It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A chance to let your hair down and get a bit rowdy with your coworkers (hey, you’ve earned it!). However, if you’ve been tasked with the responsibility of organising the office Christmas party, then chances are you probably aren’t in the most festive of spirits. Finding the perfect venue for your Christmas soiree is a difficult job (I mean no one wants to have drinks at the office…). Never fear! We’re here to help speed you along your way!
Here are Melbourne’s 50 best places to have your office Christmas party:
#1 The Duke Rooftop Bar | CBD
Situated just above the Duke on the corner of Flinders and Russell, The Duke Rooftop— formerly known as Dutchess—boasts great views of the city, and is the perfect location to take in that afternoon sun.
#2 Dr. Morse | Abbotsford
This Abbotsford bar and eatery will tick all the boxes for you Christmas shindig. Dr. Morse is fantastic for group drinks with a fabulous (and sizeable) beer garden. You can book out a space for drinks and order some dishes from their killer menu or they also do sit down dinners if you want a bit of both worlds.
#3 White Oaks Saloon Bar & Dining | Prahran
With a US-inspired cocktail menu, White Oaks Saloon is great for group drinks when a beer just won’t cut it. Boasting a stellar cocktail menu and a fantastic selection of Tennessee bourbons, White Oaks is a great spot for smaller groups.
#4 B.Lucky & Sons | CBD
Melbourne's new pawn shop/cocktail bar/arcade centre/god knows what. B.Lucky popped up in 2018, but not many people know they take big group bookings. Sign your team up for 2-hours of arcade goodness, plus kooky cocktails and a sweet rooftop beer garden. Definitely more fun than your usual drinks sesh. These guys also run Holey Moley and Strike Bowling—two other great options for a Christmas party.
#5 The Noble Experiment | Collingwood
The Noble Experiment is by far one of the best bars for group drinks in Melbourne. Boasting three separate function spaces (from 20 to 120 people), this 1920’s inspired drinking house has a great range of beer, cider, wine and spirits, plus they’ve got an awesome selection of shareable dishes.
#6 Munich Brauhaus | South Wharf
Well, you knew this one would be in here somewhere. Munich Brauhaus is probably one of Melbourne’s most well-known destinations for group drinking events. This German riverside bar can house a huge number of people and is never lacking in atmosphere.
#7 The Deck | Frankston
If you’re in the market for something beachside down Frankston way, then look no further than The Deck. Offering function spaces for private dining for 20 to huge cocktail parties of 250, The Deck has a fantastic bar space and menu with an even better view!
#8 Rice Queen | Fitzroy
Rice Queen has got to be one of the most fun spots in Fitzroy for group drinks. This oriental-inspired outfit has an all-star cocktail list and some pan-fried Asian food that is perfect for sharing. Ideal for smaller groups but if you have more than 11 then the banquet menu is for you! Plus there’s a karaoke room…
#9 College Lawn Hotel | Prahran
The College Lawn Hotel is famous for a summer afternoon sesh. They have three different function spaces available to book, from the beer garden to a sit down dining area. This Prahran establishment has got a little something for everyone so it's perfect if you’ve got a picky group of colleagues.
#10 The National Hotel | Richmond
If you’re in Richmond you can’t go past The National Hotel for group drinks. The Nash’s beer garden is top tier and their menu boasts some great Asian-inspired bites that are perfect for sharing. If you’ve got a bigger group though don’t stress, because the Nash can also cater for up to 250 people in a cocktail setting.
#11 The Carlton Club | CBD
For a quirky and unique cocktail experience you have to try The Carlton. Saturated with colour and tropical décor, The Carlton has a few different levels and spaces for functions. You can hire out a few booths, a dining room or a whole level (even two if you have a huge group!). There is the option for a sit-down dinner, but to take full advantage of the venue we recommend a standing cocktail party on one of the rooftops!
#12 Bar 1806 | CBD
Impress the socks off the cocktail lovers in your office and book Bar 1806. Serving up some of the best cocktails in Melbourne, 1806 has two different spaces for hire. You can book out the regular bar area for anywhere between 60 and 100 guests or their basement bar, The Understudy, offers a more private space for up to 35.
#13 Spice Market | CBD
This exotic bar and cocktail lounge has a few different options for events. Booths are available to book in Spice Market’s main bar area or if you’re looking for a bit more privacy, they also have a couple of rooms that cater to between 20 and 30 people.
#14 Glamp Cocktail Bar | CBD
Another one of Melbourne’s cocktail institutions, Glamp is a fantastic destination for group drinks. They do offer some function service but if you have a smaller group you’re better off just calling up, booking a space and tucking into their awesome cocktail menu!
#15 Republica | St Kilda
Located smack bang in the middle of St Kilda beach, Republica is famous for its palm tree covered beer garden. You can hire out the verandah that backs onto the garden for a up to 50 people or a host of other rooms that offer sit down dining, lounge cocktails or a combination of both!
#16 Collins Quarter | CBD
Collins Quarter is a classy and versatile drinking and dining establishment. With a couple of different bar areas and private dining room, all of which you can hire, Collins is a great spot for cocktails, sit down dining or canapés!
#17 The Everleigh | Fitzroy
You may know about this well hidden Fitzroy cocktail bar but what you may not know is that it has a private events space called The Elk Room. Accommodating up to 30 people seated and a maximum of 80 standing, The Everleigh’s Elk Room is available for private events every day of the week and is licensed until 1am.
#18 Arbory Bar & Eatery | CBD
You won’t be lacking in good views at Melbourne’s longest bar. In an old converted train platform, Arbory Bar & Eatery is a great space for group drinks. If you have a small group you can probably get away with just rocking up early and securing a few tables, but if you do have a larger group just call up and The Arbory can organise and reserve space for you.
It's also worth checking out Arbory Afloat and its rooftop terrace right next door on the Yarra.
#19 The Emerson | South Yarra
Whether it’s a cocktail party on their rooftop or a private celebration in the Lounge, The Emerson have you covered. They have a couple of spaces for your shindig from booths in the main bar and lounge to the rooftop bar.
#20 Imperial Hotel | CBD
The Imperial Hotel is a standout among Melbourne’s growing list of rooftop bars. With a fantastic view of Parliament, the Imperial’s rooftop holds up to 270 and can be hired out for private functions. Nothing says Christmas like a frothy on the roof!
#21 Captain Baxter | St Kilda
The views of Port Phillip Bay from this St Kilda bar are second to none. If you’re looking for a beachside venue for you office drinks then Captain Baxter could be a potential destination. The rooftop bar and lounge areas are ideal for more relaxed cocktail events or you can book out the dining area for a seated lunch or dinner with up to 64 guests.
#22 Back Bar | Windsor
Windsor’s Back Bar has two cocktail function rooms both complete with fully stocked bars. The Red Lounge has a capacity of 60 while the Gold Lounge holds 110. If you don’t need the whole space though don’t stress! You can organise a guest list and tailor the event to your needs.
#23 Botherambo | Richmond
Located in the heart of Richmond, Botherambo is a perfect venue for those mid-sized cocktail parties. Their private cocktail bar has an industrial feel, with exposed bricks and beams, and the courtyard is an open-aired continuation of the bar. Make sure you organise some of their tasty canapés too!
#24 Platform 28 | South Wharf
If you’re hunting for a place in South Wharf to get your office party in good spirits then take a gander at Platform 28. Their function packages have so many different options that you’re sure to find what you need!
#25 Son In Law | Collingwood
This cheerful little Collingwood restaurant and bar is a great spot for smaller groups. Son In Law’s traditional Thai menu has some creative modern twists and the outside courtyard is perfect for private parties, seating up to 30 people.
#26 127 Brunswick St | Fitzroy
Take your pick! With five different venues under one roof, 127 Brunswick has got something for everyone. Whether you want to get some cocktail action on the rooftop bar or book a table at Ichi Ni Nana's Izakaya, you’re bound to have a good night.
#27 Lûmé | South Melbourne
For something next level you need to hire out Lûmé’s Atrium space. Their restaurant spaces are also available for reservation and hire, but it’s the back room that’s the place to be!
#28 Woodland House | Prahran
For something seriously luxe you should definitely check out Woodland House’s private dining area. They have a range of different function packages and event spaces that can cater anywhere from 6 to 65 seated guests. The food is out of this world too!
#29 The Grace Darling Hotel | Richmond
This Smith Street icon has got a bit of everything. Looking for a place for some group drinks? Check. Standing cocktail party? Check. Private sit down dinner? Check. The Grace Darling Hotel has a versatile cellar space for private cocktail or dining event and you can hire their band room if you need a bit more space.
#30 The Botanical | South Yarra
Just on the edge of the Botanic Gardens, The Botanical offers three-course lunches as well as opulent fine dining. Function spaces are available for bigger events and if you want, The Botanical can even organise décor, AV equipment and even entertainment!
#31 The Grand | Richmond
If you’re looking for something a bit swanky for your end-of-year soiree, then you must take a look at The Grand’s award-winning dining room. Their traditional Italian menu has won The Age Good Food Guide’s Chef Hat for the last ten years in a row and with three different private rooms, The Grand can cater to anywhere between 12 and 60 diners!
#32 SHU Restaurant | Collingwood
Your vegan coworkers will be over the moon if you book SHU for you office Christmas bash. Their Chinese fusion menu is almost half vegan and the other (non-vegan) half boasts some modern twists on classic Chinese dishes like ork belly with preserved broad bean paste.
#33 Sake Restaurant & Bar | CBD
Sitting on the banks of the Yarra at the base of Hammer Hall Arts Centre, Saké Restaurant & Bar dishes up a world-class fusion of modern and classic Japanese food. The restaurant can fit up to 36 seated and 60 cocktail guests with two set menus for large groups. Plus the view isn’t too shabby either!
#34 Friends Of Mine | Richmond
If you thought this epic Richmond café was just a stopover for some brunch and coffee then think again. Friends Of Mine are also available for evening functions. They put on a three-course meal for up to 76 and a cocktail party for up to 120. You can even have a combination of both with canapés and pre-dinner drinks and then move into a main course in their dining room!
#35 Supernormal | CBD
Nothing says office Christmas party like a solid karaoke sesh! Supernormal is one of our top picks for a fun private dining space. Supernormal can cater for up to 40 people seated (60 cocktail) with a selection of menus that can be designed to suit your specific need. Plus did we mention karaoke?
#36 LULO | Hawthorn
If you only have a smaller group (8 to 35 people) then LULO’s South American sharing menu should definitely be on the top of your list. Their dinner menu offers a chef’s selection of Latin-inspired dishes, plus you get sangria so that’s always a plus.
#37 Lamaro’s Bodega | South Melbourne
The new Spanish and South American influenced menu at Lamaro’s Bodega is full of smoke and flavour (just in time for Christmas, would you look at that!). Groups can book a cocktail room, a wine room, a sunroom or—if the occasion calls for it— take over the entire dining space at Lamaro’s.
#38 Cecconi’s | CBD
You can’t go passed tradition Italian for a classy and intimate private dining experience (think dark wood and white table cloths). Cecconi’s is one of the top picks in Melbourne for fancy Italian dining, offering a super luxe private dining space that will accommodate 34 people for dinner (or 50 standing).
#39 Trunk | CBD
On the corner of Exhibition and Little Lonsdale, this diverse venue offers a mix of function options. You can choose from modern Mediterranean in Trunk Restaurant & Bar, or opt for a bang on burger and fries at Trunk Diner. The different function spaces range in size, accommodating anywhere between 40 to 200 people!
#40 Piqueos | Carlton North
Offering up something a bit different for your Christmas shindig, Piqueos’ menu is a tasty mix of regional and street dishes from Peru and Argentina. Although best suited for smaller parties, bookings for 8 or more can be made. Their tasting menu is a fantasy feast of barbequed meats, fat empanadas and fried provolone. Drool!
#41 Notel | CBD
If you want something really different for this year’s party then you should definitely take a gander at Notel’s rooftop function space. Completely with six redesigned airstreams from America, the event space is quirky to say the least! It can accommodate up to 200 people for what’s sure to be an unforgettable night.
#42 Spring Street Grocer | CBD
If you thought this deli-style gem was just a delicious lunch destination, think again! Head downstairs and you’ll find that The Spring Street Grocer also has a hip little room perfect for private events! (Its also right next to the cheese room – win win!)
#43 The Wilde | Fitzroy
Head up to the first floor of The Wilde and you’ll find its colonial-themed function room called The Explorer’s Club. Complete with a pool table, darts board and projected, the function space can hold up to 60 people. Perfect for a more relaxing shindig!
#44 Lieux | Cremorne
Lieux is a uniquely converted warehouse venue, hidden away in a private backstreet of Cremorne. The venue can hold between 40 and 200 people (depending on if you want seating or cocktail standing) and the event specialists can organise decorations, styling and any additional furniture. Lieux also has a private outdoor deck complete with lights and furniture!
#45 Roc’s Jam Factory | South Yarra
Located inside Chapel Street’s Jam Factory, Roc’s is tailored to those looking for a sophisticated cocktail event. The interior is classy and stylish, holding up to 200 people and can even be transformed to accommodate a sit-down banquet!
#50 Waterslide Bar | Southbank
No actual waterslide unfortunately. But what Waterslide Bar does have are amazing waterfront views of the Melbourne skyline and a pretty snazzy balcony! You can book out the balcony for around 70 people, or if you’re going all out with the office party you can hire the whole venue!
Image Credit: Michelle Jarni for The Urban List at Dutchess