As a city that never sleeps, Melbourne offers something for everyone from entertainment, sightseeing, culture, and the arts to wining and dining in some of the best bars in Australia.
The bars in Melbourne range from world-class cocktail bars to downtown saloons to fancy wine bars and each one offers warm and welcoming staff, a buzzing atmosphere, and even delicious food menus to elevate your whole experience.
But which ones are worth the visit? We’ve written this article to narrow down our top 15 favorite bars in the city by taking into consideration budgets, location, atmosphere, drink menus, food menus, and occasions, meaning we’ve compiled a list that includes a bar for everyone.
One thing we do promise however is that each bar on this list represents the pinnacle of Melbourne drinking and we guarantee wherever you end up, you’re in for one great night, so let’s dive in!
Level 1, 306 Smith Street, Collingwood Victoria 3066
We’re kicking off the list with this small and intimate cocktail bar located in the inner-city suburb, with only 16 seats. Despite this meaning no large groups or bookings are allowed, this bar offers the perfect setting for date night or catching up with an old friend.
Chat with Lambert to hear not only about the delicious cocktails he can make you but also hear a little of his life with every drink he serves from the bar that is located facing all 16 seats.
If you’re looking for something that’s both welcoming and personal, look no further than Above Board.
Level 2, 70 Bourke Street, Melbourne Victoria 3000
Located on Bourke Street, Good Heavens is a rooftop bar and the ultimate summer hot stop. The vibe of the bar resembles Palm Springs in California with its pink signage and pastel blues.
The staff even dress in Hawaiin Shirts and promise to shake you up some vintage tipples at the bar which is located on a central island.
They also offer bright, fruity, retro cocktails from their own take on a Pina Colada to an Electric Blue. If you’re looking for a taste of tropical paradise, Good Heavens could be your match.
234a Russell Street, (Lonsdale Corner), Melbourne CBD Victoria 3000
If you’re looking for the ultimate party experience, look no further than Heartbreaker located on Russell Street.
Named the home of rock ‘n’ roll, this dive bar sweeps you up with shot after shot, rocking music, beer chasers, and even a late-night New York slice, promising you an all-around great night out.
The quality and concept of the bar are however well-executed and Michael Madrusan, the owner of the bar knows how to set the scene. If you want to let your hair down and go all out, Heartbreaker is the place to be.
Hats And Tatts
78 Cecil Street, Melbourne Victoria, 3205
Hats and Tatts are a rare find in south Melbourne, offering delicious food, great drinks, staff that are as welcoming as they are entertaining, and very diverse spaces.
It’s not just a frat bar as some people may first think but you’ll also find a huge whiskey collection, as well as some of the best cocktails in the city and taps full of beer.
Grabbing the attention of men, women, old and young there is something for everyone at Hats and Tatts and we could not recommend it enough.
55 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne Victoria 3000
Located on Little Bourke Steet, this late-night mezcal bar and taqueria are hidden underground and serve up some of the greatest drinks and tacos around.
The ominous red neon glow highlights the location and as you head down the stairs, be prepared for traditional posters from the golden age of Mexican cinema, tables and stools that are more catina than a bar, and fast-paced music blaring through the speakers.
For the ultimate Mexican party experience, we promise Bodega Underground is worth the trip.
1 Reid Street, Fitzroy North Victoria 3068
Found in Fitzroy, Neighbourhood Wine is a first-floor bar and restaurant with an extensive 20-page wine list. Up the stairs, you’ll find vintage bar stools, brass, and tapestry and some of the most helpful staff in the wine bar community.
The wines range from natural beauties to local favorites to incredible imports and they even offer great accompanying food using seasonal produce. Simple, seasonal, and welcoming, this wine bar is the perfect date night or a fancy evening out for anyone.
106 Nicholson Street, Footscray, Victoria 3011
Located in Footscray, another inner-city suburb, Mr. West Bar and Bottleshop offers some of the best craft beer, cocktails, and high-quality wine in the city.
Not only can you buy bottles to take home but upstairs lies a bar with 30 taps pouring wine, cocktails, beer, and cider from around the world and offers Australian and international wines by the bottle or glass as well as over 300 special spirits and a seasonal cocktail list.
Passion stems through the bar and wine shop and we promise with so much to choose from, you’ll definitely be going back for more.
12 Bourke Street, Melbourne Victora 3000
Angel Music Bar offers the best of both worlds, from Con Christopoulos, the powerful restaurateur to Georgina O’Connor, one of the city’s best-dressed Gen-Y Artists.
Though this might seem like an odd pairing, they’ve brought together one of the liveliest bars in Melbourne, located where the old Korova Milk Bar used to sit.
As the name suggests, the great music is the bar’s selling point, which is played out of Funktion One Speakers and fills the room with loud sounds guaranteed to get you dancing the night away.
Melbourne Central, ELLA Dining Precinct, Corner of Elizabeth and LA Trobe Street, CBD, Melbourne
If you are looking for something creative, something a bit unique, something which can be compared more to a lab than a bar, you’re going to want to visit Byrdi.
The techniques they use include smoking, fermenting, and clarifying which make for thrilling results and an all-around exciting evening. They use in-house ferments and focus on seasonality without following trends.
We, therefore, promise Byrdi is a bar you don’t want to miss if you want to keep things interesting.
Level 2 161 Spring Street, Melbourne Victoria 3000
Siglo is a famous rooftop bar located on top of the Melbourne Supper Club and offers spectacular views of Spring Street and Parliament House.
Not only does the bar offer some excellent cocktails, champagne, and spirits, however, but also their own cigar menu and a humidor of Cubans.
You will be served by waiters at clothed tables and all the guests are able to take a seat in Parisian wicker chairs or wooden garden furniture. This is a great bar for taking a break out of your long sunny day in the city.
Denton Wine Bar
1 Flinders Lane, Melbourne Victoria 3000
This wine bar, located on Flinders Lane was opened by Simon Denton in a building opposite Fitzroy Gardens. An intimate wine bar and bottle shop, it offers a small food menu of only six dishes and a true Japanese ethos.
The staff pride themselves on being friendly and approachable and with an affordable yet extensive wine list it’s perfect for everyone.
66 Gold Street, Collingwood Victoria 3066
More of a refurbed pub than a bar, Goldy’s Tavern promises an authentic Australian drinking experience.
Order one of their Aussie cocktails such as ‘Bob’s Your Uncle’ or take part in a weekly pool competition before taking a seat in the plant-filled atrium and ordering some spicy mussel “schnitzels”.
And if you’ve got room for dessert, we recommend the Goldy’s Gaytime to round off the perfect Australian pub experience.
1 Crossley Lane, Melbourne Victoria 3000
Romeo lane, located on Crossley Lane in the heart of Melbourne offers intimate table service, serving some of the best cocktails in the city.
You’ll find a balance between comfort and class as all these cocktails are served in beautiful glassware, you’ll find Tom Waits on the stereo and they even have an open fireplace to warm you up on colder nights.
The extensive drinks menu ranges from old-time favorites, which regulars can recall from older menus, to classic cocktails to brand new recipes. Simply ask the staff for recommendations or tell them what you love and they’ll create something magical.
270 Russell Street, Melbourne Victoria 3000
Found on Russell Street, Whiskey and Alement is a whiskey bar and world class drinking venue.
Every bartender you find at the bar will be more than happy to help you out if you’re new to the whiskey world and the bar even has access to the limited edition Scotch Malt Whiskey Society single cask bottlings.
Before this bar, you would need to pay at least $200 for a bottle but now simply pop along to Whiskey and Alement to buy it by the nip and taste it for a price that is much more budget-friendly.
Level 3, 59-63 Bourke Street, Melbourne Victoria 3000
Madame Brussels is not only the final rooftop bar on our list but the final bar on our list and is a fancy-looking terrace bar and public house located in the heart of the Australian city.
The bar pays a tribute to the Madame herself, who was a Melbourne brothel owner and entrepreneur in the 19th century and was famous for her sensational attitude and unconventional lifestyle.
Decked with AstroTurf, parasols, and timber furniture, the bar is a favorite with visitors and locals alike and you are promised plenty of sun, booze, and fun times all night long.