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There is a backlit bar filled with spirits and bottles with someone pouring a cocktails and someone sitting at the bar drinking a cocktail
Photograph: Patricia Sofra

The 50 best bars in Melbourne right now

The rooftops are bustling, the laneways are overflowing and the glasses are clinking for a summer of fun, cheers!

Written by
Paul Chai
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January 2023: Welcome to the New Year! The perfect time to try out some new drinking holes around town. 

It has been a challenging couple of years for hospo but with the weather finally turning and lockdowns in the rearview mirror it is time for Melbourne to do what she does best: eat, drink and be merry. Melbourne has some of the best bars in the world, whether you are looking for the laser-like focus of 16-seater Above Board or the rock ‘n’ roll ‘she’ll be right’ of Heartbreaker. You can find temples heroing whisky and palaces dedicated to gin; you can sip naked wines or suited-and-booted cocktails, grab a craft beer and a parma or a late-night Gimlet and a burger.

If you're looking for a bar to head to, we've rounded up the top 50 bars that we are really excited about right now, many of which happen to be winners of the Time Out Food and Drink Awards for 2022. Whether you are imbibing a beer, sipping a sake or taking a shot of tequila, we have the right drinking spot for you.

You can also find out how Time Out makes recommendations and reviews bars here.

The 50 best Melbourne bars in Melbourne

  • Restaurants
  • Modern Australian
  • Melbourne

If Champagne is your thing, Nick and Nora’s is the place for a glass of celebratory bubbles. This Roaring '20s-themed temple of decadence has walls of Champagne bottles and cocktails themed around the heroes and villains of a hard-boiled crime book. Nick and Nora Charles are characters created by crime writer Dashiell Hammett and with just one visit to this glitzy cocktail bar from the Speakeasy Group, you will think it is a crime to go anywhere else.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Eltham

Another new bar that is channelling the Prohibition era, Naught Distilling is worth the trip out to Eltham for a speakeasy designed to showcase Naught’s award-winning range of gins. The décor is dramatic pressed metal and velvet, and the huge stone bar is the perfect place to belly up and try the drinks and simple snacks like pâtés. There is a dedicated tiki section to the drinks menu that has some fun options including the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, which is named for the state fish of Hawaii and is strong enough that you will not want to go for a swim afterwards.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Collingwood
  • price 2 of 4

Above Board is a bar in the same way that Tame Impala is a band. At Above Board you are in Hayden Lambert’s house, even if he has a bit of help some nights. The bespectacled host will determine if you’re after a classic or a signature cocktail, but you’re also getting a little bit of a chat and a silly joke with every drink he dispenses from the bar that is the heart and control centre of this tiny venue. There is only a handful of seats, and all of them face the drinks action where Lambert is putting the art back in artisanal.

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Preston

Get your Big Lebowski on at Preston’s new retro bowling alley, games arcade and beer garden from the team behind Takeaway Pizza and Dexter down the road. There are 12 bowling lanes, a dancefloor and room for 600 bowlers and drinkers across three bars in the custom-built venue with an exposed warehouse roof strung with pot plants. Grab a craft beer and “gutter snacks” like chicken poppers with blue cheese dipping sauce or Sicilian hot ribs with smoked fermented hot sauce. It is going to be tricky to get a lane here over summer. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Spanish
  • Brunswick West

This Brunswick neighbourhood bar is a perfect combo of simple snacks, great drinks and service that treats everyone as if they live just around the corner, with a side order of epic vinyl. Housed in an old butcher shop and named for INXS’s third album, Shabooh Shoobah’s team of Hootan Heydari and Emily Bitto from Heartattack and Vine have created the lo-fi wine bar that Brunswick sorely needed. 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne

Another proud purveyor of vinyl, Caretaker's Cottage has its petite bar bracketed by imposing speakers that clearly signal the bar’s love of music. It’s a house-party vibe in a Gothic cottage behind Wesley Church with real, caring service that saw the bar wind up on the World’s 50 Best Bars list. The drinks helped too, of course, like the seasonal Hail Santa with Four Pillars Christmas gin, peach and sparkling wine or a classic Corpse Reviver #1. The bar version of good things coming in small packages.

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  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Coburg

When summer is in full swing you will have patrons considering scaling the bluestone walls of Pentridge Prison to get into this sprawling beer garden by Scottish brewer Brewdog. The fairy-light strung garden is divided up with red-brick walls, there’s a huge deck, and an interior with shelves full of pot plants, board games and ephemera. The signature beer is an Elvis Juice, a citrusy brew perfect for summer and there are guest taps featuring other local northside brewers.

  • Bars
  • Melbourne

Billed as “Maha’s thirsty neighbour”, Jayda is a classy affair that has the plush furniture, heavy drapes and mood lighting of a hotel bar. The cocktails are twisted classics with yuzu added to a Margarita, cherry and cacao to a Manhattan and distilled olive oil to a Martini that makes for a finer, more balanced take on a Dirty Martini. The food has Maha’s Middle Eastern lilt with baked focaccia and zaatar and a braised beef borek bun.

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  • Restaurants
  • Melbourne

Lonsdale Street’s four-storey mega-venue looks across at where the modest St. Jerome’s once stood, but this new addition to Melbourne bar life is a million miles away from the milk crates and graffiti of the laneway original. That is no criticism, more an evolution, as Her is a great mix of all-day drinking. The street-level space sells itself as a “daytime” cocktail bar, although it slings French 75s and Dirty Gin Martinis until 3am. (If you’re an early bird, the doors swing open at 7am for pastries, lobster omelettes and Market Lane coffee.) Head upstairs to the Music Room that makes you feel like you are drinking inside a speaker, or spend the sunny arvos on the rooftop with a quirky mosaic and great summer drinks.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Fitzroy
  • price 2 of 4

The Everleigh remains one of the best classic cocktail bars in Melbourne with its clubby feel of ottomans, dark wood and historical portraits. It remains one of the few bars where you can trust the bartender to deliver your new favourite drinks just by asking you a few questions. It is still the home of some of the best service in the business. The Everleigh remains a must-do on the Melbourne cocktail scene.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Melbourne

Alex Boon and Pez Collier are the lauded Brisbane bartenders who spent two years refining their idea of the perfect oyster and cocktail bar. They joined up with the Speakeasy Group (Nick and Nora'sEau De VieMjolner) and the collaboration is part of the brand’s Pathways to Partnership program, an initiative to bankroll visionary venues of hospo-preneurs. If Pearl Diver is anything to go by, the scheme could birth a whole new slew of city go-tos. 

  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Collingwood

A wine bar and digital radio station being run out of a creative arts precinct housed in a disused school. It doesn’t get much more Melbourne than that. Hope St Radio is located within Collingwood Yards and run by power duo (and coincidentally friends who love great food and wine) Pete Baxter and Jack Shaw. The wine bar and radio station headquarters aims to bring the community together by championing local musicians, produce and natural wine. Punters can expect local DJs mixing vinyl all through the night, expansive outdoor communal tables and fire pits, a 60-strong wine list highlighting the best of the new-age natty stuff, and a seasonal, Italian-leaning menu helmed by Ellie Bouhadana.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne

Melbourne’s reigning bar barons Michael and Zara Madrusan are pros at recreating these tiny universes, first giving us golden age classiness at the Everleigh, then rowdy breakouts of song at rock’n’roll dive Heartbreaker. Now we’re burrowing underground at the Paris-via-New York brasserie Bar Margaux, a place where oysters are shucked, Champagne is popped and steak are sizzled until the tiniest of hours.

  • Bars
  • Fitzroy
  • price 2 of 4

Tash Conte’s family-run bar has been a beacon of excellence for 16 years now. Not content to sit pretty on tried-and-tested masterpieces, the list is always on the move, keeping step with moods and seasons. This Fitzroy stayer delivers killer cocktails downstairs and upstairs in the Attic you get more of the same but with a quieter, date-night vibe.

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  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Fitzroy
  • price 2 of 4

To drink at Liberty is to revel in the best of all booze. The only rule about each drop here is that it must be a superlative example of its style. Whether it’s wine, cider, cocktails, whisky, vermouth or even housemade soda, every item on the long menu is carefully curated: the variety and quality on offer are hard to overstate. Head chef Zackary Leon Furst and executive chef Casey Wall curate small plates such as king prawns in a miso sauce, while sweet slices of snapper fillet are served on a bed of tart kefir cultured cream and thin slices of Jerusalem artichoke, with an aniseed kick from fennel seeds.

  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Brunswick

Almay Jordaan and Simon Denman are serving more than 300 low-intervention and biodynamic wines alongside 12 tap beers and a super-slick menu cooked over coals with a South African inflection. The majority of the wine list, except for a literal handful of wines, are low-intervention vinos that have either received extended skin contact, been aged in amphora, have little to no sulfur added to the bottle, or are several of these things all at once. Confused? Don’t be. Each wine has been coded with its farming practices and processes.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Fitzroy
  • price 1 of 4

The Shady Lady has transformed the old Houndstooth on Johnston Street to be a self-proclaimed vegan-friendly, dog-friendly, LGBTQIA+-welcome dive bar with a glam-shab décor. Orange tassel-covered lampshades, blue painted brick, disco balls and cabaret curtains are a refreshing change from the minimalist blond wood and Prohibition-style bars littered around Fitzroy. The Shady Lady knows it is different and encourages boatloads of fabulous, daggy fun. 

  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Carlton North
  • price 2 of 4

Gerald’s is and always has been bursting with personality: convivial, boisterous, eccentric, but at the same time, utterly approachable with a flawless soundtrack and a poster of a young Michael Caine watching over you. Sure, the wine list is a massive 200 bottles long, with a few bin ends (the last few bottles of a line), but the staff are helpful enough to decipher it for you. 

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

If you like cocktails, whisky, blues, good service and eating Reuben sandwiches at 2am, Beneath Driver Lane is your basement of dreams. Occupying an old bank vault in the CBD and celebrating its fifth birthday in 2022, this bar has a Harry Potter feeling that’s rare in Melbourne. It’s a vision of rustic Victorian style: the brick arched booths, the walls cluttered with black and white photos, and the warm light from candles and low-hanging lamps are comfortable. The fitout and the sharp service give this place a feeling that’s equal parts Melbourne, Chicago and Diagon Alley. 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Fitzroy
  • price 2 of 4

Flying the flag for Australian spirits and natural ingredients, Bad Frankie is one of the original bars to see the benefits of being patriotic. Finger limes, muntries and quondongs may have been overused in the name of championing local produce. Seb Costello, owner of Bad Frankie, has been on the native train for many years. Bad Frankie is a true-blue Aussie bar that puts jaffles, community sporting trophies and smart spirits utilising native ingredients next to each other, in a way that just... works. 

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  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4

A party-starting bar, with a gin-garden rooftop, smack in the middle of Chinatown – what business does Union Electric have being really, really, good? It’s common knowledge that most CBD venues with similar natural advantages are content with steadfast mediocrity, but not here. The bar champions fresh produce, each day pressing, juicing and infusing all manner of fruits, herbs and botanicals. The team gives extra vivacity to cheeky tiki cocktails and quenching Highballs, though on sticky days it’s difficult to beat the quench of rum or whisky simply served tall over fresh apple juice. 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne

Whisky and Alement has been paving Melbourne nights with precious amber distills since 2010. These guys were also the first to have access to the limited-edition and crazy expensive Scotch Malt Whisky Society single cask bottlings – look for the dark green bottles with white labels and number codes in place of distilleries. Previously you had to shell out north of $200 for a bottle, but at Whisky and Alement suddenly you could buy it by the nip and get a taste of the high life for fewer dollars than your weekly rent. 

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  • Bars
  • Fitzroy
  • price 2 of 4

Another whisky-loving joint, Elysian Whisky Bar has been dishing up wee drams in Fitzroy for years to a discerning crowd who might opt for a flight or simply trust the knowledgeable bar staff to find something they love. Key to this speciality bar’s success is the painstakingly built 350-strong backbar of rare and independently bottled whiskies. Each bottle has been hand-selected, resulting in an eclectic collection full of one-offs you won’t find elsewhere in the city. 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne

There should be another word for what Byrdi is doing. Bar doesn’t quite cut it, despite the fact that dispensing booze is at the core of what it does. It seems more like some kind of lab where you get to play guinea pig to its scientist. The drinks, made and served by a fleet of staff swaddled in crushed linen, are highly original and highly delicious in equal parts. There’s plenty of exciting technique going on here, plus a strong sense of seasonality. Techniques commonly associated with kitchens are front and centre – fermenting, smoking, clarifying – and the results are often thrilling.

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Eau De Vie
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

Eau de Vie was once one of those hidden bars that would take you a good chunk of time to find. Now, it’s one of the worst-kept secrets in Melbourne. Eau De Vie continues to be one of the busiest cocktail bars in town due to its ability to transport you out of the modern day and into the charms of yesteryear. But it isn’t just the jazzy soundtrack, private booths and staff clad in waistcoats that are the drawcard. Eau De Vie backs it up with some serious drinks and also a bit of flair. 

Angel Music Bar
  • Bars
  • Melbourne

Bringing some much-needed party vibes to the Paris end of Collins Street, Angel Music Bar is the meeting of two very different minds. In one corner, you have Con Christopoulos, the powerhouse restaurateur with City Wine Shopthe EuropeanSyracuseNeapoliSpring Street Grocer, Kirk’s and Butchers Diner (just to name a few) under his belt. In the other, you have Georgina O’Connor, one of Melbourne’s best-dressed, Gen-Y artist types, who is the ultimate cool girl. On paper, it is an odd pairing, but together, they’ve brought the sometimes low-key, always-pumping Angel Music Bar to the CBD in the spot where the old Korova Milk Bar used to be. Music is front and centre, with a collection of records pumping out of Funktion One speakers specifically installed to fill the room with one of the most enjoyable soundtracks we’ve come across in a bar.

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  • Bars
  • Melbourne

Saved from post-pandemic closure, this kitsch, cutesy rooftop promises a raucous garden party in the heart of the city. Decked out with AstroTurf, parasols and pastel-pretty timber furniture, this sky-high hub has long been a favourite for summer sessions that kick off in the afternoon and end after midnight. Think pitchers of fruity cocktails from a tongue-in-cheek drinks list that doesn't skimp on the double entendre. Yep. The Madame seems intent on making you blush, but chances are that rosy glow will be thanks to the sunshine and booze-sloshed cocktails.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Fitzroy

It’s no secret that the hospitality industry is a huge producer of waste. Think about those plastic straws, empty bottles, plastic-wrapped napkins, cardboard coasters, paper menus and food waste. Ends and Means opened with a vision of being a low-waste and sustainable cocktail bar, and true to its word, it produces less than one bag of landfill a day. It’s not easy, but it means something to owners Marc Frew and Josh Hunt. All this sustainability doesn’t compromise the cocktails on offer. In fact, unless you were really paying attention, you wouldn’t even notice it.

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  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

When Kirk’s opened in 2015 it immediately felt like a substantive thread in our city’s fabric, with its familiar, lived-in feel, confident service and mature wine list. At last, Spring Street sophistication had come to the shouty end of town. Years have passed, but it feels as essential as ever, proving that a classic wine bar, done well, never goes out of fashion. The list is as deep as it is broad, paying respect to all the old-world staples before giving equal ardour to trailblazing makers like Radikon and local innovators like Memento Mori. 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • 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 persevere, and your reward is a crew where friendliness and passion ripple throughout, from the young guns on the taps to the folks in the wine shop. Behind the long bar, there's a huge wall of 26 rotating taps to keep your attention piqued. 

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  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

If there’s one word that could describe Cumulus Up, it’s balance: refinement without haughtiness, variety without intimidation, quality without extravagance. It's a timeless venue that is still very much one of the nicest drinking experiences in Melbourne. You’d be forgiven for thinking the big, leather-bound list at Cumulus Up is full of untouchable museum bottles that you’d never crack for casual drinks. Not so. Flipping through, you’ll find a long but impressively engaging and easy-to-use guide to wine varietals, and most sit nicely in the $50-$100 range, well worth it if you’re after more than a glass or two. 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Collingwood
  • price 1 of 4

If you’re a true Melburnian, you’ve got the bar you go to play pool at, the bar with a solid wine list, the bar that can mix you a good drink, and the bar you go to just to smash a decent beer. Paradise Alley is all these things and more. The wine list is intelligent and balanced, sitting proudly next to a large collection of aperitifs, sherries and ports that are forcing Gen Y to change the way they drink.

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  • Bars
  • Craft beer
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

Boilermaker House is home to one of the largest collections of whisky in Melbourne, boasting a library of 700 offerings. From the Lonsdale Street entrance, Boilermaker House is completely unassuming – a signature of the Speakeasy Group, which also has Eau de Vie and Nick and Nora’s in its roster. Through the gigantic doors, the bar opens up to a brash explosion of bodies, blues and brews. You’ll be among a lot of city workers after knock-off time finding solace in a whisky or a beer or both, and groups of bros nerding out on a bit of whisky education. 

  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4

Heartbreaker isn’t the kind of place you go to when you’ve got an early morning the next day. You will get swept up in the rock ’n’ roll, flowing shots, beer chasers and party-hard spirit the venue has cultivated over the last few years. Throw in that late-night New York-style slice and you’re in for some trouble with a whole lot of staying power. Sure, it’s a dive bar, but it isn’t a hovel. It’s a T-shirt-and-leather-jacket crew here, who like to dress every bit as rock’n’roll as the soundtrack.

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  • Bars
  • Melbourne

Come for an afternoon Aperol Spritz in the sun or a flashy celebration with caviar, cigars and Champagne – either way, you’re well looked after here. Getting a seat with a view is like an Olympic event, so we suggest making a pit stop post-midnight when the after-work crowd have long gone, theatregoers have heeded the final call and it's just you and the night owls looking out over Spring Street’s canopy. Park yourself in one of the many Parisian wicker chairs and order a cigar and a Grand Gunner, a punchy nip with two kinds of rum, fig and cinnamon bitters, nutmeg syrup and frosty egg white. 

  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • West Melbourne

If we were in charge of Melbourne’s planning, we’d mandate that every neighbourhood have a place like Westwood. A place that can make you a strong coffee and a Croque madame in the morning, send you away with a fresh baguette for lunch, and welcome you back for wine as the sun shimmies under the horizon. There’s cheese and charcuterie to tide you over until dinner, when you should stay for a meandering meal. Enjoying that wine? Take it home – there’s a tiny shop in the back. Whatever you need, Westwood is here for you. 

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  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Fitzroy North
  • price 2 of 4

Climb the stairs to the first-floor bar and restaurant to discover a clubby, handsome space of vintage bar stools, tapestry and brass. Take your time perusing Simon Denman’s 20-page wine list, peppered with natural beauties, impressive imports and little-known locals. Minimal intervention, biodynamic and organic wines form the backbone of this commendable selection, and staff are only too happy to help you dip your toes into unfiltered territory. 

  • Bars
  • Fitzroy

Peppered with quotes from booze-loving literary figures, the leather-bound menu reads like a love letter to the sugarcane spirit. Spanning 170 bottles, the list skips through the Caribbean, to South America, Mauritius and Spain, including white, golden, spiced and raw varieties. As expected, the Dark and Stormy is a crowd-pleaser, much like this dependable bar itself.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

Mezcal is a dangerous thing. Add tacos and a closing time of 3am, and you’re in for a riotous night. You’ll recognise Bodega Underground from the ominous red neon glow on the corner of Crossley and Little Bourke streets. Venture in and you’ll descend into a basement plastered in posters from the golden age of Mexican cinema – tits, ‘taches and Tecate. The tables and stools are more cantina than bar, and the prime place to be is perched up at the counter. 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

The cocktail bar downstairs from the Goldilocks rooftop is just plain-and-simple good. The space has been completely redesigned from its somewhat awkward, fairy tale-themed predecessor. Now when you exit the lift onto level four of the building at 264 Swanston Street you’re funnelled down a hallway panelled in frosted glass. At the end, you’re greeted by a well-dressed host. The long bar has eight of the comfiest stools around and two-person booths run the length of the wall, while the next room holds private six-person booths looking out over the busy street.

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  • Bars
  • Craft beer
  • South Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4

Recently relocated to Russell Street in the city, Hats and Tatts is more than just a frat bar. That’s what it wants you to think it is. Scratch the surface and you’ll find a whisky collection more than 100 deep, some of the best cocktail-making in Melbourne, and taps that pour a lot more than just beer. It isn’t a place where the ladies go to lunch or be seen, but the frat food of fried chicken and Reuben croquettes are also deceptive given the skill in the kitchen from ex-Touche Hombre chef Nick Willard.

  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Carlton North
  • price 2 of 4

This bar is nailing the cosy neighbourhood style in an area heavy on options. Pull up a stool at the long bar and get stuck into the tight but super engaging list of wines by the glass. A white from Georgia, served in big, delicate glassware, is salty, chalky and tastes pleasantly like underripe cantaloupe. It’s perfect with the special of devilled eggs powdered with excellent paprika. If devilled eggs and kick-ass prosecco aren’t enough to chill you out, the calm, casual and ultra-knowledgeable service will help. 

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  • Bars
  • Melbourne

The city’s oldest pub has a secret. Loch and Key is hidden up a rickety staircase, behind a bookcase in the Captain Melville bar. It’s a handsome space of rich timbers, mounted deer heads and a broad deck lined with salvaged coffee tables, a beaten peacock-blue sofa and deep wooden banquettes. A blackboard menu lists the seasonal special – perhaps you'll go for a citrusy, smoky blend of mezcal, Solerno and blood orange juice. But if that doesn’t grab you, leave your drink in the hands of the supremely capable bar staff, who'll ask you what you're craving and pour something appropriate, be that an Americano or a craft beer. 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • 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 laidback, so assured is the food and drinks on offer. A leather-bound menu delivers seasonal, balanced cocktails; the 40-strong wine list skips happily from the Adelaide Hills to Argentina, and the craft beers run from hyper-local to heavy-hitting imports. 

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  • Bars
  • Craft beer
  • Thornbury

It’s barely sundown and the tiny corner bar on Thornbury’s High Street is a hive of activity, with staff squeezing and sliding past each other to take orders, pour beers and send food out to a swelling pack of hungry and thirsty punters. Given the divey, cobbled-together feel of the place, with its mélange of disco lights, wooden Venetians, floppy pot plants and bolted spinny stools (from a previous life in front of the pokies at Brunswick RSL), you’d be forgiven for low expectations for the pizzas. But there’s wood-fired pedigree here.

  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4

This massive outdoor eatery and beer garden sandwiched between two Melbourne icons (the Yarra River and Flinders Street Station) stretches for 120 metres along the riverbank and is officially Melbourne’s longest bar. It's got Espresso Martinis and Aperol Spritz on tap for quick-fire service so you can spend more time kicking back and less queueing. Otherwise the juicy tang and fresh kick in the Tommy’s Watermelon Margarita is a just reward for your patience. Or you can try and grab a table poolside at Arbory Afloat’s newest incarnation.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4

Despite the name, Good Heavens isn’t a pearl-clutching kind of place. Melbourne’s summer hotspot is brought to you by the team behind Fancy Hank's, and the vibe at this rooftop bar is a little bit Palm Springs, with pink signage and pastel blue paintwork. Stake your claim on the precious rooftop real estate so that you can spend an evening lording it over Bourke Street while Hawaiian shirt-clad staff shake up vintage tipples at the central island bar. 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

This bar is named after the year in which the word ‘cocktail’ first appeared in our vernacular, and it takes the art of cocktail-making very seriously here. From the 1930s gentlemen’s clubs of Philadelphia to the classy small bars of Florence and the beaches of Brazil, the cocktails seduce you with curious backstories, but it’s the skill of the staff here that seals the deal. The real showstopper is the out-of-this-world whisky and cheese flights that match 2016’s favourite spirit with cave-aged English Cheddar and 1,000-day-old Gouda.   

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Windsor
  • price 2 of 4

For the uninitiated, walking into a tiny sandwich shop and yanking open its refrigerator door seems rude, but that’s how you get to the rum cocktail bar out the back. Popping into Jungle Boy (out the back of Boston Sub) for a cheeky drink is not unlike stepping through a portal that takes you from bustling Windsor to a little pocket of the tropics. Here you can perch up at the bar with a Hemingway Spritz, the long, cool, love child of a grapefruit and maraschino Daiquiri and Italy’s beloved afternoon refresher.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Malvern

Meet Harvie: Armadale’s halcyon hangout that refuses to take a bad photo. Harvie has a space for every occasion, whether that’s date night, kick ons, or sunkissed sundowners. Cocktails change to match the weather, such as the Sunny Arvo-spiked Spritz that comes donning a dried orange wheel like a stylish beret. The wine list, thoughtfully curated by Norm Houghton, stamps its passport in France, Austria, Spain, and Italy, but remembers to smile at Australian producers too. The location is breathtaking at dusk and Harvie knows it: the website has a daily sunset timer, so be sure to plan your visit at just the right time. 

Looking for something to eat?

  • Restaurants

Unless you have the metabolism of a nine-year-old and the finances of a Kardashian, you never stand a chance against Melbourne's ferocious dining machine. The openings just don't stop and ain't nobody got time to keep on top of what's what. Except us, that is. So behold, our eat-and-destroy list – a guide to Melbourne's 50 best restaurants.

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