CBD bar crawl: Chinatown

You come for dumplings and duck, but you stay for the drinks. Here are the top spots for a stiff drink in Chinatown
Photograph: Graham Denholm
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If you're in Chinatown, chances are you're filling up on dumpling and raring to go out for a night on the town. Don't leave yet – there are plenty of bars in the three-block stretch of Chinatown on Little Bourke Street. 

Been out for a boogie and need a refuelling? Find your closest late-night eatery, stat! You might also need a good spot for brekky tomorrow, so we'll just leave our guide to Melbourne's best breakfasts here. 

Chinatown bar crawl

Clubs

Charlton's Bar

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It's sticky, loud and we're not ever sure that the elevator is going to make it to the middle floor, but by god is this the best/worst karaoke and pool hall in the city. Unless you have been banned for life at least twice, you can't truly call yourself a fan.
Bars

Croft Institute

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Just getting to the Croft Institute feels like an adventure. Located at the bottom end of Croft Alley, the ground floor resembles a dark and eerie med-school classroom, upstairs is the waiting room and the top floor is styled after an old-fashioned high school gymnasium.
Time Out says
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Bars

Double Happiness

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One of a pair of Chinese-themed bars, Double Happiness skillfully blends Communist-era kitsch with subdued old-world touches and a drinks menu that is short and to the point. 
Time Out says
Bars, Pubs

The Exford Hotel

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Guarding the gates to Chinatown, this heritage style pub with heavy wooden bar and regular comedy nights is just the ticket for when you need a tall, cold glass of cider and a seven-dollar pizza.
Time Out says
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Bars

Ferdydurke

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Ferdydurke is a bar for the adult in you who demands a good drink, with a serve of grungy fun for your never-say-die side. With stencil art, an outdoor smoking deck and Vietnamese snacks at school lunch prices you could take it for a swish student joint, but the back bar holds its own against most cocktail dens in town.
Time Out says
Bars, Wine bars

New Gold Mountain

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Up above Double Happiness, New Gold Mountain is an emerald green and gold-beaded pocket rocket with a bit of a burlesque-parlour-meets-oriental-tea-house feel. They have a whole mess of interesting drinks here, best enjoyed with Billy Holiday and Frank Sinatra crooning through the speakers.
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Bars

Section 8

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It may technically boil down to a vacant lot in Chinatown, but Section 8 is loaded with booze, good-looking hipsters and enough intriguing graffiti to fill a whole other laneway. While some of the barstaff are more ornamental than skilled, the drinks selection is solid and ranges from top-shelf spirits to longnecks.
Time Out says
Bars, Wine bars

Union Electric Bar

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Look for the big shiny lightning bold pinpointed by light globes among Chinatown's dumpling signs, and you'll find Union Electric. Step through a small wooden door to be transported from Chinatown to a chilled out cocktail bar complete with a portrait of Bill Murray from Lost In Translation. "For relaxing times, drink Suntory Time."

Time Out says

More Melbourne bar crawls

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