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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

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

Three people sitting at a booth underneath a red neon sign which
Photograph: Amanda Summons

1. Heartbreaker

Bars Melbourne

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.

Pouring cocktails at Black Pearl
Photograph: Graham Denholm

2. Black Pearl

Bars Fitzroy

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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Pippies and cocktail at Arlechin
Photograph: Graham Denholm

3. Arlechin

Restaurants Italian Melbourne

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.

4. 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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5. Union Electric Bar

Bars Melbourne

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. 

6. 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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7. 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.

8. Gin Palace

Bars Cocktail bars Melbourne

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

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Outdoor area at Le Bon Ton with fairy lights
Photograph: Graham Denholm

9. Le Bon Ton

Restaurants Collingwood
Sazeracs, absinthe, oysters and smoky barbecue: Le Bon Ton delivers the best bits of New Orleans in one handy Collingwood package.

10. 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.
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Tomorrow's breakfast sorted

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