Melbourne’s Best Rooftop Bars With A View
You. A sunset. A Mojito. It’s the money shot guaranteed to set your Instagram ablaze and get your mates jealous (or make them join you). Here’s where to make it happen at Melbourne’s best rooftop bars.
1. Naked in the Sky
Increasingly it seems that people are skipping the original pinxos bar at Naked for Satan to queue for the only elevator servicing its rooftop bar, Naked in the Sky. Offering the best view of the Melbourne skyline, especially at night when the city pops with light against the relative darkness of Fitzroy, it is little surprise why locals have taken a keen interest in Naked. The colourful glow of carnival lights and rainbow chairs stand in stark contrast to the exposed brick walls, offering a lively and relaxed atmosphere that perfectly captures the essential Melbourne vibe. Naked offers a big range of local and international beers on tap and by the bottle, as well as an impressive Basque-inspired menu.
A great value option is the infused vodka tasting plate ($13.50), three vodka shots chosen by you from a list of 19 flavours that includes salted caramel, opium and rose, pomegranate and cherry ripe.
2. Captain Baxter
Laid out with astro-turf and maritime themed lounges, Captain Baxter’s deck provides the ultimate chill out session by the beach. Taking on a distinctly local flavour, each of the cocktails comes with its own short story based on St Kilda history and there’s a healthy range of proudly Victorian beers to match. Get messy with a DIY fish taco kit or order a round of freshly shucked oysters.
Nestled against the towering Rooftop, Goldilocks is a surprisingly well-hidden bar above a noodle shop that takes its inspiration from the childhood fairy tale of the same name, only don’t come expecting a quaint old cottage. The bar is segmented into two floors, with the lower bar being a sophisticated affair thanks to chandeliers and leather booths, while upstairs is a gloriously open sun-drenched deck. Thankfully there are some very European mist sprays lining the bar to help keep you cool while you sip on your mojito.
4. Loop Roof
Tucked away just off Bourke Street, Loop Roof aims to provide a rather different rooftop experience, eschewing the faux grass and preppy attitude favoured by more established venues to make a statement with black astro turf, tiled walls and rows of glowing abacus lights hanging overhead. Sitting amongst the garden of succulents and cacti, guests can enjoy a good range of international and local beers and quirky ‘watering can’ cocktails.
5. The Emerson
Recently crowned the Australian Nightclub of the Year at the Australian Bar Awards, there aren’t many rooftops in Melbourne that can pull off the sheer luxury and style of the Emerson (and of course you would only find it in South Yarra). It’s also one of the largest rooftop bars outside the CBD, with a complete view of the city skyline to boot The Emerson is an outright crowd pleaser thanks to a vast drinks menu, with plenty of Champagnes, and share plates to go around.
6. Campari House
A reliable favourite with the after-work drinks crowd, Campari Rooftop feels like a garden party in its own right. Boxed in on all sides by graffiti, including a wall of quirky doors, and shaded by large red umbrellas, you can forget that you’re sitting in one of Melbourne’s most popular lane ways. The italian themed menu features generously topped 10” pizzas (lamb, pumpkin and caramelised onion, $18) and a range of dishes for any appetite (from $8 for bruschetta to $28 for an antipasto platter to share). The bar features a solid range of beers on tap and some crowd-pleasing cocktails, such as the Jam Jar (Oakheart Spiced rum, blueberry jam, raspberry compote, mint, lime and soda).
7. Transit Rooftop Bar
With an incredible view of Southgate and the Yarra River, Transit is the perfect spot to watch the Arts Centre spire slowly light up like our own technicolour Eiffel Tower. The sights are made even better thanks to a tidy collection of classic cocktails and jugs as well as a mezze plate to share. The sophisticated New-Orleans inspired bar regularly features live soul, funk and blues sessions.
8. Bomba Rooftop
Formerly known as The Aylesbury, Bomba Rooftop greets you with asian lanterns floating in the breeze and the smell of incense as you step out of the elevator. Perched high above Lonsdale Street, this rooftop is smaller than the others mentioned here, but makes up for it with a cozy and intimate vibe ideal for catching up with friends and sharing some of the very affordable tapas dishes available (average price of a plate is $6). Try the crunchy eggplant chips with chilli sauce, the lamb skewers with harissa yoghurt, or the cured swordfish with mandarin.
If you want to feel like a Big City Fat Cat then you could do worse than swirl your single malt whisky while discussing #auspol out the front of Victoria Parliament. The European’s rooftop bar along Melbourne’s Parisian end nails the art of inner-city lounging, evoking the elegance and sophistication of Europe thanks to its monochrome tiles, wicker chairs set alongside crisp white tables and glowing neon calligraphy.
10. Rooftop Bar
Rooftop Bar is the crowning achievement of Curtin House, a champion of the Melbourne bar scene that continues to endure due to the diversity of the venues on each floor. Nestled amongst the city’s skyline, Rooftop offers a surprisingly spacious astro turf lawn decorated with glowing lights and a live DJ pumping out tunes day and night. The bar serves the standard range of beers, cider, wine and a reliable cocktail list. While there’s not much of a bar menu, guests can grab a burger and fries from the hamburger stand set up for summer. Particularly hungry guests can grab a bite at Mesa Verde one floor down.
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