Where To Find The Best Hidden Bars in Melbourne

One of the things that Melbourne is best known for is its hidden bars. Some of the city’s best gems are completely hidden, and if you have a bit too much fun, you might not be able to find it the next time around.

With such a love for the Golden Age of drinking, prohibition-style bars are a historic way for us to celebrate our favourite classic cocktails, and the people that created them.

Here are six of the best hidden bars in Melbourne.

Eau de Vie

Malthouse Lane, Melbourne CBD
Inspired by the prohibition bars of the ’20s, Eau De Vie brought speakeasy bars back to Melbourne. It is perhaps one of Melbourne most esteemed hidden cocktail bars, offering an element of performance with every drink. Situated on Malthouse Lane (if you can find it) Eau De Vie has a theatre-themed cocktail list, with drinks that catch on fire, sit under smoked domes, and get turned into ice cream before your eyes. It is an entire production, where you, as the audience, get to take part. Housing over 500 whiskeys, a library, and a secret Whisky Room, Eau De Vie is a treasure trove full of delicious surprises.
How to book: Here for a degustation dinner with matching cocktails, here for a drinking perch, or just walk-in (but be prepared for a queue!) 

Bar Americano 

Presgrave Place, Melbourne CBD
Bar Americano isn’t fully hidden, however, it’s located down an unassuming alley surrounded by a half-empty mall. Basically, it’s not the place you’d expect a bar to be. Bar Americano is a tiny 10 person bar, housing European spirits in unlabelled decanters. It’s got a calming, nostalgic and European sports bar feel to it. The glasses are always frozen, the drinks are always clean and you’re not allowed to take photos, which just makes the whole experience that much more special. Opened by accountant turned visual artist and sometimes bartender Matt Bax in 2011, Bar Americano pays homage to the Golden Age of drinking. They offer pristine classics only, including their infamous negroni, considered by many experts to be the best on the planet. Although only squeezing 10 patrons inside, thanks to new outdoor dining regulations, Bar Americano graces us with 32 new euro-inspired alfresco seats. 
How to book: Walk-ins are welcome, reservations via website.

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Above Board / Facebook

Above Board

Above Board is located at the back of Smith Street’s favourite craft beer store Beer Mash. Head into the bottle shop bar and look for the red staircase on your right. Up those stairs, you’ll be transported into a calm, dimly lit, and artistically minimalist cocktail bar that exudes class. With award-winning curated cocktails and ingredients you won’t have tried together ever, Above Board offers a unique and one-off experience, which definitely makes it one of the best bars in Melbourne.
How to book: No bookings, just walk in. Order takeaway cocktails here.

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Pizza Pizza Pizza / Facebook

Pizza Pizza Pizza

Meyers Place, Melbourne CBD
Go down Meyers Place and look for the neon sign that reads “PIZZA PIZZA PIZZA” and you’ve arrived. Fronted with an original pizza-by-the-slice pizza bar, you’d never guess that behind the black curtain that surely leads to the pizza kitchen, is actually an unnamed, hidden cocktail bar. They specialise in classic cocktails and frozen daiquiris. Need we say more? The pizza shop out front also serves up New York-style pizza until 1am, the perfect post-cocktail snack on your way out.
How to book: You can’t! Just walk in.

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Jungle Boy / Facebook

Jungle Boy

Jungle Boy is one of Melbourne’s most successful hidden bars. From the outside, all you see is a late-night sandwich joint named Boston Sub. It’s unassuming and honestly looks kind of dodgy—as all best late-night food joints do. But walk in and ask for ‘Jungle Boy’, and you’ll discover that behind the fridge door is a flamingo-filled tiki bar, complete with all the classics; Painkiller, Jungle Bird, Singapore Sling, and the infamous flaming Zombie. All of your 80’s tropical party fantasies will come true, complete with cute bartenders wearing tiki holiday shirts. What more could you want?
How to book: No bookings!

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New Gold Mountain / Facebook

New Gold Mountain

Liverpool Street, Melbourne CBD
New Gold Mountain is a Chinese-themed cocktail and wine bar, found behind a hidden red door and total absence of signage. You enter into a converted tailor’s shop, climb the stairs to the first floor—the green level—and it exudes old-world Shanghai, with jade green interiors and smooth tunes. Upstairs to the red level, you’ll find yourself on a secluded alcove, decorated with lush lanterns and crepe paper trimmings. The whole place encourages intimacy and has a sexy opium-den vibe, with capacity for 80 people, usually a mixed crowd. They have an impressive list of cocktails, with sours being the house speciality. New Gold Mountain is one of those places that is always guaranteed to be an experience.
How to book: No bookings.

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