Chinatown has all the makings of a great night out. You’ve got cheap dumplings, laneway bars, karaoke, and heaving dancefloors that go into the wee hours. Most are hidden in the rabbit warren that is Little Bourke's laneway network; here's where to find them. Alternatively, use our Chinatown bar crawl suggestions to guide your evening.
Where to dance in Chinatown
Up late? Head down Coverlid Place for a double whammy. On level two you’ll find Charlton’s Bar, where the hip-hop is dirty and the open-mic karaoke is dirtier. The pool room offers a welcome breather. Upstairs, Roxanne serves up underground electronic music on Fridays, and becomes the Grizzly club night on Saturdays, stretching all the way 'til sunrise.
You’ll find the Croft Institute way down a winding alley. Once inside the laboratory-themed bar, grab a cocktail that looks like it was made by a mad scientist and head upstairs, where DJs will be spinning the sexiest hip-hop records. Dodge the bins on your way out.
Ding Dong’s Black Night Crash night on Fridays is one for fans of indie rock hits old and new, as well as live performances. Rock up at Midnight Run every Saturday and dance to a soundtrack of The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys and a touch of James Brown.
Every other Saturday, The Exford Hotel at the top end of Chinatown hosts the Razzmatazz Indie Discotheque, a club night for those who prefer to get down to indie over EDM. Spend the night buzzing to indie gods including The Smiths, Arcade Fire, Tame Impala and The Strokes.
You’ll find the raddest crate diggers behind the decks at Section 8 and Ferdydurke. Grab a spot on Section 8’s pallet seats and jam to hip-hop, dub, old-school roots, and jungle. Feel like a change of pace? Head up the stairs to Ferdydurke next door and fuel up on cocktails and bar snacks.