It used to be that a killer line-up of wines – by the glass and bottle – was enough to make a wine bar noteworthy. Now, it’s the bare minimum. The wine bars in this guide have the food, decor and ambience to match their wines. Above all, though, they’re fun.

Unlike in restaurants, wines don’t play second fiddle here – they’re the star. Sure, you’re likely to find your favourite classic varietals, but these venues will also push you to try (and enjoy) the latest in biodynamic, organic and natural wines.

Related pages:
Best Wine Shops in Melbourne
Best Beer Bars in Melbourne
Best Cocktail Bars in Melbourne

Marion

Bar

Andrew McConnell's wine and snack bar, right next to Cutler & Co.

53 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Book a Table

Embla

Bar

Chef Dave Verhuel works magic with his wood-fired oven. Fellow owner Christian McCabe works magic with the quirky wine list. It's a partnership that makes Embla good for almost any occasion you can think of.

122 Russell Street, Melbourne

Napier Quarter

Cafe

An all-day Parisian-style diner taking you right through from morning croissants to late-night cheese.

359 Napier Street, Fitzroy

Neighbourhood Wine

Bar

Japanese and Lebanese wines? You bet.

1 Reid Street, Fitzroy North
Book a Table

Cumulus Up Wine Bar

Bar

The upstairs version of Andrew McConnell's Cumulus Inc has the same X factor.

Level 1 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Etta

Restaurant

This neighbourhood bistro and wine bar keeps going from strength to strength. Its latest incarnation, guided by the steady hands of owner co-owner Hannah Green and head chef Rosheen Kaul, is one of the best places to eat and drink in Melbourne.

60 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Bar Liberty

Bar

One of the city's best wine and beer lists, paired with extraordinarily attentive service.

234 Johnston Street, Fitzroy

Old Palm Liquor

Bar

The follow-up to Neighbourhood Wine is cool and comfortable. Take a seat at the bar or in front of an open fire and feel the tension melt off your shoulders.

133b Lygon Street, Brunswick East
Book a Table

Spensley’s

Restaurant

Visit this neighbourhood wine bar for the well-executed food; stay for the sculptural timber, brass accents, and warm, classic feel.

43 Spensley Street, Clifton Hill

Little Andorra

Bar

Half a dozen new wines each week, and jazz and blues records that change almost as much.

555 Nicholson Street, Carlton North

Agostino

Bar

A modern take on the classic Italian enoteca, a 50-seat wine bar with house-made pasta, hard-to-find wines and waiters clad in head-to-toe white Japanese denim in an iconic heritage-listed building.

297 Lygon Street, Carlton
Order on Providoor

Congress

Restaurant

Kangaroo pastrami, pulled pig’s-head and croquettes are the hallmarks of this flexible restaurant-slash-wine bar.

49 Peel Street, Collingwood

Lagotto

Cafe

A great bar at any point in the evening, but the aperitivo hour – from 4pm–7pm – offers $5 spritzes and bar snacks.

1 York Street, Fitzroy North
Book a Table

Punch Lane

Restaurant

A city staple for more than 20 years. What more do you need to know?

43 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

Bellota Wine Bar

Bar

Sample 3,500 bottles from the neighbouring Prince Wine Store.

181 Bank Street, South Melbourne
Book a Table

Denton Wine Bar

Bar

This Flinders Lane corner spot has outside seating and a couple of booths, but you should grab a seat at the bar. For $11 a pop Denton will pour you a pinot, chardy or some nebbiolo rosé from its own vineyard.

1 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Willow Wine Cafe

Bar

Owner Ellen Turner has put together a selection of curious and more accessible drops, with a good mix available by the glass, too.

126 Williamstown Road, Kingsville

Wine 1160

Bar

A wine bar with no bar, to remove any separation between staff and customers.

1160 High Street, Armadale

Henry Sugar

Restaurant

A rustic wine bar from two experienced hospo names.

298 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North

The Alps

Bar

Where terroir and honest wine-making matter above all else.

64 Commercial Road, Prahran

The Hills

Bar

A neighbourhood wine bar from the crew behind Toorak Cellars, Milton Wine Shop and the Alps.

141 Union Road, Surrey Hills

The Moon

Bar

A wine bar and shop from the guys behind The Alps and Toorak Cellars.

28 Stanley Street, Collingwood

Arlechin

Bar

Whether it’s spaghetti, duck liver parfait or tiramisu ice-cream pops, the Grossi family’s new venture will guarantee you’ll be eating (and drinking) in style, post midnight.

Mornane Place, Melbourne

Gerald’s Bar

Bar

As little or as much sophistication as you need.

386 Rathdowne St, Carlton North

Juliet Melbourne

Bar

A wine bar that's all about supporting women in the industry.

37-41 Little Bourke St, Melbourne

Kirk’s Wine Bar

Restaurant

Settle into a bentwood chair and pretend you're in Europe.

Corner Hardware Lane and Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

City Wine Shop

Bar

Sit in or take a bottle home.

159 Spring Street, Melbourne

Seddon Wine Store

Bar

Five hundred bottles to take home or drink on site.

2/101 Victoria Street, Seddon

Luxsmith Bar and Wine Shop

Bar

This former vintage clothing shop has big open windows and a capacity of just 30. There's a broad selection of local and Eurocentric wines here.

5 Gamon Street, Seddon

Union Wine Store

Bar

Number two from the couple behind Seddon Wine Store.

211 Union Road, Ascot Vale

Hudsons Road Wine and Beer

Bar

Two hundred wines and beers, to drink in or take home.

2 88 Hudsons Road, Spotswood

Smithward

Bar

This tiny Collingwood bar doesn't have a kitchen – so it serves a lot of cheese, including raclette.

48 Smith Street, Collingwood

Underwood Wine Bar

Bar

Knock back a glass or two while you're waiting for a spot at nearby Moroccan Soup Bar.

181 St George's Road, Fitzroy North
Book a Table

Atlas Vinifera

Shop

A wine bar and bottle shop, with 350 wines from around the world.

274 Church Street, Richmond

The Ugly Duckling

Bar

A sun-bathed greenhouse with a banging selection.

238 Swan Street, Richmond
Order on Providoor

South Press Wine House

Bar

Beef and banquettes.

27 Toorak Road, South Yarra

Hampton Wine Co.

Bar

There's no menu: just pick from the perimeter shelves.

444 Hampton Street, Hampton

Milton Wine Shop

Bar

Wine, cheese and a "no snobbery" policy.

1427 Malvern Road, Malvern

The Milton

Restaurant

A buzzing, timber-clad cocoon.

134 Ormond Road, Elwood

The Valley Cellar Door

Shop

Skip the wine list and select directly from the wall.

18 18-20 Hall Street, Moonee Ponds

Hemingway’s Wine Room

Bar

This lavish, split-down-the-centre space was designed with the spirit of 1920s Paris and New York in mind. Have a cheese trolley wheeled to your table, sip Ernest Hemingway-inspired cocktails, or settle in for a long lunch with free-flowing magnums.

150 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne

Waxflower

Bar

Blending elements of Melbourne cafe, European wine bar and Tokyo-style “listening bar”, this buzzing spot hosts vinyl-only DJs five nights a week, with no cover charges. It’s one of the best places in town to hear recorded music.

153 Weston Street, Brunswick

Hope St Radio

Bar

A glowing wine (and pasta) bar at Collingwood’s mammoth arts hub, which doubles as Hope St Radio’s home. Settle in for rigatoni all’amatriciana, Fernet-Branca-and-cola sorbet and plenty of juicy lo-fi wines.

35 Johnston Street, Collingwood

Bar Romanee

Restaurant

This swish bar – decked out in emerald marble and plush velvet – was once a Bakers Delight. Now, it's a buzzy bistro and wine bar from a former Fitzroy Town Hall head chef and the owner of nearby wine bar Barkley Johnson. Visit for a caramelised-onion baguette, whole fish swimming in miso butter and a peachy aperitif cocktail.

25 Anderson Street, Yarraville

Vex Dining

Bar

The clever veg-forward wine bar created by two former Neighbourhood Wine and Bar Romantica head chefs. In the sunlight-filled dining room, or under the fairy light-studded lemon tree out back, order smoky-sweet turnips, brown butter fish and boozy amaro sorbet.

66-68 High Street, Northcote

Auterra

Bar

This warmly lit bolthole, by Amaru's Clinton McIver, is all about fun fine-diner snacks – minus the degustation price tag. And most dishes are made to be eaten without cutlery. So, raise a spanner-crab doughnut or aged-Comte eclair in one hand, and a glass of splash-out-worthy champagne in the other.

1160 High Street, Armadale

Public Wine Shop

Shop

Former sommelier Campbell Burton is behind this smart store, where 200 bottles of organic, sulphur-free wine rest in temperature controlled cabinets.

179 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North

Baby Snakes

Bar

Head up the ridiculously colourful stairwell at this good-time bar (by a co-founder of the Moon and Milton Wine Shop) for a very drinkable "mistake" rosé; frozen Margs and passionfruit sours. For snacks, try one of the Reubens or a spicy Sichuan eggplant sanga.

30 Chambers Street, Footscray