Eating and shopping your way around Melbourne’s best restaurants and boutiques can be thirsty work. Luckily, our glorious city is also blessed with a bevvie of brilliant bars in which to wet your whistle. From raging rooftops to intimate wine bars, gin joints and whisky dens, here are some of Melbourne’s best bars that you need to visit.
Cleverly positioned a short wobble away from Parliament station, Siglo’s European-style rooftop bar boasts a refined sit-down menu and handpicked wine menu. All class this one. Save for classy Tinder dates.
Cocktails + espresso = Friday night complete at Bar Americano.
Arbory Bar & Eatery
I mean, do we need to explain this one? Abory's position alone makes it an obvious front runner as one of Melbourne’s best inner-city bars.
City Wine Shop
Part bottle-o, part wine bar, all class–City Wine Shop is a CBD vino stalwart. With an experienced staff ready and willing to help you with a new drop, as well as a menu including a "by the glass" wine list and food to suit, it's great for a pre-show or pre-game tipple.
Take a step back in time at one of the classiest bars in Melbourne. There is nothing the mixologists can't handl at this Gertrude Street gem, which is lucky as you could spend hours perusing the drinks list.
Eau De Vie
One of the most renowned cocktail bars in Melbourne, we are oh-so-enamoured of Eau De Vie. Pure class, in a glass.
Combining cocktails, food, music and art, Howler is a hulk of a space that’s hidden just off Brunswick’s Sydney Road strip. The venue’s generous opening hours make it a favourite with locals at all stages of their night out—great for catching live bands, checking out up-and-coming DJs or simply people-watching with a stiff drink in hand. One of the best bars in Melbourne? You betcha!
One of Melbourne’s inner-city gems, Bomba Rooftop is perfect for an after-work bev and some delicious tapas.
For a truly Melbourne bar experience, head to Cookie and work your way through the mammoth beer selection.
Above Board is a serious cocktail bar. So if you rock up for a few pints with the lads, you might be disappointed. Pull up a pew at the 12-seater bar and witness cocktail expert Hayden Lambert work his magic, as he mixes up one of the curated cocktails on the menu.
Specialising in cocktails, it’ll break your heart to choose just one at Heartbreaker. Better order a few!
Union Electric Bar
Union Electric is a casual bar to enjoy some of the best craft beer and exceptional cocktails. If you’re looking for somewhere to park yourself and enjoy a long afternoon of delicious cocktails look no further than their rooftop gin garden.
Occupying an empty lot in Chinatown, Section 8 is an old shipping container turned bar. With an extensive booze list, Section 8 is perfect in Summer, but really just great all year round.
Leonard’s House of Love
Keeping it classic with homely timber and a roaring fire, cosy up with a cheeseburger and cold one at Leonard's House of Love. We've found our true love.
Whitehart is a Melbourne classic. It occupies an old car park at the end of Whitehart lane and has all you’d expect from an excellent bar; great music, craft beers, cocktails, boutique wines and a sweet rotation of Melbourne’s favourite food vendors.
Naked in The Sky
Undoubtedly one of Melbourne’s favourite places to drink, head up to the sky for seasonal summer specials like sweet cooling granitas cocktail galore. One to woo the out-of-towners, Naked In The Sky is one of Melbourne’s best bars for its delicious eats, epic vodka selection and a sweeping panorama of the city and Brunswick Street.
If bright, bold cocktails served in vibrant glasses is your jam, Jungle Boy should be your playground. Helps when your bar is hidden behind a sandwich shop fridge door too...
If you're into hidden, off the beaten track bars (we know you are), then Romeo Lane might just be for you. Cocktails range from prohibition-era style arrangements to traditional European style cocktails that you know and love.
For more of the best of Melbourne, head to our Best Of Guides section.
Image credit: Bomba Rooftop | Griffin Simm