Sometimes, you just want something a little different. When you have been to the same old bar time after time, branching out can be exciting – and Melbourne has some of the best-hidden bars in the world. But, because they are so very hidden, you might need a hand finding them.
This is where our comprehensive list of the 21 best-hidden bars in Melbourne comes in. You will never struggle to find a new watering hole again.
1. House of Correction
House of Correction takes its design notes from the medical supply store that used to be on this site. Hop into the elevator and step out into a minimalist, prison inspired bar. With an amazing cocktail menu featuring unusual, top of the line ingredients, the bar stays open until 3 am.
2. Bar Margaux
The underground Bar Margaux gives you a real taste of the high life. It stays open until 5 am, so you can pop by in the small hours for oysters and champagne timelessness lit by candlelight. Slip into one of the sumptuous red booths and indulge yourself.
3. New Gold Mountain
Slip behind the unremarkable, unmarked door and head upstairs to New Gold Mountain for one of the best secret bars Melbourne based. This Chinese themed bar is a stunning two-storey bar, decked out in jade, red and amber. For an intimate glass of liquor and inventive cocktails, it is another venue you can hang out in until 5 am.
4. Fall From Grace
Open since 2013, Fall From Grace is a truly hidden gem. It is, in fact, a bar within a bar – Fall From Grace is hiding away inside State of Grace. Head through State of Grace and slip behind a sliding bookcase. Head down into this speakeasy where you can relax in a soft armchair and sip on a unique cocktail or two. With the walls decorated with an eclectic range of items, this gothic feeling bar is a real must-visit.
5. Jungle Boy
This tropical-inspired bar is set in a courtyard decorated with tiki masks. While the drinks are delicious, getting to the bar is an adventure in and of itself. You will need to head behind a false fridge in the back of the Boston Sub sandwich shop – it really does feel like magic!
6. Bar Americano
Boasting what is apparently one of the world’s best negroni, this bar can only stand ten people. And yes, that’s right – it’s an all-standing bar. Based on the espresso bars of Italy, this popular bar is perfect for stopping by for a classic cocktail and enjoying the atmosphere for a little while… with someone eager to step into your place the moment you leave!
Trinket is accessed by turning a huge key that opens the wardrobe door to the beautiful bar. The bar itself provides a fun, classic lounge environment that feels truly different from the usual city bars you might end up at on a Saturday night.
Even by local standards, Hihou is hidden away. This bar has Japanese inspiration that prizes minimalism and elegance over flashy glitz. You will be asked to take your shoes off before sliding onto your own black seat, and even the alcohol on offer is straight from Japan. You will truly get a taste of the exotic in Hihou.
9. Eau de Vie
Eau de Vie is a much-loved venue focusing on whiskey flavours and providing top-notch experiences for every visitor who is looking for the hidden bar Melbourne escape. With an edge of the theatrical in everything from the bar staff to the illustrated cocktail menu complete with stories, you will be enthralled.
10. Bottomless Cocktail Cruise
Why be confined to a single spot when you could be enjoying a cocktail cruise run by Yarra River Cruises? Although you might not expect to find a great bar on a boat, this 2 hour bottomless cocktail cruise gives you plenty of time to enjoy the sights while sipping mimosas, Pina Coladas, beer, cider, sparkling wine and more.
There is plenty to enjoy, with house music playing to give the cruise some real atmosphere.
11. Goldilocks Bar
Goldilocks Bar is the rooftop companion to House of Correction. Head down a hall from House of Correction and up a flight of stairs to be welcomed into a space lit with twinkling lights and stunning Melbourne views. Want to visit during the winter? You can still sip delicious cocktails when the weather turns cold because this rooftop bar can be enclosed for those chilly nights.
12. Loch and Key
Another instance of a bar inside a bar, you can slide behind a bookshelf in Captain Melville to find this simple bar. With a classic cocktail menu, it remains open until 5 am at weekends so you can enjoy those long summer nights on the terrace outside and embrace the out-of-time feeling of the space.
13. Union Electric
Dawdle down a Chinatown alley to find this Melbourne bar. While the downstairs space offers all the best classics, head to the rooftop to sample a range of craft gins. With a menu bursting with fresh flavours and local produce, both bars are fun, relaxing and perfect for something delightfully different.
14. The Croft Institute
The Croft Institute is another Chinatown destination – this bar has three floors and boasts an unusual science theme. Every floor has something different to offer, with a DJ on Fridays. Each drink is served in a beaker or syringe and you can try the bar’s strikingly different cocktail of the month, dreamed up by the quirky and inventive team.
15. Madame Brussels
Madame Brussels is accessed through a lift to the third floor where you will find a garden party styled bar, finished with grass to complete the feeling. You can enjoy cocktails and cakes, or hot punches in the winter. You can even bring your pup here and hang out on the terrace with your four-legged friend.
Whitehart Bar is found from a walkway between a pair of buildings. Look for the spray-painted W on the door and head inside. What you find might impress you! The industrial bar is surprisingly spacious and features not only incredible cocktails, wines and beers but food truck favourites and art installations. Listen to some quality music and enjoy yourself. Hidden bars in Melbourne don’t come more hidden than this!
17. The Attic in Black Pearl
Nestled behind a door in the Black Pearl, The Attic is a more intimate experience for customers and staff alike. Head upstairs from the popular Black Pearl and enjoy a delicious menu of both food and drink. For something a little more surprising, you can simply tell the staff what you’re in the mood for and have them give you a glorious creation to suit you.
18. Lui Bar
Set on the 55th floor of the Rialto building, the Lui Bar boasts impressive views and a beautiful, cosy interior. You can see the bay from here, and it has a range of cocktails inspired by Australia itself. Lui Bar has the feel of somewhere exclusive – your name is put on a list, and the staff will take you to the lift up to the bar.
A fairly new member of the hidden bar family, Murmur is nestled under a blue awning and inside, it is themed like an old fashioned American piano bar. In fact, you can even see a beautiful baby grand at the heart of the bar. With booths and benches positioned around it, you can expect some stunning music as well as creative cocktails and a little tapas, too.