These days, top bars are more reminiscent of kitchens. Menus can change week-to-week depending on the availability of fresh ingredients, intelligent experimentation is encouraged and good knife skills are a must. That same rigour means classic cocktails are also better than they've ever been.

It’s good news for drinkers, whether you love a Negroni, Old Fashioned or an of-the-moment creation. Better news still: Melbourne has some of the best bars in the world.

These are our favourites, ranging from casual spots, to table service venues where the staff wears waistcoats. But without fail, they all know how to mix an excellent drink.

Related guides:
Best Hidden Bars in Melbourne
Best Whisky Bars in Melbourne
Best Wine Bars in Melbourne
Best Beer Bars in Melbourne

Above Board

Finding this secretive, 16-seat cocktail bar is half the fun.

Level 1 306 Smith Street (access through Chopper Lane)
Collingwood VIC 3066

Bar Americano

Matt Bax's aperitif-focussed bar.

20 Presgrave Place
Melbourne VIC 3000


If you haven't had a drink here, you're barely a Melburnian.

First Floor, Curtin House 252 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC


Opulence meets wartime misery at this bar with two faces.

2nd floor (please ring the bell) 16 Corrs Lane
Melbourne VIC

The Palm Royale

Welcome to Cuba, amigo.

438 Church Street
Richmond VIC 3121


If salarymen drink it, it's here.

First Floor 1 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000

Lui Bar at Vue de Monde

What would you expect from a bar run by Vue de Monde?

Level 55 Rialto Towers 525 Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000

Romeo Lane

Another intimate CBD bolthole.

1A Crossley Street
Melbourne VIC


The Melbourne Supper Club's casual rooftop counterpart.

Level 2 161 Spring Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Whisky and Alement

Melbourne's first great whisky bar.

270 Russell Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Bar None

Good cocktails in Camberwell? Believe it.

72 Auburn Parade
Camberwell VIC 3124