Henry Sugar is the kind of wine bar every neighbourhood should have. It’s intimate yet communal; sophisticated yet relaxed. The mix of contemporary Australian fare, sharp cocktails and easy-drinking natural wines are a sure-fire bet your first time here won’t be the last.
The kind of neighbour you’ll want to enjoy long, languorous meals with. Expect a tome-like wine list that spans France, Italy, Georgia and Australia. Plus a share plate menu that might include excellent handmade pasta, elevated seasonal veg and an unmissable Sunday roast.
You won’t find another bar in the country like Boilermaker House. It’s devoted to the timeless pairing of whisky and beer, and with more than 700 drams on the wall and a constant rotation of beers on tap, the flavour combinations are seemingly endless here.
It’s not the theatrical cocktails, world-beating whisky list or European-inspired snacks that put Eau de Vie up there among the world’s best bars. It’s the laser-like attention to detail at every turn, and the fact that someone here knows what you want to drink – even if you don’t.
A bastion of live music for two decades, this is the place to check out buzzy acts from Melbourne and interstate. As well as the bandroom, it’s got an all-weather rear deck that blends seamlessly into the rest of the pub, plus wallet-friendly parmas and Sunday roasts.
Go on a journey through Andalusia with charcuterie, moreish tapas and house-made paella. The southern Spanish staple has built a loyal following over the years, and its longevity in an area of ever-changing restaurants helps to explain why.
You can choose your own adventure at Bomba. Come for tapas and imported Spanish wines at the restaurant downstairs, or escape to the fifth-floor rooftop for cocktails and DJs every weekend. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
A 19th-century gastropub with a vintage front bar and a bistro up there with the city’s best. The menu includes modern classics (including a signature schnitzel with chicken butter) and a set offering that wouldn’t look out of place in a classy restaurant.
The Terminus Hotel’s secluded little sister is a true locals’ haunt (you’ll see them sprawled on couches and huddled around communal tables). The team has mastered pub staples like the chicken parma and classic steak. It’s best to pair them with one of the many craft beers on tap.
This wine-slinging laneway bar was one of Melbourne’s first. Since 1994, it’s developed a loyal following for its expansive wine list, reliable service and Euro-leaning share plates (including an off-menu Portuguese fish stew).
Pick a bunch of shared dishes from the day’s menu on the wall. Order some wine with help from the switched-on staff. The format’s simple, but as we’ve come to expect from Andrew McConnell’s restaurants, everything is just right.