While there’s always room for a drink at one of Melbourne’s best bars, it’s fun to try somewhere new, too. This is our edit of Melbourne’s best new bars from the past 12 months, updated monthly. Some could become your new favourite; others may just be good for one memorable night. All are worth a try.

Here’s a tip: come hungry. A lot of these bars have killer menus that deserve to be explored.

Related pages:
Best Bars in Melbourne
Best New Restaurants in Melbourne
Best New Cafes in Melbourne

Caretaker’s Cottage

Bar

Squeeze into this tiny, 100-year-old caretaker’s quarters for what may be Victoria’s smallest pub. Behind Tassie oak bar you’ll find Guinness on tap, a short cocktail list and British pub snacks to keep you mint.

139-141 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Zaubertrank

Bar

On paper, it shouldn’t work. But in reality, this eccentric wine bar from the team behind Carwyn Cellars nails the unlikely pairing of aromatic German and Austrian white wines alongside punchy, lesser-seen Malaysian-inspired bar snacks.

881 High Street, Thornbury

Pearl Chablis & Oyster Bar

Bar

In the same way as its sibling Pinchy’s is all about champagne and lobster, this swish bar champions another age-old pairing – with oyster degustations and around 500 Burgundy wines to choose from. Find it hidden in a low-key CBD arcade.

Level 1 108/200 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Hotel Railway

Restaurant

Once a notorious pub with a chequered past, this north-side institution is now a glowing venue for special occasions, date nights and all-round good times. It includes an Eastern Mediterranean diner, a late-night vinyl-only bar and a sprawling beer garden.

291 Albert Street, Brunswick

Her Rooftop

Restaurant

Five storeys up, this compact open-air bar offers fruit-forward cocktails and punchy, barbeque-driven Thai food from downstairs sibling BKK. With glass balustrades and dual retractable awnings, it’s the perfect all-weather spot to enjoy city views.

Level 5 270 Lonsdale Street (enter via Drewery Lane), Melbourne

Music Room

Bar

Her's first floor bar is an immersive, sound-proof space dedicated to vinyl, premium spirits and sparkling wines. Inspired by Japanese and European record bars, it's where you'll hear a unique, DJ-curated soundtrack each night, courtesy of the 3000-strong vinyl collection behind the sleek timber bar.

Level 1 270 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Co-Conspirators Brewpub

Bar

Hop-forward IPAs are the main game at this soaring warehouse brewery, but sours, saisons and dark beers are also on frequent rotation. Pair with a charcuterie box or pizza and you’re all set.

377 Victoria Street, Brunswick

Naught Distilling

Bar

Try the full range of award-winning gins at this dim, swanky cocktail bar on par with those in the inner city.

2 32 Peel Street, Eltham

Kaiju Cantina

Bar

At this brewpub by Melbourne-born brewery Kaiju, you can try small-batch exclusives, whopping double IPAs and more alongside the brand’s star-making tropical pale ale. It’s all pouring inside a converted warehouse with Neapolitan pizzas and retro ’70s style.

27 Hume Street, Huntingdale

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

Pearl Diver Cocktails and Oysters

Bar

The name says it all. Come here for oysters are served at least eight ways, and Martinis with a spherified olives in tiny oyster shells, among other creative cocktails.

56 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

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

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

Yarra Falls

Bar

Evoking a lost piece of Melbourne’s pre-colonial landscape, this tiny bar inside an ornate, heritage-listed space has a striking indoor waterfall that doubles as a back-bar. Come for vibrant cocktails and a seasonal menu of snacks celebrating native ingredients.

381 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Deeds Brewing

Bar

This schmick brewery specialises in hop-driven hazy IPAs and high-alcohol styles, but with 22 beers on tap, there’s something for every kind of drinker. The beer also makes its way into the food, from hop-cured salmon to malted cheesecake.

4 Paran Place, Glen Iris

Fable

Bar

Thirteen floors up, the stunning venue boasts uninterrupted city views and a retractable roof for year-round dining. Inspired by its heritage, it’s serving Greek-inspired fare from an ex-Press Club chef.

13 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne