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Fitzroy bar crawl

Strap on your party boots and cocktail helmets, because Fitzroy drinking is a contact sport

Photograph: Graham Denholm

The Fitzroy borders touch on two of northside's biggest strips – Brunswick Street, Smith Street and Gertrude Street. We're not even going to attempt to count the number of bars and pubs in the area because new ones are always popping up. Still, there are some Fitzroy drinking stalwarts that never fail to bring the goods, from world-class cocktails to pints of craft beer.

Up for kicking on until the wee hours? Follow our hour-by-hour late-night bar guide and fuel up with the best late-night dining in town.

The best bars in Fitzroy and surrounds

Bad Frankie

Local spirits and Lamington jaffles. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? Well, maybe it isn’t. Mexico has tequila and tacos. America has beer and hamburgers; so why can’t Melbourne have Australian spirits and sealed toasties? Try whisky made in inner-city Melbourne, vodka from Tasmania and rum from the Swan Valley in Western Australia.

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Fitzroy

Black Pearl

Unlike any other bar in Melbourne, Black Pearl combines party-smashing-knees-up good times with some of the best cocktails in town. The Attic upstairs is serving classic drinks out of crystal-cut Royal Doulton glassware, while downstairs is the place for beer or a whisky.

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Fitzroy

The Everleigh

The Everleigh has the look of a 1920s speakeasy and is a proper American-style cocktail bar, run with an Aussie sensibility, which means you’re getting some of the best drinks in the country, without the side of attitude that you get on Eldridge Street.

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Fitzroy

Grace Darling Hotel

Since its dramatic overhaul in mid 2009, the maritime-themed Grace Darling has has gone from a sad little place with the ambience of an outer-suburbs RSL to a hipster paradise with a band room, vintage fairs, rock trivia and a youthful, creative vibe.

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Collingwood

Hell of the North

Here’s a place where the beers, wines and ‘tails go head to head, and come out an even match. This is the place for a peppery steak tartare or a lentil-goat's cheese salad with a Feral Hop Hog IPA or a pint of micro-brew on the side.

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Fitzroy

Kodiak Club

The Kodiak Club are purveyors of some very fine snacks including poutine, pork cracklin', and a Kraft Single toastie. Not here to eat? Beers and cider on tap are served in big red plastic college-style kegger cups and they have a really good selection of American whisky.

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Fitzroy

LuWow

The LuWOW is the place to be for anyone with a well developed sense of good times. Lay claim to a thatched village hut and share a tiki bowl of Scorpion punch – Cognac, rum, orgeat (a sweet almond, orange blossom and rose water syrup) and pineapple juice with a plastic spider floating in the top.

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Fitzroy

Mr Wow's Emporium

At the top of a dark staircase you’ll find a pool table, popcorn – popped to order and served with any kind of salt you like from Mexican to chicken – and an indoor bocce pitch. Here they've got both the booze and know-how to make whatever you fancy.

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Fitzroy

Pixel Alley

Pixel Alley is part-bar, part-arcade and the Smith Street bar is an ode to all things 80s and 90s, as announced by the 8-bit mural of '80s retro icons including Pac-Man, Nike Air Jordans, and a boombox. Those familiar with old-school arcade classics can expect tipsy rounds of Daytona, Street Fighter II, Pac-Man and Buck Hunter. Rounds of beer while you wait your turn at the games are encouraged.

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Fitzroy

The Rum Diary Bar

They sling white, young and lightly-aged rums as well as an assortment of grassy agricole rums: spirit distilled from sugarcane juice rather than molasses. If you’re sitting on a fat wallet, throw it at the top-shelf gear like Zacapa XO.

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Fitzroy
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