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Bar area at 1806
Photograph: Vince Caligiuri

The best late-night bars in Melbourne

Here’s our hour-by-hour guide to classy fun after midnight

Written by
Time Out editors
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Just because it's the small hours and you're up for a drink, it doesn't mean you want to be yelling over the music in a nightclub. Thankfully, there's plenty of places in Melbourne to enjoy a quiet(ish) beverage until sunrise – and with the 24-hour public transport network operating on weekends, it's easier than ever to get home. 

For more nocturnal fun, check out our guide to late-night bottle shops and late-night dining

Late-night drinking in Melbourne

  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4
Dark and deeply inviting, this party-ready dive bar is a favourite among the Melbourne booze community once they've poured their last drinks for the night. Come for the craft beers, shots of whisky and the Everleigh's bottled cocktails.
  • Bars
  • Fitzroy
  • price 2 of 4

Melburnians never needed the succession of big international awards to know that the Black Pearl is where you go for a bloody good cocktail – though undoubtedly those accolades benefited the travellers who now flock to the bar as a checklist destination. This bar truly comes alive after midnight.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

A nondescript, dumpster-strewn alley no more, Mornane Place is home to a late night bar with some seriously good eats. A city cannot have too many places like Arlechin. Beneath the sexily arched cork-lined ceiling lurks a place that feels like a subterranean clubhouse. The wine list is as Aussie-Italian as the Grossis themselves, with an accompaniment of Aussie-inflected Italian snacks to keep you fortified.

Bar Ampere
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne
With absinthe in the afternoon or Martinis after midnight, this laneway retreat is only too happy to come to the party.
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Union Electric Bar
  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4
Union Electric is marked only by a fat rusted lightning bolt pinpointed by globes and a small door that opens onto the paved alley. This bar is a good time, and so are the vaguely tropical cocktails: the Kaiju with Scrumpy Cider, Green Chartreuse, and Suntory Whisky kicks goals all year round with the super fresh flavour. 
Bar Margaux
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne

Bar Margaux, the late-night French brasserie by the team behind the Everleigh and Heartbreaker is keeping people fortified until the early hours of the morning. It's a given that the cocktails are excellent. Food is inspired by the kitchens of Paris by way of New York (co-owner Michael Madrusan sites Balthazar and Pastis as influences) with dishes like escargot with Pernod butter, duck frites, gnocchi Parisienne, and of course, a house burger on its menu. 

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Robot Bar
  • Bars
  • Melbourne

Sake, izakaya snacks such as gyoza, bonito-covered sugar snap peas and potato salad from Mugen Ramen across the alleyway combine with anime cartoons at this compact Japanese retreat.

Gin Palace
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 3 of 4

Vernon Chalker's long-standing bar is a louche basement lounge with a very serious relationship with gin.

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Loch and Key
  • Bars
  • Melbourne
A warren of rooms and a broad verandah welcome you at this late-night lair, hidden above Captain Melville. Tell bar staff what you're craving and they'll whip up just the thing.

Tomorrow's breakfast sorted

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