Panoramic views, fresh air, gorgeous sun: rooftop bars are designed for stretching out with a tipple and soaking in the scenery. With summer upon us and lockdown relaxed, there’s never been a better time to gather friends, ascend to Melbourne’s rooftops and exhale.
Whether you want to overlook the beach or witness a city skyline backlit by the sunset, there are enough spots to keep you outdoors all season long. Here’s five spots to get your spritz on.
Johnny’s Green Room
This bar sits atop Carlton’s landmark King and Godfree diner, deli and wine shop. Take the lift to the roof to find peach terrazzo bars, marble tables and the bustle of Lygon Street softly floating up from below. The nearly 360-degree views of Carlton are the perfect backdrop to the menu of drink-friendly snacks like Appellation oysters and calamari fritti.
Follow the rainbow and you might not find a pot of gold, but you’ll get the next best thing – one of Melbourne’s best rooftop bars. Good Heavens is the rooftop above Fancy Hanks, daubed with a Miami Vice palette and desert oasis greenery. Being Fancy Hanks-adjacent has its charms too, with a menu of smoked meats, blooming onions and fried pork ribs all available from the roof.
Above the ever-popular St Kilda Sea Baths is Captain Baxter, pointing like a ship out across the bay. The space has an upscale beach bungalow style, full of whitewashed timber and cane detailing that feels truly tropical. Inside seating is flanked by generous bay views, while outdoors the retractable roof and group-friendly patio screams for after-beach drinks. The menu weaves Asian influences with fresh seafood, focusing on lighter options like tuna sashimi with wasabi and ponzu, and prawn and pomelo salad – ideal for pairing with an Aperol Spritz and looking over the waves.
Goldilocks Bar certainly subscribes to the idea that the journey is as important as the destination. You’ll need to navigate your way through a street-level Chinese restaurant, up a lift, past a bar and up a few more stairs before you make it, but it’s well worth the effort. The rooftop space looking over Swanston Street is intimate, though the retractable roof can open things right up. It’s table service only, with a handful of Chinese-influenced snacks from Mr Kwok downstairs.
Find this one hidden under the lightning bolt sign in Chinatown’s Heffernan Lane. The eclectic space exposes the bricks and beams of its old host, while offering an inside-outside style range of spaces ideal for gathering friends and looking out over the city. The tiny quarters means it doesn’t do food but you can always get dumplings from the nearby New Kum Den delivered right to your table.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Aperol.