Each of these bars trades in kitsch – that enigmatic balance of theatre, irony and lack of self-seriousness that separates a themed bar from merely an influenced one.

To really pull off a themed bar, it takes a whole-hearted commitment across the staff, decor, music and drinks. But when it works, as with these bars, your drinking experience will truly be lifted.

Read more:
Best Cocktail Bars in Melbourne
Best Neighbourhood Bars in Melbourne
Best Beer Bars in Melbourne
Best Wine Bars in Melbourne


Toast Valhalla and all things Norse here.

106-112 Hardware Street, Melbourne
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The Croft Institute

Drink from oversized syringes at this experimental bar.

21-25 Croft Alley, Melbourne


Drinking in post-war opulence on the West side or soviet grunge on the East side? It's your choice at Berlin.

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


A fairytale themed bar, from the owners of Pawn & Co. and 29th Apartment.

185 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Natural History Public Bar

Ever wanted to eat a steak in front of a taxidermied animal?

401 Collins Street, Melbourne

Pawn & Co.

At this pawn-shop themed bar, the lines are blurred: you can buy a lot of the second-hand goods on display here.

177 Greville Street , Prahran

Double Happiness

Chairman Mao, communist propaganda, cocktails? Far more fun (and inoffensive) than it sounds.

21 Liverpool Street, Melbourne

Holey Moley

Juvenile mini-golf gets an adult makeover at this insane bar.

590 Little Bourke St, Melbourne

Madame Brussels

An over-the-top garden party – set in an exaggerated rooftop tennis club.

Level 3 59-63 Bourke St, Melbourne

The Palm Royale

Tiki bars will never go away, and this Richmond incarnation is Melbourne's proud standard-bearer.

438 Church Street, Richmond

East China Trading Company

Golden Monkey’s sister venue offers a refined offering of rum and dumplings.

Enter Hardware Lane, Ground floor 389 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne