Sequestered in a laneway off Chinatown, Section 8 definitely manages to fill a niche: never in all my years have I had a drink on a shipping container. The outdoor venue is perfect for summertime social gatherings, with fun indie music and eclectic seating arrangements sure to make everyone say "wow!"
All the seats are really shipping crates. The bathroom is a shipping container. All the walls are absolutely covered in beautiful spray-paint art. The bartenders are tattooed and have a healthy attitude. The drinks are cheap and good (none of the crappy headache waiting to happen brew here) and during lunchtime they serve huge gourmet hot dogs for $8. Check out the photos and see for yourself why you should never miss this place in your trip to Melbourne.
Dress Code: Casual is fine, thongs are not.
Covered in astro-turf and lawn chairs, Rooftop Bar atop Cookie Thai restaurant is maybe one of the best kept secrets in Melbourne - most locals don't know this place exists right above a "so-so" Thai Restaurant on level 7. However, it is definitely the best view with a drink in town.
Uni students and bohemians love it for it's moderately priced drinks and garden-like atmosphere, as well as the fantastic breeze that keeps it cool during a hot summer day.
The food is quite interesting as well - better than downstairs in my opinion... although as always the view you have while eating is a huge influence. I always take travelling friends here, because it gives me a way to show them the general areas and directions of Melbourne CBD from a bird's eye view, and it's a great little place to show off Melbourne's artsy and cafe-lounging lifestyle.
Dress Code: Anything goes during the day, but dress up to shirt and pants at night.
1806 is a slightly hard to find facade which leads downstairs into what is probably the best cocktail bar in Melbourne. If it's not the best, it's in the top 3 without a doubt.
The lighting is low and red, the bartenders masters of their craft, and the mood lively and talkative. Food is available and is great (menus are given at the door) however the main attraction and this nightclub's best drawcard are the absolutely incredible cocktails.
Each cocktail costs between $15-20 and each cocktail is a masterpiece in and of itself. Seeing these people mix you can instantly tell it's not just a job for them. They are making art here.
You can even sign up for a cocktail mixing class with one of the bartenders.
Dress Code: Business Casual or formal - you may get away with jeans and shirt if they are clean, not ripped, and polite. This nightclub has an atmosphere to uphold.
The Blue Moon Bar and Cafe is a decently new place at the edge of the CBD which caters for the cheap youth and hostel crowd. It has a massive list of special offers on almost every night of the week.
Check these out:
Wednesday Themed Food night - no dish over $8 and food changes themes weekly: Mexican, Indian, Thai, etc
Thursday Quizmasters trivia and $10 parma's (An Aussie pub specialty) and $10 jugs of beer
Friday/Saturday/Sunday: 50% off food from midday to 10pm, 50% off drinks from midday to midnight.
If you call ahead and say you've got a group of 5 coming down, they will give you a free bottle of house wine as well. A further 10% off if you have any student card.
The venue itself is fun, clean and refreshing from some of the poshness of a usual Melbourne bar.
Dress Code: Smart Casual (Jeans and tshirt is okay, flip-flops are not.
One of the places I love to go with Sarah is to the movie theater. How much better does it get than when it is 3-D!! The special that was playing when we were there was an underwater look at the Great Barrier Reef! Educational, and pertinent to the location I am in here in Australia!!
Dress Code: Adult $17.00
The bustling and rowdy Fitzroy Street Bar area has a little secluded spot where one can relax and take the buzz out of one's ear.
Nothing particularly special, but the place is intimate and is what you make of it.
More of a coupleýs thing and enough of the pleasant liquor to keep the discerning pleased.
An open fireplace glows into the conversation.
The comfortable seating, discreet and friendly service help finish a great night.
The lights are low, prices reasonable, atmosphere highly enjoyable.
Dress Code: Dress comfortably and to your taste. If you have no taste than you will feel uncomfortable.
Hidden down a quiet unassuming laneway (like all great Melbourne venues) Baroq House is a 3 level club oozing elegance and style. The music starts 80's and becomes house closer to 10pm. Entry is free before 8pm, $15 after 8pm.
Happy hour from 5 to 8pm gives you $5 basics.
Dress Code: Dress to impress - a dress for ladies and a nice pants+shirt combination for men. No sneakers, no torn denim.
If you are a rugby fan, then the place to watch all of the matches is at the Turf Club. This pub is located in the heart of Melbourne on Queen Street and has several big screen projectors, plenty of Guiness and some great food.
If you enjoy a traditional pub style atmosphere, this is the place to be.
Walking down a quiet alley you get to the unusual eyesore of an old metal bicycle suspended high up on a wall.
There is no sign, no lights, no real way to tell that behind the thick wooden door under the bicycle is actually one one Melbourne's best-hidden secrets. Double Happiness is a "in-the-know" only bar that runs a fantastic communist theme bar-scene. Everthing is decidedly red in nature, from the lighting in the bar to the communist propoganda photos and posters on the walls, and to the Maoist cocktail menu. Grab a "Great Leap Forward" - a vodka lychee affair with delicious limes and soda water. A long neck of Tsing-Tao is $13 and should get you nicely social.
A nice touch - behind the bar are a series of lockers that reward frequent visitors - bottles bought at the bar can be placed unfinished inside a locker and kept safe until your next visit.
Dress Code: Dress neat - jeans and shirt are okay but this is primarily a casual business venue: you'd fit in best with business pants or a skirt and a button shirt.
Definitely no thongs.
A fancy Southeast Asian inspired theme with lots of complicated, delicious cocktails. The bartenders are very knowledgeable and quite skilled especially with flaming cocktails.
This place won the best new bar of the year award for 2006.
Average cocktail price is $15, great Asian finger food is also available for around $8 a plate.
Not the cheapest place I can take you, but certainly one of the tastiest and most interesting.
Dress Code: Smart Casual - no sneakers and no torn denim.
When you go out at night, do you sometimes feel like someone is watching you?
Have you ever been to a club and came home feeling like you were pawed on by a couple animals?
If so, come on over to our place... we can give you the same feeling in our backyard, and not even charge you!
The possums here in Australia are much cuter than those in the US, but are just as intrusive!
Look at this little fella watching our every move outside!
It has cosy and very relaxed atmosphere with prompt friendly service. Vinyl records playing cool/hip grooves. Baroque furniture, with many scattered candles giving a slight Gothic feel. Great place to go mid week for a lazy after work drink. I went there to dance also on Saturday nights. Great nights!!!
Dress Code: It's open from Wednesday to Friday 4pm-Late, Sat 9pm-3am.
Girls can wear what they want but boys has to wear a something with neck,even a polo shirt but it has to have a neck. And forget gym shoes!!!
The sunset views from the Rialto Observation Deck really are spectacular.
It's a good idea to come while it is still daylight, and enjoy seeing the city in every direction.
I lived here for many years, and I was amazed at what I saw from the 55th floor of this building.
Then came the spectacular sunset.. and the city takes on a whole new appearance. Magic!
Dress Code: No dress code.. Neat casual would be fine.
A daylight view over the City of Melbourne. I would recommend you see both, day and night. Although I left just after the sun had set, so I missed what would have been a glorious view of the city after dark.
In this photo, you see a small part of Albert Park Lake, and beyond that is St.Kilda
Dress Code: See previous tip
Looking down from the Observation Deck, you can see part of the Southbank area.
This is the place to go for a nightlife experience. It really comes alive after dark.
Lovely to go walking and taking in the sites during the daytime also.. and maybe a Rivercruise on the Yarra.