One very difficult part about living in Melbourne, is the plethora of choice when it comes to places to catch up with people.
And if there's one decision that's more difficult than picking your next date spot, it has to be decided where you kick on for after-work drinks. Definitely a too many cooks scenario.
We're about to make this decision very easy for you, with a range of options that will keep even the toughest critic happy. And even better news is that when you're the proud owner of an Urban Feast card, you can land yourself $25 off the final bill, read all about Urban Feast here.
Here are the best spots in Melbourne for after-work drinks.
Arbory Bar & Eatery
We all know that there are so many reasons to head to Arbory: the local wines, the craft beers, the burgers, the vibes and obviously, the views. Whether you’re looking to drop by for a quick drink or a place to hang out for the night, Melbourne’s longest bar has a seat for you. And now that summer is approaching, that means it’s Arbory Afloat time.
Cue the beach cabanas, espresso martinis and wood-fired pizzas.
Rupert On Rupert
While Smith Street might have a lot going on, it probably comes as no surprise that there’s just as much happening in and around the backstreets of Collingwood too.
Rupert On Rupert is known by the locals as the beer-pumping botanical gardens of the area and it's absolutely one of Collingwood’s most unique bar spaces, too. Think warehouse space with a vaulted, light-filled atrium decked out in industrial-mod finishings. Definitely opt for one of their quirky cocktails or one of the rotating brews on tap.
One word: unsuspecting. Carlton Club is located on Bourke Street and is the perfect place to head to when you’re looking for an adventure with multiple levels. You’ll find that there’s four bars in total as well as tapas, mains and desserts on the menu too.
As you climb your way to the top you’ll find each level with its own character, with their rooftop being especially exciting. It’s a leafy, tropical wonderland with skyline views. And it’s the kind of place that always feels like summer, you know, aside from when it’s actually winter.
Located in the Federation Wharf vaults, Riverland is the perfect CBD getaway. As one of Melbourne’s most iconic beer gardens, they’ve got a loaded menu of drinks as well as sharing plates to pair.
Our pick? The mac and cheese bombs served with black truffle aioli. And once you’ve got one of the signature cocktails in hand, a pomegranate sling or a cheeky peach, don’t forget to check out the view of the Arts Precinct too.
Iki-jime, Seafood By Vue
If one thing’s for sure, the little counterparts of the CBD’s main streets have very big things happening. One of those being Shannon Bennett’s Iki-jime, Seafood By Vue restaurant. As you’d expect, the menu is seafood all the way, both hand-caught and ethically dispatched.
So, if you’re looking for one of the best fish feasts in the CBD, a night-cap or intimate dining experience…or all of the above, look no further. Unsure what to grab? Definitely go the prawn cocktail or fish and chips for something a little different. No, seriously. Did we mention there’s an alfresco courtyard too?
When you think of Abbotsford, you should think of Dr Morse. This place takes out the prize for the venue with the best transition from breakfast to twilight drinks. Meaning, they’re the kind of place that fully supports an avocado and edamame smash followed by a latte or a cold brew negroni.
So, whether you’re after an afternoon vino or a craft beer, this laid-back beer garden will have you well occupied for multiple hours, any day of the week. And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out their Asian-inspired BBQ menu where you’ll find miso brussel sprouts, butter chicken fried chicken, cauliflower san choi bao and more.
Climbing seven flights of stairs isn’t always worth it, unless you’re climbing up to Madame Brussels. And trust us when we say that their Instagram bio is probably one of the most accurate one’s going around: “A rather fancy rooftop terrace.” Madame Brussels is equal parts seductive and pretty. You can stop by for one of their infamous teapot cocktails or nibbles.
Our recommendation? Book in for a Garden Party, their spin on a high tea session. Treat yourself to warm scones, mini pavlovas, petite cupcakes, as well as a Madame Brussels jug special, not to mention some of the best rooftop views in Melbourne.
Heartbreaker hit the streets in 2015 and is still one of the CBD’s most popular dive bars with a little New York flair. Hiding in plain sight on the corner of Russell and Lonsdale Street, Heartbreaker keeps it casual, with no table service on the menu, just a whole lot of drinks.
Our favourite part about Heartbreaker? Connie’s Pizza. You’ll find Connie’s Pizza towards the back of the venue, serving up traditional New York-style slices with minimal toppings and a whole lot of cheese.
Image credit: Arbory Afloat