how many bars are there in melbourne (2)

How Many Bars Are There In Melbourne?

Australia has eight different licensing jurisdictions with many and varied categories of licences. There are Hotels, Taverns, Bars, Off-Licences, Roadhouses, Licensed Restaurants, Club Licences, etc. Gathering information on Hotels or Pubs as we colloquially refer to them has required making determinations as to the suitability of some categories. We settled on an establishment with a bar with public access, providing either food or accommodation as a basic.

Total Hotel Pubs & Bars (6,033 Est.)

  • By State:
    • NSW 2052
    • QLD 1251
    • VIC 1092
    • SA 658
    • WA 595
    • TAS 281
    • NT 72
    • ACT 32
    • Note: * Numbers are updated every 12 months, so vary during each year with new openings and closures.
  • Establishment Type:
    • Hotel 4337
    • Tavern 731
    • In 261
    • Bar 162
    • Pub 75
    • Others * 562
    • Others *, E.g. Saloon (5), Morten's on Sussex, Vault, GPO Sydney, The Cuckoo's Perch etc.
  • Capital Cities by Postcode:
    • Sydney 2000 164
    • Adelaide 5000 78
    • Melbourne 3000 67
    • Brisbane 4000 47
    • Hobart 7000 45
    • Perth 6000 30
    • Darwin 0800 18
    • Canberra 2601 13
    • Outside Capital Cities:
    • NSW
    • Newcastle 19
    • Broken Hill 19
    • QLD
    • Toowoomba 24
    • Rockhampton 23
    • Cairns 22
    • VIC
    • Ballarat 33
    • Bendigo 31
    • Geelong 29
    • SA
    • Mt Gambier 10
    • Gawler 9
    • WA
    • Fremantle 20
    • Bunbury 11
    • Geraldton 9
    • TAS
    • Launceston 30
    • Burnie 7
    • Sandy Bay 5
    • NT
    • Alice Springs 9
    • Tennant Creek 3
  • Location Facts:
    • 69% of hotels/pubs/taverns etc., are located on corner blocks.
    • 52% of taverns are located next to or in suburban shopping centres.
    • As a general rule, taverns are not required to provide accommodation.
    • Australia's
    • Most Northerly pub: Saibai Tavern, Torres Strait
    • Most Northerly mainland pub: Bamaga Tavern, Bamaga, Qld
    • Most Southerly pub: Far South Tavern, Tas
    • Most Easterly pub: Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
    • Most Westerly pub: Rumah Tinggi Tavern Christmas Isld
    • Most Westerly mainland pub: Shark Bay Hotel, WA
    • Most Central pub (geographical): Kulgera Roadhouse (Pub), NT
    • Highest located pub: Thredbo Alpine Hotel, Thredbo, NSEvery Pub Has Its Name:

The city centre is more than touristy pubs, seedy slot-machine joints and dime-a-dozen post-work knockoff spots. It was ground zero for laneway bars such as Meyers Place and Gin Palace. Before 1994, if a bar wanted to sell drinks, it had also to sell food. When that legislation was overturned (one thing we can thank the casino for), it paved the way for a small bar renaissance in Melbourne, starting in the CBD. While that culture has since spread to the suburbs (and other Australian cities), the CBD still packs the highest bars, from small and characterful to large and anonymous. Most of the city's best cocktail bars are in postcode 3000, all concentrated within a short walking distance of one another.

According to the most recent tally, there are 2,840 bars currently operating in Melbourne.

Officially the oldest pub in Melbourne, The Duke has been standing on this spot since 1850 and serving beers since 1853.

1 - Scarborough: 640 People per Pub
Taking the top spot on the rankings is the seaside resort of Scarborough in North Yorkshire, with 640 people per pub.

FAQs About The Bars In Melbourne

List Of Bars In Melbourne

Bar Americano

This walk-in, standing-room-only bar blends American hustle with European service.

Angel Music Bar

Restaurateur Con Christopoulos is behind this audiophile spot, which serves bar snacks with a side of sub-bass. Things are pretty fun and loud downstairs, with great drinks and a few barstools to enjoy on. But it's on the upstairs dance floor where the volume turns up, and things get loose.

Heartbreaker

There's only one result here: pre-batched cocktails and classic rock on the jukebox.

Rooftop Bar

This is one of the CBD's quintessential rooftops. It appeared in Melbourne-set movies and has great outlooks, good drinks, and vibey music. Plus, it morphs into a rooftop cinema screening cult movies and classic blockbusters in summer.

Embla

Nominally it's a wine bar, but Embla's charms are far more profound than those two words suggest. Come here for some of the city's best food, paired with a distinctive wine list poured by staff who give a damn.

Cherry Bar

This dimly-lit dive bar is one of Melbourne's most treasured and iconic rock'n'roll venues. Though it's moved out of its original ACDC Lane location, it's rocking just as hard as ever, with live music multiple nights a week. Expect anything from psych-rock to doom metal, sometimes followed by a DJ to close.

Gimlet At Cavendish House

Star chef Andrew McConnell's signature is evident on every Eurocentric plate here, from the clams, mussels and squid with Trapanese pesto; to the dry-aged duck with baby fennel and blood orange sauce. You'll find us at the black-and-gold marble bar, Martini in hand.

Nick And Nora's

how many bars are there in melbourne (1)

Across five rooms and three balconies, indulge in theatrical cocktails bubbling with liquid nitrogen, tropical boozy yuzu-pineapple punch bowls for four (served in a huge bronze swan), champagne towers, ridiculously large 15-litre bottles of Mumm, and fancy canapés.

Whisky And Aliment

With a massive selection and knowledgeable staff, this whisky bar rivals some of the best in the world.

The Luwow

Zombie cocktails, leopard print and tikis everywhere (obviously). Check your everyday life at the door – it's pure fantasy here.

Storyville

A two-storey portal to another land that works as an opulent bar and your fairytale to get caught up in.

Dessous

Lively cocktails, pork-belly Sandos and gruyere croquettes are on the menu at this dark and daring basement bar.

Curious

Descend a dark spiral staircase into this basement cocktail bar wrapped in a cocoon of timber, where you'll find theatrical drinks with smoke, bubbles and art.

Byrd

Drinks here include a boozy smoked-pear soda and gin with jasmine and plum. Get yours alongside hibachi-grilled seafood.

Goldilocks Bar

At this long-running hidden rooftop bar, there's an emphasis on cocktails and comfort. Unlike many rooftops, this spot is understated; the team here let the cocktails and the view do the talking. The retractable rooftop means that this is a great all-weather option, too.

Siglo

This rooftop bar, which sits above the Melbourne Supper Club, has unrivalled views of Spring Street and Parliament House. It's also one of the few spots in Melbourne that has its cigar menu – there's even a humidor full of hard-to-find Cubans. If that's not your style, the cocktails are equally excellent.

Arlequin

Whether it's spaghetti, duck liver parfait or tiramisu ice-cream pops, the Grossi family's new venture will guarantee you'll be eating (and drinking) in style, post-midnight.

Loop Project Space & Bar

Downstairs, it's a versatile art, film and drinking hub. Upstairs, it's all about the rooftop – which is a bit more like a balcony – with views out over the highrises. The food and drinks are simple but well-executed.

Golden Monkey

This old world Shanghai-themed bar is Melbourne's best-known late-night drinking den.

Heroes

It's hard to describe this place. Is it a karaoke bar? Is it a Southeast Asian barbeque restaurant? Is it a great rooftop bar? Yes, to all of the above. Either way, odds are you'll find yourself with a lamb skewer in one hand and a mic in the other at some point during an evening here.

Garden State Hotel

There are four storeys, multiple dining spaces, three menus, TV screens, tapas, cocktails, and an indoor garden.

Fable

Thirteen floors up, the stunning venue boasts uninterrupted city views and a retractable roof for year-round dining. Inspired by its heritage, it's serving Greek-inspired fare from an ex-Press Club chef.

Seamstress Cocktail Bar

Seamstress has everything a bar should, with an intimately designed interior and a serious cocktail list.

Pearl Diver Cocktails And Oysters

A long-awaited CBD cocktail bar by two of Speakeasy Group's best bartenders, where oysters are served at least eight ways, and your Martini comes with a spherified olive in a tiny oyster shell.

Small Bars In Melbourne

There's just something about a small bar that warms the soul, and it's not just the booze talking. Hidden, laneway and cosy small bars are one of the best things about Melbourne, and we've got your ultimate guide. So whether you're stopping by for after-work drinks, a date night or a nice catch up with friends – tick off all of these charming bars, and stay at Melbourne Metro YHA while you're at it.

Chuckle Park

While the 'park' reference may suggest you are about to step into a rather large establishment, Chuckle Park is a charming, intimate bar located in a leafy laneway away from the hustle and bustle on Collins St in Melbourne. Time Out Melbourne describes the bar as "Cute-as-a-button", and we're not going to disagree. 

With its sweet arrangement of flowers, dazzling disco balls, magical hanging lanterns and drinks/snacks served from none other than a caravan. We're swooning over Chuckle Park all day long! Share a cocktail jug or sample their craft beer menu, and don't dare depart without trying their renowned pulled pork roll. Drool! We can't think of a better location to sip our cocktails on those sizzling Summer Melbourne nights with the open roof setting.

Hope St Radio

With a few years of broadcasting at various venues across the city under their belt, internet radio station Hope St Radio has found a home at Collingwood Yards alongside a fully-integrated wine bar. The result is a unique and community-flavoured treat in which a live radio program showcasing various local creatives is held live in the venue. At the same time, guests eat and sip from a curated list of locally sourced wines and brews. 

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The crew behind the scenes are passionate about supporting grassroots food, drink, music and art, and this newly renovated 'listening bar' emanates a rare blend of super-cool and inclusive. It's early days for this boutique venture, but if you're looking for something trendy and unique while giving back a little in the process, stop by Hope St Radio for a glass or two. 

Beneath Driver Lane

Beneath Driver Lane is a blues basement bar at its finest! Located behind the iconic GPO building, enter through a discreet doorway and descend into a moodily lit world of cocktails, wines, and French infused bar food – served until 3 am. With its exposed brickwork, leather-look booths and dimmed lighting, this bar certainly tick the fun, and fantasy feel boxes. Try their unique Nitro Martini, where you'll observe the team using liquid nitrogen to chill the glass, which makes for quite the spectacle. Beneath Driver Lane is certainly one of Melbourne's best-kept secrets and one we strongly recommend you delve into and discover – look for the door with two lights on either side, and you're in the right place!

Bar Americano

As the saying goes, "Good things come in small packages", and Bar Americano, a ten-person cocktail bar, is exactly that and much more. They regularly win awards for being one of Melbourne's Best Bars, and on enjoying a tipple there, you'll easily understand why.  The bar is modelled off Italian stand-up cafes with a distinctly American feel, so while you might not spend all night here, you will love every minute you're there. Bar Americano is the perfect place to transition from day to night, as you can down espressos galore during the day and sip on creative cocktails once you knock off at 5 pm. We like their style, big time!

Le Bar European

Classified as one of the world's smallest bars and the smallest bar in all of Victoria, it doesn't get snugger than Le Bar European. What's even more entertaining is that the bar is located within Glow Golf and is proud to be a petite 2.6 square meters – getting cosy is the name of the game at this French and Italian inspired bar! You'll notice two chairs at the bar and space for about four people to stand - that's her at full capacity.

Its tiny nature attracts visitors from all across the globe eager to taste the selection of European beers. Wanting somewhere to get close to that hot date you've lined up? You really won't find a bar more intimate than this. Remember to get in early on the weekend if you want a seat, because, well, there's only two!

Bodega Underground

Any takers for Tequila and Mezcal based cocktails? Should that sort of thing tickle your fancy, make your way to the basement bar, Bodega Underground and revel in all things Mexican. 

There are many reasons to love Bodega Underground, but if we had to highlight a few, it's the following: 

  • All dietary requirements will be catered for here as the menu is fully gluten-free (and lots of vegan options too)
  • Your dollars are sure to stretch far as two tacos will only set you back $11
  • There's tequila in all shapes and flavours, and it's open seven days a week. 
  • Mexi madness all day, every day.

Fan of bottomless brunch? Well, you're also in luck there as Bodega Underground also dishes up a bottomless maxi brunch with unlimited cocktails and a five-course taco spread. 

Romeo Lane

As romantic as the name suggests, wander into Romeo Lane and relish in its dreamy atmosphere. Owned and operated by a young couple, who are both experienced cocktail bartenders - it's clear the duo poured their love into every nook and cranny of this bar.  From its intimate setting, inventive cocktails served in beautifully cut glassware and romantic ambience – you'll be feeling pretty lovey-Dovey within Romeo Lane. Treat your loved one to a celery-infused Tom Collins or their speciality negroni whipped with OJ in a Nutri bullet. Love in the air is a cert' at Romeo Lane.

Union Electric Bar

"A casual lil' bar in Melbourne City" is how the team at Union Electric Bar define themselves on their website, but we feel they're being a tad modest there. Easily, one of Melbourne's best-hidden bars (look for the lightning bolt down Heffernan Lane), serving up some of the tastiest drinks in the city and an atmosphere to boot that's, well, electric! And if gin is more your tipple of choice, why not understand their renowned rooftop gin garden?! Note: Union Electric Bar is often the watering hole of choice of local Melbourne bartenders, and when the local enthusiasts go, you know you've found yourself a real gem!

Little Lon Distilling Co

Find Little Lon Distilling in a cute heritage listed cottage today; however, back in the day, you would have been greeted with a booming brothel in the infamous red-light district of Melbourne.  These days, two brothers are found creating 220 500ml bottles of gin a week in the copper; still, they have installed and featured local ingredients and fragrant notes such as rosemary, oranges and lemons — all things which have historically grown in the area. Yep, this is where boutique small-batch gins are at. Each collection brewed has its unique character, inspired by the crime-lords of the region from back in the heyday. So drop by for a history lesson and stay for a drink or three.

Troika

And last but not least, another absolute ripper of a small bar in Melbourne is Troika. Find this lil' bar on Little Lonsdale St and be prepared for a great night in a laidback and comfortable scene. With great music and many cosy nooks to chill out in, Troika oozes charm. The ever-changing menu offers a variety of beers, cocktails, wines, infused vodkas and a small selection of nibbles. Cosy but full to the brim with character, make sure to make a pit stop here. We promise you won't regret it!

Conclusion:

If you're drinking late, this is also the place to be. Although there have been a few high profile club casualties in recent years, the CBD remains flush with late-night licenses that permit drinking until the wee hours or even round the clock.

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