Best bars in Melbourne for after-work drinks

Riverland Bar

Alice Piper

Posted December 09, 2021

Whether it’s a casual drink with colleagues or something fancier to seal the deal with a client, here are the best bars for exactly that. 

Victorians are returning to city workplaces in increasing numbers and discovering a city that’s refreshed and exciting.

And with the return to CBD workplaces comes the reemergence of Melbourne’s famous post-work energy, as workers pile into the city’s latest and greatest venues in search of delicious food and drink as the clock strikes 5:00 PM.

When it comes to finding a bar for team drinks after a hard day’s work, Melbourne certainly isn’t short on amazing new venues to try. However, after-work drinks can sometimes be a tricky to organise, especially when you’re trying to accommodate the tastes of multiple colleagues or clients.

So, whether you’re after a venue that’s cosy and quiet, or big and boisterous, we’ve rounded up a selection of the best bars in Melbourne to enable you and your team to unwind in style.

Best bars in Melbourne CBD for after-work drinks 


168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne CBD

Feel like you’re in the clouds at the recently opened Fable, 13 floors high at the top of the CBD. 

With a completely open rooftop in the summer, and an enclosed one in the winter, you can view the city below all year round as you sample the menu created by former Press Club chef, Alex Xinis.  

And with something for everyone, from cocktails and spirits to premium wines and refreshing ales, the whole group will leave Fable satisfied.

Bourke Street Green 

501 Bourke Street, Melbourne CBD

Step into a lush garden oasis, right in the heart of the CBD. With a partially opened roof that safeguards you from Melbourne's unpredictable weather, relax on comfy armchairs or sit with a group on the many large tables as you escape the bustling CBD.

Bourke Street Green knows how to cater to everyone's tastes too, with local beers, as well as inventive cocktails, wines, and a selection of non-alcohol drinks. 

Try this bar when you're not quite sure what your colleagues or clients will like - you won't be disappointed. 

Bourke Street Green

Unwind in style at Bourke Street Green in the heart of Melbourne's CBD.


Garden State Hotel 

101 Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD

It’s easy to find something for everyone at Garden State Hotel. With capacity for hundreds of people, TVs for live sport and three separate menus, it’s a favourite amongst the CBD crowd for a reason. 

The ficus trees towering above, coupled with the walls of greenery will transport you from busy Flinders Lane into an urban oasis, making Garden State Hotel a great bar to take a client after a business meeting in the city. 

Riverland Bar

Federation Wharf, Melbourne CBD

Hidden underneath Federation Square, you quickly forget you’re in the heart of the CBD at Riverland Bar, with its alfresco beer hall and views of the Yarra River. 

There is a lengthy list of beers, wines, and spirits, along with burgers, gourmet hot dogs, salads and everything else you could need to keep a diverse work crew happy.  

This bar is perfect for a balmy summer evening, with its uninterrupted views of the Melbourne CBD a relaxing way to bring the workday to a close. 

Collins Quarter

86 Collins Street, Melbourne CBD

A little on the fancier side, Collins Quarter comes from the same owners as Gin Palace and Madam Brussels, sitting at the top end of Collins Street amongst designer stores and high-end price tags. 

With an open courtyard, a champagne lounge, three bar areas and a dining room, this CBD bar isn’t short of places to sit and sip the night away.  

Consider this bar as an upmarket option for when the time comes that you really need to impress. 

Bar Ampere 

16 Russell Place, Melbourne CBD

Open very late, Bar Ampere has a Parisian feel tucked down an alleyway in Russell Place.   

With a wine list featuring everything French, you can relax in the dimply lit bar areas, before sliding through a secret door to its sister venue, Gin Palace, if you feel like extending the evening.  

This bar is a must if you’re looking to entertain a group of wine lovers.

Arbory Bar & Eatery

1 Flinders Walk, Melbourne CBD

Spend the sunset hours along the Yarra River at the 150-metre long Arbory Bar & Eatery, where you’ll find every drink from local ales to premium champagne. 

And if you start to feel peckish, you can order some sharing plates, or a more substantial dinner including burgers and Charcuterie boards, as you watch Southbank light up by night.

Conveniently located next to Flinders Street Station, this bar is the perfect for a drink with colleagues and clients that commute by train. 

Arbory Bar & Eatery

Watch the Yarra River light up by night at Arbory Bar & Eatery as you sip local ales and inventive cocktails.