Melbourne is known for many things, including the best coffee and brunches in Australia. But what a lot of visitors don’t know is that Melbourne is also home to a large amount of rooftop bars and restaurants, which are open year-round. Across the inner-city, here are the best to check out.
Although its name is no-nonsense, Rooftop Bar is anything but. Located on top of Curtin House in Melbourne’s CBD, the astro-turfed bar has an extensive cocktail list, incredible skyline views, hot dogs and burgers on the menu, and it transforms into the Rooftop Cinema in summer. The cinema shows both classic films and new releases. For winter visitors, there are plenty of heaters to keep you cosy at Rooftop Bar as well.
Madame Brussels is one of the most popular (and quirky) rooftop bars you’ll find in Melbourne. Their specialty is jugs of punch, like Lady Liberty (‘the Hillary of the drink world’), Love Juice, and Prussian Ice Tea. The Fancy Food menu at Madame Brussels is fit for a tea party as well, with sandwiches, share plates, and sweets. The bar’s garden party theme includes fake grass, pastel-coloured furnishings, and parasols aplenty.
Located in a converted car park in Melbourne’s CBD, Whitehart is a container bar (shipping containers, that is). Besides its unusual industrial design, Whitehart has a reputation for great live music, craft beers, and cocktails. One of the signature cocktails is the Wrong Island Iced Tea, with English breakfast syrup. Whitebar hosts a rotating lineup of food popups too, including Pok n Kok, a local Thai food truck.
Loop Roof is a rooftop cocktail bar in Melbourne’s CBD that was designed by Jesse Judd. It features fairy lights, colourful furnishings and decorations, and a jungle-like botanic vibe. The award-winning bartenders at Loop Roof present “a cocktail experience like no other”. The Grown Up Fanta is just one of the creations, and includes gin, tonic, blood orange, and sparkling wine. Loop Roof also serves share plates and tacos, and is equipped with a retractable awning, heating in winter, and subtle misting in summer.
Naked in the Sky sits above Naked for Satan in Fitzroy, and looks towards the city skyline. There’s an open terrace, a lounge, a 15-metre long bar, and an indoor restaurant. The bar has a large range of craft and imported beers, in-house infused vodka, an extensive gin menu, and wines from both Spain and Australia. The tapas menu at Naked in the Sky is similar to Naked for Satan, in that it’s inspired by Basque country cuisine.
Located upstairs from Fancy Hanks, Good Heavens is a rooftop bar with an impressive city view. Serving a simple lunch menu from Thursday to Sunday, drinks are the main reason locals keep returning to Good Heavens. It’s known for its daily drink specials, 80s-inspired cocktail list, craft beers, extensive spirits menu, and Australian-only wine list. Treat yourself to a Melbourne Made, Heavens to Betsy, or Jungle Boogie cocktail.
Siglo is a rooftop terrace bar, which offers views of Parliament, the spires of St Patrick’s Cathedral, and Princess Theatre’s domes. The intimate venue’s furnishings include Parisian wicker chairs and wooden garden furniture. The drinks menu focuses on classic cocktails, champagne, and wine from the Melbourne Supper Club’s cellar. Along with its eclectic bar food menu, Siglo also has a humidor stocked with only the finest Cuban cigars.
Corner Hotel is known as one of the best live music venues in Melbourne. But what a lot of locals don’t realise is that the Corner Hotel also has a large rooftop bar and restaurant. The food menu includes share plates, counter meals and mains, such as whole Korean fried chicken and braised lamb shoulder. The Corner Hotel also does a steak and pot deal on Mondays for $20, trivia on Wednesday nights, and a $15 local lunch from Tuesday to Friday.
Easey’s has to be one of the most unusual restaurants in Melbourne (and perhaps Australia). It consists of several floors, but the pinnacle is the three retired train carriages on the rooftop. You can dine either in the carriages, or in the small courtyard. The graffiti inside and outside the carriages is constantly changing too. The food menu at Easey’s is a fusion between American and Australia. It includes ‘hot dawgs’, mac and cheese, and burgers, alongside Australian stalwarts like potato cakes and dim sims.
Campari House is a rooftop bar, lounge, and restaurant that’s been trading in Melbourne’s iconic Hardware Lane for 50 years. It’s prepared for Melbourne’s unpredictable weather, with heaters and a retractable roof. The drinks menu includes wines from both Australia and Italy, as well as a range of unique cocktails. The modern Italian-inspired cuisine also includes pizzas, sliders, and small plates. Visit Campari House from Monday to Thursday for a Laneway Lunch. For $20, select from a pizza, pasta, or alternative dish with a glass of beer, wine, or soft drink.