Pinchy’s Lobster & Champagne Bar
200 Bourke Street, Melbourne
If you want to elevate your next lunch date or ladies’ night out, Pinchy’s Lobster & Champagne Bar hits all the high notes. Channelling San Sebastian beach vibes, and with a tapas-style food and wine menu to match, this Spanish-inspired balcony bar blends coastal charm with city swank. On the sustainably focused seafood menu are affordably-priced options including $6 rock oysters, king crab tacos ($9), snapper croquettes ($9) and lobster rolls ($20), with a refreshing selection of crisp champagnes, bubbles and white wines available by the glass.
The Stolen Gem
388 Bourke St, Melbourne
It might be called The Stolen Gem, but this Bourke Street bar is also a hidden one. With exceptional city views, sunset DJ sets and a drinks list that celebrates Australian growers and distillers, this upscale cocktail venue has a global mood and a local flavour. They’re so committed to showcasing Aussie tastemakers that you can even ask the bartenders to sub the imported spirit for a local one in any of their signature cocktails.
264 Swanston Street, Melbourne
If you’re looking for your happily ever after, you might find it at Goldilocks Bar. The cosy fifth-floor sip spot, located above a Chinese restaurant atop Swanston Street’s heritage-listed Denyer’s Building, is a fairytale both by name and by nature. On the imaginative cocktail menu, you’ll find concoctions that are Too Cold and Just Right, as well as unique tipples including a Sparkling Orange Blossom Honey Mead from the Barossa Valley and an extensive selection of sour beers. A share-style Chinese-influenced menu includes sip sidekicks like spinach and mushroom bao, pork soup dumplings and deep-fried chicken ribs.
Top Yard Rooftop
Geddes Lane, Melbourne
For a bar that feels more like a backyard barbecue, head straight to Top Yard Rooftop. With fake turf, picnic tables, hanging plants and wine-barrel bars, the laid-back venue offers an escape from stuffy sip clubs and haute cuisine. Head up to the roof on Friday nights and grab a beer, a BBQ sausage and a stack of Jenga blocks, and unwind with some yacht rock, a $10 ‘rocktail’ or a $30 six pack.
With sweeping views of the Yarra River, Southbank Precinct, and some of Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks, you’ll want to linger a little longer at Transit Rooftop. The late-night cocktail lounge and live music bar, located opposite Flinders Street Station at the edge of Federation Square, has an unrivalled ambience, with the expansive riverside watering hole dishing up expertly crafted cocktails, Australian beers and delectable bites from downstairs Taxi Kitchen.