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.
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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Wind down for the weekend at Bang Bang's new summer Sunday series. They will be mixing up five different summery prosecco spritzers from just $14, plus whipping up a sweet snack menu with bites starting at just $4. Start with a classic Aperol spritz, then try a Mimosa inspired number that comes with Cointreau, fresh orange and prosecco. The Sloe Down takes fresh mint, cucumber, prosecco and Plymoth Sloe gin, while the Shrub Lyf takes a sweet strawberry shrub and tops it with prosecco. Pair your spritz with a bao packed with charred lamb, pickled ginger and soy; or avocado, smoked trout and shallots. You can also order a sweet hand-held cone filled with chicken ribs and chips, or crisp pumpkin, mint, tamarind and lettuce. Bang Bang's full and funky South East Asian menu will also be available, so there will also be red curry rice balls, hiramasa kingfish sashimi, silken tofu and duck liver pâté. Grab a crew and head down to Bang Bang to see out your weekend in style.
Must try dining experiences in Thailand
From cheap street eats to Michelin-star fine dining, there’s no better way to experience Thai culture than through its diverse food scene. Whether you’re hopping off a tuk tuk to scarf boat noodles ladled by a fourth-generation street vendor, stepping out of an elevator to sip Mai Tais 61 floors up in the sky, or jumping off a boat to cook your own Thai feast by the river, these unforgettable dining experiences won’t only reveal to you Thailand’s spicy, sour, sweet and salty flavours but also its language, geography and people.
Side with Amex Melbourne | American Express x Time Out
What's better than a main meal? One with sides. Pay with your American Express card at these leading restaurants, and you'll be rewarded with a complimentary side for your first main meal ordered. Want to know more? Check out our Side with Amex FAQ. For more great offerings, return to the American Express casual dining guide.