If you want the best of Melbourne, here are 5 essential bars. You’re welcome.
Located in one of the city’s best drinking neighborhoods (on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy,) Naked For Satan is the perfect way to either start or finish a bar crawl. It has great food, local beers, and mixed drinks available on its intimate ground floor.
Their signature infused vodkas are a definite must try, with flavors ranging from ‘Pomegranate’ and ‘Salted Caramel’ to ‘Naked Bitch Chilli and Cherry’ and ‘Opium & Rose’. The real appeal of the bar exists on the roof. Known as ‘Naked in the Sky’, the bars rooftop offers everything available on the ground except with a sweeping view of the city’s skyline and an even larger bar. Located just far enough from downtown to provide a prime, unobstructed view of skyscrapers and lights as you enjoy a warm Australian night with a tasty bev.
To quote their website, “Mr. Wow is as pedantic about his drinks as he is about his guests having a good time.” This is a fairly new spot, also located in Fitzroy and has quickly gained a reputation for its unique atmosphere.
Moving beyond the typical pool table in the corner of the bar, Mr. Wow’s boasts a Ping-Pong room and full bocce ball playing area located next to the bar. Unlimited seasoned popcorn is available to snack on as you take on challengers in bocce. The bar is not just about games, as indicated by the aforementioned quote, it boasts an extremely impressive cocktail menu. Last time I visited I was fortunate enough to drink a lychee vodka cocktail that changed the way I drink drinks.
Going to The Croft Institute is truly a unique experience, which is why it has gained such a lofty reputation since its establishment. It is located down a few windy alleyways in Chinatown, where the only things you would expect to find would be rats and dumpsters.
The exterior is extremely unassuming. The interior however, is one of the most unique and original settings I have ever enjoyed a drink in. Modeled off of an old school science lab/insane asylum the ground floor is covered with beakers, vials, and metal exam tables for you to sit down at. It is another bar that prides itself on its creative custom cocktails. They provide tasty creations served out of syringes. The upstairs theme changes to a gymnasium, which is mostly standing room only and typically boasts djs and a dance floor on weekends. People typically come for the syringes and stay because its actually an awesome bar that offers a whole lot more than just the novelty of putting a syringe full of vodka in your mouth.
This bar is definitely a little pricier than the rest, but is also definitely worth going to for at least one or two drinks. Named after the year the cocktail was first invented, 1806 is a bar for cocktail enthusiasts around the world. It has got a menu the size of a small novel, but only because it goes through each decade since the inception of the cocktail, providing every significant option and a brief history.
You can try everything from the Georgia Julep of the early 19th century to the Charlie Chaplin of the 1920s. It has been recognized internationally as the world’s best cocktail and has won countless awards for being amazing. With an interior mimicking its class and extravagance, it is one of downtowns most unique drinking holes.
5. Rooftop Bar
Unlike the previous four, this is one bar not famous for its unique drinks or specialized cocktails. It frankly has a fairly average bar aside from the couple of local beers on tap. Similar to Naked For Satan, Rooftop Bar has gained its fame for its amazing rooftop view (hence the name). Instead of being located outside the central business district, looking in on the skyline, you are drinking in the heart of the city atop one of its tallest buildings, integrated within the famous Melbourne skyline. The view is surreal, making up for the deficiencies in its menu.
During the summer months, tons of people litter the astro-turf lawn holding a beer in one hand and a burger in the other. One of the best things they do is movie nights during the summer, with a huge screen on the roof showcasing crowd favorites and new independent films. During the winter, space heaters are plenty and the roof is just as crowded. If for whatever reason you tire of drinking on the roof, the 9 floors beneath boast a variety of other bars and nightclubs, making it an extremely diverse location. The biggest problem here is that most nights if you arrive after 8pm, you might have a problem getting in as it typically reaches capacity at abnormally early hours.