The best gay bars in Melbourne
You would think what with the fanfare surrounding Sydney's annual Mardi Gras festival that the harbour city was the clear ringleader of Australia's gay scene, but Melbourne certainly gives its sibling some decent rivalry. After you're all partied out (for tonight), tick off our five ways to show your pride in Melbourne, or up your 'extra-curricular' game by visiting our top five sex shops.
Sex on premises venues in Melbourne
Guys, looking to get some action without navigating Grindr? You can always go to an SOPV. Here are Melbourne’s top five gay saunas and cruise lounges – remember to play safe. While you're at it, check out our list of top gay bars and pick-up bars.
The best outdoor queer-friendly bars in Melbourne
Summer’s the perfect time for birds of a feather to preen themselves, particularly if you're already out and about getting your Midsumma fix. We've found four outdoor bars for al fresco drinking and perving. Looking to push on? Check out the best gay bars and karaoke spots in Melbourne.
Hares & Hyenas
Having been in operation for over 20 years, you’d expect Hares & Hyenas to be a well-oiled machine… but this humble-looking bookshop is more like a super power-packing transformer. Bookshelves stuffed with fiction, biographies, humour, photography, erotica, religion, gender, coming out, fanzines, health and educational tomes can be wheeled away so that the room is adapted into a venue with theatre seating, a stage, and a lighting and sound system. Whatever mode it’s in, there’s a fully licensed bar and café, and an exhibition lining the walls at all times. Hares & Hyenas is the project of Rowland Thomson and Crusader Hillis, who met at Melbourne University in 1975 and became partners a few years later. In the 1980s, Hillis owned an art-house video shop in Elwood, while Thomson co-owned Dizzy Spinners on Brunswick Street – an early incarnation of the current Polyester Records. In 1991 they joined forces to open Hares & Hyenas, which moved all over Melbourne before settling in Johnston Street’s Spanish quarter, where they’ve been made to feel welcome. “The changes in 20 years are fairly staggering,” notes Thomson. “People only used to come in wearing sunglasses.” It’s now become a hub for not only the queer community, but anyone interested in socialising in a literary setting. Hares & Hyenas plays host to two book groups, a stitch’n’bitch, ButchFemmeTrans, Rainbow Girls and Rainbow Guys, to name but a few regular meet-ups, and has put on 350 spoken word events. “We also did
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Coburg Night Market
Coburg Night Market get better every year and it's little wonder, considering that it was founded by the team behind the Queen Victoria Night Market in 2010. Every Friday night from November 25 to December 16, Coburg Night Market will come alive with more than 85 food and artisan stalls, as well as live music and interactive entertainment. Melbourne’s diverse community is truly on show with the versatile dishes served up by the street food vendors. Run by Moreland City Council, over 30 food vendors including Cypriot Kitchen, Bun Cornidios and Perla Tacos, Indigenous Street Feast and Babaji’s Kitchen will be dishing up delicious street food at the weekly night market. There will be vegan, vegetarian and halal-friendly options available too. Much like the food available, music and entertainment have also been sourced from Melbourne's global communities. Each Friday, the night market will present a different style and sound, from 1950s harmonies by local band Bobby and the Pins, Latin beats from Mariachi Los Romanticos, and roaming bands like Uptown Brown and The Whoopee Project, and Cyclo Illuminato. The market has been scheduled before Christmas, giving shoppers a great chance to pick up some artisanal gifts.
Make the most of balmy summer nights and the silly season at The Merrywell with six days of brand new happy hours. Merry Hours will see great value burgers, oysters, beers and sparkling wine, with different specials going down all week.
Award-winning Christmas picks for food, wine, beer and spirits
Each year Winning Tastes uncovers and awards the best in fine food and drink from right around Australia. Winners of the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria’s world class awards programs showcase top-notch food and drink. Try these Australian Food Awards medal winners, from the best starters to spice up your antipasto platter to the perfect desserts to finish your meal on a seriously tasty note. AntipastoOlives: Nangkita Olives KalamataCrackers: Asterisk Kitchen Activated Coconut Charcoal LavoshCheese: Prom Country Cheese Venus Blue and Pyengana Tasty Main courseHam: Bomba Ham, Barkly Smokehouse Fish: Hiramasa Kingfish, Clean SeasChicken: Hazeldene’s Free-range Chicken On the sideBread: Seeded Sourdough, The Honey Thief BakeryButter: Beautifully Butterfully Unsalted For dessertCream: Farmdale Thickened CreamIce cream: Dooley’s Ice Cream, Rum and Raisin Fruit cake: Louisa Morris Cakes Rich Fruit CakeCheesecake: Gluten Free Salted Caramel with Macadamia Cheesecake, Nee’s High Apple PiesPudding: Traditional Plum Pudding, Pud for all SeasonsSauce: Spiced Brandy Sauce, Silver Penny Puddings
December lunch specials at Fratelli Fresh
Lunches don't need to be boring or costly when you can have unlimited serves of bolognese pasta, rocket and parmesan salad and Fratelli dough balls with a delicious drizzling of garlic butter all for just $14.95 at Fratelli Fresh. Fratelli Fresh's December lunch specials run every day from 11.30am to 3pm and cost just $14.95 per person so you can afford to duck out of work with your workmates for a delicious Italian lunch break in Alfred Place at Melbourne CBD. Vegetarian options are available for the non-meat eaters and the best part is, if you book a table of four diners or more, you'll receive a complimentary bottle of wine. Book your spot for lunch at Fratelli Fresh online now. The Alfred, 7 Alfred Pl, Melbourne 3000.