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The best rooftop bars in Melbourne

Whether you're after beers and sun or moonlight and cocktails, these high altitude drinking spots are well worth the climb

Photograph: Graham Denholm

Lording it over the rest of the city, drink in hand, is truly one of life's great pleasures. Melbourne may not have the greatest weather, but when the temperature rises and the sky is clear, it always delivers on the outdoor drinking front. While we're talking beverages, we've also scanned the city for Melbourne's best cocktail bars, wine bars and laneway bars. Cheers!



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 isn't so bad either. Just come early to score a seat on the trains. 

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Rooftop Bar

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 and lose yourself in the spectacular view. 

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Fonda Mexican: Windsor

Enjoy the sunshine at Fonda's rooftop bar at the Mexican eatery's Windsor hold-out. Kitted out with bright umbrellas, garden plants, and Fonda's signature bright furnishings, the general vibe here is like that of a great backyard. The rooftop bar will be open all year around, which means you can enjoy a fresh breeze and natural light with Fonda's tacos and aguas frescas cocktails.

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Marquis of Lorne

The rooftop at Marquis of Lorne is arguably the best part of this grand old Fitzroy pub. The bathtub with tinnies make it feel like you're at a house party every time, and the burgers and steaks from the dining room downstairs go down a treat in the sunny spot by the Carlton sign. Even if you're not a local, the neighbourly vibe will leave you feeling like you're one. 

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Upside Rooftop Bar

From the multitasking marvel of Curtin House to the trippy wonderland that is the Carlton Club, Melburnians love their multi-level drinking dens. At 127 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, with Ichi Ni Nana on street level, Village People Hawker Hall in the middle, and Japanese-inspired Upside Rooftop Bar acting as the boozy icing on the cake. Order Village People Thai-style street food from below and lord over Fitzroy, cocktail in hand. 

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Loop Roof

There's a reason the queues snake down Meyer Place for Loop Roof. The breezy terrace above Loop Project Space & Bar promises sparkling city vistas, primary-bright lawn furniture, AstroTurf and lush garden beds. Calling it a city oasis isn't selling it too strongly. If knockoff drinks all-too-easily edge towards midnight, fortify yourself with inventive share plates and bar snacks.

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Feast of Merit

Feast of Merit's rooftop bar is a sunny extension of the Richmond restaurant. The bar snacks continue on their Mediterranean menu theme, and includes more substantial offering in the evening. The cocktail game on the rooftop is also strong, so you can grab a refreshing Aperol Spritz or Bloody Mary during your afternoon session. 

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Naked in the Sky

Naked in the Sky is the restaurant and rooftop bar crowning Naked for Satan – Fitzroy’s bright and brassy house of flavoured vodkas and cheap pintxos (small snacks on bread – drinking fodder of Basque country, Spain). At high altitude, the bar snacks get more refined; think fried cheese and walnut croquettes, confit duck sliders and baked camembert. 

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Madame Brussels

This kitsch, cutesy rooftop promises a raucous garden party in the heart of the city. This sky-high hub has long been a favourite for summer sessions that kick off in the afternoon and end after midnight. The tongue-in-cheek drinks list doesn't skimp on the double entendre, with plenty of mention of jugs, balls and oral pleasure. 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.

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Imperial Hotel

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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Watch this space for new rooftops

nineteenforty at Rivoli CInemas

The Rivoli is paying homage to cinema's golden age with nineteenforty, a rooftop bar set on top of the heritage-listed Art Deco cinema. The rooftop bar will be accompanied with a garden fit out, offering panoramic view of Camberwell and Hawthorn which means you don't have to be seeing a movie to visit the Rivoli.  nineteenforty will be perfect for summer drinking – the old-world cocktail menu is dotted by classics that will make for as delicious pre or post-film beverage. There's also a bar snacks menu for a rooftop snack.

Open September 16. 

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Hawthorn East

Good Heavens

The team behind Fancy Hank's is adding a rooftop bar to their CBD venue on Bourke St. Good Heavens will draw in cocktail swillers on balmy summer nights and come with a menu of American bar food like spicy fried chicken, chilli nachos with brisket 'mole, and smoked lamb neck. As for the cocktail list, they're not afraid of multi-coloured cocktails that looks like the kind you haven't touched since you were 18, but these ones are put together with more primo ingredients. 

Good Heavens is slated for a late September 2016 opening.

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More of Melbourne's best bars

The 50 best bars in Melbourne

Time Out's editors tortured their brains (and destroyed their livers) to bring you this: the definitive guide to drinking in Melbourne.

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By: Time Out editors