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Cheers to Melbourne: Exploring the City’s Top Cocktail Bars

clinking cocktail glasses
Cheers to Melbourne: Exploring the City’s Top Cocktail Bars

Step into the electric pulse of Melbourne's iconic nightlife, where the city comes alive with a symphony of lights and the promise of an unforgettable evening. Here, amidst the urban thrum, lies a collection of cocktail bars that define the essence of cosmopolitan indulgence.

Join us as we embark on a journey through six of Melbourne's most exquisite drinking establishments, each a testament to the city's vibrant spirit and the craft of mixology. From hidden speakeasies tucked away in narrow alleys to sleek rooftop lounges, these bars offer a taste of Melbourne's dynamic energy and its unwavering devotion to the pursuit of enjoyment.

So, raise a glass to the fusion of flavours, the vibrant ambience, and the moments of magic that await you in the realm of Melbourne's finest cocktail bars.

dive bar at Crowne Plaza Melbourne

Dive Bar: A Hidden Gem at Crowne Plaza Melbourne

L2/1-5 Spencer Street Crowne Plaza Melbourne

Right at your doorstep, within the elegant Crowne Plaza Melbourne, lies a hidden treasure: Dive Bar. This beloved in-house haunt offers an inviting atmosphere, complete with a wrap-around bar exuding old-world charm, a contemporary pool table, and an old-school jukebox. Allow the bartenders to captivate you with their expertise as you sip on artisanal cocktails that beautifully complement the riverside ambience.

Named for its tribute to the old ‘dive bars’ of New York City’s eclectic East Village, Dive Bar in Melbourne offers some of the best decor, atmosphere, drinks, and nibbles in the entire city – not to mention its favourited Happy Hour daily, serving a curated list of sharply-priced house wines, craft beers and cocktails, from 6-7pm.

Enjoy a menu full of delectable and artistically-crafted signature and classic cocktails with a fresh and citrus-inspired springtime flair, including:

  • Dive Star: A sumptuous combination of gin, passionfruit, chocolate and citrus.
  • French Kiss: Tantalising fusions of vodka, curacao, watermelon and citrus.
  • Lady Day: Fresh and mellow, this is the perfect spring drink featuring rum, coconut, cherries and citrus.
  • Southside: For that fresh taste, try this mixture of gin, citrus, mint and sugar.
  • Whiskey Sour: A classic combo of WBS, citrus, sugar and foam.
  • Naked & Famous: Smokey and sensual, this must-try drink features Mezcal, Aperol, chartreuse and citrus.

A stay at Crowne Plaza Melbourne simply isn’t complete without at least a couple of visits to Dive Bar. We promise it’s worth the hype!

Eau De Vie: The Enigmatic Jewel of Malthouse Lane

1 Malthouse Lane, Melbourne

If you’re looking for the ultimate hidden cocktail bar in Melbourne, this venue is right up your alley – or should we say, laneway. Tucked away on Malthouse Lane at the East End of the CBD, Eau De Vie immerses its guests in an era long forgotten.

Step into a bar reminiscent of the prohibition era in 1920s America, where the ambience transports you to a bygone time. Concealed discreetly behind a lavish bookcase, the adjoining Whisky Room derives its name from the extensive collection of exclusive and rare whiskies that Eau De Vie houses. This space also features our Bottle Lockers, allowing you to purchase your preferred bottle of spirits and store it securely for your future visits.

Meanwhile, the Eau De Vie Library plays host to a remarkable degustation table, the centrepiece of the venue’s 5-course cocktail degustation experience. If you’re in the mood for a dimly-lit and boozy night, be sure to taste the exotic flavours and sumptuous cocktails on Eau De Vie’s premier food and cocktail menus.

pouring cocktails at nick and norah's melbourne

Nick & Nora's: A Testament to Elegance

11 Benson Walk, Melbourne

Once you’ve had your fill at Eau De Vie, take a stroll up Exhibition Street and enter the old-worldly and charming Melbourne cocktail bar that is Nick & Nora’s. Inspired by the Golden Age of Cocktails, this timeless venue pays homage to two fictional characters known for their glamour and style.

The bartenders here are true alchemists, creating masterful cocktails with precision and flair. The impressive culinary offerings beautifully enhance the wide array of drinks, with an exquisite food menu showcasing delicacies like oysters, caviar, both local and imported cheeses, cured meats, and substantial canapés. You’ll definitely feel a little bit fancy as you indulge in these oh-so-delectable offerings.

Reserve some extra time to peruse three sumptuous menus – cocktail, booze, and food – each featuring some of the finest delicacies Melbourne has to offer. We can’t go past the colourfully-named cocktails, including:

  • Seductive Senorita: An alluring fusion of Beefeater Gin, dry sherry, elderflower and Spanish olive.
  • Nick & Nora’s Spritz: This signature drink features Bombay Sapphire Gin, Aperol, Suze, and watermelon champagne cordial.
  • Fugitive Fizz: For a real treat, this mixture of Patron Silver Tequila, Amaro Montenegro, mandarin shrub, and orange citrate will certainly hit the spot.
  • La Casa Del Ron: Be transported to sandy shores with this boozy concoction of Havana Club seven-year-old rum, lime, cacao, rooibos, guava, and tikki bitters blend.

Lily Blacks: A Tribute to Melbourne's Rich History

12 Meyers Place, Melbourne

Perched at the top of the distinguished ‘Paris End’ of Little Collins Street, Lily Blacks is an embodiment of the city's vibrant past. This Parisienne-inspired laneway bar boasts a warm and intimate atmosphere, welcoming visitors with open arms.

Take a seat at the polished wooden bar or get cosy at a candle-lit table as you browse the delicious (and slightly avant-garde) food and drinks menu. Each expertly crafted beverage pays homage to a little slice of Paris. Skilled mixologists bring their A-game, presenting innovative twists on classic cocktails that impress even the most discerning palates.

Try the L’Orange for a tartly sweet combination of Hendrick’s gin, orange, and sparkling wine. Taste the Guillotine for a rich yet delicate fusion of sweet, sour, and bitter deliciousness. To eat, we recommend the En Passant for an indulgent coconut and cherry croissant with a cutting twist of vermouth reduction for that extra boozy edge.

Known by locals as one of the best cocktail bars in Melbourne, Lily Blacks is a must-visit during your stay.

Siglo: Rooftop Sophistication on Spring Street

2/161 Spring Street, Melbourne

Perched atop the historic Melbourne Supper Club, Siglo offers a refined and elegant Spanish-inspired experience in the heart of the city. Ascend to the vibrant rooftop terrace and enjoy panoramic city views, including an unparalleled picture of the iconic Parliament House, while sipping on beautifully crafted cocktails and tasty bites.

Alongside its moreish menu, Siglo comes with an interesting and colourful history. The name "Siglo," meaning century in Spanish, draws influence from the rich history of the 19th-century mural at the Princess Theatre, the 20th-century design incorporating French industrial steel and glass, and a timeless open-air setting for drinks.

As the sun sets, the atmosphere becomes enchanting, making it the perfect spot to indulge in a refined whisky sour or Cohiba Siglo while seated amidst the historical and contemporary fusion. Take your pick of classic cocktails, premium spirits, aperitifs, and even a dashing menu of fine Havanas if that takes your fancy.

guests at the everleigh cocktail bar

The Everleigh: Timeless Charm in Fitzroy

Level 1/150-156 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Journey to Fitzroy and discover The Everleigh, an iconic cocktail bar renowned for its commitment to classic recipes and impeccable service. Transporting you to the Prohibition era, this retro-chic venue features vintage furnishings and an atmosphere that exudes sophistication.

Since its establishment in 2011, The Everleigh has experienced continuous growth, gaining acclaim not only in Australia but also on a global scale. Recent honours include being named the Cocktail Bar of the Year in Australia for 2018 and earning the title of Best Bar in Victoria for 2019. Michael Madrusan, the proprietor, was also recognized as the most influential figure in the industry for 2019 by Australian Bartender, while the Made in the Shade Group received the Operator of the Year award in the same year.

Notably, The Everleigh secured positions on the prestigious 'World's 50 Best Bars' list curated by Drinks International in both 2013 and 2014. Safe to say, this is one Melbourne cocktail bar that cannot be missed! Some of our favourite cocktail picks include:

  • Jitterbug: Fresh and summery, this fusion of gin, elderflower, Aperol and lime is a must-try.
  • Famiglia Reale: Sweet and bubbly, we love this classic combo of gin, campari, sweet vermouth and sparkling wine.
  • Catavino: Taste the flavours of Italy with Cocchi Americano, amontillado sherry and bitters.
  • Monte Burns: For something with a bit of a kick, try this blend of scotch whiskey, sweet vermouth, Amaro Montenegro and bitters.

Stay Close to the Best Cocktail Bars in Melbourne

Melbourne, a city of tantalising flavours and creative spirits, offers an array of cocktail bars that are sure to ignite your senses and create lasting memories. Whether you're yearning for sophistication, nostalgia, innovation, or laneway secrecy, these venues are ready to welcome you into their world of mixology mastery.

At Crowne Plaza Melbourne, we invite you to begin your cocktail journey at our own Dive Bar, an oasis of charm and cheeky right within the hotel. Enjoy the convenience of having this fabulous venue just steps away from your riverside room, where the beds are so comfy you'll find it hard to leave. Experience the best of our city's cocktail scene, right at our doorstep. Cheers to the best cocktail bars Melbourne has to offer!

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