Melbourne’s Best Bars and Night Clubs
There are many nice things about living in or visiting Melbourne, and one of these things is the number of great night clubs and bars that dot the city.
You may decide to take a night out with your friends or partner. You might want to get out on your own and meet singles in Melbourne..
You may even want to hit the dance floor until dawn.
You can do all of these things in Melbourne, but before you do, it will be in your best interest to know where good bars in Melbourne are located.
Some of the very best are listed below:
Bars Melbourne City And CBD
You will find a number of wonderful Melbourne CBD bars to check out.
It doesn’t really matter what type of bar you like, from a casual hang out to a wine bar oozing with class, you will find all types in the CBD.
Here are some that you will not want to skip:
Double Happiness – 21 Liverpool Street
Located in the heart of Chinatown, Double Happiness is an Asian themed bar that is hidden away. Thus, many people don’t notice it as they pass.
They are missing out, however, as this is one of the best bars in the Melbourne CBD for several reasons. First, they offer a really nice list of cocktails, all bursting with Asian flavours like lychee martinis.
Beer and wine are also available, including rare finds like Bia Hà Nôi, from Vietnam. Though they don’t serve food, there is no shortage of tasty treats nearby in Chinatown.
New Gold Happiness – 21 Liverpool Street
Having two of the best bars in the Melbourne CBD on the same street is rare, but what about the same buildings?
Located right above Double Happiness is New Gold Happiness, offering a totally different experience for those who climb the stairs.
Melbourne-made gin, homemade vermouth and citrus are all prominent tastes when you choose a cocktail from this bar.
Bar Americano – 20 Presgrave Place
Most Melbourne bars in the CBD are large enough to fit a group, but once you get more than 10 people into Bar Americano, things get a little packed.
Fortunately, it is well worth it thanks to the fact they use some of the most exclusive cocktail recipes on the planet.
In fact, the recipes they use come from a book written in the 1800s with a retail price of over $600.
Drinks served over hand-carved ice may sound pretentious, but you will thoroughly enjoy your Bar Americano experience.
Penny Blue Beer Cafe – 2 Driver Lane
If beer is your thing, the Penny Blue Beer Cafe should be your choice of bar in the Melbourne CBD.
With over 100 craft beers and ciders available, including a couple British-style pumps, you will definitely find something you like.
If you aren’t into beer, Penny Blue also has nice wine and cocktail lists.
Gin Palace – 10 Russell Place
When it comes to bars in Melbourne city, Gin Palace is the destination for all things ‘martini.’
Here, visitors will find more than 60 different types of gin, from familiar brands like Bombay to those like Citadel Reserve which have been infused with a variety of flavours.
Whether you like olives or lemons, there is definitely a gin themed drink perfect or you at Gin Palace. Not a gin fan? They also have a wine list and several whiskies to try, as well.
Meatball and Wine Bar – 135 Flinders Lane
When some people come into this Melbourne CBD bar, they think it is just a fun, catchy name and order a beer.
However, Meatball and Wine Bar serves, well…meatballs and wine! Pork, beef, chicken, fish and veggie meatballs are all served at this bar in a variety of ways.
The wine list offers wine by the glass, half-bottles or bottles, depending on your preference.
Cookie – 252 Swanston Street
Most Melbourne city bars have a couple of beer choices, maybe some wine and a couple of signature cocktails.
Cookie is not one of them. Instead, they offer more than 200 craft beers, an 88-page wine list and cocktails from the traditional to the absurd, yet delicious.
The interior of the bar is pretty cool, too, with nooks where you can take a date, balconies for smokers and of course, tables where you can try the Asian-themed cuisine.
Whisky and Alement – 270 Russell Street
If whisky is your think, Whisky and Alement will be your new favourite Melbourne city bar. With over 450 choices, there is no reason you have to go elsewhere.
The whisky comes from all over the world, including some very rare reserves you can only find a few places on Earth. The beer choices are also amazing.
They also have wine, vodka, rum, gin and other spirits should you not be a fan of whisky.
Cool New Bars in Melbourne
Now that you know where to head following work in the CBD, you should now think about some of the new bars in Melbourne.
These are bars that are fairly new to the city and offer a different, sometimes even better, take on what other bars have done.
Though there are new bars opening all of the time, the following are definitely worth a visit:
Joe Taylor – 7 Errol Street
As one of the first cocktail bars in the area of North Melbourne, Joe Taylor is definitely making an impact on the city.
This is one of those cool bars in Melbourne where you are seated at a table with a proper server and don’t have to wait among a crowd of other patrons to order.
Joe Taylor is all about the booze, offering a number of wild combinations, like blood plum jam and whisky, to whet your appetite for cocktails. They also offer typical bar snacks.
Le Bon Ton – 51 Gipps Street
When it comes to new and cool Melbourne bars, Le Bon Ton has them all beat.
A little bit smokehouse, a little bit absinthe saloon, a bit of a beer garden and cocktail place, Le Bon Ton literally has anything that you could possibly want from a local bar.
The bar has a definite New Orleans feel, something that is reflected in its menu and ambiance.
Some of the cocktails you will find include the Lynchburg Lemonade and the Hurricane, both classic American southern cocktails.
Clever Polly’s – 313 Victoria Street
Cleve Polly’s is also one of the newest cool bars in Melbourne thanks to their independent culture.
Here, you will find local beer, wine and even spirits that have been distilled from independent businesses throughout Victoria, Australia and throughout the world.
Though you may recognise some names, know that they are not huge corporations, just really good drinks.
They also serve food by using the same philosophy, including their house-cured meats.
What Are the Best Bars in Melbourne?
Though all of the new bars in the Melbourne area are fantastic, it is also advisable to visit some of the area’s favourite bars.
So which are the best bars in Melbourne? Here are some to look into:
Fancy Hank’s BBQ Joint – 456 Queen Street
One of the best bars in Melbourne that you should certainly check out for both the drinks and the food is Fancy Hank’s BBQ Joint.
Though this list isn’t about food, you have to order some of their shorties, brisket and pork-ribs.
When it comes to their drinks, bourbon, beer and tequila flow freely. Fancy Hank’s is located at the Mercat Cross Hotel, so if you decide to visit, make sure to keep that in mind.
Black Pearl – 304 Brunswick Street
Another one of the best Melbourne bars that you will come across is called Black Pearl.
Located in Fitzroy, this bar is well known for their cocktails, their vintage glassware and the doo-wop tunes that are pumped through their sound system.
The bar offers to make patrons any cocktail they choose, yet they also have a very nice list of signature cocktail suggestions.
The Condoleeza, for instance, is a twist on a mojito featuring white rum, horchata, spiced rice water, orgeat and almondy. They also have a great beer list.
Boney – 68 Little Collins Street
Though certainly considered to be a top ‘best bar in Melbourne’ pick, Boney is a little bit bar, and a little bit night club.
Though the bar does offer a number of cocktails and beers that you will love, the main reason the Boney is on the list is due to the concept of bar/night club that many people enjoy.
This isn’t the type of place where you should expect a full night club experience, but you should definitely expect a fun night out with your friends, especially after midnight when the real party begins.
The Catfish – 30-32 Gertrude Street
There seems to be a theme in Melbourne with American-style bars and restaurants…most of them are pretty great.
The Catfish, another best in Melbourne, is no exception to this rule. They have a really nice rotating beer list here, that always features something for everyone.
They also have exceptional cocktails, including twists on old favourites like their Muddy Mary, a twist on the Bloody Mary with a great mustardy flavour.
The food is also great, and if you want a great snack, order the jalapeno chilli fries…don’t worry, you can cool down with a longneck Coopers.
Finding a Wine Bar in Melbourne
Melbourne loves its wine and there are a number of amazing Melbourne wine bars.
Australia has a wonderful reputation throughout the world when it comes to wine and you can sample many of them throughout the city.
For those who want to spend some time sampling and sipping on wine, be sure to check out some, if not all, of the following wine bars:
Harry & Frankie – 317 Bay Street
If you are looking for a fantastic wine bar in Melbourne, Harry & Frankie is a wonderful choice.
This is a wine bar/bottle shop hybrid, which allows you to take your favourites home with you.
There are more than 600 bottle choices to choose from at Harry & Frankie, but don’t think that this is a pretentious place.
You can easily get a glass of their house wine for as little as $7. They also have tapas and other food available, perfect for an afternoon or evening out on the town.
Gertrude Street Enoteca – 229 Gertrude Street
Gertrude Street Enoteca is an excellent place to get great wine in Melbourne.
The concept of the enoteca comes from Italy and the idea is that you will go to the enoteca for food, and whilst eating, you taste wine.
You will have access to rotating wines by the glass, most less than $20 a glass, and if you want to choose one of their bottles, you can pay a small drink-in fee to enjoy it at the enoteca.
This wine bar has amazing food, excellent wine selections and even serves cocktails.
Circa, The Prince – 2 Acland Street
St. Kilda is home to Circa, The Prince, a Melbourne wine bar with possibly the best wine list in the entire country.
There are so many cool things about Circa, The Prince, including their restaurant garden and menu that changes due to what’s available fresh in their kitchen.
When it comes to the wine, you will have your choice of 70 pages of wine to choose from. In addition, they also offer a number of beers, ciders and cocktails.
Acqua e Vino – 18a Anderson Street
Acqua e Vino is one of the wine bars in Melbourne that not only offers an amazing list of wine, it offers much more.
The wine list, which they call ‘The Bible,’ is about the size of Yellow Pages and though most wine bars offer beer, at Acqua e Vino, you will find a fairly extensive list of choices.
The bar also has tapas and other snacks, including huge platters of oysters and cheese, ideal for groups.
Baranows Lounge – 348 Burwood Road
Though Baranows Lounge was originally a cigar bar, after the 2007 smoking ban, the bar transformed itself into an amazing place where wine, whisky, cognac and craft beers flow freely.
The Melbourne wine bar offers cigars, too, though you will have to smoke outside. This is a great place to relax, meet up with friends, and choose from some of the best wines in Melbourne.
What Are The Best Cocktail Bars In Melbourne?
Though most people really like wine, sometimes you might want to shake things up, literally, and order a cocktail.
There are some amazing cocktail bars in this area where you can easily find everything from your traditional favourites to combinations you never knew existed.
Here are some Melbourne cocktails bars that you should be sure to check out:
The Everleigh – 150-156 Gertrude Street
When it comes to Melbourne cocktail bars, The Everleigh is king. Though there are other cocktail bars out there, The Everleigh is where the cocktail elite come to enjoy a drink.
The thing is, however, is you can only get classic cocktails, or twists on them, at this bar. They don’t serve vodka, but whisky, daiquiris, champagne and the like are readily available and delicious.
Don’t expect a show at The Everleigh, but do expect some of the best cocktails you have ever had.
Romeo Lane – 1a Crossley Street
Romeo Lane is a cocktail bar in Melbourne that pays tribute to the wild and crazy days when Crossley Street used to be the meeting place of thieves and rebels.
Cocktails start at $16 and you won’t find any more than $20. They are boozy and strong, delicious and delectable.
They offer signature cocktails as well as classics and mocktails. Snacks are also available at Romeo Lane and the oysters are highly recommended.
Hibou – 1 Flinders Lane
Cocktails in Melbourne is only one of the things you will find at Hibou. In addition, you will find an experience you likely have never had, before.
Upon entering this cocktail bar, you will have to press a buzzer and wait for someone to collect you. As you are seated, you will be offered a warm towel in the Japanese tradition, and then you may order.
Cocktails are made with signature spirits, like plum infused gin and Japanese whisky. Hibou also serves wine and food, most based on Japanese ideals.
EDV – 1 Malthouse Lane
One of the best cocktail bars in Melbourne is certainly EDV. This bar is from the same team responsible for the world famous Eau de Vie in Sydney and is a cocktail bar for cocktail bar lovers.
You will find rare spirits, jazz coming through the speakers and smoky nitrogen, made to enhance the look of their cocktails.
Speaking of cocktails, you will find unusual choices like the Aviation, made with rhubarb simple syrup as a replacement for the Maraschino you typically find in an aviator.
Night Clubs In Melbourne
Most people really like bars, but sometimes you simply want to get out and dance. This is when you should know about some of the best clubs in Melbourne.
It doesn’t matter if you are looking for something fashionable or a place where you can relax and let your hair down, meet singles and get some action for the night, you will find them all in Melbourne:
Co Nightclub – 8 Whiteman Street
Located in the Crown Entertainment Complex, Co Nightclub is certainly one of the best clubs in Melbourne.
The club features a number of different nights each weekend, including an R&B night and an electric night.
You will also find a number of guest DJs visiting the club including Carmen Electra and Brian McFadden.
Brown Alley – 585 Lonsdale Street
Brown Alley is one of the Melbourne city nightclubs that is very forward thinking.
This is a premiere underground club, open 7 days a week and features amazing DJs like DJ SS and Andy C. Brown Alley also offers event nights, many times offering $5 drink specials.
Golden Buddha – 420 Lonsdale Street
When you are looking for something a bit more serious and sophisticated, Golden Buddha is one of the best clubs in Melbourne.
Though you won’t find electronic/trance music and lasers, you will find an amazing night out offering a more adult option to those who are interested in spending a night out on the town.
Therapy Night Club – 8 Whiteman Street
Therapy Night Club is also located on Level 3 of the Crown Entertainment Complex and offers an alternative to Co Nightclub.
This club is closer to a Vegas club and it will feel as if you are part of the most amazing house party you have ever attended.
The drinks flow throughout the night, you can dance until dawn and you will be among some of Melbourne’s finest DJs.
Most of the people who live in Melbourne don’t often think of the city as an internationally renowned hot spot for night life, but as you can see, there are some great options for those who are looking for bars and nightclubs.
From great places to grab a beer after work to night clubs where you can dance your worries away, you will find them all when you choose to go to the best bars and nightclubs in Melbourne.