There are rooftop bars, and then there are rooftop bars! In Melbourne, the latter, which was emphasised for impressiveness in case it didn’t translate, has become an art form.
On the ground, Melbourne is a foodie heaven with cafes, fine dining and some of the best restaurant culture in the world. But in recent times the city’s rooftops have seen a growing culture of rooftop bars. And we don’t mean any old roof with a bar on top, these are some of the most creative and unique venues you’ll find.
Melbourne can be rather cold in the winter, but perfect for balmy summer evenings. Perhaps that’s why the rooftop culture has taken off as much as it has, locals love to take advantage of the warmer weather and this is a pretty cool way to enjoy it.
The city keeps reinventing itself, making the most out of its heritage atmosphere with a tasty dollop of contemporary sophistication.
Between November and March, recline in a deckchair and snack away as you watch art house and movie classics at the rooftop cinema. Sway to the DJ beats on the Ibiza-inspired deck above the State Library, or enjoy authentic Italian food alfresco in a tropical Hawaiian themed rooftop, complete with waiters in Hawaiian shirts.
On a rooftop in Bourke Street you’ll wander into the past on a rooftop styled as a 19th century garden tea party, with fake grass, garden furniture, even a pink parlour.
Aer Bar, in the city centre, serves an array of tapas and local pub meals with a touch of class, and is one of the most popular rooftop hangouts.
Discover the character and charm of jazz, cigars and cool cocktails at the Blue Diamond; an art deco bachelor pad bar where you can pretend to be the coolest dude in the house.
The furniture inside the Asian Beer Cafe is of a colonial Asian style, and incorporates some notable history with the iron wood originating from an old cargo ship, sunk by pirates off the coast of Indonesia. Enjoy Bento Boxes with your spectacular city view.
Sample an authentic Spanish wine list imported especially by the Bomba Tapas Bar and Rooftop, along with an affordable and festive tapas menu.
And you can find more rooftop splendour in Melbourne’s theatre district, between Exhibition and Russell Street. Grab a bite before seeing a theatre show, or pop in for a post-show cocktail.
Melbourne has so many tiny, chic laneways, hidden boutiques and fabulous fine dining in unpretentious cafes and restaurants, you may be forgiven for not being aware of the incredible rooftop culture above your head. It’s what makes exploring this city so much fun and deliciously entertaining.
What are you waiting for? Grab yourself some great flights to Melbourne and go rooftop hopping.
Images courtesy of Tourism Australia, visitvictoria.com, and thatsmelbourne.com.au