Melbourne and its winding laneways are a great place to find wonderful artwork, cafes and restaurants. They're also a fantastic place for hidden bars.
Whether you're craving a tropical cocktail or a strong whisky, there's a bar hiding around a corner just waiting for you. Here are our picks for top hidden lane way bars in Melbourne.
Behind an unmarked door lies Berlin Bar, a stylish bar characterised by two distinct spaces - 'east Berlin' and 'west Berlin'. To find it, head down the narrow Corrs Lane to number 16 and see if you can find the door. The west Berlin space brings a touch of indulgence and classic luxury - private table service is even available. Over at east Berlin you can enjoy socialist artwork, and industrial- and bunker-like furnishings for a bar experience with a difference.
Image courtesy of @berlinbarmelbourne
Cabinet Bar and Balcony
It takes a little sleuthing to get to the cool and exclusive Cabinet Bar and Balcony. It's found at 11 Rainbow Alley, hiding behind Council House 2 on Little Collins Street. Head up a secret flight of stairs and you'll be greeted with sofas, tables and a balcony with great views of Swanston. Enjoy a drink in a jar, a signature cocktail named after one of the bar's regulars or feast on sharing plates with your friends. You'll love the blend of quality and attentive service mixed with the relaxed atmosphere.
Image courtesy of @cabinet.bar
"Melbourne and its winding lane ways are a great place to find wonderful artwork, cafes and restaurants. They're also a fantastic place for hidden bars"
The Croft Institute
This incredibly unique bar is not only tucked down a winding lane way, its decor is also based on retro science laboratories, so expect a slightly surreal experience. Located at 21 Croft Alley, you'll have to head through some of Chinatown's twisting and turning alleys before arriving at your destination. The Croft Institute is great for relaxed evening drinks or dancing the night away with hot DJ music on the weekends. With a number of special cocktails on the menu you don't want to miss giving these concoctions a try.
Once again you'll have to navigate the lane ways of Melbourne to find this stylish little bar at 3-5 Hosier Lane. An artistic oasis, at Misty Bar there are paintings and creations all over the walls indoors and outside. Artists regularly transform the space so it's never the same week by week. Spend the evening winding down after work with one of the bar's trademark craft cocktails and enjoy the friendly service. It's rare to find such a centrally-located establishment that creates a whole world of its own, but Misty Bar certainly does the job.
Loop Project Space and Bar
Loop Project Space and Bar is a laneway bar offering more than just the standard drink-and-bar-snack experience. Its ground floor bar is great for a casual beverage, while its rooftop cocktail bar offers an exotic garden-style setting with great views and delicious flavours. These spaces are also home to an impressive range of events, focusing on supporting independent artists, film-makers and those working with digital media. Keep an eye out on the events' calendar for this ever-changing space. Drop by at 23 Meyers Place, off Bourke Street near Parliament Station.
Image courtesy of @loopmelbourne
Bennetts Lane Jazz Club
Hailed as a world-class jazz venue, at Bennetts Lane you can catch live international and local acts performing here night in night out - with a great drink in hand, of course. You'll find this soulful bar at 25 Bennetts Lane and become part of its long legacy - it's been open since 1992! Since its inception it has played host to a number of seriously impressive names, such as Prince, Harry Connick Jnr. and Leroy Jones - to name but a few. Not only does this bar present wonderful jazz music to its punters, it supports the development of emerging artists and educational programs.
If you're ever wondering what to do in Melbourne on any given evening, head to one of these fantastic hidden bars for a night to remember.
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