Move over Mary, there’s just something about rooftops. It’s no secret Melbourne has a love for them- paired with extensive offerings of beers and cocktails and stunning views, you have a killer combination. Whether it’s for a Sunday session, after work drinks or just another night out on the town (because who needs an excuse, really), we’ve put together a list of Melbourne’s top rooftops, so you don’t have to. Because beer tastes better on a roof. First rounds on us!
QT ROOFTOP BAR
A recent addition to Melbourne’s sky high drinking spots (QT opened it’s doors, and it’s roof, in 2016), QT’s rooftop bar Is already a crowd-favourite. With glamourous indoor and outdoor seating, featuring a wide range of complimenting, modern furniture, stunning views and an enviable food and drinks menu, it’s understandable why QT is the place to be seen (or instagrammed) on any given night.
11/133 Russell Street Melbourne VIC 3000
Madame Brussels will always be Melbourne’s go-to rooftop bar. Channelling serious fancy-garden party vibes, this pink-and-white garden rooftop bar has taken Melbourne by a storm. It’s a must-see for tourists and Melbournians alike, with many local shows having filmed their too, and it’s not hard to see why upon seconds of entering the venue. Despite being in the centre of the city, the terrace garden feels refreshingly disconnected from the activity of street-walkers below. The cocktail list is nothing short of impressive and will make it almost impossible for you to stop at your self-promised ‘just one drink’ (or jug). We warned you.
59 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000
One of Melbourne’s classiest rooftops, Siglo transports you to another world. Overlooking Spring Street and the neighbouring Parliament House and St Paul’s Cathedral, Siglo is a little piece of Paris in the heart of Melbourne. Available drinks are sure to satisfy any palate, with a wide offering of wines, craft beers, cocktails and even cigars (!). Siglo has a beautiful ambience with a surprisingly romantic view of the city, that will have you falling in love with Melbourne all over again.
161 Spring Street Melbourne VIC 3000
NAKED IN THE SKY
Another long-loved Melbourne favourite, you’d be hard pressed to find a Melburnian who has not ventured to – no matter their home– Naked in The Sky. Seated above Fitzroy’s Naked for Satan-and only one elevator ride away- is Naked in the Sky, an open terrace and bar, with arguably- and I don’t say this lightly- the best views of Fitzroy and Melbourne. Food is available, however it’s not cheap. Naked gets particularly busy on Friday and Saturday nights- so unless you feel like waiting for the lift ride up to the top, along with the rest of Melbourne, we suggest getting in early.
285 Brunswick Street Fitzroy VIC 3065
One of the best things to come out of 2016, Good Heavens is Melbourne’s latest rooftop bar to send everyone into a frenzy. Escape to a palm springs-inspired tropical island (Hawaiian shirt-clad staff man the bar) for the day (or night) at the latest venture from the guys behind Fancy Hanks, as you watch the sun set over Bourke Street. Good Heavens twist on classic cocktails is certainly unique – think the Poco Loco, their take on a pina colada, topped with coconut cream and pineapple juice- and barbeque snacks keep in line with Fancy Hanks menu – Hank’s famous cheeseburgers is available as well as fried cauliflower with vegan ranch dressing and hot sauce and loaded tatter tots. Welcome to rooftop heaven. Let the good times roll!
Level 2, 79 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
An oldie but a goodie, rooftop bar has been adored by Melbournians for years. And for good reason. Not only does it transform into a ‘rooftop cinema’ (as if rooftops could get any better) in the warmer months, drinks are reasonably priced, the views are worth the seemingly never-ending staircases, and the atmosphere is relaxed yet fun. A small food menu (mainly consisting of burgers) is available for when hunger strikes and music plays in the background all night, as you watch the city unfold below your very eyes.
252 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
A funky Spanish workers bar, Bomba is also home to one of Melbourne’s most enviable rooftops. Hosting a beautiful space, with a retractable roof, to account for Melbourne’s erratic weather patterns, you can ensure, no matter the season, rain, hail or shine, a good time. With a tapas menu and an impressive 8-page drinks list, there’s sure to be something for everyone, as you take in Melbourne’s iconic skyline. Treat yourself to a taste of Spain (and sangria) in the centre of the city.
703 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
A go-to for those in the inner south-east, Emerson’s rooftop is stylish, glamorous and sophisticated. A retractable roof means it is perfect for keeping cool in winter, and even better for soaking in the sun during the warmer months- meaning you can visit all year round! Private booths are available for those looking to add a bit more glam to their night, and a la carte dining is available at selected times. The Emerson does tend to attract an older crowd, however is the perfect venue to take in the views of the inner south-east. It doesn’t hurt that the door selectors are down-right gorgeous either. Ladies, form an orderly line…
143/145 Commercial Road, South Yarra VIC 3000
Describing itself as a ‘rooftop cocktail bar set in an open air, exotic garden setting’,Loop Roof has something for everyone. An impressive range of unique cocktails are on offer, matched with an equally inventive food menu (boasting a variety of vegan/vegetarian options) that is certain to satisfy any palate. The atmosphere is relaxed yet elegant, brimming with style, perfect for any social occasion. The bartenders are friendly and attentive and overall maintain a high level of customer service, that’ll keep you coming back for more. Similar to rooftop bar, there is the small, pesky, unavoidable chore of climbing what feels like a never-ending staircase to reach this garden rooftop oasis. However, it’s worth every step.
23 Meyers Place, Melbourne VIC 3000
Proving things get better with age, the rooftop bar at Imperial Hotel is one of the coolest in Melbourne. The third oldest pub in Melbourne changed the bar scene forever when it announced the opening of Melbourne’s newest rooftop garden bar in 2015. With 20 beers on tap, their very own kitchen, and a 360-degree of the city skyline (you read that right), it’s not hard to see why the historic Melbourne pub’s newest addition has people from all over town, flocking to its doors. One of Melbourne’s largest rooftop bars (there is enough room to host 270 customers), there’s enough room for everyone!
2 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
MARQUIS OF LORNE
Escape to a beachside town in the heart of Fitzroy, at Marquis of Lorne. Following a make-over in 2014, Marquis of Lorne re-opened its doors, back, bigger and better than ever before. The hidden gem ticks all the right boxes – vibrant atmosphere, cosy seating, a variety of beers on offer, plus food for sustenance, helpful and friendly staff and picturesque views of Fitzroy. What’s not to love?!
411 George Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Specialising in Vietnamese food and cocktails, Uncle’s rooftop bar is perfect for a Summer’s Friday night dinner and drinks (or any occasion really). A St Kilda favourite, Uncle’s fresh, fusion cuisine, lively vibes and relaxing atmosphere, will have you raving about your find for days and weeks afterwards. The staff are attentive and helpful, a ‘make it yourself’ style option is available with bao’s for those in the mood to satisfy a wider range of tastes, and the cocktails are flavoursome and satisfying. The perfect post-beach treat!
188 Carlisle Street, St Kilda VIC 3182
FEAST OF MERIT
Richmond’s best kept secret, Feast of Merit’s rooftop bar, is a force to be reckoned with. Keeping in line with Feast of Merit, vegetarian-friendly, Middle Eastern snacks are available, locally sourced wine, and a wide array of beers and cocktails (it’s like music to my ears) as you take in the views of Richmond. With 100% of the bars profits going towards YGAPs work supporting the changing of lives in some of the world’s toughest communities, its a drink with a cause! Donate now.
117 Swan Street, Richmond VIC 3121
Taking inspiration from the ‘excitement of fairtytales’, Goldilocks is an ode to the wide-eyed wonder of our childhoods. Combining an adult-like lust for temptation, with a child-like innocence of wonder and awe, Goldilocks masters the perfect combination. Retreat to a cottage-like bar for the better hours of the night, and dine on cocktails of chocolate and strawberry jam and plates of ‘three little pig’ pork belly sliders. It may not be the Golidlocks you loved and knew from your childhood, but it will be the Golidlocks you remember for years to come.
Level 4, 264 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
THE HILLS ROOFTOP
The perfect spot for post-work, happy hour drinks, The Hills Rooftop is not your run-of-the-mill bar. It’s style is certainly eccentric; the walls are adorned with old graffiti and peeling paint, giving the bar a rustic, run-down feel, while patrons are invited to sit on anything from apple crates, to picnic tables and lounge chairs. The Hills is the kind of place you stumble upon on ( the only indication of it’s existence being a cardboard sign with it’s name printed on it and an arrow pointing upwards), and end up falling in love with 3 beers in. It won’t be love at first sight, but you’ll find yourself falling for this hidden CBD gem.
1 Flanigan Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
Words by: Natalee Erceg.