Bars & Pubs

A Single Girl’s Guide to Melbourne Bars

By Ella Pleasant
15th Sep 2014

Single and ready for a pringle? I hear you, sister, I hear you. 

Well, it's time to put down the can and embark on introductory small talk, clammy handholding and eye contact that lasts a little too long. Yep, we're talking about dating. Real life, in the flesh, go-on-a-date, dating-dating. And we get it; it's kinda scary. 

But dating doesn't need to be hard. Here are a few of our first date favourites to woo your 'maybe' man. 

Naked for Satan | Fitzroy

The story goes that Naked for Satan was named after the owner's grandfather, a former Russian vodka maker who would make his moonshine in the nuddy. While nakedness is generally discouraged (okay, completely discouraged), Naked for Satan do make a mean infused vodka, their salted caramel concoction sure to wet your date's whistle well into the night. Stock up on pintxos (toothpick tapas), or, if you're particularly smooth, take your date upstairs for some knife 'n' fork action at Naked in The Sky.

Kid Boston | Windsor

This Chapel Street kid ticks all the boxes for a winning first date venue: killer cocktail list, delicious US-of-A fare and sleek 'n' sexy beats. Order Kid Boston's sticky pork belly and your date will be putty in your hands. Yep, it's putty-in-hands delicious. 

The Croft Institute | Melbourne CBD 

We've all been on a few first dates with people of questionable sanity… so for the date that's giving you the hot-but-kinda-crazy vibe, take 'em directly to The Croft Institute. This multi-levelled laneway bar is an asylum of the best kind, serving up delicious beverages in beakers and test tubes. Inject your date with a syringe shot then head to the upstairs gym court to dance it off to soulful DJ beats.

The LuWow | Fitzroy

LuWow's cocktails are served strong and long in tiki glasses, topped off with big chunks of pineapple and tropical umbrellas. The décor is Indiana Jones meets Hawaiian shirt, and the individual huts are perfect for some first-date canoodling after a Zombie or four. You can think of your own 'lei'd' joke, folks.

Pssst, penny pinchers—Wednesday night is Rum Club night (snag 50% off all rums), while Thursday is Tiki-LA night. Weeknight sipping never looked so fine!

Hihou | Melbourne CBD

Looking to impress your date with your cultural knowledge of Melbourne? (You are reading The Urban List, after all!) Find Hihou's unmarked door, press the buzzer and wait to be greeted by a suited fellow—so fanccccy! Inside, Hihou is a sophisticated mix of top-notch table service, premium sake, and dimly-lit couch booths you can lounge back in.

Madame Brussels | Melbourne CBD

Named after a notorious Melbourne brothel owner, Madame Brussels is a rather dandy public house and terrace complete with astroturf, ribbon sandwiches and undertones of seduction and debauchery. The place is packed with hens parties on weekends, but makes for the perfect mid-week date over a jug of Pimms. 

The Kodiak Club | Fitzroy 

Melbourne's finest bourbon bar, The Kodiak Club is also famous for its buffalo wings, and nothing says 'saucy date' like seductively licking hot sauce off your fingers one by one. The rest of their menu is sure to get you all hot 'n' bothered too, with jalapeno bottle caps, deep-fried pickles, and loaded tater tots. Drool.

Atticus Finch | Brunswick East 

Bagged yourself a date with a bookish babe? Brunswick's Atticus Finch is all dark wood, soft lighting and sink-able leather booths… With a general air of justice and equality. All this, plus a library of fine wines, craft beers on tap, and a small yet sumptuous menu of tasty morsels. 

Goldilocks Bar | Melbourne CBD

Fairy tales and fables more your thing? Take your date to Goldilocks for a Drunken Chicken Sazerac (Hennesey VS, Pevchaud's Bitters and chicken fat-washed ginger syrup… Trust us, it's good!), picnic basket meal and a bit of cheeky knee grazing. Who knows, you may just get some honey with that porridge (…groan!). 

Aviary Hotel | Abbotsford

If you're taking your date to Victoria Street, go past the cheap and not-so-chic Vietnamese joints and head to the Aviary Hotel for a romantic pub meal of the highest calibre. Be warned: the Aviary is packed with locals on weekends, so it's best if you head in for a mid-week parma and pash. 

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