A freelance writer, sharing all my new discoveries with the world.
Published February 6th 2012
The Melbourne bar scene is full of hidden gems. No matter how long Melburnians have resided here, they will never know of every bar. Here are a few options which boast some of the most beautiful interiors, the most delicious cocktails, the best service, and if you're lucky, maybe all three. Golden Monkey Golden Monkey is renowned for its award winning interior, delicious selection of drinks and live jazz music every Tuesday night. The staff are the most attentive and friendly I've seen in the whole of Melbourne and an evening at Golden Monkey is always an enjoyable one. Customers can expect the best quality when it comes to food, drinks and service. If you're visiting in a group, try the Dragon Boat Punch, served in a traditional steamboat with fresh fruits. For more information visit Golden Monkey.
Spice Market Spice Market is open from Wednesday until Saturday and offers some great daily deals. At the moment customers can enjoy complimentary $20 food vouchers on all mezze dishes every Wednesday and Saturday night. Some of the tasty options include steamed chicken and mushroom buns, spiced fried calamari , shanghai chicken salad, and many more. Thursday night at Spice Market is ladies night, with 2 for 1 cocktail offers, and palm and tarot readings. Friday has $5 drink specials and Saturday also has 2 for 1 cocktails as well as $20 mezze. Spice Market also gives away lots of freebies to its fans, so make sure you 'like' them on Facebook so you don't miss out. For more info on their gorgeous venue check out this review.
Manchuria is very well hidden and therefore not as well known, which makes it one of the best, most laid back bars in Melbourne. Nestled in the heart of China Town, Manchuria is an Asian inspired bar with an array of mouth-watering cocktails, in a classy, lounge style venue. You can find Manchuria at 7 Waratah Place, Melbourne CBD.
The Emerald Peacock The Emerald Peacock has a fabulous interior and rooftop bar, making it a great place to check out in the summer or winter. The décor is classy, yet funky and it's a popular spot for drinks in the city. Located on 233 Lonsdale Street, The Emerald Peacock has fabulous views of the city. And don't forget about the bar's sister venue, The Red Hummingbird, on 246 Russel Street, which is also a beautiful lounge with a rooftop bar.
Byblos Byblos has great views of the Yarra River. Situated in the Docklands, it's a classy place for a few drinks and a bite to eat. The drinks menu comprises of a long list of cocktails, spirits, wines and beers, and the food menu has many weird and wonderful enticing options, such as roast quail, grilled Cyprian halloumi, pan fried baby octopus and homemade open pastries. For more information visit Byblos.
Madam Brussels Madam Brussels is always a fun night out, with waiters in tiny shorts, an indoor garden setting and giant cocktail umbrellas to fight off any rainy nights on the rooftop, this bar is definitely a quirky spot to enjoy some cocktails. Madame Brussels is open everyday from 12pm – 1am and can be found at Level 39, 59-63 Bourke Street. Visit Madam Brussels for more information.
Polly Polly bar takes cocktail making to the most extreme level. By combining every ingredient you can possibly think of, Polly's cocktail list is definitely one of the most diverse. Even the absinthe is served using a traditional fountain. The interior is decorated with elegant thrones and beautiful statues; a bar well worth visiting. Why not try the Lusty Busty Maiden cocktail, with Frangelico, Raspberry puree, Raspberry Liqueur and Hazelnuts. For more information visit Polly, located at 401 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.
Carlton bar has one of the best rooftop bars in the city. The palm trees and straw hut styled cocktail bar makes for a vibrant atmosphere in the summer. The taxidermy interior is just as quirky, with a stuffed giraffe towering over tables. This is definitely a great venue with a busy and bustling ambience, it's just a shame that the door staff are so rude. If you can make it passed the arrogant bouncers, the bar staff are actually quite nice, as is the food and drink. For more information, visit Carlton Bar.
Other great bars in and around Melbourne are: Ponyfish Island, situated in the Middle of the Yarra River at Southbank, 29th Apartment (Fitzroy Street, St Kilda), Republica St Kilda Beach, Charlie's Bar (Hardware Lane, CBD) and LuWOW (Johnston Street, Fitzroy).