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Johnny's Green Room rooftop
Photograph: Johnny's Green Room/Supplied

The best rooftop bars in Melbourne

Head up high to drink with your head in the clouds this summer

Written by
Time Out editors
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Drinking on a rooftop is at least 20 per cent more fun than drinking at street level. It's true, just try it for yourself. So jump on those stairs, hit that lift button and check out these high-and-mighty gems. Some of these are in the city, and some in the surrounding suburbs are perfect for city views. 

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

Best rooftop bars in Melbourne

  • 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 cheeseburgers, spicy Southern fried chicken, and chilli nachos with brisket mole 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.

The venue only accepts walk-ins but will consider bookings for larger groups. Simply head to their website

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  • 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, elegant new addition to Melbourne’s bar scene that has a reputation for milk crates and astro-turf. You’ll want to knock back some serious sunset cocktails in some vintage threads to match the understated mid-century vibes of the deck. 

It's open now and accepting walk-ins plus reservations via its website. Call 8636 8800 to book.

  • Bars
  • Melbourne

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 drinking 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.

Madame Brussels accepts bookings in two hour sittings from 4pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 12pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 1pm on Sundays. Reserve via email at madame@madamebrussels.com.

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  • 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. 

Open from Tuesday to Sunday midday to 1am. Book via the website.

  • 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.

Book your table here for 1.5 hours at a time.

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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. 

Reserve your table via the website.

  • 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. 

Drinks are flowing once again and you can book a table of up to ten via the website.

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

It's open now and bookings are essential via its website

  • 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. 

It's open now and bookings are essential via the site.

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  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4

On a rooftop in the Melbourne CBD, you don’t have to do things this well. It’s nice to see the Union crew sticking to their guns and doing something above and beyond the expected. Grab a beer while they make your cocktail and cut these guys some slack if it takes a sec to get to you. Like this bar, it’s worth the wait.

Open now. Book online here.

  • 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.

It's open now and you can book via the website.

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  • Restaurants
  • Melbourne

The eight beers taps here have a local, independent bent, as will the wines. And as for snacks, the famous Catalonian toasted sandwich, the Bikini, will be in pride of place on the menu, packed with Jamón Ibérico with truffle or smoked ham hock with mahón and mozzarella. And in a touch of New York whimsy, the bar projects 1970s black and white films onto the wall of the opposite building.

Open now, just phone the restaurant directly on 9650 5778 to reserve your spot.

  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4

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.

Loop Roof is opening itself up for bookings with two-hour seatings from October 30. Reserve here.

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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.

The rooftop inside is available for bookings, just phone 9416 2238, or walk-in to sit on the rooftop outside.

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.  

It's open now and accepting bookings via the website.

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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.

It's open now for two hour sittings and bookings must be made online.

  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4

Access this Astroturfed terrace from a stairwell in the alley behind Section 8. The perches line the perimeter so you feel like you’re drinking in an infinity pool – think warm, tropical thoughts. Drinks-wise, you can expect craft beer, pre-mixed cocktails for dispensing from siphons, and Rositas on tap. Hungry? Go for tender strips of herby fried chicken.

It's open now and accepting walk-ins only.

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Palmz Rooftop Bar
  • Bars
  • Melbourne

Decadence was clearly a watchword for whoever designed the fit-out of the Carlton Club, with taxidermied exotic animals and velvet trim running rampant. Head up a floor 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.

Open now and accepting walk-ins and bookings via the website.

More of Melbourne's best bars

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