Secret passages? Unmarked doors? Hush hush recipes? You better get ready, as this glorious city is brimming with illicit haunts that are sure to upgrade your drinking plans. From fairytale-themed spots boasting giant mushrooms and nostalgic concoctions to tiki venues located behind a fridge, we've rounded up the best hidden bars in Melbourne.
Based on the year when cocktails were first seen in print, 1806 is a hidden bar in Melbourne CBD that's sure to add glamour to any night out. Adorned with plush red seating, hanging glass chandeliers and a crackin' drinks menu based on music genres, this watering hole makes sure you won't leave thirsty. Try an opera-themed Queen Of Spades made up of vodka, framboise and mandarin bitters. Yum.
New Gold Mountain
Inspired by the Victorian gold rush of the early 1850s, New Gold Mountain is a dimly-lit lounge located on Little Bourke Street in Chinatown. Serving up a range of sips made from authentic Australian spirits and foraged ingredients, this is the ideal stop-off for cocktail connoisseurs. Our suggestion? A Walter Wombat with JimmyRum Spiced, Longrays Dark Soda and an apple crisp.
If you're after a hidden bar on Chapel Street, Jungle Boy is a tiki hotspot worth visiting. So, what makes it secret? To enter this tropical paradise, find the fridge door at the back of Boston Sub. Once inside, you'll be met by tropical vibes and vibrant interiors. Be sure to nab a table in a quiet corner to watch mixologists whip up rum-laced delights with a side of pizzazz.
You'll have to open a wardrobe door and push through hanging clothes to get to Trinket. The reward? A stunning haunt fronting a diverse range of food and drink. Think pumpkin arancini drizzled in aioli or a sticky date pudding alongside spiced rum caramel and a generous helping of mascarpone. Be sure to wash it down with a spicy Dark Dancer made from tequila, habanero tincture and a black salt rim.
Loch & Key
Located on Franklin Street, Loch & Key is a firm choice when it comes to illicit rooftop bars in Melbourne. Head up a mysterious staircase and you'll find a pretty outdoor terrace, alongside a cosy indoor space decked out with sultry furnishings. To top it off? This place also has over 150 years of experience in making cocktails, so expect lip-smacking treats.
If you're searching for hidden bars in Melbourne, this Alice In Wonderland-themed haunt will have you living your childhood fantasies. Not only does Storyville make you want to fall down the rabbit hole, thanks to whimsical giant mushrooms and tree trunk furnishings, but it also has a wacky selection of cocktails that are served in cauldrons or garnished with edible insects.
Beneath Driver Lane
Situated in an illicit underground space, Beneath Driver Lane is one of the best secret bars in Melbourne. Grab your pals for an evening of cocktails or, for those of you who like a late-night snack, then explore the after-hours food menu served from 12am to 3am. These hearty favourites include pork salami coloured with squid ink and an oozy raclette cheese toastie.
Eau de Vie
Touting smoking cocktails and Prohibition-themed interiors, it's no wonder why Eau de Vie is one of our favourite hidden Melbourne bars. Make your way inside this slick joint, where you'll be met with a lounge that's hidden behind a bookcase, which boasts an epic collection of tipples. Whether you're popping in for a whisky masterclass or seasonal oysters, this venue is bound to impress.
In the mood for more sultry sips? Then check out this guide to the best bars in Melbourne or sign up for our future newsletter here to be the first to know about openings.