The most iconic rooftop bar in Melbourne is the appropriately named Rooftop Bar.
At 7 floors high, this local favourite offers a panoramic city vista, paired with a decent cocktail menu.
The floors below Rooftop Bar are home to other much-loved venues – Mesa Verda, The Toff and Cookie, are all worth visiting in their own right.
With only a quick elevator ride between them, might we suggest a mini bar-crawl is in order.
Our Tip: During the warmer months, Rooftop Bar hosts a cinema, screening cult films and recent releases. Unfortunately, the regular bar closes during these times, so make sure you plan ahead.
Doms Social Club was made for a good time. Spread over 3 levels, this Italian venue has an old-school (almost pub-like) charm; it feels welcoming and lived in. It’s an accomplishment, as it only opened its doors towards the end of 2020.
Take the stairs to level 3 and you’ll find their popular rooftop bar.
On the first floor is the restaurant, serving a precise menu where the wood-fired pizza is the main attraction. There’s no margherita, instead, there are around 7 more-unique options, mostly meat-based.
There’s the ‘Pastrami & Marrow’ (featuring a meat sauce,) and the pork cheek and pumpkin. It makes sense when you realise that Doms is from the same team behind Dexter, the popular BBQ restaurant behind Melbourne’s ‘meat donut.’
On the second level, you’ll find another bar, complete with a pool table, making Doms Social Club easy to settle into for the long haul.
Just like Goldilocks tried all of the chairs to find one ‘just right,’ this rooftop bar claims to be the perfect pick; and it’s not far off.
Goldilocks is a small and cosy rooftop bar in the middle of the city. There’s nothing flashy – no dance music, no coloured lights and no standing room – it’s a straight shooter.
We recommend getting a seat on the far end, with views of Swanston Street and The Emporium. Goldilocks is perfect for date night or just low-key drinks with a view.
It can be a little hard to find, making it one of Melbourne’s best-hidden bars.
We’re a big fan of the hospitality scene on Bourke Street Hill, and The Imperial is another gem. This old-school pub recently converted its rooftop into a modern bar, and it’s been busy since.
Directly opposite Parliament House, this open-air bar is very popular with the after-work crowd. Come for a drink and enjoy the sunset.
One of the few bars at Federation Square, Transport Hotel has decided to do it all.
The ground floor is a bar, with booth seats, giant screens and a regular DJ. On the 1st floor is Taxi Kitchen, their modern yet accessible restaurant.
And the top floor is Transit, their stunning rooftop bar with uninterrupted views of the Yarra River.
It’s a great location to relax after exploring the city’s best laneways.
Carlton Club is a psychedelic maze of tropical fun. This multi-level venue has several ‘different’ bars, some of which feature massive wall-mounted animal heads.
It’s the Palmz Rooftop Bar we’re looking for. This open-air perch is filled with palm trees and a grass-covered bar. With its 24-hour alcohol license, it’s very easy to spend the entire night at the Carlton Club.
State of Grace has a lot going for it.
The basement is a hidden bar tucked behind a bookcase, one of Melbourne’s best secret bars. The ground level is a modern European bistro, with a massive FU chandelier. While up top, there is a rooftop bar with a strong industrial feel.
On the western side of the city, more known for its office blocks, State of Grace is popular with the work crowd.
Meyers Place is a lively Melbourne laneway made great by its hospitality offerings. Loop Bar is one of them.
The ground-level bar is a dimly lit project space – they often exhibit locals artists’ works – but upstairs is their bright and leafy rooftop bar. Extra points for the mist system which keeps punters cool during the hot months.
Loop Bar recently added another level on top – so the rooftop just got even higher.
One of Melbourne’s best-kept secrets is the rooftop at QT Hotel. This hip hotel focuses on art and design, and it’s clear from the moment you step in.
Enter the slick lobby and ask one of the staff for the rooftop – don’t worry, you don’t need to be staying at the hotel. They’ll take you to the lift, and eleven floors later you’ll step out onto this beautiful rooftop bar.
This rooftop bar is classier than others, so it’s best you come dressed to impress.
Siglo is all class. This terrace bar specialises two things; wine and Cuban cigars. Opposite Parliament House, this European-inspired venue is great for a glitzy night out.
Fitzroy is Melbourne’s oldest suburb, and unsurprisingly, one of it’s most lively.
The Provincial Hotel is a classic corner pub that underwent a face-lift with the addition of a rooftop bar. While it is a modern addition, it still manages to maintain some old-world charm.
This spacious rooftop bar is inspired by the rooftop gardens of New York City, and is a great way to finish a Fitzroy shopping blitz.
The Corner Hotel is Melbourne’s most iconic music venue.
Operating since the 1940’s, this remodelled 19th-century pub has showcased most of Australia’s best musical acts.
In 1995 they opened up the rooftop bar, and it’s become a local favourite. With a full kitchen and well-stocked bar, it’s easy to spend the entire night here.
It’s full of greenery with nooks galore, and partly covered for the colder months.
One of Melbourne’s cheekiest bars by far, Madame Brussels takes its name from the city’s most notorious mistress.
Madame Brussels (real name, Caroline Hodgson) was the owner of a brothel during the mid-19-century, known for serving wealthy and powerful clientele.
This rooftop bar is inspired by the madame’s house, with faux grass and cocktails served out of teacups. It’s like a garden party in the sky.
The entrance is hard to find, but once you do, get prepared for an evening of revelry.
Hardware lane is filled with countless bars & restaurants all vying for your patronage; it can overwhelming. But if you choose to visit Campari House, you’ve made a good choice.
This Italian bar and restaurant is spread over three levels, with a sun-soaked rooftop bar. With heaters and a retractable roof, it’s well prepared for all seasons.
Didn’t think you could go higher than the rooftop? Well, it turns out you can.
Take the stairs from the rooftop bar and you’ll reach The Soda Bar. A small platform offering a great view of the city.
Brunswick is one of several suburbs filled with Melbourne’s version of the ‘hipster.’ With their desire for vegan alternatives, The Cornish Arms has stepped up to serve.
Their largely vegan menu takes on pub classics – like the parma, and burger – and they do it incredibly well.
Their rooftop bar offers a view of Brunswick, with the city skyline in the background.
You really can’t get any more Melbourne than this. Similar to Section 8, Whitehart is inside an abandoned car park.
This industrial bar has been built using shipping containers, and while it doesn’t have a kitchen, it has a rotating offer of food trucks.
Head upstairs to their rooftop, nestled between old red brick buildings.
In the 1930’s, a man nicknamed ‘Satan’ would distil vodka in a Fitzroy warehouse. It would get so hot during Summer, that he and his workers would strip down to their underwear. They called it getting, ‘Naked for Satan.’
Now, Naked for Satan is a Euro-inspired bar and restaurant with an amazing rooftop bar. Head upstairs for a fantastic view of the city.
Easey’s is one of a kind; you can enjoy a burger in a train carriage, on a rooftop. Yep, you heard right, a train on a rooftop.
This burger joint has hoisted three train carriages onto the roof, and it’s inside this that you’re able to smash a burger and beer, all with a picturesque view of the city.
This laneway bar is easy to walk past. The signage is minimal, and it’s down a side street in Chinatown, but skip it at your own peril.
Union Electric takes its name from the Union Electric Lighting Company, which called the Heffernan Lane home back in the 19th century.
It is a small bar, but it has an intimate rooftop bar that’s popular with those in the know.
The cocktail bar has a portrait of American actor Bill Murray, which acts like the bar’s patron saint. We strongly approve – Suntory time!
Johnny’s Green Room offers 360-degree views over Carlton and the sophisticated ambience of a rooftop party in Rome.
It’s perched on the rooftop of King & Godfree, an Italian grocer that opened in 1884.
Look out for the giant neon sign, and head up to Johnny’s for Aperol Spritz and hand-picked tunes.
Italian bites are also available – arancini, pizza, pasta, burgers – all using products that King & Godfree has been backing for years.
Bomba has a brilliant rooftop, complete with a retractable roof to defend from Melbourne’s fickle weather patterns.
With a full Spanish restaurant downstairs, you’ll be able to enjoy their cheesy manchego croquettes, eggplant chips and charcuterie.
Take a copper seat, and watch the busy cityscape change over your next couple of bellinis.
The Emerald Peacock has been a staple of the Melbourne drinking scene for over a decade, opening back in 2009.
Spread over two levels, the rooftop is a popular after-work spot for locals. It’s entirely covered, and complete with heaters – so it’s perfect at any time of the year.
There isn’t much that the European Bier Cafe cannot do; it’s a pub, restaurant, bar, and most importantly, a rooftop bar.
Spread over three levels, this massive venue offers a large choice of beer – the amount of taps is impressive.
The rooftop is mostly covered, and great for large groups.
Taylor was born and raised in Tasmania. He moved to Melbourne to study Film & television, and went on to start a marketing agency for hospitality. Whilst in Melbourne he also founded a walking tour company. He has a love for rock 'n' roll bars & New York-style pizza. In 2020 he was amongst the top 1% of Frank Sinatra listeners on Spotify.