Inspiration Destinations Australia The Best Bars in Melbourne for 2024 

The Best Bars in Melbourne for 2024 

June 18, 2024
The Jazzlab, one of Melbourne's best jazz bars for 2024 - Luxury Escapes

Laneway, rooftop, wine or jazz, Melbourne has the right bar for any occasion. We take a look at the city’s best places for a quality tipple. 

Melbourne's bar scene has intimate 16-seaters like Above Board, northside wine bars reviving vinyl and an unassuming cottage that is one of the hottest drinking spots in the world.  

Let one of these must-visit bars in Melbourne make a regular out of you.  

Best Cocktail Bars in Melbourne  

Caretakers Cottage 

Australia’s only entry in the Top 50 Bars of the World – this tiny, unassuming venue is a true bartenders’ bar. Expect a tight menu of classics, house riffs and the odd martini, all within the bluestone walls of an old caretaker’s quarters.  

Above Board Bar  

This intimate 16-seater bar is the passion project of former Bar Americano alum Hayden Lambert. Liquors are decanted into glassware and stored out of sight, so nothing detracts from the bartending and banter; the simple menu is perfectly executed but don’t be afraid to ask for something a little out of the ordinary, too. 

Black Pearl  

A Fitzroy stalwart that isn’t scared of serving you a frozen marg – Black Pearl is the unfussy hero of the North. Come as you are and enjoy cocktails layered with in-house infusions and seasonal ingredients (great for winter hot toddies). For a more sophisticated cocktail experience head uptstairs to The Attic on Fridays and Saturdays for classic drinks and table service. 

Apollo Inn 

Sister bar to fine diner Gimlet, this small bar is full of old-world elegance. Live your 80’s spy movie fantasy with a cucumber-tinted Gibson or opt for the now famous Lucien Gaudin, an Apollo signature featuring gin, Campari, dry vermouth and house made Marnier. The small bites like a crab bun with tarragon or beef tartare are delivered with Gimlet aplomb. 


Molecular mixology is back on the menu at Bouvardia, where you might find caramelised yogurt, 30-day blackened chestnuts and salted honeydew cooking in the lab. The bar – voted 2023’s Best Bar in Melbourne by Timeout – is well-known even in bartending circles for pushing the boundaries and also has a strong focus on sustainability. 

Gin Palace  

This Melbourne institution, approaching its third decade slinging gin to Melbourne barflies, has celebrated with a serious renovation. A new back bar makes it easier (and quicker) for bartenders to make drinks. There is a new cocktail menu and fresh carpet but the same old sunken booths and great selection of juniper-based spirits. 

Bar Margaux  

Checkered floors, plush red stools and dim lighting are the romantic touches you can look forward to at this subterranean refuge. Sit by the bar for a mini-Manhattan or enjoy steak frites and vino in the restaurant booths, all open late.  

Studio Amaro 

Studio Amaro, one of Melbourne's best cocktail bars for 2024 - Luxury Escapes
Studio Amaro

Chapel Street’s new-kid-on-the-block has hung up the pornstar martini in favour of a refreshingly offbeat drinks menu – think parmigiana-infused tinctures and three pages of Amaros, sorted from sweet to bitter. 

Best Rooftop Bars in Melbourne   

Johnnys Greenroom 

This rooftop gem in Carlton has strong Italian connections, from its position above venerable King & Godfree deli to an antipasti snacks menu from celebrity chef Karen Martini. The cocktail list is designed to make you think you are in a beachy Italian enclave. Come here for girl's night out spritzers and year-round Campari concoctions.   


Walk south of the Princess Theatre and you’ll find a Parisian-inspired rooftop bar with a sophisticated cigar menu, caviar, champagne and carefully crafted cocktails. These dramatic flourishes are worthy of a pre-show drink or two. 

The Rooftop at QT 

The lollipop colours, sunset DJ sets and modern indoor-outdoor design of QT’s hotel bar give New York loft, or Sydney club, vibes. The cocktail menu has all the classics but try the signature Q-Tea Sour (Rhapsody ruby gin, Aperol, vermouth, honey, lemon and Earl Grey tea) with a plate of European inspired nibbles.  

Bomba Bar  

Memories of Euro summer come swarming back once you take a seat at Bomba, which is heralded for its decadent tapas and post-work-drinks. The bar also beams Spanish film-noir on the adjacent wall of Her Majesty’s Theatre – a nice touch that helps you feel like you are back on the Continent.  

Best Wine Bars in Melbourne   

Marion Wine Bar  

This Gertrude Street favourite, and sister to nearby fine diner Cutler & Co, has one of the area's most notable wine lists, ticking-off all the grape varieties plus some lo-fi and adventurous vintages. The menu is playful bistro favourites like raw tuna, white soy and pickled celery or WA octopus on toast with tomatoes and chilli oil. There’s no better place to park up by the window with a bottle of Blanc.  

Waxflower Wine Bar 

This moody restaurant-slash-listening-lounge has an equally well-curated cocktail menu. Sink a velvety olive-oil martini, listen to DJs spin jazz on vinyl and let the all-natural wine menu make you a lo-fi fan (if you weren’t already).  

Hope St Radio  

Wine and focaccia enthusiasts can be seen spilling onto the picnic tables of Collingwood Yards all weekend at this community fave, which boasts a namesake live DJ broadcast and local art splayed across the interior walls and ceiling.  

Bar Liberty 

Though it may use the traditional wine-bar schtick, decorating the place with empty bottles and retro knick knacks, the food at Bar Liberty is a sly modernisation of the European wine bar. The wine list is full of fizzy pet nats and the bar bites feature dishes like smoked potato and cheese pierogis and Sydney rock oysters with wild fennel and tarragon. 

Best Jazz Bars in Melbourne 

The Jazz Lab, one of Melbourne's best jazz bars - luxury escapes
The Jazzlab

The Jazzlab  

A popular spot for Melbourne’s jazz festivals and musical talent from across the pond. Open every night for three-cheese toasties, Whisky Club Australia-approved drams, a long list of cocktails and all that jazz.

Bird’s Basement 

This subterranean jazz joint was created by musician and jazz obsessive Albert Dadon to have the perfect acoustics for an intimate jazz experience. So serious is this place that it is twinned with famous New York jazz club Birdland. If you are coming early, grab a pre-show cocktail at the Jazz Corner Hotel Bar located above. 

The Rooks Return  

Unpretentious and casual-cool, The Rooks Return is your friendly neighbourhood jazz bar with all the cosy hospitality of your mates’ house, plus brews on tap and classic cocktails. 

Paris Cat Jazz  

Paris Cat dedicates itself to jazz for limited hours over the weekend, hosting a jam-packed lineup of local talent. Bring your special someone here for a velvet-draped date night.  

Featured image: The Jazzlab.

About Sofia Calvert
Travel and lifestyle writer → born in Australia, raised in Asia and the South Pacific. Loves craft cocktails and long walks to the hotel pool.

Copyright © 2017-2024 Luxury Escapes. All rights reserved.
phone-handset linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram