Header image courtesy of Jack & Bones Island Bar (via Facebook)
Melbourne certainly has its fair share of glamorous bars and rooftop restaurants, but sometimes, it’s the little hidden gems that catch our attention the most. Not to be edgy, but they’re also some of the hippest in town, and dive bars are a place to just let loose and dress down. Here are some of the best spots to unwind and drink without regrets in the pretty city of Melbourne.
On the Windsor end of Chapel Street, Yellow Bird Cafe sits quaint, serving Mexican meals and pub grub in a retro setting. The down-and-dirty bar stays true to a rock n’ roll aesthetic, with its leather-clad interiors and blaring music. If it’s a rowdy night you’re looking for, this bar will do it—pick a cheap jug of sangria to ease the night. Already hungover just from reading about it? The Death Benedict will sort you out—it’s a combo of the best greasy foods to quell the post-night-out pain—we’re talking hash browns, crispy bacon, and perfectly poached eggs with hollandaise.
Yellow Bird Cafe, 1/122 Chapel Street, Windsor VIC 3181, Australia | (+61) 3 9533 8983
Calling itself ‘a weekend club for zombies’, Yah Yahs gives off a grunge aesthetic in its slogan. This dive bar is run by the same guys behind Cherry Bar, and they’ve enlivened the venue with some classic rock n’ roll tracks and late-night shenanigans. Open till 5.00am, there’s no denying it’ll be an eventful night at this weekend party scene, where cool crowds come together from all different cliques.
Yah Yahs, 99 Smith Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
Feel the island vibes at Jack & Bones, a tiki-inspired dive bar tucked away at a Flinders Lane basement. As Melbourne’s only Hawaiian dive bar, the upbeat setting invites sunny holiday hunters looking for a quick fix. Drink your way through craft beers, rum-infused drinks, and artisan spirits, whilst listening to the upbeat tunes, reflecting that tropical life. It’s a favourite go-to destination for many.
Jack & Bones Island Bar, 107 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia | (+61) 431 017 370
Part-Thai restaurant, part-club, Revolver Upstairs is a renowned nightclub institution which hosts DJs six nights a week. As one of Australia’s most respected nightclubs, the venue also features live bands and art shows for its creative crowd. Inside you’ll find crumpled sofas, an impressive staircase, and an edgy pack. The Sunday day party spot is a must for drinking enthusiasts willing to complete the weekend with a bang.
Revolver Upstairs, 229 Chapel Street, Prahran VIC 3181, Australia | (+61) 3 9521 5985
A hidden laneway bar which used to be home to nightclub Boney, Cherry Bar is a raucous dive bar which features regular lineups of local and international rock n’ roll tunes. Housing up to 260 people at a time, the bar allows free downstairs entry every night until 11.00pm, and continues to reign in crowds from near and far, looking to test the party scene. It once turned down a post-concert gig from Lady Gaga because they already had a pre-booked performance—that’s the killer vibe they’ve got going. Check it out for yourself to see what’s up.
Cherry Bar, 68 Little Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Bringing late-night rock n’ roll to bustling Melbourne, Heartbreaker features flowing shots, beer-swigging, and an all-night party vibe to its guests. Owned by Michael Madrusan, the owner of Everleigh, the restaurant is a go-to venue for letting your hair down and having a blast—without the formalities which come with some pretentious bar spots. There’s even a jukebox—calling all karaoke enthusiasts!
Heartbreaker, 234A Russell Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia | +61 3 9041 0856
For an old-school vibe, The Old Bar tells it as it is—the venue has band posters, red walls, and live music performances nearly every night. It’s been opened since 2001, and is nestled between Brunswick and Nicholson Streets in cool Fitzroy, one of the inner city suburbs of Melbourne. Catch any up-and-coming bands and grab a beer—you’re here to stay (it’s open till 3.00am after all).
The Old Bar, 74-76 Johnston Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia | +61 3 9417 4155