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DJ at the Section 8 Beach Party
Photograph: Section 8

The best bars for dancing in Melbourne

This one's for all you discerning drinkers who also like to dance your pants off

Written 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, check out our list of the best nightclubs in Melbourne.

Bars with dance floors in Melbourne

  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

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.

  • Bars
  • 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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The Bridge Hotel
  • Bars
  • 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.
  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

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
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4

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.

  • Bars
  • 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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  • Bars
  • 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.

  • Bars
  • 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
  • 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.

Looking for nightclubs instead?

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