Where to drink right now
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
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 bars in Melbourne
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
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.
Choose your favourite drink
Melbourne's drinking hotspots
The best pubs in Melbourne
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Some of the hottest stars in showbiz are going to be performing at Midsumma's night of nights, the Extravaganza. The night is hosted by comedy superstar Rhys Nicholson, and it promises to be an absolute riot. Trevor Ashley (Fat Swan, Little Orphan TrAshley, Diamonds Are For Trevor, I’m Every Woman) is producing and performing in the show, and he says it's going to be an absolute hoot. "Last year it was just comedians, but this year, of course, they’ve got a fabulous nine-piece band on stage, fabulous singers getting up on stage and singing songs, drag queens, burlesque, as well as comedy. It's got a bit of everything." As well as Nicholson and Trevor, the show will include Barry Award winner Zoe Coombs Marr, Take Me Out host and household name Joel Creasey, cabaret superstar Carlotta, GLOBE Artist of the Year Mama Alto, The Voice star Sheldon Riley, 3RRR Breakfasters host Geraldine Hickey, Black Comedy writer Steven Oliver, ten-time Golden Guitars Winner Beccy Cole, singer Libby O'Donovan and cabaret/circus/burlesque YUMMY. And it's not over when the house lights go on. "It will be a great night out, the Arts Centre are keeping the bar open after the show so everyone should stick around after the show and have a drink," says Ashley. "There will be a DJ. It will be really fun to have so much campness in one grande dame of a hall."
Australia Day Races
Spring may well be over, but that doesn't mean the racing action has ended. The summer racing season is getting into full swing at Caulfield Racecourse. And what's more, this event is your first opportunity to experience Caulfield's new Bondi Sands Beach Club when the summer activation launches at the Australia Day races. The Melbourne Racing Club is throwing a super-luxe Australia Day barbie on Saturday, January 26 featuring dishes like Wagyu brisket, Flinders Island lamb souvlaki, and flame-grilled octopus. Of course, there will be plenty of delicious cocktails to keep you hydrated. Or, if you’re after something a little finer, make a booking at the Black Caviar restaurant, where you can opt for a four-course luncheon by executive chef Julian Robertshaw and his talented team. Kick back and enjoy the racing action and celebrate the launch of the Bondi Sands Beach Club this Australia Day. Racegoers at Caulfield can cool off in between races in the Bondi Sands Beach Club which is decked out with sand, cool water, deck chairs and luxe bean bags (minus the seagulls). Chill out while enjoying live tunes from the Ash James Trio. The day kicks off at 11.30am, Saturday January 26 (in case you forgot when Australia day is). General admission tickets are $10 per adult and kids under 16 enter free. Book your tickets now at the Caulfield Races website here.
Score two tickets to the Australian Open Men’s Final and more
Coopers Brewery is returning to Melbourne Park as the Official Beer Partner of the Australian Open. In the heart of Melbourne, Coopers has teamed up with the Arbory Afloat to create a river front Tennis Hub, where you can grab a Coopers beer and catch all the tennis action on deck from January 14-27. To celebrate, Arbory Afloat and Coopers are giving away two courtside tickets to the (now sold out) Australian Open Men’s Final along with dinner, accommodation and more. The prize includes: Two tickets to the Australian Open Men’s Final A $250 Arbory Afloat voucher for pre-match Coopers beers in the sun on the deck A pre-game dining package at Rockpool in the AO precinct One night’s twin share accommodation in the heart of Melbourne 6 cases of Coopers including 2 cases of the new Coopers Dry, 2 cases of Coopers Original Pale Ale cans and 2 cases of Tropicale Coopers Session Ale Enter below by January 21. Enter here
Five ways to perfectly pair your next night out with Blue Moon
A lot of fuss is made about pairing your food to your wine, but not everyone likes wine. Luckily, beer is often the perfect match to a meal, especially when you’re talking spicy food and delicious salty bar snacks. Blue Moon Belgian White is a refreshing, citrus-laced brew that is increasingly finding its way behind bars across Melbourne’s drinking and dining scene. Next time you find yourself at one of these Melbourne establishments pair your schooner of Blue Moon Belgian White with one of these meals to experience the beer (and your food) at its best.