Best bars in Melbourne

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What does Nick Cave, a bar made of ice, and a corset have in common? A hurly burly bar-hop in Melbourne! Melburnians are spoilt for choice when aching for a bevy, and they all have their favourites. Out-of-towners however may find the options overwhelming and it seriously is enough to drive you to drink, if only you can choose where to go! Here are a few recommendations of the best bars in Melbourne to help you along the way.

Related post: 15 Exciting Things To Do In Melbourne At Night 

Best Bars In Melbourne



It’s reported that Nick Cave once frequented Prudence, but the bar-staff insist he actually drank at the grungy local across the road.

Everyone loves gossip and his tunes are belted out alongside Tom Waits’ anyway.

The intimate booths, beaded curtaining and nooks and crannies of this rambling pub lend themselves to secrets.

Downed with unpretentious service, the usual concoctions, and open seven days a week,


Prudence is worth a visit if only to explore the intimate spaces and start your own rumours.

The Workshop

In the heart of the city on Elizabeth St get to the job done at The Workshop.

Housed in a former motorcycle repair shop, it accommodates large numbers which keeps it buzzing, but with so many secret corners all is not lost for a rendezvous any day of the week.

Urban, and so very “now”, the industrial space caters to dancing, live performances, art exhibits, light lunches, or creative-types craving the art of conversation, even if it is with their notebooks; of the old-fashioned and modern variety.

melbourne movida


Movida has been keeping gourmet bar-flies satiated for years with its tapas, Spanish sherries, beers and wines.

Look away if you’re hungry: air-dried Wagyu with poached organic egg and truffle foam, oven roasted Portobello mushrooms finished with sherry vinegar, aged jamon, silky croquettes, and churros feature on the menu.

Always packed and often a queue, patrons don’t mind waiting with a bevy (or coffee) in hand and with the opening of three other Movidas around town, including Movida Next Door (which surprise, is next door), you don’t need to go far for your fix of Spain.


Ice Bar

Feeling a little hot under the collar? A drink at the Ice Bar is sure to cool you down.

Pull up a pew on the ice couch and admire the ice sculptures as you sip your drinks in glasses made of, you guessed it, ice.

Yes, at minus 10 degrees, it’ll be cold but once snuggled up in the provided ski gear and a hot toddy, the night will be memorable if only for the chance to live like an Eskimo for the recommended half an hour, before thawing out upstairs in the Ski Lodge.

Looking for somewhere cheap to stay? Check out United Backpackers Melbourne

The Croft Institute

If that wasn’t weird enough for you, in the laneways of Melbourne an experiment occurred between a bar and a science laboratory.

A chemical reaction, and then voila, the The Croft Institute was born.

Spread over three floors, test tubes, beakers, and industrial sinks set the funky asylum tone, after all its cool to be little crazy.

Upstairs brings back awkward high school memories with a school gymnasium where groovers bop along to international acts and DJs spinning their tunes.

Navigating the darkened laneways to find this joint is an adventure worth taking, even to just check out the turf growing on the bar. It’s an iconic thing to do in Melbourne.

Burlesque Showboat Cruise

Your night could take a different course entirely; one that involves the art of tease.

So get your money shaker down to the Burlesque Showboat Cruise for a night of fun and titillation.

Although using elements of striptease, the female form is both admired and respected during performances with the injection of injecting humour, intrigue, and delight.

Maison Burlesque can make your show-stopping fantasoes come true with classes for all levels and bodies.

Learn the art of fan dancing, go-go dancing, cabaret or vintage burlesque, or master some new moves for the boudoir.

After all that exertion, glamour-pusses may have a hankering to be captured in all their Burlesque glory in a photo-shoot with a professional make-up artist and photographer.

If you’re lucky enough to be in town during June and July, you could catch The Australian Burlesque Festival which showcases some of Australia’s finest performers.

Best bars in Melbourne

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Carmen Jenner
Living in Perth, the most isolated city in the world, means I “have” to jump on a plane on a regular basis all in the name of work, which is freelance travel writing.