it comes to finding a decent watering hole.
Understandably, determining the best bars in Melbourne is a highly subjective task. Our list covers the entire spectrum, featuring simple bars with a good vibe, to upscale cocktail joints in equal measure. Each establishment containing some of the most extensive and exclusive Whisky catalogues this side of the Scottish moors, Wine so fine it makes grown men cry, Beer as crisp as mid-winter Melbourne eve, and every other elixir known to man. It goes without saying that we encourage you to remember alcohol should be enjoyed in moderation, but most importantly, it should be enjoyed.
1. The Everleigh
Opening its doors on July 4th, 2011, this American-style establishment has won countless awards; including, Gourmet Traveller’s “Bar of the Year” (2013), The Age’s “Bar of the Year” most recently this year, and placed in the highly coveted ‘World’s 50 Best Bars’ list courtesy of Drinks International in 2013 and 2014. A night at The Everleigh is a unique Melbourne experience. After entering through an American diner, walking down a dim-lit hallway and climbing a few stairs, you are whisked back in time to a bar reminiscent of the golden era of drinking, dedicated to classic cocktails and service. Time and time again this particular cocktail bar is among the top of any list concerning Melbourne’s bar scene, which it frankly deserves.
Address: 150-156 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Phone: +61 3 9416 2229
Hours: Mon-Sun 5pm-1am
2. Bar Liberty
This alcohol-focussed bar and bistro is one that speaks to wine lovers. Situated on an unassuming corner in Fitzroy, the interior of this Melbourne Bar features clean and crisp elements, with food and drink to back it up. Their bottles of wine are sourced from only the finest International and Australian wineries. Bar Liberty encompasses what it means to enjoy the taste and flavour of liquor, accompanied by a delicious meal.
Address: 234 Johnson Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Hours:Mon-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-midnight, Sunday midday-5pm
3. Black Pearl
Another Fitzroy bar worth a look in. Combining comfy couches and a warming décor, family-owned Black Pearl, has been a Melbourne staple for the last 15 years. Open until 3 am every night, this neighbourhood bar has been at the forefront of customer service and cocktail innovation. An iconic bar deep in the heart of Fitzroy, Black Pearl has been a breeding ground for Australia’s best bartenders that prove you don’t have to take yourself to seriously to create seriously good drinks.
Address: 304 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Phone: +61 3 9417 0455
Hours: Mon-Sun 5pm-3am
4. Above Board
Above Board is a relatively new and very intimate cocktail bar with only 12 seats. A no standing policy ensures the vibe is relaxed and private. Hayden Lambert, a legend of the Melbourne bar scene has made this his new home, promising patrons exceptionally crafted cocktails delivered alongside daggy day jokes, which supposedly get better throughout the night, provided the drinks remain flowing.
Address: Level 1/306 Smith Street Chopper Lane, Collingwood VIC 3066
Hours: Mon-Sun 5pm-1am
5. Paradise Alley
With wall art and a hipster vibe that screams Melbourne, this bar is perfect to shoot some pool and quench a thirst. Decked out with furniture that has been recycled and an array of delicious drinks, Paradise Alley is, well, paradise. On offer at this establishment are affordable options that don’t sacrifice quality for quantity; with many possibilities to choose from when it comes to beer, wine, and spirits. The communal nature of this bar is what makes it so desirable, with the bar working alongside fellow businesses to provide food and drinks to patrons.
Address: 25 Easey Street, Collingwood VIC 3066
Phone: +61 3 9029 8484
Hours: Wed-Fri 4pm-1am, Sat 12pm-1am, Sun 2pm-11pm
6. Bar Tini
Styled to showcase visitors what it is like to visit an authentic Spanish bar and bodega, Bar Tini prides itself on its refreshing authenticity. Not only will you be rewarded with exceptionally friendly staff, but the food is delectable and the drinks are beyond spectacular. You will no doubt be whisked back to those evenings spent in Barcelona. If you haven’t yet been to Spain, booking a ticket to the Iberian Penninsula will no doubt be on top of your to-do list after leaving this Melbourne CBD Bar.
Address: 3-5 Hosier Lane, Melbourne CBD VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9663 3038
Hours: Tue-Wed 5pm-11pm, Thu 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat 5pm-1am
7. Romeo Lane
If you are looking for a cocktail bar that you can call your own, then look no further than Romeo Lane. Romeo Lane is one of the best bars Melbourne has to offer. With an emphasis on a comfy interior, including a fireplace on the cooler evenings, here, classic cocktails are created and delivered by some of the best bar staff in the industry. This place encompasses what uber-cool Melbourne Bars are all about.
Address: 1A Crossley Street, Melbourne CBD VIC 3000
Phone: +61 457 673 647
Hours: Mon-Wed 5pm-12am, Thu 5pm-1am, Fri 3pm-1am, Sat 3pm-1am, Sun 5pm-11pm
8. Whisky & Alement
Serving the whisky lovers of Melbourne since 2010, Whisky & Alement can stand toe-to-toe with the best in the world in terms of both their offering and atmosphere. With an ever-changing menu of over 1000 whiskies (Holy Shit…I mean I think it’s fair to say that) featuring the classic brands, independent drops, and rare international varieties, this gem is a place for the preservation and cultivation of whisky gratitude. Definitely one of the coolest bars Melbourne CBD has to offer for whisky aficionados.
Address: 270 Russell Street, Melbourne CBD VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9654 1284
Hours: Sun-Mon 4pm-11pm, Tue-Sat 4pm-1am
9. Mr West
Focussing on providing the suburb of Footscray with a wide variety of alcoholic beverages, Mr West is the place to go when you’re not quite sure what you want, but are more than willing to be politely pointed in the right direction. The food on offer is simple albeit effective, and as an added bonus, the bar staff encourages locals to BYO food from surrounding eateries. Awarded Best Specialty Beer Venue in Australia at the 18th Annual Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards, seems a fitting result for a team proud of what they do and passionate about sharing it.
Address: 106 Nicholson Street, Footscray VIC 3011
Hours: Tue-Thu 4pm to late, Fri 4pm-1am, Sat 1pm-1am, Sun 1pm-late
10. Bar Americano
Opening back in 2011, Bar Americano’s Matthew Bax wanted to pay homage to the Golden Age of drinking in America. The unique nature of this bar is perhaps the main selling point, encouraging its patrons to put down their phones and engage with their fellow drinkers. All while enjoying the truly classic cocktails on offer at this popular Melbourne CBD Bar.
Address: 20 Presgrave Place, Melbourne CBD VIC 3000
Hours: Mon 4pm-10:30pm, Tue-Wed 4pm-11pm, Thu 4pm-12am, Fri-Sat 4pm-1am
The jukebox is blaring everyone’s favourite rock tunes. There is a red neon sign emblazoned with the word “Heartbreaker” that draws you in. The drinks are readily available, with 4 pre-batched cocktails (Negroni, Martini, Old Fashioned and Manhatten) on offer alongside a well-stocked bar and interesting selection of tap beer. The vibes are inviting and intimate, Heartbreaker will no doubt mend your broken ticker and then promptly steal it.
Address: 234a Russell Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone:+61 3 9041 0856
Hours: Mon-Tue 3pm-3am, Wed-Sat 12pm-3am, Sun 12pm-1am
12. The Moon
Combining an impressive selection of wine (over 400 bottles to be precise), an ever-rotating 20 strong by-the-glass list, and a notably warm atmosphere, The Moon is a place to go to enjoy the finest vino in Melbourne. In addition to the wine on offer at the bar, beer and spirit drinkers are well catered for too. An associated bottle shop is open until 11 pm daily, so if you need to leave but want a bottle of your new-found favourite drop then help is not too far away.
Address: 28 Stanley Street, Collingwood VIC 3066
Phone: +61 3 9089 0239
Hours: Mon-Wed 4pm-10pm, Thu 4pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-10pm
13. Kirk’s Wine Bar
Becoming a much-appreciated addition to the Melbourne CBD, Kirk’s Wine Bar offers entrants a unique place of drinking worship. With an impressive selection of delicious drinks and bar bites, this naturally well-lit space exudes European class, elegance and grace. Certainly, one of the best bars in the Melbourne CBD.
Address: Corner of Hardware Lane & Little Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9600 4550
Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am-11pm, Sat 9am-11pm, Sun 9am-11pm
14. Boilermaker House
Boilermaker House is a blues filled temple devoted to malt whisky, craft beer, and delicious cocktails. A Boilermaker, to those who are not acquainted with the term, is a pairing of beer and whisky to create a drinking experience more than the sum of its parts. With over 900 whiskies, and an ever-rotating tapped beer list, the opportunities for a palate or thirst-quenching drop are never-ending.
Address: 209-211 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 8393 9367
Hours: Mon-Wed 4pm-3am, Thu 3pm-3am, Fri-Sat 12pm-3am, Sun 3pm-3am
15. Beneath Driver Lane
Offering guests a truly unique experience, Beneath Driver Lane has made its home in the vault of the old Money Order Office; situated on Driver Lane – a tiny alleyway off the famous Little Bourke Street (also another laneway). This charmingly classic hidden bar provides an extensive drinks list with gourmet eats. An exclusively devilish drinking venue.
Address: Basement of 3 Driver Lane, Melbourne 3000
Hours: Mon-Thu & Sat-Sun 4pm-3am, Fri 1pm-3am
16. Bad Frankie
The Melbourne bar is named after the former Governor of Van Diemen’s, Sir John Franklin, who outlawed the use of small-pot distilleries in the 1840s. Bad Frankie and its owner Seb Costello champion the small-batch distillery movement of modern-day Australia. With over 150 spirits available – most of which are sourced in Australia made from local ingredients – this is the haunt for anyone looking for a true blue cocktail.
Address: 141 Greeves Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Phone: +61 3 9078 3866
Hours: Tue-Wed & Sun, 5pm-11pm, Thu-Sat 5pm-1am
17. Bar Lourinhã
Merging together the sensuously enticing Spanish and Portuguese cultures, this Melbourne CBD Bar provides entrants with a feast for the senses. Intimate and vibrant red leather couches complement the fabulously bold wines and food. Bar Lourinhã, believes that hospitality should come from the heart. With a passion for sharing their love of good Mediterranean food accompanied by great wine, you’re assured a unique experience to cherish. Bar Lourinhã has been serving it to happy customers for over 10 years and will no doubt continue to do so.
Address: 37 Little Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9663 7890
Hours: Mon-Thu 11:30am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-1am
18. Leonard’s House of Love
Entering Leonard’s House of Love feels like being transported back to a 1970’s era rumpus room/ski lodge. With stone and timber as far as the eye can see, this South Yarra bar/Lodge cabin offers many options for beer lovers and caters to lovers of wine or cocktails. Enticing burgers and fried chicken is informally enjoyed in burger boxes and plastic baskets for a relaxed vibe that makes this place so popular.
Address: 3 Wilson Street, South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone: +61 428 066 778
Hours: Sun-Thu 12pm-1am, Fri-Sat 12pm-3am
19. Jungle Boy
This Melbourne Bar is one that has all the hallmarks of a tiki bar meets sandwich shop. Confused? Ok fair enough, Jungle Boy, which is out the back of Boston Sub, is a place where lovers of the tropics and fruity rum flavoured drinks should go. The aforementioned tiki theme is accompanied by some intriguing and rather striking taxidermized creatures displayed on the walls of the hidden bar; all of which secretly housed behind a cold room door. Certainly unique and definitely Melbourne.
Address: 96 Chapel Street, Windsor VIC 3181
Phone: +61 3 9943 7653
Hours: Mon-Sun 5pm-1am
Sometimes the most difficult things to find are often the ones we enjoy the most, and this is certainly true of one of the best-hidden bars in Melbourne. This hidden gem is run by the legendary Guy Grossi. Arlechin combines European class and sophistication with a sense of mystery and intrigue, all the while providing impeccable beverages and food.
Address: Mornane Place, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9662 2414
Hours: Tue-Sat 5pm-3am
21. The Elysian
The Elysian Whisky Bar is a small and cosy whisky & cocktail bar located on the lower end of Brunswick Street in Fitzroy. About 300 bottles of extraordinary and noteworthy whiskies are offered to patrons, focussing on independent bottlings from around the world. If whisky or cocktails are not up your alley, a rotating beers list is sure to please those seeking a cold one. Jazz and old classics play most nights, so drop by to enjoy a relaxing night in Fitzroy with good friends and drinks.
Address: 113 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Phone: +61 3 9417 7441
Hours: Tue-Sat 4:30pm-1am
22. Gin Palace
When it comes to the best cocktail bars in Melbourne, you’d be hard-pressed to overlook somewhere as classic as the Gin Palace. The Gin Palace is one of the only bars in Melbourne focused on only the classics, and of course, Gin takes centre stage. Located in a hidden and unique basement lounge, the walls of this Melbourne bar are adorned with photos from a bygone era, taking patrons down memory lane. It’s nice to be reminded and what better to do so than with a drink in hand.
Address: 10 Russell Place, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9654 0533
Hours: Mon-Sun 4pm-3am
23. Union Electric Bar
Another charming addition to our list, Union Electric Bar offers visitors a casual environment to enjoy some of the best cocktails in Melbourne. Innovative creations aim to twist and reshape the classics, while utilising and supporting Australia’s glorious local suppliers. The exceptionally skilled staff provides you with a service like no other, under the watchful eye of Mr Bill Murray!
Address: 13 Heffernan Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 450 186 466
Hours: Mon-Thu 5pm-1am, Fri-Sun 12pm-1am
24. Gerald’s Bar
Whoever said that change was bad? Certainly not the lads behind Gerald’s Bar. Owner Gerald Diffey and his right-hand man Mario Di Ienno, have given the Melbourne drinking community a truly warm and inviting place. Creating a tantalisingly and relaxed atmosphere for customers, with an ever-changing list of options to choose from, Gerald’s is everything you look for in an intimate and inviting eatery and bar.
Address: 386 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North VIC 3054
Phone: +61 3 9349 4748
Hours: Mon-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 3pm-11pm
25. Naked For Satan
This Fitzroy staple has created a sense of individuality in a city where that is perhaps craved the most. Offering some of the most splendid rooftop views to patrons, alongside some of the most exceptional pintxos you can find this side of Barcelona. All this with some rather daring decorations and you have a combination that Naked For Satan has proven to be popular amongst the Melbourne bar scene.
Address: 285 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Phone: +61 3 9416 2238
Hours: Sun-Thu 12pm-12am, Fri-Sat 12pm-1am