Head to the top floor of these unique venues for some of the hottest food, coldest drinks and the best views of Melbourne.
By Allie Metz
Melbourne is known for its vibrant small bar scene. While you’ll find an ample selection of moody underground haunts to explore, why not take advantage of the fresh air and skyline vistas on offer at these chic rooftop venues.
Don’t let the seven flights of stairs stand in your way (the elevator works sometimes), as this is easily one of Melbourne’s best known and most loved rooftop bars. Located at Curtin House on Swanston Street, right in the middle of the city, you’ll get unbeatable views of Melbourne’s skyline as you sit back in one of the deck chairs. The Rooftop Burger Shack will keep you fed and in summer the venue plays host to an outdoor cinema. Make sure you’ve got tickets if you’re headed there between December and March or may not get in until after the film has finished.
Sitting atop Fitzroy’s funky Naked for Satan, Naked in the Sky offers views across the city and down Brunswick Street. Downstairs you’ll find a selection of cheap and cheerful pintxos (bite-size snacks on bread in the Basque style), while the upstairs restaurant offers something a bit more sophisticated (and substantial). If the weather’s good, get there early to ensure you get a spot on the outdoor deck.
Fully equipped to keep you comfortable in the fickle Melbourne weather (think retractable awnings, misters and radiant heating), Loop Roof is a city centre escape where you’ll be delighted by the funky décor, 90s hip hop and quirky cocktails (share-size cocktails are served in brightly coloured watering cans). The food is top notch, as well, evidenced by the snaking line up out the door. Get there early to ensure you don’t get stuck waiting.
Whether or not you’ve made this funky hotel your home while in Melbourne, The Rooftop bar at the QT Hotel is certainly worth a visit. The mid-century décor is as elegant as the cocktails and the indoor/outdoor split makes it a perfect spot to lounge any time of year. Head up there for drinks, snacks and incredible views of Melbourne’s glittering skyline.
With a retractable roof and ample heating, The Emerson Rooftop in South Yarra is perfect no matter the weather. Stop here for everything from a refreshing drink in the afternoon sun (grab a day bed and settle in) through to a great casual dinner. If you end up staying on, head downstairs and hit the dancefloor for the perfect way to finish off your night.
It’s Palm Beach meets southern BBQ at Good Heavens, where the 80s inspired drinks are brightly-hued and the snacks come straight from the smoker at Fancy Hank’s downstairs. The drinks menu also features a range of craft brews and an all-Aussie wine list, playing the perfect companion to the indulgent burgers, brisket and cheesy sides being served up. There are even a few thoughtful options for vegetarians and vegans on the menu, so the whole crew can enjoy an afternoon session at this happening spot.
If you’re feeling the need for a little green in your life, the lush tropical vibes of The Palmz will certainly satisfy. The thatched roof of the bar and the surrounding palm trees will transport you from the city to a quiet island where your only responsibility is to relax. You’ll find this funky venue above The Carlton Hotel in the city centre.
Bomba is the proof that only good things can happen when tapas and rooftop bars collide. Open in summer and fully enclosed in winter, this inner-city haunt is chic, stylish and designed to satisfy. Vermouth is the hero of the drinks list, but you’ll also find all your other favourite spirits, beer and wine on the menu. The rooftop opens from 3pm every day, so head on up to watch the sun go down.
With 360-degree views of the city, this rooftop beer garden is the perfect city spot for a pint. Come to watch a match, stuff your face with indulgent options from their classic pub menu and enjoy laidback vibes. The Imperial Hotel is one of Melbourne’s oldest pubs and boasts one of the biggest rooftops in the city, making it the perfect spot to enjoy an afternoon with all of your mates.