Top 5 Bars in St Kilda If you asked any local or visitor to describe the essence of St Kilda, chances are you would get a distinctly different answer every time. This famous suburb attracts a diverse crowd, so from the many venues in the area, this list of bars was put together with one main criterion: each place has an essential 'St Kilda-ness', representing an aspect of the personality of this unique suburb.
The Esplanade Hotel The Espy is easily the most iconic bar in St Kilda, if not in Melbourne itself. Everyone has been here, whether to catch an upcoming local act (or someone a little more famous), down a jug of beer in the sunshine out the front or partake in some serious drinking at a Sunday session. It is highly respected as a music venue covering all kinds of genres, and most well-known Aussie bands have played a gig here at some stage in their career. The Espy Kitchen is also worth a visit, with good value Monday night parmas, Tuesday steak nights and their Mexican fiesta on Wednesday nights. St Kilda personality: rock and roll baby, rock and roll. Best for: a night of rocking music. Location: 11 The Esplanade St Kilda.
The Espy: one of Melbourne's best live music venues
With a large outdoor area in a prime position on Acland St, this is an ideal spot for people watching. The Vineyard offers full meals, but it is most popular as a drinking spot. At after-work drinks on Friday, social Saturday nights or sunny St Kilda afternoons, this is the place to see and be seen. A decent wine list and DJs and/or bands til late ensure its continuing popularity. St Kilda personality: hip and fashionable. Best for: sunny weekend afternoons or anytime for group get-togethers. Location: 71 Acland Street St Kilda.
The Vineyard: perfect for sunny weekend afternoons
This St Kilda institution has had a facelift recently, with a multimillion dollar renovation and re-badging as the 'GH'. But it has kept its unique character. A local pub with a difference, the Greyhound is famous for its drag queen shows, and also offers 'bingo-au-go-go', drag-style bingo games on Wednesday nights. If you arrive before 9.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays there is no cover charge. St Kilda personality: that touch of something just a little bit different. Best for: the drag shows on Friday and Saturday nights are a winner. Location: 1 Brighton Rd, St Kilda.
Melbourne Wine Room The Melbourne Wine Room is just that: a high-ceiling room in the heritage The George building, with an extensive and imaginative wine list. There are plenty of wines offered by the glass if you want to sample a few before you commit to a whole bottle. A substantial selection of bar meals complements the wine. This changes regularly, but on our visit it included freshly shucked oysters, fish cakes, steamed mussels in spicy tomato broth, and a wagyu burger. St Kilda personality: Sophisticated and cosy. Best for: a relaxed long catch-up session with old friends, or a chilled out glass of wine at the start or end of a big night. Location: The George Hotel, 125 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda.
The Melbourne Wine Room @ The George Hotel
Prince of Wales Prince of Wales has all the elements of a typical Aussie local pub – cheap beer, big screen TVs permanently tuned to sports, pool table. It's a relaxed place for a beer and a game of pool or watching the footy. Outdoor tables right on Fitzroy Street provide another great spot for people watching. St Kilda personality: grunge with a touch of glamour. Best for: casual drinks, watching the footy or any other sporting event. Location: 29 Fitzroy St, St Kilda.
The Prince of Wales: people watching on Fitzroy Street