The best bars for dancing in Melbourne

This one's for all you discerning drinkers who also like to dance your pants off
DJ at the Section 8 Beach Party
By Time Out editors |
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"Where can we go to have after work drinks where we can also dance?" It's the cry that echoes around most of Melbourne every Friday afternoon, but the response is often a stony silence. Melbourne isn't shy of excellent bars. This we know. There are solid clubs too. But oh so rarely do well-made drinks and a sturdy dancefloor unite in a single venue. We're not talking about the Tote or any other music-driven venue where the drinks play second fiddle to actual fiddles. Here we've rounded up places where you can sit back, chat and relax off an afternoon and get a little jiggy later on. 

Looking for something a little more chill? We've rounded up the city's best jazz clubs. Otherwise, if you're looking for a boogie on a weeknight, here's where you should go

Bars with dance floors in Melbourne

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Bars

Boney

icon-location-pin Melbourne

We're still a tiny bit freaked out by the fancy food and cocktails on offer downstairs at the resurrected Pony. We saw some sweaty things go down here in the past. But the Martinis and blinis are genuinely good and make it worth showing up at 7pm rather than 3am. Come for the drinks, stay for the 7am weekend bedtime and the nightly DJ and live music agenda.

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Bars

Carlton Club

icon-location-pin Melbourne

The many floors and faces of the Carlton Club make this a good spot for both boozy adventures and booty popping. We also like that both activities are watched over by a truly stupendous collection of exotic animal taxidermy. Here they play whatever is on the radio so you're guaranteed some earworms, pop and r'n'b at dancing-friendly volumes.

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The Toff in Town
Bars

The Toff in Town

icon-location-pin Melbourne

Curtin House is frankly ridiculous, brimming over as it is with a host of outstanding bars and club spaces. The Toff in Town is one of the swankiest, with private booth bar complete with late-night DJs, and then there is the excellent band space to the right for throwing shapes.

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Bars

The Bridge Hotel

icon-location-pin Burnley

The old Bridge used to be a no-nonsense local pub but after the old girl's extreme makeover a couple of years back it's turned into a veritable palace of fun. Punters are still drinking beers and there are cheap steaks on Tuesdays, but they also have DJs, live music, and a catchy-as-all-get-out pop playlist.

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Bars, Cocktail bars

Go Go Bar

icon-location-pin Melbourne

This dark, subterranean bar is a drinking destination in its own right. With an entirely black paint job, minimal light, and a scattering of tea lights in red glasses, this is the place for the self-conscious dancer with weekend DJs covering hip hop and disco.

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Bars

Workshop

icon-location-pin Melbourne

This motorcycle-workshop-turned bar is huge on music: the sound system plays anything from reggae to indie rock, and the venue frequently plays host to local and touring MCs and DJs. After dark, the tunes are loud and the bar is red-lit but fair warning, 'No Jagerbombs' is a house rule.

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Bars

Ferdydurke

icon-location-pin Melbourne

Ferdydurke is a bar for the adult in you who demands a good drink, with a serve of grungy fun for your never-say-die side. They do sharp cocktails and craft beers to fuel your dancing shoes, with retro vinyls on the stereo during the week and DJs taking over on weekends.

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Photograph: Supplied
Bars

Section 8

icon-location-pin Melbourne

The bar may be housed in a converted shipping container with scattered wooden pallets for seats, but that doesn't mean you won't find some party action at Section 8. They have great DJs spinning everything from house to disco 7 days a week where entry is free. Get ready to boogie.

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Loop Project Space & Bar
Bars

Loop Project Space & Bar

icon-location-pin Melbourne

This was one of Melbourne’s first odes to the great American dive bar, and it’s still one of the best. During the week it’s a fairly respectable saloon but on the weekends you can’t hear yourself over the combined roar of revellers and power ballads, and while they don't have an official dancefloor, you won't be left looking like a git if you do start to shake your tail feather.

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Bars, Wine bars

Horse Bazaar

icon-location-pin Melbourne

Horse Bazaar means different things to different people – it's a bar, music and art venue. You may visit for the Tuesday dumplings and shoulder massage deals, but Thursday nights mean hip hop, and Friday and Saturdays are a party hardy mix of pop, rock, dancehall and bass.

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FAD Gallery
Bars

FAD Gallery

icon-location-pin Melbourne

The Fad Gallery is a two-storey art gallery and bar that boasts old school beats from '50s rock through to the most effective dance floor bangers from recent years. And they do it all with a healthy dose of house party vibe – one you won't have to clean up after.

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Bars, Cocktail bars

Kodiak Club

icon-location-pin Fitzroy

This was one of Melbourne’s first odes to the great American dive bar, and it’s still one of the best. During the week it’s a fairly respectable saloon but on the weekends you can’t hear yourself over the combined roar of revellers and power ballads, and while they don't have an official dancefloor, you won't be left looking like a git if you do start to shake your tail feather.

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Lucky Coq
Bars

Lucky Coq

icon-location-pin Prahran

Lucky Coq and Bimbo Deluxe are sister bars on the north and south side that cater to the budget end of the party spectrum. If you're looking for cheap beers, cheaper pizza and a late night power circle on the dance floor, they're at your service.

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Lounge
Bars

Lounge

icon-location-pin Melbourne

This upper-level Swanston Street bar is somewhat a Revolver of the CBD. They play host to indie bands and have DJs playing party sets until breakfast time on the weekends, and the recently revamped kitchen serving mac'n'cheese balls and decent burgers (including vego friendly numbers) makes it possible to start early out on the terrace and stay all night long.

Looking for nightclubs instead?

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