Best Neighbourhood Bars in Melbourne

Updated October 18th, 2022


Neighbourhood bars, local bars, low-key bars. Regardless of the term you use, you know one when you see it, even if they’re hard to define on paper. These places rarely have expensive fit-outs, lengthy drinks lists or elaborate concepts. They’re just affordable places where the tunes are good, the bartenders are up for a chat and the clientele rarely live further than a few blocks away. Step in and surrender to their friendly, no-bullshit spirit.

  • The ideal place for a couple of quiet pints.

  • The younger sibling to Northcote's Joe's Shoe Store.

  • A welcoming space filled with craft beer and classic books.

  • A quirky yet serious bar filled with second-hand furniture.

  • Gerald Diffey and Mario Di Ienno’s storied neighbourhood bar brims with nostalgia. Vintage books, yesteryear’s wine bottles and a glimmering disco ball decorate the space – but the thing you’ll notice most is warm, old-school hospitality. The menus turn on a dime, so you’ll always have reasons to keep coming back.

  • Tom Petty on the stereo, Guinness on tap and pizza passed through a canteen-style window from next door.

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  • Inspired by the beautiful old dive bars found across America.

  • An unpretentious spot for great beer, live music and authentic Philly cheesesteaks.

  • It’s froths and no fuss, every day of the week.

  • Four old hands are behind this no-fuss bar, which is complete with ferns and a fireplace.

  • A local craft beer watering hole with a laid back atmosphere.

  • While away an afternoon with beer, po’ boys and city views.

  • A Victoria Street classic, with decades of lived-in, kitschy charm.

  • Danish minimalism meets Italian wine bar. With a cinema.

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  • A good old late night bar sporting character in spades.

  • This neighbourhood bar combines an old-school pub atmosphere with a forward-thinking drinks list filled with ultra-local ales, pét-nats and vegan cocktails.

  • Find yourself a second home at this cool neighbourhood cafe by a team of hospitality veterans. It serves coffee and sangas during the day, then cocktails and snacks at night – all within a timber-clad space decked out like a north-side living room.

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  • A late night watering hole in the middle of the city with a good laneway view and a lunchtime menu too.

  • The kitsch floral wallpaper, bright-orange tabletops and retro lampshades might remind you of your nan’s house. The tongue-in-cheek cocktails, vodka-saké jugs and excellent pizza (from nearby Thin Slizzy) probably won’t.

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