The not-so-secret history of inner city Melbourne – all the up-and-coming popular suburbs such as Fitzroy and Collingwood – is that these were the true slums of Melbourne when it was first formed. Every highly sought-after terrace house once held three families with little more than an outhouse and fireplace. In terms of lifestyle and culture, these suburbs now could not be more popular. The latest suburb to finally graduate from slumdom is Collingwood, so here are the top ten bars for the area.
Mr. Wow’s Emporium
The name alone hints of the treasure trove that might lie within, but the tagline seals the deal when they describe themselves as ‘purveyors of fine drinks, good times and bocce.’ Seamlessly combining the unique niche of the Northside vibe and classy cocktail bars, Mr. Wow’s Emporium offer a premium range of alcohol, with world-class bartenders providing advice and excellent service. Food is also available, along with pool tables, and, of course, bocce.
Mr. Wow’s Emporium, 97B Smith Street, Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia, +61 (0)3 9419 2992
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Pixel Alley is right next to Mr. Wow’s Emporium and is owned by the same crew. Don’t expect a clone though; other than following the theme of encouraging games while drinking, this place is a completely different world. Inspired by game arcades in the U.S., Pixel Alley will reel you in with Donkey Kong-themed cocktails, 8-bit animation-style murals, and arcade games waiting to be played. It’s like a fantasy straight out of the ’80s.
Pixel Alley, 95 Smith Street, Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia, +61 (0)3 9416 0079
The Noble Experiment
The true appeal of The Noble Experiment is something that sets it apart from most bars, let alone the others on this list. Set to the theme of 1920s’ prohibition bars, the many small rooms all have an intimate, but somewhat seductive appeal. The menu boasts an extensive selection of both bottle and aged cocktails – something that is not seen elsewhere in Melbourne. In addition to this, the gin menu is worth noting, as well as the food selections, which support local and sustainable eating (despite a European influence).
The Noble Experiment, 284 Smith Street, Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia, +61 (0)3 94160058
Forester’s Hall may be one of the largest venues in Collingwood. Holding a 4am license and serving wood fire pizza until 2am, you can get lost here with a large group of friends for the entire night. Arguably one of Forester’s Hall’s best features is the 32 different craft beers they have on tap. It’s rare to get such a selection anywhere, particularly somewhere that has free beer tastings on Tuesdays. The final feature worth noting is Forester’s live music, making it a venue that literally ticks all the boxes.
Forester’s Hall, 64 Smith Street Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia, +61 (0)3 8415 1104
Le Bon Ton
Stirred by a different time in a different place, Le Bon Ton is Melbourne’s answer to a ‘Southern style wonderland’. Inspired by oyster bars and smokehouses in New Orleans, Le Bon Ton offers an extensive cocktail and absinthe menu in addition to an array of American microbrews. With different areas covering different themes, you can find yourself in an absinthe den, feeling classy being served up oysters, or outside in the courtyard in and among a Southern style grill.
Le Bon Ton, 51 Gipps Street, Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia, +61 (0)3 9416 4341
Mr. Scruff’s is a triple threat – it’s bar, club, and food joint. The fare is affordable, and predominantly an American-style diner type cuisine. With several locations to drink, including inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs, and of course a dance floor, Mr. Scruff’s is a venue for a casual catch up with a friend, or a celebration with a big group. The music tends to range between soul, funk, and hip hop, and the establishment is open late into the night.
Mr. Scruff’s, 60 Smith Street, Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia, +61 (0)3 9995 3881
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