Silly season is coming – check out these beautiful new rooftops, hidden gems and cosy wine bars for your next group catch up.

A busy bar on the Yarra River with red umbrellas.

Arbory Afloat Balearic Beach Club

Melbourne’s beloved floating bar is back. Hop aboard Arbory Afloat and escape the city with the lush new Ibiza-themed fit-out. Think pina coladas, Spanish-inspired cocktail jugs and a delicious new menu. Soak up the bevs with some cheesy churros and jamón croquetas off the tapas menu. Or tuck into Arbory's epic pizzas. For dessert, burnt Basque cheesecake is essential.

An empty bar in a loft space.

Tequila Bar by Mejico

A new late-night tequila and mezcal bar has just opened on top of a Mexican restaurant. The aptly named Tequila Bar by Mejico has one of the largest selections of tequila and mezcal in Australia. Sip your way through over 250 varieties under glowing neon lights or peruse the cocktail menu. Then back it up with moreish Mexi snacks like beef brisket empanadas, jalapeno poppers and guac with blue corn chips.

Grey bench laden with foods and drinks; dart board at rear right.

Oche

There’s a new bar sport in town and this ain't your dad's darts. Gather your crew and book a semi-private booth at sleek electronic darts bar Oche. Expect real steel tipped darts and a board that keeps your score for you. It’s a cinch for beginners. To keep you sated without skimping on game time, there’s finger food with a gourmet flair. Think shucked Pacific oysters, smoked salmon ceviche cones and ‘nduja and artichoke pizza. 

A glowing red street canopy over a dark doorway in a laneway.

Jayda

Strawberry and yoghurt negronis, espresso martinis on the rocks and yuzu and green tea margaritas. The cocktails at Jayda hit different. A sister venue to Shane Delia’s restaurant Maha, this new cocktail bar is moody and sophisticated. The Middle Eastern bar snacks menu takes more than just inspiration from its neighbour. The ‘after service sandwich’ is a must try, with Maha's famous slow-cooked lamb shoulder and jus for dunking.

Looking down from above at a table with plates of food and drinks on it, and two people sitting at a bench seat next to it.

Amphlett House

Craft beers on tap, elevated pub grub and an ‘80s inspired fit-out. Amphlett House at Ovolo Laneways is a welcome addition to the Paris End. Try a bev from local brewers while you dine on smoked bone marrow on toast. Or enjoy a smoky eucalptus margarite, complete with gummy bear garnish. This taphouse isn’t just for beer lovers. You’ll also find cider, seltzers and a coffee and orange americano on tap.

The brick exterior of a bar with red doors and plants outside.

Myrtle Wine Bar

Enjoy Australian wines paired with native produce in a warm and inviting space at Myrtle Wine Bar. A newcomer to Warburton Lane, the two-storey space is beautifully rustic. To eat there’s aniseed myrtle and saltbush spiced squid. Sardine fingers with whipped Murray cod. Buttermilk damper. And oh-so nostalgic chip shop potato cakes, elevated to gourmet status with salmon roe and cultured cream.

A couple walking into a brick cottage in the city.

Caretaker's Cottage

Housed in a building that's more than a century old, this secret bar tucked between city skyscrapers is a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle. Cosy up at the warmly lit bar, admire the vinyl selection and order a signature milk punch. The team is also known for slinging bevs for a good cause. Themed cocktail specials have helped to fund everything from pet medical treatment to aiding Ukrainians in need.

Two women standing with their feet in a pool at a bar

Sunset House

Boasting panoramic 15th floor views and a sparking infinity pool, Sunset House is almost certainly going to be a regular summer hang out. Make the journey to this picturesque spot at the edge of the city for a classic espresso martini, or try whimsical drops like the amaretto infused Alice in Wonderland. It's the perfect spot for a pre-dinner drink before heading to neighbouring restaurant Archer's.

A colourful Japanese dish in a restaurant with three bottles of sake.

Leonie Upstairs

Climb the stairs above Hareruya Pantry to the discover the cutest little date-night spot. A hidden gem overlooking Carlton's Lincoln Square, this warm and ambient loft space is Australia's first temaki sushi bar. Leonie Upstairs pairs the freshly rolled cone-shaped sushi with premium sake. With more than 50 sakes by the glass, come often for new surprises on the ever-changing menu.

A mood-lit bar with a green feature wall

Yarra Falls

Blink and you'll miss Yarra Falls, an inventive new spot hidden inside a heritage listed building. The menu is a constantly rotating affair, with a focus on Victorian produce and seasonal ingredients. But you can always count on the house-made potato bread, which has fast become a fan favourite. The beautiful water feature behind the bar isn't just for show, either. It's a thoughtful reference to a natural waterfall that was blown up in 1883, despite being an important indigenous meeting place.

Interior of V Wine Salon showing shelves of wine, tables, chairs, velvet banquette seating against the wall, with a view out the window onto a city street.

V Wine Salon

Part boutique wine bar, part provedore. V Wine Salon is a French-inspired wine and cheese haven with a firm focus on sustainability. Pick your favourite bottle from the wall to take home. Or sit and savour it at the stunning handcrafted timber tables in the bar. Add a plate of charcuterie from small-scale producers and make a date with the cheese trolley. Choose from a curated selection of gourmet fromage, perfectly paired with wines from around the globe.

A woman standing at a pastel pink bar on a city rooftop.

Pomelo Rooftop Bar

Playful, neon-drenched and hidden down a laneway. Pomelo takes its cues from '80s Miami Art Deco. Think splashes of ice-cream pastel colours and a giant geometric mural. Try the slushie cocktails or grab a refreshing Pomelo seltzer. They're crafted and canned in-house with ingredients like banana miso and buttered popcorn.

The wooden top deck of a large floating bar

Yarra Botanica

Yarra Botanica is a new floating bar set to take over the river year-round. Poised with a perfect view of four iconic Melbourne bridges, this luxe greenhouse spot boasts a native herb garden, epic gin list and fresh seafood menu. Climb aboard and catch a perfect peachy sunset before daylight saving ends.

People seated at a rooftop bar under a yellow awning with the Melbourne skyline in the background.

Her Melbourne

The crew behind Arbory Afloat have finally opened their massive new multi-storey venue. HER is a vertical laneway celebrating food, drinks, music and art. Enter the moody ground floor bar and knock back Negronis and pommes frites, or soar up to the rooftop for a Med-style escape. The resident diner BKK offers a fresh take on Thai BBQ, with open flames grilling juicy meat, seafood, crispy pork belly and more.

People at a rooftop bar talking and having a drink.

The Stolen Gem

The views from this eight-storey high rooftop terrace steal the show. Look out over Bourke Street and the GPO as you enjoy sushi boxes with all the trimmings, canape-style share plates and creative cocktails like a pavlova gin spritz.

Four people dining and drinking cocktails in a corner booth of a city rooftop bar.

Fable Melbourne

Head for the skies and land on Melbourne's highest rooftop bar, 14 storeys up. Feast on Mediterranean-style share plates while you enjoy the sweeping city views. The bespoke cocktail list is inspired by fables and stories throughout history. Try 'The Birth of Venus' with vermouth, elderflower and salted apple shrub.

Bust of Shakespeare splattered with yellow paint and wearing sunglasses.

Bard's Apothecary

From Meyers Place to Crossley Street, this impressively narrow fit-out was known as one of Melbourne's most iconic tiny bars. Now the old Six Degrees has been given new life in the form of Bard's Apothecary, a bar-meets-art space in the former Meyers Place premises. Pop in at ground level for negronis. Then scurry down into the secret basement to enjoy live music, comedy and more.

One or Two

Cap off your night out in Chinatown with whisky and cocktails at One or Two. You’ll find this tiny laneway gem down the cobblestones of Celestial Avenue. Inspired by the Japanese TV series Midnight Diner, the ‘wabi-sabi’ bar is chic, minimal, and housed in a heritage listed building. Let the bartenders curate a whisky flight to your taste. Then order a Roku gin martini or a yin yang milk punch. You might not stop at just one or two. 

More of the best new bars

Bar Bambi

A place of laughter, dancing, exceptional wine and stuzzichini share plates.

Sakedokoro Namara

An authentic Japanese bar offering over 100 different sake from Japan.

Queensmith Baretto

A modern day baretto in the legal and business district with an all-day offering.

Nick & Nora's Melbourne

A cocktail and champagne bar with a decadent menu that includes oysters and caviar.

Pomelo Rooftop Bar

Pomelo is a fun-loving, sun drenched rooftop bar named after the grand-daddy of citrus, the Pomelo.

V Wine Salon

The epitome of the French wine bar experience located in a gorgeous heritage building.

Last updated on Mon 21 Nov 2022

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