Best Non-Alcoholic Bars in Melbourne

Updated October 13th, 2022


Whether you're going sober in October or giving up grog for good, the days of nursing a soda water at the bar are well and truly behind us. The market for non-alcoholic drinks has exploded in recent years, and Melbourne – arguably the first Australian city to champion craft beer and minimal-intervention wine – has embraced the trend towards mindful drinking with typical gusto.

Now, there are plenty of world-class cocktails bars and classic pubs around town devoting entire sections of their menus to full-flavoured and, if we do say so, exciting booze-free options. So put that soda aside – this list of the city's best will help you keep the good times flowing in October and beyond.

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  • Australia’s first permanent non-alcoholic bar and distillery. It crafts its zero per cent gin, Sapiir, on-site with the same botanical profile as its full-strength spirits, so you won’t get short-changed in the flavour department. Try it in an well-made cocktail, or sample from one of the most impressive ranges of non-alc beer, wine and spirits in the city.

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  • It’s no surprise one of the world’s best cocktail bars places equal emphasis on the quality of its non-alcoholic drinks. Past highlights include a savoury shaken number with lacto-fermented tomato, lemon juice, honey, ginger and Lyre’s Italian Spritz.

  • While it may be one of the country’s greatest shrines to beer and brown liquor, Boilermaker House doesn’t leave the sober crowd high and dry. There’s a blended mango number inspired by an iconic Aussie ice-cream, and a fizzy non-alc libation with aloe-vera nectar, pear cardamom and verjuice.

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  • There’s more than one way to get high. If virgin cocktails at a sky-scraping bar sounds like your preferred method, Fable has some of the best around. Our pick: the Sancho Panza with orange citrate (an orange-based tincture), watermelon cordial, lime and aquafaba.

  • Until the end of October, this classic corner pub is hosting a monthly deep dive into the ever-expanding world of non-alc drinks. Each instalment looks at a different corner of the market, letting you taste the goods and meet the faces behind the brands.

  • Choose alcohol-free takes on the Espresso Martini and Negroni at this south-side gastropub. Or leave it to the bartenders to mix you up a stellar mocktail. There’s also a good selection of zero per cent house wine and beer.

  • At this much-loved laneway bar, you’ll find cocktails informed by a range of Lyre’s non-alc spirits. Try the Berry Tiki with falernum, lime juice, mixed berries and London Dry. Or, a Dark’n’Stormy-inspired creation made with ginger beer, lime and organic cane spirit.

  • Aside from the booze-free beer and wine, there’s always a cocktail (or two) behind the bar at this gastropub. We recommend the Espresso Martini, mixing cold-drip coffee, vanilla and Lyre’s organic cane and coffee spirits.

  • This boozer is all about craft beer – even the non-alc variety. Which means you can still cool off with a few suds on the weekly curry night, with the likes of Heaps Normal, Hop Nation and the occasional European import.

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  • Our pick from the city’s clutch of bottle-shop-bar hybrids is stocked with lesser-seen non-alc beers from the likes of To Ol in Denmark and more. If you’re drinking in-house, it’s just a couple of extra bucks in corkage. Pair with some izakaya-style snacks and you won’t even miss the booze.

  • If you’re looking for a fine diner with a stellar booze-free offering, look no further. You’ll find beers from the likes of Upflow and Sobah, wine alternatives by Non and a healthy list of cocktails – all sans alcohol, all delicious.

  • Madame’s list “for those who abstain” has you covered with non-alc creations heavy on Lyre’s and Seedlip products. Whether you’re feeling like spritz or sour, there’s a rooftop-ready option here for you.

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  • This Thai spot does one of our favourite boozy brunches – but you can still partake in a Sunday session here even if you’re abstaining. One of the Saloon’s excellent mocktails – such as the Virgin Lychee Martini – will set you back just $9.

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