You can’t be in Melbourne long and not know Cookie. Thanks in part to its versatility, as well as its location right in the middle of the city, this is one of Melbourne’s most popular bars.

Cookie somehow manages to effortlessly combine a beer hall, cocktail bar and modern Thai restaurant into one floor of Swanston Street’s Curtin House. Far from confusing or overwhelming though; the result is a dynamic and adaptable space that changes its atmosphere depending on the time of day or night. The deafening buzz generated by Friday night after-work drinks precludes conversation as people scramble for the bartenders’ attention and try to choose between the plethora of micro-brews or one of the 350 wines on offer – many of which can be ordered by the glass. Conversely, those swift enough to snare one of the smoker-friendly "Juliet" balconies are rewarded with peaceful respite from the pace of the city on a weekday afternoon. For a more intimate setting, cocktails of all varieties are served in a tucked-away corner, sheltered from the open bar and restaurant space.

While reservations are recommended for a table in the restaurant area, a smaller menu selection is available throughout the bar. Cookie is without doubt one of Melbourne’s most reliable bars/restaurants and is a must-visit for locals and out-of-towners alike.