The Best Bars in Melbourne
If you're planning a holiday in the hip Australian city of Melbourne, take note! Travel blogger Beverley reveals some of the best bars in Melbourne:
You’re in Melbourne. You’ve spent your day discovering street art on Hosier Lane, sipping lattes on Degraves Street and shopping on Bourke St, and now all you really want to do is grab a well-deserved drink. But where to go? In a city that’s become as famous for it’s rooftop bars as it is it’s hipster hangouts, finding somewhere to drink in Melbourne can quickly feel like you’re searching for a needle in an impossibly cool but loveably quirky haystack.
So to save you all the hassle of wondering where to drink in Melbourne, here are some of the bars we think you should check out.
Section 8, a bar constructed mainly from old containers, can be found down a small side street in the CBD. It’s basically a covered courtyard: crates are stacked up to form tables and benches, street art and fairy lights decorate the walls and there’s almost always a DJ playing chilled-out tunes in the afternoons, followed by something more lively in the evenings. And, as with many of the bars in Melbourne, no-one’s going to bat an eyelid if you rock up in jeans!
Section 8, 27-29 Tattersalls Lane, Melbourne, 3000.
The suburb of St Kilda is famously cited as the place for backpackers or working holiday makers in Melbourne but that’s not strictly true. Sure, it’s great for backpackers because of the cheap food and accommodation but you definitely won’t feel out of place in the up-market but laid-back Republica, set on the shore of St Kilda Beach. If you like your cocktails you’ll love this place, just make sure you get there early so you can nab a seat outside for views of the beach and beyond.
Republica, St Kilda Sea Baths, 10-18 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda, 3182
The Emerald Peacock
Love cocktails and rooftop bars? You’re in for a treat. Sophisticated and luxurious with a vintage twist, The Emerald Peacock is popular with the locals and it’s not difficult to see why. This bar boasts a wine bar, a fantastic cocktail menu and a rooftop garden with stunning views of Melbourne’s CBD - the perfect place for an after dinner drink, a Sunday afternoon glass of wine or somewhere to kick-off a night on the town.
The Emerald Peacock, 233 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, 3000
E: Fifty Five
From a swanky rooftop bar to a little-known (and incredibly cool) basement bar: E: Fifty Five was Melbourne’s first internet bar and is now the place is Melbourne’s CBD for cheap pizzas ($4 before 4pm!), reasonably priced drinks and up-and-coming DJs in grungy but comfortable setting. This bar also provides a commission-free space for emerging artists so, whether you’re kicking back on one of the comfy sofas or partying under the city until the small hours, there’s always something interesting to look at.
E: Fifty Five, 55 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, 3000
Transit Cocktail Lounge
Back on the rooftops of the CBD, Transit, sitting at the top of the Transport Hotel building at Federation Square, has something that the other rooftop bars don’t: unspoilt views of the Yarra River. That’s not all though; this classy cocktail bar has a menu full of tapas dishes perfect for sharing, jazz bands playing regular gigs into the night and, obviously, an extensive list of cocktails just waiting to be sipped on a rooftop with stunning views.
Transit Cocktail Lounge, Level 2 Transport Hotel, Cnr Swanston and Flinders Streets, Federation Square, Melbourne, 3000
29th Apartment does what it says on the tin: it’s bar that’s been made out to resemble a retro New York Apartment complete with vintage furniture, a roll-top bath, a big double bed to get comfy on, a collection of well-loved board games and a little tea garden out front. If themed bars are more your style this place is going to be right up your street. So skip the wine list and head straight for the cocktails, find yourself a comfy vintage armchair (or, better still a space on that bed) and take in the New York inspired surroundings in the heart of beach-side St Kilda.
29th Apartment, 29 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, 3182
Beverley Reinemann is a freelance writer and travel blogger based in London who left her marketing job in 2010 to spend three years living as an expat and travelling in Australia and New Zealand. She writes the travel blog, Pack Your Passport, loves road trips, and planning her next adventure.