Bars & Pubs

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

The 50 best bars in Melbourne
Bars

The 50 best bars in Melbourne

These amazing watering holes represent the pinnacle of Melbourne drinking

The best hot cocktails in Melbourne you need to drink this winter
Bars

The best hot cocktails in Melbourne you need to drink this winter

Staying warm with a drink isn't all about mulled wines and ciders. Switch it up with these hot cocktails to up your drinking game in the colder months.

The best pubs with fireplaces in Melbourne
Bars

The best pubs with fireplaces in Melbourne

Our city has no shortage of cosy pubs with fireplaces to warm your toes

Melbourne's best bars for drinking alone
Bars

Melbourne's best bars for drinking alone

Flying solo? Don't sweat it. At these bars you'll find chatty bar staff and some of Melbourne's best drinks

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 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 whisky bars in Melbourne
Bars

The best whisky bars in Melbourne

Whisky (or whiskey, if you prefer the American varietals) isn't just for hardcore drinkers with stomachs of steel. There are so many types of whiskies – from dark smokey drams to smoother malts – that all a drinker needs to do is find one that suits their individual palate. One of the fastest ways to do this is to find a bar with staff who know how to make a great recommendation. Still thirsty? Here are Melbourne's 50 best bars and the best places to drink a decent cocktail.

The best laneway bars in Melbourne
Bars

The best laneway bars in Melbourne

It's pretty safe to say that the more difficult a Melbourne bar is to locate, the better it is (once you're finally in there). Knowing where to find drinking institutions like EDV and Lily Blacks is pretty much a prerequisite for all cocktail-loving locals. For an even closer look into the city's bar culture, browse our guides to Melbourne's best wine bars, whisky bars and cocktail bars. 

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

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

Plus, check out Melbourne's weirdest drinking experiences

Choose your favourite drink

The best whisky bars in Melbourne
Bars

The best whisky bars in Melbourne

The best places to drink Scotch, Japanese whisky, American whiskey and much more

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

The best craft beer bars in Melbourne
Bars

The best craft beer bars in Melbourne

The best beer halls and beer bars to sample the latest and tastiest microbrews from Melbourne and beyond

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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Amex Eats: Dim sum to try in Melbourne
Restaurants

Amex Eats: Dim sum to try in Melbourne

Melbourne is home to excellent Chinese restaurants that serve up dim sum with serious style. Whether you're after an elegant banquet, a hangover-soothing repast or some steaming hot dumplings, these restaurants have some seriously great dim sum dishes. At all these venues, you’ll be able to dine in confidence with the knowledge that they welcome American Express.

Fringe Hub: Festival Club
Clubs

Fringe Hub: Festival Club

The beating heart of the Melbourne Fringe Festival is its raucous club, where art-loving audiences dance and drink at themed parties presented by different performers every night. The Melbourne Fringe Festival Club kicks off with the Opening Night Party on Thursday, September 13, complete with an opening ceremony lead by DJ Andrew McClelland of Finishing School fame and the Sydney duo the Dollar Bin Darlings. Other highlights of the program include All that Glitters is Blak, Fringe's very own First Nations dance extravaganza, as well as Queen of the Night a celebratory tribute to Whitney Houston. If you're after more nostalgia make sure you head along to the Year 10 Formal night, or 1992-1-OMG!, a super fun '90s themed pop party. If you're not into dancing, head in for the Test Drive comedy night hosted by Nath Valvo, the theatrical Circus Battle Royale, or sign up for All Gender and Sexuality Speed Dating. And that's far from it. For the full list of parties, head to the Festival Club website. It's open every Tuesday to Saturday night and it's totally free! It's not uncommon for queues to snake out of Arts House, so arrive early to avoid disappointment. Find out more about the Melbourne Fringe's Festival Club here.

A celebration of retro gaming has landed at QV Melbourne
Things to do

A celebration of retro gaming has landed at QV Melbourne

Do you long for the days of classic arcade games? QV Melbourne has heard your pleas and they’re hosting a free, three-week retro gaming festival called Game/On. From August 31 to September 23 QV Square and its surrounding laneways will be transformed into a gamer’s paradise complete with retro '80s fitout, a live game art mural, competitions and a selection of old-school arcade games. Here’s what to expect from the free Game/On festival at QV Melbourne.

Five experiences you can have travelling north-south on the Route 96 tram
Things to do

Five experiences you can have travelling north-south on the Route 96 tram

The route 96 is one of our favourite tram routes in Melbourne. It stretches from St Kilda to East Brunswick, going along Bourke Street in the city, and the light rail component means it's one of the fastest ways to get around. You also don't have to deal with traffic or parking, and tools like the PTV app allow you to find real-time departure info, so you'll never miss your tram. And even if you linger over your coffee and miss one, there's no need to stress – this is one of the most frequent routes in Melbourne, with trams as often as every five minutes. Sorted. There's heaps to do along the route, too. From bowls clubs to brilliant street art and everything in between, here are five awesome adventures you can have on the 96 tram. Plan your journey and have a brilliant Melbourne adventure.