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The rooftop at Runner Up
Photograph: Supplied/Runner Up

The best rooftop bars in Melbourne

Head on up to these high-and-mighty gems to take in Melbourne's best from a few floors above

Written by
Time Out editors
Contributors
Eliza Campbell
&
Jade Solomon
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Whether we are cosied up next to a heater with a glass of red in the winter, or getting our summer glow on with a cocktail jug in the summer, we certainly fancy a rooftop bar here in Melbourne. 

Maybe it's the higher altitude, but drinking is just more fun from above. So start climbing those stairs – or keep your fingers crossed for a lift – and check out Melbourne's 25 best rooftop bars now. 

Looking for an après-drink bite? Check out Melbourne's best late-night eats.

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Best rooftop bars in Melbourne

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne

Move over the Toff in Town – there’s a new multiple-floor hospitality venue in Melbourne and Her Rooftop is its crowning glory, boasting city skyline views rivalling the likes of Rooftop Bar and Goldilocks.  Brought to you by the same people behind Arbory, the venue has a one-in-one-out policy so expect to wait in a line that snakes around Drewery Lane on to Lonsdale Street on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s fast-moving due to the many frequented parts of the building, though the rooftop is evidently the most popular destination on a balmy summer’s night.

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  • Bars
  • Carlton

This rooftop incarnation sits two floors above King & Godfree, Carlton’s best known Italian-style grocer (it's been around since 1884). Up this high, Johnny’s gets unparalleled views over Melbourne; you can spy CBD high-rises, Melbourne Museum’s roof blades, Collingwood church spires and over in the distance, a parabola-like outline of the Dandenong Ranges. There is a nice collection of classic cocktails, local and imported beer and wines, but Johnny’s own cocktails are worth a shot. Perfect for pre or post dinner drinks after dinner at Di Stasio Carlton downstairs.

  • Bars
  • Collingwood

The Runner Up rooftop bar is located above the Collingwood Yards arts precinct and community space. Stepping inside this casual drinking spot is like being in a sleeker version of your creative mate’s sharehouse full of random artwork, reclaimed vintage furniture and custom-made pieces, and stacks of house plants. The eclectic and laid-back feel marries well with the Collingwood Yards ethos and its other tenants like Hope St Radio downstairs. Downstairs, you’ll find some minimalist and clean art spaces run by well-established artists. But at Runner Up, it feels like the younger creatives have taken over and made this rooftop their own.

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

Brought to you by the folks behind Fancy Hank's, Good Heavens serves Australian wines, craft beers, cocktails and casual bar food: think buffalo wings, BBQ corn ribs, and Brisket sandwiches from Fancy Hanks’ giant smoker downstairs. There are plenty of heaters to keep you toasty if there's a nip in the air, so no worries on that score. You can also while away many hours playing board games or card games here, no matter the weather.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne

Undeniably the most exciting part of the QT Melbourne development has to be the huge indoor-outdoor split rooftop bar, appropriately named 'The Rooftop'. It’s a sleek and elegant addition to Melbourne’s bar scene that otherwise has a reputation for milk crates and astro-turf. A top spot for some serious sunset summer cocktails or, warming red wines under the cosy winter awnings. 

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  • Bars
  • Melbourne

This kitsch, cutesy and recently resurrected rooftop promises a raucous garden party in the heart of the city. This sky-high hub has long been a favourite for drinking sessions that kick off in the afternoon and end after midnight. The drinks menu includes The Usual Suspects – cocktails that each come with curious anecdotes about intriguiding subjects such as the first 'Miss Show Girl Victoria', famous 'Gun Alley' murders and false executions. 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne

Once you ascend the seemingly endless flight of stairs to the Rooftop Bar (passing Cookie and the Toff in Town along the way), catch your breath and quench your thirst while taking in the heart and soul of Melbourne from above. Kick back on the fake grass, or huddle under the heating on colder nights and lose yourself in the spectacular view. 

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The Corner Hotel
  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Richmond

The renovated Corner Hotel rooftop serves up share dishes, pub classics, and a late-night bar food menu, if you don’t feel like a kebab for your post-gig bite. There are plenty of covered areas and heaters to keep inclement weather at bay. Big props to Therefore Studio for making the rooftop wheelchair accessible and for adding more seating areas en plein air. A local Richmond favourite for a reason. 

  • Bars
  • St Kilda

Tucked just off the unlikely corner of Carlisle and Balaclava, the Taphouse greets you with the comforting smell of heritage wood paneling. Warmly lit by tiny lamps ensconced in the walls, it feels like an old-fashioned gentlemen's club that just happens to have one of the best craft beer lists in the city. The rooftop here is packed even during cold weather – and it goes bananas in spring and summer. It's one of the easiest pubs to find something you want to drink, the offering always carefully balanced and covering the whole gamut of styles. The Local also boasts a generous Sunday Roast which is worth a visit. 

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • price 3 of 4

If there’s one thing that sticks out about Fable Melbourne – besides a 13-floors-up view of Melbourne city – it's attention to detail. Velvet salmon-coloured booths are matched against Ancient Greece-inspired flooring, olive trees and a stunning emerald green bar. It’s old-world Mediterranean with a modern flourish. And so is the menu. 

You’ll find all the usual favourites such as grilled halloumi and fried calamari with more substantive options like slow-cooked pork and lamb shoulder. Fable’s considered approach extends to the drinks list, too. Mostly gluten-free and vegan-friendly, the line-up swaps egg white for aquafaba in an effort to be as inclusive as possible.

  • Restaurants
  • Melbourne

The eight beers taps here have a local, independent bent, as will the wines. With tasty tapas available at the restaurant downstairs – think anchovies and jamón, manchego croquettes,  and patatas bravas, it is not suprising that Bomba rooftop serves some serious snacks. And in a touch of New York whimsy, the bar projects 1970s black and white films onto the wall of the opposite building.

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Easey's
  • Restaurants
  • Collingwood
  • price 1 of 4

Don't hold us to it, but we think beers are better when consumed in a Hitachi train plonked on top of a Collingwood office block. Easey's is best known for insane burgers and fried snacks that'll make your arteries threaten to give way, but there's a decent craft brew line-up on tap and the sweeping views of Collingwood aren't so bad either. Just come early to score a seat on the trains.

  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Melbourne

Up on the rooftop, rainbow plastic furniture and coloured fluoro tubes reflecting off high white walls give the space the air of an adult crèche. This three-level bar from the clever clogs behind Fancy Hank's and Good Heavens is smack-dab in the middle of the city, so it's a primo spot for people watching. And if you get tired of the views, head downstairs for Asian-inspired snacks and karaoke

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  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4

Union Electric Bar and Gin Beer Garden is a playful raucous of bold shirts, loud music, approachable bartenders and creative cocktails. They like to experiment with fresh bold fruit flavours and unusual liqueurs – think Honeycomb and Geraldton Wax with french rum, or fig jam and gingerbread with gin and whiskey bitters. Like this bar, the drinks are worth the wait.

  • Restaurants
  • Fitzroy
  • price 1 of 4

Say “rooftop bar” these days, and folks will start throwing money at you before you can show them the stairs. The rooftop here on the corner of Brunswick and Johnston streets has managed to stay classy without being aloof, providing a lovely spot to soak up the inner-north from on high. Up here, the surrounding redbrick buildings block the view of the city skyline, but they create an old Melbourne industrial feel that’s just as nice. Drinks at this rooftop are a great way to cap off a day checking out all that there is happening in Fitzroy

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  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4

This venue boasts not just one, but two rooftop spaces, Loop Roof and Loop Top. The breezy twin-tiered spaces above Loop Project Space & Bar promise sparkling city vistas, primary-bright lawn furniture, AstroTurf and lush garden beds. A city oasis if you will. If knockoff drinks all-too-easily edge towards midnight, fortify yourself with inventive share plates and bar snacks.

  • Bars
  • Fitzroy

Marquis of Lorne boasts a boisterous public bar on the ground floor, the homey dining room and kitchen up the stairs and above that a small rooftop terrace with its own bar that serves easy-going craft tinnies and a couple of simple cocktails. Drinking up here feels like being on the deck of a boozy ship sailing the seas of Fitzroy. Yo-ho, me hearties, we say!

Marquis is a rocking good pub for Fitzroy’s 30-ish crowd, taking its rightful place among the neighbourhood’s long-standing favourites like the Standard, the Napier and the Rainbow, but in a way that feels less like a legacy act and more like a platinum album peak.

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  • Bars
  • Fitzroy

Naked in the Sky is the restaurant and rooftop bar crowning Naked for Satan – Fitzroy’s bright and brassy house of flavoured vodkas and Spanish snacks. You can also get some cheese boards to share, and that might be the best accompaniment of all for the views. 

Imperial Hotel
  • Bars
  • Melbourne

Imperial Hotel happens to be the third oldest pub in Melbourne, so you'll be enjoying the rooftop beer garden on a piece of Melbourne history. Your pint at the top of Bourke Street will come with 360-degree views of the Melbourne skyline and Parliament House. This is a sports-mad venue, which stays open late for all the matches and keeps it classy, clean and comfortable with a traditional English pub vibe, so wear your colours if you want to.  

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  • Bars
  • South Yarra

South Yarra’s got a multi-level fun emporium in this joint. The lower decks are all about live entertainment and DJs, but we’ve got our eyes set on sunset cocktails on the roof. It’s replete with cushion-lined deck and daybeds, the beats are chilled and the eats are snacks or a la carte.

  • Restaurants
  • Melbourne

The Rooftop at Farmer's Daughters is a tranquil city oasis. Sitting pretty above the deli and the restaurant, the rooftop bar’s vertical gardens include native herbs like strawberry gum and lemon myrtle, with mountain pepper bushes lining the sides.

With a strong emphasis on Gippsland wines and spirits, the drinks menu includes inventive Highballs and creative cocktails. Snack on considered bar food like soda bread with cultured butter, marinated zucchini, squash and burrata, and terrine with black garlic chutney. Who needs a minibreak when you can get the best of Gippsland right here?

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Harlow
  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Richmond

What was once Richmond's old and crumbling Great Britain Hotel is now Harlow: an old-school pub with new-school sensibilities. The rooftop bar at Harlow wraps around the building giving sweet city views. Music is a strong focus in the building, with DJs playing Friday and Saturday nights. The modern pub menu features favourites like chicken parmas, burgers and pies and lighter options like heirloom tomato salad and eggplant baos. 

  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4

At Goldilocks expect craft beer, pre-mixed cocktails for dispensing from siphons, and Rositas on tap. Try the signature cocktails aptly named: Papa Bear, Mumma Bear and Baby Bear. There is a good selection of snacks to share from fries and springrolls to baos and dumplings. There is even vegan calamari to try. 

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Palmz Rooftop Bar
  • Bars
  • Melbourne

Head upstairs above the Carlton Club, to Palmz Rootop Bar for a taste of the tropics – not least from the cocktail jugs. When it's chilly, heaters will keep you warm and toasty, just like you're really on a tropical holiday. There is even an extensive food menu with tapas and mains, burgers and share plates. 

More of Melbourne's best bars

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