This article is intended as a guide to assist those wondering what the hell the Melbourne CBD has to offer, particularly by way of open-air bars on the rooftops of buildings. In no particular order, here is a list of a few worth checking out.
- The Emerald Peacock (233 Lonsdale St, (03) 9654 8680) – Fast becoming one of my favourites as it’s one of the bigger rooftop spaces in the city and just has a nice feel about it. Their website gives you a good sense of what to expect.
- The Deck (508 Flinders St, (03)9629 1350) – Great in summer or in the colder months when they set up a marquee and transform the area to give it a cosy ski lodge feel. Has views of Melbourne's two tallest buildings: the Eureka tower and the Rialto.
- Rooftop (7/252 Swanston St, (03)9654 5394) – On top of Curtin House, also screens movies on certain nights.
- Palmz at The Carlton (193 Bourke St, (03)9663 3246) – Tropical themed rooftop with plenty of space for larger groups. Has the added bonus of being above the Carlton which is pretty cool in its own right: complete with stuffed animals and a balcony of its own.
- Tuscan Bar (79 Bourke St, (03) 9671 3322) - Slightly older crowd. Busy with after-work types on Fridays.
- Red Hummingbird (246 Russell St, (03)9654 2266) - Described as an outdoor aviary, the place is not dissimilar to the Emerald Peacock and not far away either.
- Transit Cocktail Lounge (Cnr Flinders St & Swanston St, (03) 9654 8808) – Not to be confused with Transport downstairs (busy and crap) or Taxi (fancy restaurant on the middle floor). This bar has good views of the Arts Centre and Southbank.
- The Aylesbury (103 Lonsdale St, (03) 9077 0451) – Smaller and quieter area with tasty tapas and cocktails. Probably better suited to a date.
- Cider Bar at Young & Jacksons (1 Swanston St, (03)9650 3884) – Small space opposite Flinders St Station specialising in you guessed it...
- Madame Brussels (Level 3/59 Bourke St, (03)9662 2775) – quirky place with deliberately tacky garden furniture scattered about the place.
- Campari House (23 - 25 Hardware Ln, (03)9600 1574) - Mid-sized rooftop space. Can fill up quickly on a nice day. There's usually room inside on the middle level for a drink too if that's the case.
- Siglo (2nd Level/161 Spring St, (03)9654 6300) – Looks nice but fairly posh and pretentious. Don't expect to be able to get a table right away. You will most likely have to put your name on a waiting list. Personally wouldn’t bother...
The list isn't exhaustive and there are new places popping up all the time so please share any notable exclusions in your comments. I have created a custom map in Google Maps for easy reference. It's pictured below but if you follow the link you can check out their individual websites too. (I would link to them myself but we are limited to 2 links per article.)
Happy roof hopping!