Bars & Pubs

Navigating Melbourne's best bars, pubs, breweries and drinking holes

Here are the winners of Time Out Bar Awards 2017
Bars

Here are the winners of Time Out Bar Awards 2017

Let's raise a glass to the people who make Melbourne the nation's best place to be after dark

The 50 best bars in Melbourne
Bars

The 50 best bars in Melbourne

Here is Melbourne viewed through the bottom of a glass: from its world-beating cocktail lounges to its down-and-divey saloons. These bars – organised by area and in no particular order – represent the pinnacle of Melbourne drinking. Many of them are Time Out Bar Awards winners. Others take pride of place in some of our most popular guides, like Melbourne's best cocktail bars, wine bars and rooftop bars.  Above all, these bars have one thing in common: they are the very best this fine drink-swilling city has to offer.

The best rooftop bars in Melbourne
Bars

The best rooftop bars in Melbourne

Finally, the time for high-altitude summer drinking is here!

The best beer gardens in Melbourne
Bars

The best beer gardens in Melbourne

The sun's out, the beer is cold, and suddenly, you realise that the bar you're in is utterly devoid of an outdoor drinking area. Equipped with our guide to Melbourne's most spacious, comfortable and well-equipped beer gardens, this nightmarish situation need never happen to you again. While we're talking booze, be sure to check out our favourite cocktail bars, wine bars and rooftop bars.  

Where to drink right now

The best late-night bars in Melbourne
Bars

The best late-night bars in Melbourne

Just because it's the small hours and you're up for a drink, it doesn't mean you want to be yelling over the music in a nightclub. Thankfully, there's plenty of places in Melbourne to enjoy a quiet(ish) beverage until sunrise – and with the 24-hour public transport network operating on weekends, it's easier than ever to get home.  For more nocturnal fun, check out our guide to late-night bottle shops and late-night dining. 

The best bars for drinking alone in Melbourne
Bars

The best bars for drinking alone in Melbourne

Look, we're not here to judge. Maybe you just want to treat yourself to a little alone time and a good bottle of wine, or maybe you've clocked off early and need to kill some time before meeting up with friends. Maybe you're freelancing and coffee just isn't going to cut it any longer (oh yeah, we've been there). Whatever the reason, here's where to get a cheeky bevvy on your own in Melbourne. For more ideas, check out our guides to Melbourne's best wine bars, cocktail bars and hidden bars.

The best new openings in Melbourne
Restaurants

The best new openings in Melbourne

Stay ahead of the crowds with our guide to Melbourne's new and notable bars and pubs

The best cocktail bars in Melbourne
Bars

The best cocktail bars in Melbourne

We salute the best shakers, stirrers, mixers and muddlers of fine cocktails in Melbourne

See our latest bar and pub reviews

The best bars in Melbourne

The best hidden bars in Melbourne
Bars

The best hidden bars in Melbourne

A bar hidden behind a bookshelf? Inside a fridge?! Melbourne does hidden bars like no other city

The best wine bars in Melbourne
Bars

The best wine bars in Melbourne

Everywhere you should be sipping red, white and rosé in Melbourne this year

The best bars for dancing in Melbourne
Nightlife

The best bars for dancing in Melbourne

This one's for all the discerning drinkers who also like to dance their pants off

The best pick-up bars in Melbourne
Bars

The best pick-up bars in Melbourne

The places where you're most likely to get lucky (and the rest is up to you)

The best bars for first dates in Melbourne
Bars

The best bars for first dates in Melbourne

Sit close, sip a cocktail and get to know one another at these cosy Melbourne drinking spots

Plus, check out Melbourne's weirdest drinking experiences

Choose your favourite drink

The best rum bars in Melbourne
Bars

The best rum bars in Melbourne

Get a taste of the tropics at these bustling rum bars around Melbourne

The best gin bars in Melbourne
Bars

The best gin bars in Melbourne

Gin's having a moment in Australia: here's where to get your hands on the best gin cocktails in Melbourne

Melbourne's drinking hotspots

Melbourne CBD
Bars

Melbourne CBD

Inner-city Melbourne has a bar for every type of drinker imaginable

Chapel Street
Bars

Chapel Street

Say hello to tequila, dumplings and tiki drinks along Melbourne's famed shopping strip

Fitzroy
Bars

Fitzroy

Strap on your party boots and cocktail helmets: nowhere does fun drinking quite like Fitzroy

Brunswick
Bars

Brunswick

Work your way from cheap beers to cocktails to sweet tunes along Sydney Road

Smith Street
Bars

Smith Street

With Prohibition-era cocktails, arcade bars and even a bocce bar, Smith Street's bar scene is a blast

St Kilda
Bars

St Kilda

Set your sights on the sea (and some damn good drinks) in the home of backpacker boozing

The best pubs in Melbourne

The 50 best pubs in Melbourne
Bars

The 50 best pubs in Melbourne

Get the lowdown on Melbourne's best pubs in every corner of this great drinking city

The best pubs with fireplaces in Melbourne
Bars

The best pubs with fireplaces in Melbourne

Escape winter with a stick of firewood and a freshly pulled pint at these Melbourne pubs

The best gastropubs in Melbourne
Bars

The best gastropubs in Melbourne

These fine institutions are serving up some seriously good pub grub that won't break the bank

The best beer gardens in Melbourne
Bars

The best beer gardens in Melbourne

When the sun's out, here are our top picks for boozing in the great outdoors

The best live music pubs in Melbourne
Bars

The best live music pubs in Melbourne

Melbourne is truly blessed in the live music stakes. Here are a few of our favourite places to catch a gig

See our guide to family-friendly Melbourne pubs

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Little Emperors at Malthouse
Theatre

Little Emperors at Malthouse

For the inaugural Asia TOPA festival, Malthouse Theatre paired award-winning Australian playwright Lachlan Philpott and maverick Beijing-based director Wang Chong to create a new work. The result explores the fraught legacy of China’s 40-year One Child Policy, through the prism of one family. The term ‘Little Emperors’ relates to a behavioural syndrome affecting the generations of only-children born in the lead up to 2016 (when the One Child Policy was officially abolished). Envisioned as a radical experiment to curb population growth, the policy unwittingly gave rise to a new breed of ultra-indulged children, who in turn will shape the future of a superpower. Philpott’s play pivots between Melbourne and Beijing, and between English language and Mandarin, to tell the story of a sister, her illegal brother, and the emotional and cultural fall-out of the environments in which they were raised. Wang Chong, founder of the world-renowned Théâtre du Rêve Expérimental, brings both his bold vision and personal experiences, as a someone born in the One Child Policy era, to bear on this rich and revelatory tale. Little Emperors runs from Feb 9-26 at Malthouse Theatre. 

WTC Wharf Outdoor Cinema
Restaurants Buy tickets

WTC Wharf Outdoor Cinema

To celebrate February's long, balmy summer nights WTC Wharf is hosting its very own al fresco cinema every Friday and Saturday night until mid-March. To enjoy a movie under the stars, all you have to do is book dinner at one of the WTC Wharf's restaurants and dine in from $25 per person, then you will receive free entry to that night's movie screening. Relax back on deckchairs or bean bags and watch blockbusters and classics under the stars.  You can try a Chinese banquet from Man Mo, Lebanese cuisine at Byblos, Japanese fare from Kobe Jones or get a bistro feed from The Wharf Bar. Cinema highlights include The Danish Girl, The Secret Life of Pets and Les Misérables.  

Savour Wayside Inn's rotisserie dish for lunch and dinner
Restaurants

Savour Wayside Inn's rotisserie dish for lunch and dinner

South Melbourne pub Wayside Inn is the place to be if you're after a classic pub meal for lunch or dinner. On Monday to Saturday from noon to 9pm, the Wayside Inn kitchen is offering slow-cooked, rotisserie dishes complete with all the trimmings. For just $25, you can enjoy the day's rotisserie dish with a glass of wine in the bar area, or for $38 if you're dining in the restaurant. Dishes change seasonally, but they will no doubt be cooked to juicy perfection in the rotisserie oven.  446 City Rd, South Melbourne 3205. 03 9810 0083. Mon-Sat noon-9pm.

Cities of Architecture
Things to do Buy tickets

Cities of Architecture

The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art presents this new series of talks exploring the architectural, urban and cultural history of some of the world’s most inspiring destinations, from the skyscrapers of Shanghai to historic Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona. The series kicks off with a free launch at MPavilion, followed by monthly editions exploring some of the world's most fascinating destinations and the built environments that make them so remarkable. Whether you're travelling to any of these destinations or just want to learn more about some of the globe's most inspiring cities, this series will offer insights from leaders in the architectural fields. You'll also get to enjoy a special cocktail created for each city the talk in inspired by, from the Melbourne Gin Company and Starward Whisky. For the full list of events in this series, click on the 'Dates and Times' tab.