FOMO Wine Bar
Magnum + Queens
Young's Wine Room
Reunion Island Pool Club
Talk to Me
Johnny’s Green Room
Every Melburnian has a local they’re loyal to, but we’re always looking for excellent new watering holes to frequent, whether they’re hidden underground or high in the sky. From classy basement cocktail bars and laneway hangouts to refined European wine bars, Melbourne’s never-ending late-night list is one that never disappoints. Next time you’re heading out for a cocktail (or two) take inspiration from one of these trendy hangouts. Here are our top picks for the month ahead.
Brought to you by a team of award-winning ex-Black Pearl bartenders, this cocktail slinging burger joint – they’ll be dishing out Mary’s cult burgers for the first two months – is one pop-up bar with serious pedigree. Serving technique-driven cocktails brimming with creativity, these guys aren’t afraid to experiment – say hello to fermentation and clarified milk – while fried chicken and loud music bolsters the bar’s good times cred.
381 Little Collins St, Melbourne
Boutique wine store Magnum + Queens is expanding their remit to include an in-house bar. With over a thousand wines to choose from, discover a diverse selection of rich, quality drops, spanning everything from French classics to new and edgy natural wines. With knowledgeable and friendly staff, it’s the perfect place to try before you buy, while enjoying bar snacks like tinned sardines on crostini, French cheese and spiced almonds.
2/274-278 Coventry St, South Melbourne
Generous views of the Yarra and a weekly-changing menu makes the name of this uber-classy wine bar a self-fulfilling prophecy. The wine list spotlights antipodean drops ranging from Mudgee shiraz to Macedon Chardonnay, while the Australian-European menu features dishes such as ricotta-filled zucchini flowers and pressed lamb shoulder in soubise and black truffle.
108 River Esplanade, Docklands
At 130 years, the Carringbush proves that an old dog can indeed learn new tricks, relaunching as a fresh new pub that’s all about sustainability. With new owners at the helm, they’ve created an entirely vegetarian and vegan menu that will satisfy even the biggest of meat lovers. Dig into the likes of smoked potato and eggplant dumplings, maple teriyaki tofu and spiced sweet-potato steaks. Waste reduction is a focus at the new Carringbush too, with metal straws and wines on tap offered.
226-228 Langridge Street, Abbotsford
Sitting somewhere between a dive bar and a disco diner, Globe Alley serves up craft beers, punchy cocktails and Southern food in a party-starting environment. Choose the heat level on your Bloody Caesar or wake up with The Escape, which blends Jamesons, cold drip, coffee liqueur and coconut. Nights here stretch out over long games of pool punctuated with rounds of buffalo fried chicken and jalapeno poppers.
1 Globe Alley, Melbourne
Keeping in check with recent trends, this intimate Albert Park wine bar leans towards minimal intervention, local wines from producers such as Patrick Sullivan and Ministry of Clouds. The kitchen serves artfully plated modern Australian cuisine and looks after vegans with a dedicated menu that features beetroot “pastrami” and barbecued cauliflower with hummus and bronzed fennel.
67 Cardigan Pl, Albert Park
Denton is a refined yet relaxed European wine bar that doesn’t fuss about. They’re doing simple food and interesting wines at reasonable prices, with bottles from local makers such as Jamsheed and Mac Forbes. To eat, there are just six dishes created from the day’s market produce – depending on when you time your visit, it could be salmon carpaccio, a black Russian tomato salad or juicy porterhouse steak.
1 Flinders Ln, Melbourne
This classy basement cocktail bar draws on fresh produce to create seasonal drinks with precise, vibrant flavour. The Fire & Earth’s stunning maroon colour comes from beetroot mixed with tequila, lemon and habanero bitters, while their sweet banoffee pie-inspired cocktail tops clarified banana juice, Starward whisky and demerara syrup with a caramelised meringue cap.
87 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
Hurrah! Melbourne’s original laneway bar is reopening this March. Known for kickstarting the city’s love affair with tiny, tucked away venues, they’ve relocated to Crossley Street but retained much of their old look – from the stained-glass windows and concrete bar, right down to the retro shag pile carpet.
7/24 Crossley St Melbourne 3000
Hot summer days are just peachy atop Peaches, a new multi-storey bar that features a spacious rooftop for spritzing and sunsoaking. There are no dark and divey corners here, just lots of pinks, golds and suedes plus cocktails. Get the party started with ‘It’s Brittany Bish’, a blend of sloe gin, dry vermouth, basil and raspberries.
Levels 2 & 3, 301 Swanston Street, Melbourne
They’ve kept the bare bricks and exposed walls of the long running Young's Auction House that came before, but everything else here is new, starting with the modern Mediterranean menu and imaginative cocktails. Spy dishes like steamed portarlington mussels with barley, onion, dill and lemon, and colourful drinks like the Helena Beat, featuring tequila, beet, dragonfruit, thyme and lime.
227-229 Camberwell Road, Hawthorn East
Late night eatery Butcher’s Diner now has a sister bar next door for late-night shenanigans. Angel will serve food from their kitchen alongside classic cocktails and Italian wine. As the name suggests however, the focus here is on music, with an eclectic mix of jazz, soul and techno on soundtrack, DJs appearing after sunset and a mini dance club upstairs.
12 Bourke St, Melbourne
Camberwell scores an inviting new neighbourhood bar in St Giles. They boast a wine list that crisscrosses the old and new worlds, championing both local drops and pricey Burgundys, and a protein-rich menu specialising in steak and seafood. Start with delicate entrees like sea bream sashimi with miso and pickled shiitake before more substantial mains like slow cooked lamb and steak frites.
Shop 115A, 793 Burke Road, Camberwell
Seven months of renovations has resulted in a reborn Carringbush that sports warm wood finishes, a family friendly vibe and a shiny new kitchen and bar. The revamped menu is completely vegetarian, reimagining pub classics into dishes like sweet potato ‘steak’ with eggplant coconut puree and beer battered cauliflower with tartare and chips.
228 Langridge St, Abbotsford
Carlton’s got a sunsoaked new rooftop bar – sitting atop the King and Godfree complex, Johnny’s Green Room offers 360 degree vistas extending to the city and beyond. Tap into a little slice of Italy with imported beers, wine and Aperol spritzes on tap, plus snacks including polpetti, salumi, arancini and even choc tops from Pidapipo down the road. It’s our new favourite spot for Sunday sessions and after work drinks.
Level 2/293-297 Lygon St, Carlton
Richmond’s Great Britain Hotel has relaunched as Harlow, a new ‘good-times’ venue comprising a spacious, split-level courtyard and basement bar, with live music on weekends to boot. House cocktails include the ‘Boyz-N-The-Hood’, crafted with Jack Daniels, applejack, Fireball and apple juice, while pub classics are remixed in bites such as cheeseburger empanadas, duck and bacon sausage rolls and mini crab doughnuts.
447 Church St, Richmond
A one-stop shop for your next girls’ night out, The Greville has a restaurant, Champagne room and nightclub that’s open for dancing till late. There’s nothing lowkey about the glamourous new venue – everywhere you turn you’ll be faced with pink, emerald, marble, velvet and gold, while the menu does Japanese-Euro fusion, with Kobe beef carpaccio and kingfish sashimi accompanying summery cocktails.
132–134 Greville Street, Prahran
Electropop duo Peking Duk have opened their own bar, and yes, they’ll be dropping in regularly to DJ there. Their vision is for the venue to transition each night from chilled afternoon vibes to heaving disco party by the early morning, all under that photo-worthy glowing canopy of paper umbrellas. When all that dancing makes you peckish, snack on playful mashups like spam hotdogs with ketchup kimchi, cheeseburger spring rolls and vegan jackfruit bao.
153 Commercial Road, South Yarra
Transport yourself to Palm Springs via this pop-up bar on the rooftop of Melbourne Central, where you can take your drink to one of many temperature-controlled plunge pools. During the day there’s yoga, meditation and pilates classes to get you feeling wholesome, while in the evenings it’s all about indulgence, with cocktails and a snack menu designed by the people behind Easey’s – think club sandwiches, tacos and pizza.
Level 3, Melbourne Central, La Trobe St & Swanston St, Melbourne