No disrespect to our native Sydney, but Melbourne has a staggering amount of great places to get your drink on. Seriously, in putting together this list of Melbourne’s best gin bars, we started to wonder if essentially every other building in the city has a bar tucked down its laneway. Needless to say, if you’re seeking a classic martini or gimlet or just any strong botanical beverage then Melbourne’s best gin bars will duly heed the call.
Likewise, we’re certain the true connoisseurs among you will be delighted to find some rare gin to sip neat, one that you simply never expected to come across in the flesh. Presenting the 17 Best Gin Bars in Melbourne (and then some bars that just make a damn good gin cocktail). Just like a great spirits menu or sprouting juniper plant, this is a list that seems to keep growing and growing with each passing year. Yum.
1. Clooney Kitchen & Bar
Widely regarded as the best bar in Port Melbourne, Clooney Kitchen & Bar is the best place to enjoy a drink, a bite to eat, and a great night out. Winning Time Out’s best new bar in 2019, they’re the best place to wind down after a long day at the office or go to for a night out with friends. The drinks menu is sophisticated yet simplistic, this gin bar in Melbourne takes pride in sourcing the best ingredients possible. Gin & Yuzu Spider is a must-try, featuring Nosferatu Bloodorange Gin, Citrus Syrup, Lemon, Tonic Water, Yuzu Foam.
Address: 171 Bay St, Port Melbourne VIC 3207
Hours: Thur 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat 5pm-1am
Phone: (03) 9645 1568
2. Bijou Bottle Store
Nestled in the heart of the CBD this gin bar in Melbourne also doubles as a bottle shop. Set in a building that’s had its doors open since 1901, this is a great spot to relax on a Friday or Saturday afternoon. Bijou Bottle Store offers a gin heavy selection of house-made cocktails and spirits that rotate regularly.
Address: 194 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Mon-Thur 12:30-10pm, Fri-Sat 12:30-11pm
3. Bad Frankie
Devoted entirely to Australian made spirits, think of Bad Frankie as the Australian history teacher you wish you’d always had. Named after the sod who banned the small-pot still in Australia, which, for 150 years, stifled any chance of a holistic craft liquor industry, Bad Frankie has a vast range of the excellent white and brown spirits now being produced in the land, and the friendly staff have the knowledge to back it all up. Try something you’ve never heard of and pat yourself on the back for supporting a local.
Address: 141 Greeves St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Hours: Tues-Wed & Sun 5-11pm, Thur-Sat 5pm-1am
Phone: (03) 9078 3866
4. The Everleigh Melbourne
From internationally acclaimed bartender (not mixologist, we’re told) Michael Madrusan, of Milk & Honey fame, comes this very grown-up cocktail lounge. With all 30 guests seated, there’s a sense of class and sophistication for you to soak up whilst getting trolleyed on the first-rate cocktails that emerge from behind the small bar top. While they make gin cocktails particularly well, pretty much everything on offer is bang-on and wank-free, especially the tip-top service.
Address: Level 1/150-156 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Hours: Thur-Sun 5pm-1am
Phone: (03) 9416 2229
5. Eau De Vie Melbourne
Walkthrough the door of this underground establishment to enter a world of endless invention and epicurean delight. Eau De Vie easily makes some of the best and most creative cocktails in town. Behind the bookcase is a secret whisky bar of jaw-dropping magnitude and their front-of-the-house gin selection is likewise nothing to scoff at. Needless to say, this is one of Melbourne’s best bars, period. Accordingly, the privilege of visiting will cost you.
Address: 1 Malthouse Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Tue-Sat 5pm-1am
Phone: (03) 8393 9367
6. Four Pillars Gin Distillery
Four Pillars Gin is a craft distillery based in Healesville in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley. They’ve been making gin since they were founded in 2013, so they know a thing or two about botanicals. From their original multi-award-winning, Rare Dry Gin to the only gin in the world made just for a Negroni, they’ve always based their gin on the four pillars of great gin. The copper stills, pristine Yarra Valley water, traditional, exotic and native botanicals, and a massive amount of love and attention to detail at every stage of the production process. This location is primarily a gin distillery so you can’t get up to too much trouble but it’s certainly a nice place to try some world-class drops.
Address: 2A Lilydale Rd, Healesville VIC 3777
Hours: Mon-Thur & Sun 10:30am-5:30pm, Fri-Sat 10:30am-9pm
Phone: 1800 374 446
7. Union Electric Bar & Rooftop Gin Garden
What was once just another secret Melbourne bar, has transformed into a well-known hotspot for some lively Latin American music and cocktails. It’s in the name, Union Electric Bar & Rooftop Gin Garden features some of the best gin cocktails in Melbourne. Fresh fruits and vegetables are at the heart of the menu, with raspberry malt shrub, elderflower and micro herbs for enticement. One thing to note, the bar doesn’t have a kitchen, so don’t go in expecting a feed.
Address: 13 Heffernan Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Mon-Thur 5pm-1am, Fri-Sun 12pm-1am
Phone: (03) 8609 3161
Named after the year the word ‘cocktail’ was first recorded in use, this bar has been a favourite for many since it first opened its doors back in 2007. While the focus isn’t necessarily on just gin, they sure as hell know what they’re doing with the stuff – both house-cocktails and juniper-heavy classics are made with love and care, and the chaps behind the bar aren’t your regular paying-their-way-through-uni bartenders either. Order a Corpse Reviver #2 and stay for three.
Address: 169 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Wed-Thur & Sun 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat 4pm-12am
Phone: 0466 621 446
9. Romeo Lane
Yet another concealed laneway gem, Romeo Lane couples masterful cocktails with a sophisticated ambience to stunning effect. Rest assured any gin cocktail you get here might be the best you’ve ever tried. Indeed, Time Out recently declared that Romeo Lane is making “the best drinks in the city right now”. In booze-crazy Melbourne, that’s quite a feat!
Address: 1A Crossley St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Mon-Wed 5-11pm, Thu 5pm-1am, Fri-Sat 3pm-1am, Sun 3-10pm
Phone: 0457 673 647
10. Hell of the North
Hell of the North is a hell of a name for a bar. But is it one of the best Gin Bars in Melbourne? Well, sort-of, it’s really more of a wine and beer joint. But you will find some gin cocktail classics here, made to perfection. If you’re a best of all worlds drinker, the gin-based Corpse Reviver No. 2 has your name written all over it.
Address: 135 Greeves St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Hours: Wed-Sat 5pm-11pm
Phone: (03) 9417 6660
11. Bar Ampere
Absinthe and aperitifs are the specialty at this hidden tripped out joint but don’t think that doesn’t mean you can’t find a healthy selection of gins and other spirits. Also known for their signature cocktails, tasty small bites and late hours, Bar Ampere is the perfect place to start your day or cap off your night.
Address: 16 Russell Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Mon-Sun 6pm-3am
Phone: (03) 9663 7557
12. The Storeroom
Here we have another elusive gem (complete with secret door) that does Melbourne proud. The Store Room is a speakeasy-style lounge that will definitely give you a night to remember, assuming you can find it. Expect a stellar selection of spirits and gins in particular, since no prohibition-themed joint would have it any other way. Everyone loves this place so get in on the secret as soon as you can!
Address: 2-12 St Kilda Rd, St Kilda VIC 3182
Hours: Wed-Sat 5pm-1am, Sun 5pm-12am
Phone: 0417 330 789
13. Gin Palace
A staple for locals and tourists, Gin Palace has now been on the scene for 20 years as the one-stop venue for gins of the world, big martinis and a Champagne list that would rival most Bottle-Os. This gin bar in Melbourne is one of those places that made locals start saying ‘the small bar scene here is excellent’ long before it really was, and even longer before Sydney caught on. The best part is the fact they’re open until 3 am, every day of the week. It’s called Gin Palace for crying out loud, of course, it’s one of the best gin bars in Melbourne.
Address: 10 Russell Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Mon-Sun 4pm-3am
Phone: (03) 9654 0533
14. Lily Blacks
Tucked down a Chinatown laneway is the veritably awesome Lily Blacks. Picture a roaring 20s décor with minimalist undertones, joined by classic cocktails and hand-chiselled ice cubes. Naturally, that means some of the finest gin drinks to ever cross your lips. Pair those delectable beverages with a mind-blowing selection of bitters and you won’t stop coming until you’ve tried it all. It will deliver a gin cocktail you’ll never forget.
Address: 12 Meyers Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Mon-Fri 5pm-3am, Sat 6pm-3am, Sun 5pm-2am
Phone: (03) 9654 4887
15. Berlin Bar
The Melbourne bar scene is nothing if not crafty. In fact, a wide variety of the best bars are hidden down laneways or tucked in the corners of heritage buildings. For a prime example, look no further than Berlin Bar. Not only is this one-of-a-kind destination thematically divided between (formerly) destitute East Germany and opulent West Germany, but you need an illustrated map just to find it in the first place. It also happens to be one of the best gin bars in Melbourne.
Address: Level 2/16 Corrs Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Tue-Thur 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat 5pm-1am
16. Pilgrim Bar
Follow the crowd at the Federation Wharf and you might find yourself at Pilgrim. This waterfront venue couples elevated gastro fare with a boutique selection of wines and spirits. Their gin menu is approachable and affordable, though ultimately not in and of itself able to compete with the best Melbourne gin bars. That said, they do offer up to five incredible gin cocktails and a delicious gin-based Bloody Mary so let’s put them on the list anyway!
Located in: Birrarung Marr
Address: 15-19 Federation Wharf, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Thur 4-8pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-8pm
Phone: (03) 9654 9575
17. The Lui Bar
Nothing enhances an unforgettable juniper cocktail quite like an equally unforgettable high-rise view. For that, The Lui Bar has you covered to the tune of 55 stories. Engorge in their extensive selection of gin martinis (and small bites) while staring out across the epic Melbourne skyline. Sometimes the best gin bar in Melbourne isn’t just about the gin.
Located in: Rialto
Address: 525 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Wed-Thur 5:30pm-12am, Fri-Sat 11:30am-12am, Sun 3pm-12am
Phone: (03) 9691 3888