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Melbourne’s top bars and pubs

First things first. Melbourne is awesome. A melting pot of cultures combined to create a vibrant city one could never tire of. With influences from the Greek, Italian and Asian migrants; the best of all worlds join together to provide visitors and Melburian’s with a city experience like no other.

Rapidly becoming known as the destination for coffee, craft beer and food lovers it’s not surprising that Melbourne is full to the brim with individual, off-the-wall bars and pubs.

During our week stay in this urban jungle, we spent many a day wandering around stumbling upon new and exciting spots to quench our thirst. With something for everyone, here’s a list of the bars you’ll be silly to miss when visiting Melbourne.

Union Electric | 13 Heffernan Ln

Known as Melbourne’s best laneway cocktail bar; perfect for those who prefer the finer things in life. This sleek cocktail bar boasts exposed brick walls, copper accents and inventive cocktails whilst also serving up some delicious pan-Asian food.

I’d recommend the Espresso Martini, although it does put you back $20 it tastes divine. Cocktails combined with gorgeous surroundings and the sounds of P Diddy, Mariah Carey and Destiny’s Child…what more could you ask for!?

Heartbreaker | 234a Russell Street

At the heart of the CBD, this dive bar offers the perfect recipe for a wild night in the city. While there may not be a specific dancefloor, it doesn’t stop drinkers busting out a few moves. With a jukebox to pick your favourite rock ‘n’ roll tunes and red neon signs giving it that 80’s feel, after a few beers and a round of pool, you’ll be shaking your stuff to the sound of Jon Bon Jovi.

Feeling peckish? Not to worry. After drowning in a selection of interesting tap beers, grab a Connie’s New York style pizza from the hole in the wall pizza stand. Delish! Tunes, beer, pool and pizza…what’s not to love?

Rooftop Cinema | 252 Swanston Street

Tucked between two shops in the CBD, it’s likely you’ll miss the entrance to this place. But once found, jump in the lift, get yourself to the top floor and enjoy the incredible views of the city.

The bar is open from 11am making it a perfect spot for rooftop day drinking.

For film lovers, films are shown each night from 8pm. Grab a deck chair, take a long sip of your Aperol Spitz and enjoy the show! With blankets available for those chillier nights, some might say it’s the date night dreams are made of.

Bartonica | 335 Flinders Ln, Melbourne

Love vintage arcade games? Well, not only does this bar offer up an eclectic selection of craft beers and cocktails there’s an even bigger selection of vintage arcade games to please any hard core gamer! And those who’d just like to give it a go (me).

With low lighting, great tunes and outdoor seating available this really is a great spot to hang out with friends.

The Croft Institute | 21 Croft Alley

Now this bar is definitely a hidden gem! Tucked down an alley way in the infamous Chinatown, unless you know about this bar the likelihood of finding it is very slim…thankfully we have a friend in the city who showed us the way!

Modelled after a school science lab, the interiors scream experimental and the cocktails even more so…expect to find a syringe in your cocktail, one that you can take home with you (I took mine and its going straight in the traveling memory box).

The Boilermaker House | 209/211 Lonsdale Street

With its speakeasy atmosphere and well-groomed staff; you’ll instantly feel elegant when sipping a drink at this bar.

Known for its craft beer and enormous whisky selection this spot is known as Melbourne’s shrine to all things gentlemanly. The staff are fashionably tattooed with the most groomed moustaches that men from the roaring 20’s would envy. Sleeves effortlessly rolled up, suspenders on show and the Peaky Blinders flat cap finishes off the look – the attention to detail here is second to none.

And the theme doesn’t end there. Luxurious, tasseled curtains frame the booths whilst every shelf and available space is filled with antiques such as tobacco tins, leather bound books and framed pictures of the infamous pin-up girl. A great environment for an evening tipple.

Another bar you may wish to add to the list is Berlin Bar; a split-space East/West-themed bar with plush banquettes, bunker-style decor and bathtub tables – sounds incredible doesn’t it! Unfortunately we didn’t get round to visiting this one so I don’t feel I can comment but it’s a bar I hope to visit on our return to Melbourne.


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