The Best Bars in Fitzroy, Melbourne

Famous for its live music venues, artsy designs and stylish bars, Brunswick Street in Fitzroy is the perfect place to grab a drink
Famous for its live music venues, artsy designs and stylish bars, Brunswick Street in Fitzroy is the perfect place to grab a drink | © Chris Putnam / Alamy
Photo of Matthew Clark
9 February 2017
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Melbourne’s northern inner-city suburb is constantly bustling with culture. From fancy cocktail bars to cool hipster dive bars, Fitzroy has what you’re looking for. Here are the best bars in this bohemian suburb.

Polly Bar

Cocktail Bar, Bar, Australian, $$$
Polly Bar is Fitzroy’s classic sombre cocktail and cigar lounge. Class is at the forefront of this cool Victorian-style bar, with its elegant deep-red interior, chandeliers, espresso Martinis and bartenders in crisp, dashing attire. You’ll feel like you’ve been taken back to the era of The Great Gatsby as you sip on one of the great, time-honored classic cocktails that are given only the greatest level of respect. Or perhaps try one of the original inventions by the team of exceptionally creative bartenders.

Black Pearl Bar

Cocktail Bar, Bar, Cocktails, $$$
Interior of Black Pearl attic with dark leather seats and bright lighting
© RYAN NOREIKS

Don’t let the modern furniture and feel mislead you, the cocktails at Black Pearl Bar are authentic and traditional. The juxtaposition between the drinks that are served in lavish vintage glassware, the 1970s and 80s pop-rock playlist, and the smooth, straightforward interior design is spectacularly pulled off. It’s a chaotic mess of ideas that can be accepted only in Fitzroy. Feel free to order off the menu. Or if you’d like to challenge your bartender with the most left-of-field drink that tickles your interest, you’re sure to be impressed.

Kewpie

Restaurant, Bar, Beer, Cocktails, $$$
From classy to grungy, Kewpie (formerly Bimbo Deluxe) and its famous $4 pizzas and range of Australian beers is a great example of the 21st century bohemian lifestyle for which Fitzroy is famous. This hipster haven showcases Melbourne’s musical talent, with live DJs playing every night of the week. Among the rusted metal decor and miss-matching lanterns, you’ll almost feel overdressed in jeans and a t-shirt. But it’s not just about trends and fashion here. It’s about atmosphere, music and great, cheap drinks.

The Kommune Canteen

Bar, Beer, Wine
When you walk into Kommune you will be inclined to ask a few questions, like “why are umbrellas hanging from the ceiling?”, and “how did they manage to attach a blue chair to the wall?”. But kooky interior design aside, the most important question of the evening, and certainly the hardest to answer, will be asked by the bartender: “what would you like to drink?” A list of brilliant Australian and New Zealand wines, as well as a few international bottles, awaits your perusal, but make sure you don’t make a decision before looking at the wide variety of beers also on offer.

Hell of the North

Restaurant, French, $$$
Named after one of the oldest French cycling races, Paris-Roubaix (nicknamed ‘l’enfer du nord’) is Hell of the North. This is a restaurant and bar that offers some of Fitzroy’s best dining and drinking experiences in a casual atmosphere. The mix of clean wooden furniture and heavy stonewalls gives chilled-out rustic ambiance. Home to a compilation of fantastic artisan beers as well as great Australian wine, Hell of the North also serves some delicious contemporary cocktails.

The Everleigh

Cocktail Bar, Bar, Diner, Cocktails, $$$
The stylish traditional bar area at The Everleigh Melbourne, Fitzroy
The Everleigh Melbourne, Fitzroy | Courtesy The Everleigh

In its short history The Everleigh, which opened in 2011, has been awarded with various accolades. This includes being placed on Drinks International’s list of ‘World’s 50 Best Bars’. The philosophy adopted here is one that prioritizes attention to detail, whether that’s in the impeccable service or the meticulous preparation of cocktails. The Everleigh’s focus is on the classic art of cocktail making, with a modest list of drinks. The bartenders are well trained in traditional cocktails from the era of a particular cocktail’s birth.

The Kodiak Club

Restaurant, American, $$$
The Kodiak Club is Melbourne’s only bourbon bar, with the largest selection of American whiskeys in the city. But it’s not just about whiskey. The Kodiak Club’s menu of modern, regional American bar food will make you need another 15 minutes in tomorrow’s gym session. But, you will not regret it. The painting behind the bar depicts impressive North American mountains. It is a suitable backdrop for the primary focus of the bar: the bourbon. Don’t fret if bourbon isn’t your thing, though, The Kodiak Club has a variety of classic American beers to round off the authentic American experience.

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