Melbourne has an underground hidden bar culture so exclusive; sometimes, even the locals don't know about it! From secret bookshelves that lead into exclusive speakeasies, to elevators that stop at hidden floors. Finding these gems can be tough if you don't know where to look.
Enter a world that harks back to the golden age of US prohibition with luxurious laneway clubs, secret doorways and award-winning drinking spots made only for those in the know. Forget about packed pubs and boring bars, these hard to find haunts take Melbourne nightlife to a whole new level and best of all, you're invited.
New Gold Mountain
To get into New Gold Mountain, you'll first need to locate its hidden door. If you don't know where you're looking, it's easy to miss - so keep your eyes peeled for the red and green. This converted tailor shop doesn't give up its secrets easily.
As you make your way upstairs, you'll find yourself entering a secret Victorian world. Think along the lines of a 19th-century bar playing home to underground gambling and filled with a thick haze of smoke. Today, it retains that charm - minus the gambling and smoke.
Enjoy soaking up a little bit of history with drinks as golden as the name. A real rarity that's a must-visit when in town.
Murmur Piano Bar
At Murmur, refined finesse is definitely on the menu. Take a seat on plush red leather sofas or pitch up at an ornate candle lit table, order something on the rocks and drift away to the sound of live piano music.
Harking back to olden times combined with a sleek and stylish art deco interior, it's one of those rare places to just chill. Nestled among Melbourne's hidden laneways further adds to the charm of this gem.
Loch and Key
Loch and Key take hidden bars to a whole new level. This gem is a bar inside a bar, found behind a bookcase in Captain Melville, one of the oldest pubs in Melbourne. Make your way through a maze of rooms to the upper floor where you can take in the sunset or sunrise from the balcony with a classic cocktail or two.
Open seven days a week; it's the perfect place to enjoy drinking and socialising right into the early hours of the morning. On Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays it stays open until 7 am. The rest of the week it’s open until 5 am. Enjoy an inviting ambience, chic interior and a well thought out drinks menu catering to all tastes.
Why not start your night with a few drinks at Crowne Plaza Melbourne Bar, the perfect place to kick of a night of tracking down Melbourne's best-kept secrets.
Dive Bar - The Newest Bar in Town
Discover Melbourne's freshest hidden bar - Dive Bar. Enter a world of neon lighting, colourful street art, retro touches and an 'oh-so-chic' interior. Step inside and enjoy a game of two on the hot pink billiards table.
Pull up a plush velvet stool at the bar and try the Breakfast of Champions - an insane blend of froot loops, blueberries, banana, coconut milk and vodka! Along with wine, beer, cider and premium spirits, there are also plenty of gut-busting snacks to enjoy.
Soak up the opulent purple and soft blue furnishings against a backdrop of dark hardwood and pops of colour. Choose your favourite tunes on the vintage jukebox. Then kick back, relax and enjoy the ambience of Melbourne's newest must-visit haunt.
Fall from Grace
Finding Fall from Grace is easier than you think, especially when you know where to start. All you need to do is find the sliding bookcase in State of Grace, make your way down an ornate spiral staircase and enter another of the best-hidden bars in Melbourne.
State of grace isn't a one-trick pony though. Besides the hidden bar downstairs, there's also a rooftop bar on the top floor. Make your way from floor to floor for a unique atmosphere on every level. Why not kick start your evening with a bite to eat on the ground floor restaurant before heading downstairs?
Then finish off your experience with city views on the rooftop before continuing to search out more hidden bars nearby.
When it comes to keeping secrets, everything about Hihou does it to perfection - even its name means 'secret treasure' in Japanese. Every day, tens of thousands of people walk past this hidden bar without even realizing it's there. To get in, you need to be in the know.
We'll let you in on the secret, but keep it to yourself. To find Hihou, you'll need to make your way into Flinders Lane. Here, you'll find an unmarked door where you'll need to ring a bell to get in. Once inside, slip off your shoes and pull up a seat at the vast ebony marble table.
More than just a place to sip on Sake and Japanese whisky, combine your drinks with fresh sashimi and spring rolls for a genuinely authentic experience. Melbourne nightlife has never tasted so good.
Hidden away in the beating heart of Melbourne's Chinatown, you'll find Manchuria. As you step through the doors of this tucked away secret, an intoxicating hit of incense and music whisks you off to far-flung lands. Elegant sophistication combined with exotic cocktails gives you a taste of ancient China and modern Melbourne, each telling its own story.
For those of you looking for somewhere to enjoy an intimate romantic date, or perhaps just relax and unwind, this is the place for you. Every Thursday, Manchuria showcases some of the cities best musical talents with live music and entertainment while Wednesday's are a whisky lover's paradise!
Best of all, it places you within walking distance of the best Asian food in Melbourne. Go from bar to Bao buns in minutes and enjoy a truly unique night.
If America's glamorous golden years combined with refined European service are your thing, then get ready to experience a real gem that dials back the clock. Bar Americano is one of the best hidden bars in Melbourne, and for good reason.
An ever-changing menu serves up a mix of classic cocktails perfect for mingling with the crowd. Switch off your phone, put your best foot forward and strike up friendships at every turn. The intimate and cosy interior means there's standing room only, so make sure you wear comfy shoes.
Worried that you won't get in without booking first? No need. It's strictly a walk-in establishment serving up award-winning menus and voted as the best cocktail bar in Melbourne.
Open Monday to Saturday from 5 pm, you'll want to enjoy a drink or two here.
Beneath Driver Lane
Once an old bank vault, the door has been cracked open and converted into a magical, subterranean space full of atmosphere. Beneath Driver Lane feels like it's been dragged straight out of Diagon Alley. Rustic lamps, red brick walls embellished with black and white photography, dripping candles and corner nooks whisk you away from reality.
As the night advances, things begin to liven up. More than just a secret drinking spot, it's also hugely popular for some of the best food in Melbourne. Sink your teeth into devilishly spicy morcilla sausage rolls and order just about any type of cocktail you can dream up.
Another one of those rare places that cater to a more 'grown-up' audience, it still lets you revel in a little fun along the way. That's date night sorted then.
Forget about the three bears; everything here is just perfect. To find this hidden Melbourne CBD rooftop bar, you'll need to make your way through a mouth-watering Chinese dumpling house. This is somewhere to indulge in meticulously crafted cocktails and lip-smackingly good food.
During the summer months, the bar roof is opened wide so you can enjoy a few rays with your drinks or take in city views and striking sunsets. As the colder weather arrives, the roof is closed, becoming the perfect place to get cosy with your partner.
Fairytale flavours embody the very essence of the bar, bringing every corner of the world together under one roof. Eat, drink and enjoy sneaking away from the crowds below.
A Not So Hidden Gem to Get Started With
What better way to start your evening than with a few pre-hunt drinks right in the heart of Melbourne? The Crowne Plaza Melbourne hotel bar can be found on Level 3 of the hotel. It's the perfect place to enjoy a few light bites, a glass or two of wine and build your energy for the night ahead.
We have a few secrets up our sleeves as well — 12-year single malt scotch, Chivas Regal 18-years and Le Marquis Cabernet Sauvignon, to name a few. You'll appreciate our proximity to the best hidden bars in Melbourne, making it easy to go from hotel to hideaway in minutes. Want to know another secret? We’re Melbourne’s only absolute riverfront hotel, giving you amazing views of the Yarra river and beyond.
Our rooms are made for secret city escapes, with accommodation that's so comfy, you won't want to leave. Enjoy easy access to public transport and the best of Melbourne's nightlife right on your doorstep. Choose your room, check-in and get ready to lift the veil on Melbourne's best-kept secrets today.