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The best bars for drinking alone in Melbourne

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

By Sarah Gamboni and Time Out editors |
Customer at The Alps
Photograph: Graham Denholm

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.

Bars for flying solo in Melbourne

Gerald's Bar in Carlton North
Photograph: Daniel Boud
Bars, Wine bars

Gerald's Bar

icon-location-pin Carlton North

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.

The interior of Fitzroy wine bar Gertrude Street Enoteca
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Bars, Wine bars

Gertrude Street Enoteca

icon-location-pin Fitzroy

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.

Cocktail and snack at 1806
Bars, Cocktail bars


icon-location-pin Melbourne

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.

Bar at The Woods of Windsor
Photograph: Graham Denholm

The Woods of Windsor

icon-location-pin Windsor

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. 

Joe's Shoe Store in Northcote
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Joe's Shoe Store

icon-location-pin Northcote

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 entrance
Bars, Wine bars

Neighbourhood Wine

icon-location-pin Fitzroy North

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.

Interior overview at The Alps
Bars, Wine bars

The Alps

icon-location-pin Prahran

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 .

LongPlay bar in Fitzroy North
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Bars, Cocktail bars


icon-location-pin Fitzroy North

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.

Making drinks at Mr West
Bars, Cocktail bars

Mr West

icon-location-pin Footscray

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. 

Bar at Joe Taylor
Bars, Cocktail bars

Joe Taylor

icon-location-pin North Melbourne

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.

Nihonshu Shochu and Sake Bar in Melbourne's CBD
Photograph: Ryan Noreiks

Nihonshu Shochu and Sake Bar

icon-location-pin Melbourne

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.

More ideas for a quiet drink in Melbourne

Waiter pours red wine into a tall wine glass
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Bars, Wine bars

The best wine bars in Melbourne

Whether you're looking for a bar in the north, south, east, or west of our fair city, Time Out Melbourne has got all points of the compass covered.