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Food, Things To Do, Top 10

Best Bars in Melbourne 2023

The best bars in Melbourne are world class and there's a thriving bar scene in Melbourne. Whether you are looking for sophistication or a casual style bar, there is a bar for every taste and occasion. Here are our favourite bars in Melbourne as rated by The World Loves Melbourne.

Bar Margaux - CBD

Bar Margaux is a French bistro style bar (arguably the hottest opening in 2019) with a nondescript entrance into a basement (not a rooftop) and brings the buzz to late nights in Melbourne.

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Dark moody bar with a unique presence in Melbourne. Come here for after work drinks or on a weekend, but also consider coming here to dine. 

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Duck and frites for French comfort food overdrive.

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Not to mention a hearty French Onion soup while you enjoy a few reds or cocktails.

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Non descript entrance belies the treasure inside.It's a bar you'll want to return to.

Heartbreaker - CBD

Just along from Bar Margaux and owned by the same group is rock n roll style bar Heartbreaker. Come here for good times and soak yourself in several hours of classic rock n roll.

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Personally I love the vibe here where its more about your rock n roll get up than flashy suits. But suits are welcome.

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Pre-made bottled Negroni is a hit and resonably priced. We visited Heartbreaker after visiting nearby Bar Margaux which I suspect many people do. Two great bars with different vibes in Melbourne.

Above Board - Collingwood

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Above Board is a revelation in Collingwood with a nondescipt entrance and almost hidden location with Hayden Lambert a master bartender. The feature here is intimacy and connection with Hayden who is a character of note.

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Only a small number of seats as you sit around the bar and get personalised service and maybe a few stories from Hayden. 

Boilermaker House

Boilermaker House is one of Melbourne's most atmospheric bars. From the same family as Eau De Vie, the concept of a boilermaker bar is a winner. We imbibed beer and matching whisky pairings, as well as first class food. 

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The magical pairing of beer and whisky is the ket at Speakeasy's second venture in Melbourne, Boilermaker House. With 750 whiskies and around 40 beers there is no lack of matching potential; for every and any occasion! The World Loves Melbourne enjoyed a top notch event at Boilermaker House during Good Beer Week with boilermakers the feature. 

We experiences the breadth of styles and depth of enjoyment that can be found in a humble matching of grain based beverages.

Food was also on point with charred cauliflower, sausage, charcuteries, chips with whisky salt and cheese platters; not to mention finishing the evening with fresh oysters.

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Decor is sophisticated and welcoming, but not too formal.

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Boilermaker House hums all week and has become one of Melbourne's preferred bars.

1806 & The Understudy - CBD

Where to take international artists after a concert? You need a bar with sophistication and presence. 1806 will never let you down! 1806 is a standout bar in Melbourne that impresses with its classic decor, impeccible bar skills and an air of sophistication. 

What I love about 1806 is its classic finery - I appreciate grungy bars but when looking to impress here in Melbourne we prefer the classic refinement of 1806. Why the name 1806? Apparently because it was then that the word cocktail was first put in print.

The cocktails follow a timeline of some 200 years, and The World Loves Melbourne notes a trend in several bars around Melbourne to give a nod to the cocktails of yesteryear transporting them to today.

1806 is an institution in Melbourne and has a global following, having produced some of the most successful bar events and personalities in the industry. Coming here is not just about enjoyment but about education.

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Image credit 1806 Facebook. Sit back on a lounge or armchair, or sit up at the long bar. You know you're in the hands of highly talented bartenders you can trust. As we ordered our first drink, Negronis, we knew these guys do such a classic drink total justice.

After a while we decided just to put ourselves in the hands of the bar tender to fix us drinks and surprise us. A good way to go. These bartenders know their stuff and are consistently brilliant.

1806 excel in classic cocktails but also have a few gems of their own. The Charlie Chaplin is also super popular here. 1806 are one of the handful of bars that can successfully match cocktails and food and are well known for their matching degustations.

And hand cut ice baby...   They also provided guests with their 1806 cocktail book.

Check out The Understudy downstairs. We enjoyed 1806 with our international guests and were politely escorted to the door at close (they also do this well).

Black Pearl - Fitzroy

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Black Pearl bar is often considered Melbourne's best bar and has attracted significant international acclaim. The World Loves Melbourne enjoys visiting Black Pearl, both downstairs, as well as the eclectic upstairs facilities. This is another place to take out of town guests, as we did in bringing a significant celebrity chef here from Sydney. Image above: Black Pearl Facebook.

From visiting with friends, to a whisky masterclass, Black Pearl always delivers. Considered as one of the best bars in the world a visit to Black Pearl is a rite of passage for drinks aficionados.

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Make sure you visit upstairs The Attic for entry into another world of bar excellence.

The Everleigh - Fitzroy

The Everleigh is considered Melbourne bar royalty with exceptional bartenders and an old speakeasy type ambience. Parked in Gertrude St in hipster Fitzroy The Everleigh is an intimate, if not romantic, seated only cocktail bar, which oozes style. Imbibe at one of the leather booths or at a candelit table. Is there a better bar in Melbourne?

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There's times you don't want a dive bar but an element of sophistication.

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Bartenders are super knowledgeable and skillful, and you can trust them for recommendations. They enjoy a challenge, so you can give them an idea of what you want in terms of spirits or flavour, and they will create something magical. They also appreciate feedback on their drink creations. Grab a cheese or charcuterie board. The World Loves Melbourne is partial to The Elk Room...

Whisky & Alement - CBD
Whisky & Alement is the premier destination for any true malt whisky lover in Melbourne and is a world class whisky bar. 
Whisky & Alement is an intimate whisky bar located in Melbourne’s CBD. After a major refurbishment, the tavern owners Brooke Hayman and Julian White threw open the doors to both the old and new whisky lovers of Melbourne in February 2013. The intimate venue also acts as a whisky school, aiming to educate through experience and tuition the emerging younger demographic. Armed with an overwhelming level of whisky knowledge, the bar team are able to ‘wow’ any guest that walks through the door, providing an authentic Scotch Whisky experience.  
Image credit Whisky & Alement Facebook page. The team here have created ‘The Never Ending Cask’. A collaboration between SMWS and Whisky & Alement, this allows whisky connoisseurs to try a dram directly from the barrel – a unique experience unlike any bottled whisky. The initial fill is from a single Islay distillery finished in a 20 litre sherry cask for over 3 months: it will be topped up periodically, thus creating an actively ageing Society house expression. Perfectly served both by itself with a drop of water or as a boilermaker: One things for sure though - it’s not a dram for the faint hearted! Wham bam thank you dram!

Bomba Tapas Bar & Rooftop - CBD

Bomba Bar is one of the hottest destinations in Melbourne with its killer ambience, exciting Spanish cuisine and a sexy wine and cocktail list. Jesse and Vanessa, Melbourne culinary royalty, have transformed former The Aylesbury - already a hit - into something even more rewarding as a Spanish Workers Bar. A recent upgrade is stunning. 

Bomba serves Vermouth of sophistication,, including an amazing Vermouth from Barcelona that's alluringly aromatic. Vermouth is big in Barcelona right now, notably some hip specialist Vermouth bars. Often drunk at the start of the evening with snacks, Bomba pleases with its unique Vermouth range served up with snacks such as Smoked almonds and olives. 

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Jesse Gerner exudes Iberian passion in the kitchen and with Vanessa are such congenial hosts. They seek to please in attention to the detail, treating customers as VIP guests. No pretension. Jesse and Vanessa have much to bring to Melbourne with their classy expressions.

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Bomba is another bar that shines with its food offerings as well as stunning drinks range.

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Bomba Bar's transformation to a Spanish Workers bar is impressive. The ambience is rustic, alluring and warm. Use of textures is top notch, including recycled timbers, woven straw light shades, copper reinforced benches, and sexy lighting tones with red and orange tinge.

Bomba was packed on a Tuesday night, not only downstairs but upstairs at the Rooftop Bar. Were we in Spain? Such a unique ambience in Melbourne.

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Bomba has everything needed in a rooftop bar. Views are stunning on the 5th floor. Unlike some rooftop bars in Melbourne it has adequate heating. And a decent bar menu including many of the tasty tapas options downstairs.

Bomba Bar has one of the best bar atmospheres in Melbourne. Highly recommended.

Bar Liberty - Fitzroy

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Bar Liberty is a leading Melbourne bar which features a great food selection as well as compelling cocktails, wine, beer and sake.
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We grabbed a choice bottle of wine and charcuterie to match.
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Eau De Vie - Malthouse Lane CBD

Eau De Vie is a classic bar hidden gem in Malthouse Lane in the heart of the Melbourne CBD. With 700+ back bar spirits it has plenty to offer. Behind a fake bookcase is a charming Whisky Room.

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The World Loves Melbourne was fortunate to sit at one of their Degustation tables, of bar height, where the bar holds many of its pairing events (often whisky and cheese).

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Things can get exotic at Eau de Vie. 

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We have enjoyed epic cocktails paired with King Island Dairy Cheese at Eau De Vie, and attended an extraordinary Brunch & Burlesque event with St Germain liqueur.

Carlton Wine Room - Carlton

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Carlton Wine Room is housed in an iconic historical 19th-century building on the corner of Drummond and Faraday Streets. The hospitality team is a tour de force that features co-owner Andrew Joy (ex Marion), and chef John Paul Twomey (ex Cutler & Co.). The philosophy is simple - "A neighbourhood bistro and bar, serving food that works with wine."

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Strong food game and the wines are based on merit - choose from local but also international wines, as well as stunning cocktails and beers.

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As I walked in to Carlton Wine Room (car park nearby was handy) I was struck by the elegance of fit out, a charming marble bar and the large windows and views to leafy Carlton. The sheer size of the place is also impressive, with five floors.The basement was a highlight with a parcel of Andrew Joy's family wines on hand, as part of a cellar.

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Best roast chicken of your life.

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Cumulus Inc. and Cumulus Up - CBD

Cumulus Inc. in Flinders Lane is a standout bar destination with an air of sophistication in a large studio like atmosphere. Come here and perch on a stool at the long bar or grab one of the tables. Not only is Cumulus Inc. a great bar but the cuisine here is exceptional.

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Cumulus Inc. has been a consistently top notch destination for many years now, whether breakfast, lunch, dinner or a late night drink. The World Loves Melbourne has visited Cumulus Inc. on many occasion and found it to be a great place to take "out of towners". Cumulus Inc. Eating House and Bar opened in 2008 in Melbourne’s famous art and fashion precinct, Flinders Lane.  Celebrating the historic turn of the century rag trade building in which it is located, the space is a busy social hub offering Andrew McConnell’s acclaimed food.

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Cumulus Up. is a stunning wine bar upstairs from Cumulus Inc. European in atmosphere, the space balances edgy luxe and familiar classic to stunning effect. Featuring parquet timber floors, the interior is warm and elegant. Multi-coloured jelly ‘pill’ lights add a playful glow to the two-tone timber/black surrounds. An intimate room with a sophisticated and relaxed atmosphere.

The climate controlled cellar houses a considered and eclectic selection of wine. Focusing on the best examples of vintage, varietal, style and region, it offers an extensive range from both the New World and the Old.
The menu is designed by Andrew McConnell to compliment the wine; grilled seafood, dry aged beef, roast Holmbrae chicken and a selection of favourite cheeses served at their very best.  A stunning black meat slicer adorns the bar, the chefs slice hams and meats to order.