Bars for flying solo in Melbourne
The experience shows at this Carlton stalwart, with hospitality-for-life staffers and a democratic approach to drinking: customers choose the wine on the pour. Your wine typically comes with a recommendation, a back-story and, if they like you, a practical joke.
One of Melbourne's original bottle shop/bars, this Mediterranean marvel boasts produce-driven dishes and an intrepid wine list. Wines by the glass change almost daily, and all of them are very, very good.
This bar is named after the year in which the word ‘cocktail’ first appeared in our vernacular, and they take the art of cocktail making very seriously here. Lucky for us, 1806 has an excellent long bar that you can saddle yourself up to solo to enjoy these stellar creations.
Having succeeded with good-music-good-food café Yellow Bird, Clint Hyndman and Dean Bowden decided to bring a classic (and classy) speakeasy joint to Windsor – and they've done an ace job.
There's just the right amount of spit and polish at this low-key wine bar housed in a former shoe shop. Beer fans can get longnecks of Messina, while the short-and-sharp wine list (and free delivery from Pizza Mein Leibe next door) will satisfy the rest.
Neighbourhood Wine is the locals' wine bar that's worth switching suburbs for. Climb the stairs to the first-floor bar and restaurant to discover a clubby, handsome space of vintage bar stools, tapestry and brass.
This sexy slip of a wine bar sees people gather around the tall communal table or the tiny perches for two along the wall. On the opposite wall, you can take your pick of the 400 wines owner Lyndon Kubis has amassed, most from boutique Australian wineries .
Potent cocktails and a bona-fide cinema combine to great effect in this relaxed, retro-style Fitzroy North lounge. The screen out back is available for hire, and the kitchen turns out an array of reasonably priced light meals and tapas-style plates.
Craft beer, good wine, better spirits and great cocktails are the big draws here. Tucked away in one of Footscray’s dilapidated strips and surrounded by internet cafés and discount clothing shops, it’s easy to miss, but Mr West definitely punches well above its weight in terms of service.
This northern star delights with its vintage-chic décor, prime footpath tables, and service that is at once switched on and supremely relaxed. The team has good reason to be laid back, so assured is the food and drinks offering. Plus, you’d be hard pressed to find a better cheese platter in town.
This dimly lit temple to sake, whisky and shochu (no larger than a train carriage) captures the essence of a Tokyo izakaya, right down to the snacks, staff and Japanese rock’n’roll. Food comes courtesy of Izakaya Chuji next door.