There's a charmingly thrown-together feel about Bar Josephine, a relaxed little spot populated by personal knick-knacks, second-hand furniture and sky-blue walls. It's the kind of place you go for both intimate tete-a-tetes and post-work beers, where there's a fun dive vibe, but it never gets too rowdy. And while there's no onsite kitchen, they're happy to let you deliver pizza to the bar.
Eternally hip and delightfully laidback, Monty's is where the cool kids go when they're in need of a drink. The bar is long, the lighting dim and the booths perfectly secluded – and no matter the night of the week, you can count on this place to be alive with chatter (set to a carefully considered vinyl soundtrack, of course).
Small and vibey with a cosy courtyard out back, Atticus Finch rewards the curious with specialty cocktails featuring ingredients far-flung places, be it slivovica from Slovenia or cachaca from Brazil, plus a wine list rich in organic and biodynamic drops. Even better, they serve cheese, charcuterie and antipasto platters to pair with your late-night libations.
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.
Pulling into port with a brand new look, Captain Baxter has raised his sails and ready to cast off for a long summer. Boasting crisp white and blue interiors and a seafood-focused menu, this St Kilda venue is set to be the number one hangout over the warmer months. The views across Port Phillip Bay are enviable, and best witnessed with a cocktail in hand – may we suggest a fresh, greeny and fruit Green Bounty or a light, zesty ...
Bringing a little Scandi-chic to Melbourne, Longplay is a popular haunt that’s known for its good looks and great drinks. Stylish yet friendly, this is the place for people who really know their stuff – whether that means Spanish wines, Italian apertifs or Japanese whiskeys. The bar is made for perching, not just by the drinks, but marinated olives that are dished out as bar snacks.
Prudence is no ordinary bar. While its contemporaries copy one another’s sleek, minimalist designs, this North Melbourne favourite indulges in excess. From the kitschy, vintage knick knack-filled walls to the happy hour-every-hour priced margaritas, they embody a 'more is more' ethos.
Equal parts classy and quirky, this inviting cocktail bar deals in classic cocktails given a fresh twist, with drams including smoked toffee margaritas and spiced pear sours on offer. In winter, Dutch hot toddies and mulled pineapple sunrises will warm you up from the inside, and in a surprising twist, in lieu of a bar food menu, they allow you to order delivery from anywhere you like, which they'll plate and serve to your table.
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.
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.
A neighbourhood wine bar and boutique bottle shop, Open Cellar invites all to browse their shelves for something special to either take away or enjoy then and there. A tidy list of wines by the glass helps those cautious about committing, while a compact offering of cheese, terrines and pates staves off peckishness. The unpretentious, timber-lined space also hosts regular live music and free tastings for those looking to expand their vinous repertoire.
A simple, unfussy place for fine wines and craft beers, Vino Central is a hybrid bar and bottle shop that allows you to browse their shelves and pick something to your liking. Settle in with a bottle and order takeaway from a nearby eatery for a relaxed meal, or simply drop in for a quick post-work bevvy. On Saturday nights, live music adds an extra dash of energy to the bar, which tends to fill up quickly towards the end ...
This Moroccan-inspired bar is plush with colourful cushions, ottomans and ornate decorations, transporting patrons to a relaxed oasis far from the concerns of daily life. The striking venue is perfect for catching up with friends over a cocktail or two, accompanied by tasty mezze like stuffed vine leaves and falafel.
This elegant new wine shop and bar is actually an addendum to boutique hotel Zagame’s House, but with an 280-strong list, food by an ex-Vue de Monde chef and an airy-luxe lounge, it’s becoming a destination all its own. You’ll find a strong preference for the local and sustainable here, with lots of organic wines from Victorian producers, pre-batched cocktails from The Everleigh and craft beers from local breweries. To eat, you can build your own cheese and charcuterie board, ...
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.
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.
Proof that they’re onto something out West, Luxsmith Bar and Wineshop has opened up shop. And it’s fast on its way to achieving local hero status. Whether you’re looking to drink in and sample the well thought out cocktail list, or take a bottle of something special to go, this charmingly chilled drinking den has all the makings of your new favourite local.
Henry St may be pint-sized (no pun intended), but they've been making big waves with their boutique brews, made just two kegs at a time. The easiest way to try their top-notch ales is to drop by their industrial yet still cosy brewhouse. Here, you can saddle up with a tasting paddle of their core beers plus whatever wild experiment they've been toying with lately.
This local craft brewery is housed in a former soap and candle factory built in the 1800s. Nowadays, you'd only know it as a friendly meetup spot for frothys with friends. Fifteen taps showcase Hop Nation's core range plus limited edition collabs and small batches. And it’s all best enjoyed from the mezzanine level where you can watch all the activity mill about below.
Bringing a little laid-back Californian style to the streets of Fitzroy North, Redwood Tasting Room showcases West Coast American beers in all of their glory. There are also plenty of options for those who don't fancy the stuff, with a solid wine list and seemingly never-ending supply of pretzels on offer. While the cosy cabin-like space will have you feeling instantly at home.
Delivering quality cocktails and service, Ends & Means is the newest drinking spot in Fitzroy. The bar is heavily focussed on sustainability – they adopt all low-waste practices – and serve hand-crafted cocktails, environmentally-conscious wines and independent, locally-produced craft beers. Cosy and quaint, the intimate setting and moreish menu makes it incredibly hard to leave. This has late night session written all over it.
Mezcal, that other drink distilled from the agave plant, is getting its well overdue time in the sun with a new Prahran bar devoted to championing it. Casa N.O.M offers a dedicated menu of mezcals that will open your eyes to smoky spirit’s endless potential, along with South American wines and punchy house cocktails like the Scorpion Reef, which blends mezcal with rum, fresh pineapple, lemon, orgeat, mole chocolate and bitters. The bar menu is similarly Latin-leaning, featuring dishes like ...
The Local Taphouse’s rooftop garden terrace is the kind of place where balmy summer afternoons stretch deep into the evening, though the bar’s laidback, neighbourly vibe finds it busy all year round. Here you’ll see bubbly conversations among friends corralled along by rounds of craft brew, plus modern pub snacks like leek and Gruyère croquettes and black pepper whitebait.
Gamers rejoice, Melbourne now has its very own adults-only arcade and cocktail bar. Neon bright and high on kitsch, B.Lucky is a trove of wonders for the young at heart, where you can sample everything from Mario Kart racing to an expertly made Old Fashioned, all supported by a decent local wine list. Play your cards right, and you just might get lucky.
Every summer, something magical happens by the Yarra River. As the sun sets low over the water, revellers come out to play on-board Arbory Afloat. A temporary bar inspired by the majestic beauty of the Cinque Terre, here you can sip on Aperol Spritz amongst fragrant citrus trees with an unrivalled view across the city’s glimmering cityscape. After all, who needs Europe, when you’ve got Melbourne?