Melbourne’s nightlife scene is as formidable as just about any world city’s, but it is especially bolstered by a plethora of “hidden bars” established within it’s narrow streets and back alleys. Just the discovery of a hidden bar in Melbourne is a special moment, as it feels like you’re in on a secret only Bleak City locals know about. Below are a list of the very best hidden bars in the city of Melbourne, though it’s important you don’t tell to many people about them – otherwise they won’t really remain hidden and special.
1. Bar Americano
Hidden in a difficult to find back alley with a limit of 10 people at the bar at a time, Bar Americano is the textbook definition of a hidden bar in Melbourne. Great cocktails that will run over 20 bucks a drink, low light and jazz make is a memorable experience every time.
Address: 20 Presgrave Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
Trading Hours: Tue-Sat 5pm-11pm
2. The Attic at Black Pearl
As it’s name suggests, The Attic is a hidden bar above the popular Black Pearl bar in Melbourne and is one of the best for classy décor (see leather chairs and candle light), bartenders who know what they’re doing and that it’s a welcome, sexy escape on crowded nights from the popular Fitzroy bar below.
Address: 304 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, Vic, 3065
Phone: +61 488 304 304
Trading Hours: Thu-Sun 3pm-1am
3. Back Alley Sally’s
While Back Alley Sally’s sound like something you probably never want to experience, the actual Back Alley Sally’s is exactly the opposite—a hidden bar in Melbourne that is part of a once abandoned multi-story warehouse in a bad part of town which is now a favorite Westside drinking spot.
Address: 4 Yewers St, Footscray VIC 3011
Phone: +61 3 9041 6400
Trading Hours: Wed-Thu & Sun 5pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-12am
4. Goldilock’s Bar
Literally a shack in the middle of Melbourne’s Chinatown, Goldilocks is a hidden bar in Melbourne that manages to hide in plain sight—though you have to know where it is first. Take a lift to the fourth floor to find the tiny cottage of a bar and then to the rooftop deck for the full experience, especially around sunset.
Address: Level 4, 264 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Trading Hours: Mon-Wed 4pm-12am, Thu-Sat 1pm-1am, Sun 2pm-10pm
5. House of Correction
Located downstairs from the aforementioned Goldilocks Bar in Melbourne’s Chinatown, House of Correction is one of Melbourne’s best-hidden bars that doesn’t stand out due to design, style or access. It’s just simply good and to the point, like the minimalist medical signage on the walls.
Address: Level 4, 264 Swanston Street Melbourne, VIC, Australia 3000
Trading Hours: Thu-Sat 5pm-3am
6. Loch and Key
Located behind Melbourne’s odlest pub, The Captain Melville Bar, is one of Melbourne’s finest hidden bars—Loch and Key. The entrance is up a long rickety staircase and behind a bookshelf, allowing you a private, classy place to drink all night. There’s also a second floor balcony, in case you want to take in the evening.
Address: 34 Franklin Street, Melbourne, VIC, 3000
Phone: +61 408 140 043
Trading Hours: Wed-Sat 7pm-7am, Sun 10pm-7am
This East African Safari-inspired cocktail bar is located in the heart of the city, is small and hard to access, and therefore lands it on the list of best hidden bars in Melbourne. But beyond the Safari tent décor, the cocktails are as good as they come.
Address: 2/267 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9650 2811
8. The Everleigh
Just right of a hot chicken joint in Fitzroy and up a staircase is one of the classier bars in all of the city. Which makes you realize The Everleigh is one of the best hidden bars in Melbourne the moment you enter. The service is as good as it gets, the bartenders are Roaring 20s caliber and the low light creates a mood from a time almost forgotten.
Address: Upstairs, 150-156 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, VIC, Australia, 3065
Phone: (+61) 03 9416 2229
Trading Hours: Thu-Sun 5pm-1am
9. Pizza Pizza Pizza
New York style pizza is tough to come by in Melbourne in general, but if you ask to see the special menu while inside, you may gain access to their hidden bar behind the curtains, that serves a full array of cocktails and retro music and style. Pizza and cocktails make this one of the best hidden bar experiences in the city.
Address: 16 Meyers Place Melbourne, VIC, Australia 3000
Phone: +61 3 9639 7411
Trading Hours: Tue-Thu 5pm-1am, Fri 5pm-3am, Sat 6pm-3am
With a difficult to find entrance and a small front room bar that has tiny tables and a spectacular view over Treasury Gardens, Hihou is a Japanese bar that is undeniably one of the best hidden bars in Melbourne. Be prepared to take off your shoes if you plan on dining at the restaurant in the back.
Address: 1 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9654 5465
Trading Hours: Mon 12-1am & 5pm-12am, Tue 5pm-12am, Wed-Sat 5pm-12am
11. Romeo Lane
With both comfort and class in spades, Romeo Lane is a hidden bar in Melbourne you’ll fall in love with the first time you experience it—and maybe always return to. Their bartender never back down from a cocktail challenge either, because they almost always win.
Address: 1 Crossley St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 0457 673 647
Trading Hours: Mon-Wed 5pm-11pm, Thu 5pm-1am, Fri-Sat 3pm-1am, Sun 3pm-10pm
12. Swamp Room
The swamp room actually is a bar that connects two other bars, Ampere and the Gin Palace. Passing through it is an experience unto itself, making it one of the best hidden bars in all of Melbourne. Just have some absinthe at the Gothic styled Ampere at some point as well.
Address: 16 Russell Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
13. Berlin Bar
Located down a narrow alley, the Berlin Bar is an excellent hidden Melbourne bar that flaunts it’s theme to perfection—the east meets west Berlin, both before and after the Cold War.
Address: Level 2/16 Corrs Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Trading Hours: Thu 5pm-12am, Fru-Sat 5pm-1am
14. The Croft Institute
Located in winding Chinatown streets, the Croft Institute is themed like a science laboratory and makes some of the most incredible alcoholic concoctions, thereby leading us to conclude it’s one of the best hidden bars in Melbourne.
Address: 21 Croft Alley, Melbourne VIC 3000
15. East of Everything
Located in a random suburban office building in Camberwell, East of Everything takes the notion of a hidden bar in Melbourne to a new level, as it’s almost impossible to know a bar is there unless you look for the kegs in the hallway. With a house party feel inside, it’s a welcome discovery for all.
Address: 3/72 Auburn Parade, Camberwell VIC 3124
Phone: +61 3 9882 4216
Trading Hours: Tue-Wed 4pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-1am, Sun 12pm-11pm
16. Union Electric Bar
A Chinatown bar built out of an old, abandoned boat shed, Union Electric Bar is one of the best hidden bars in Melbourne because it looks like it was set up in a hurry. But once you taste the cocktails and the pan-Asian food, you’ll recognize it’s one of the best places for a night out.
Address: 13 Heffernan Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 8609 3161
Trading Hours: Mon-Thu 5pm-1am, Fri-Sun 12pm-1am
17. Eau de Vie
Being hidden behind a signage-free door that looks like a service entrance in an alley, lands Eau de Vie on this list with little effort. But the great cocktails, music and décor downstairs make it arguably the best in town—plus there’s another hidden bar within the bar itself, behind a bookcase. Now that’s meta.
Address: 1 Malthouse Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: (03) 8393 9367
Trading Hours: Tue-Sat 5pm-1am
18. Jungle Boy
A secret tiki bar hidden behind a sub sandwich shop’s large refrigerator door seems too absurd to be a real hidden bar—but that’s exactly what Jungle Boy is. Tucked into a leafy courtyard behind Boston Sub’s, this is not only one of the best hidden cocktail bars in Melbourne because of its outrageous entrance, but also because of its excellent rum cocktails.
Address: 96 Chapel Street Windsor, VIC, Australia 3181
Phone: +61 3 9943 7653
Trading Hours: Mon-Sun 5pm-1am