As one of Melbourne’s most happening neighborhoods, it’s no surprise that the Fitzroy bars scene is exploding by the day. There are bars in this suburb for every. single. taste… whether you are looking for Fitzroy bars that are hidden/secret, on a rooftop, casual, super-fancy, have live music venues, or come with a busy busy dance floor.
After leading Melbourne bar tours for the better part of a year, I’ve made it my mission recently to try and test out each of these awesome Fitzroy venues myself. I must admit I
spent all my money have outdone myself a bit.
Fitzroy really keeps on giving and it seems that the more you explore, the more there is to find. Either way, I’ve detailed the best below and also compiled a Fitzroy bars map – hope you can use this list to plan/continue an awesome night out.
I know each person/group is into different things, which is why I have organized my super-comprehensive guide to Fitzroy bars below into categories. These are mostly Brunswick Street bars, but for the sake of including all the awesome venues in the area I have included some nearby as well.
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Here’s a color-coded map of all the bars I mention below. You’re welcome. See you out there! 😛
Amazing High-End Fitzroy Cocktail Bars
These amazing cocktail bars will display the pinnacle of the skilled Melbourne career bartender. Probably don’t go if you aren’t into trying some type of interesting experimental cocktail involving fire or nitro…. that probably costs quite a lot too, but will be worth it.
I’ve already mentioned the Black Pearl’s awesomeness above, but I’ll restate it now: The Black Pearl is awesome. It’s one of the better-known-and-loved crafty cocktail bars of the north side, and you should check it out.
The Everleigh is also widely known to be one of the best cocktail bars in the area. Come here for expertly crafted cocktails in a luxurious and old-style setting. Apparently there’s also a secret room inside… see if you can find it!
This Brunswick Street gem has the cocktail game on lock. Experience old renaissance-style decor (think, renaissance paintings, statues, and red velvet frilly seats) with equally ostentatious and garnished cocktails.
Secret/Hidden Fitzroy Bars
These Fitzroy bars are hidden above other bars – concealed from the naked eye in true Melbourne fashion.
The Attic (above Black Pearl)
The Attic is a speakeasy-vibe secret bar hidden above the ever-popular Black Pearl Bar. If you take the stairs at the back of Black Pearl and ring the doorbell jsut past the bathrooms, you should be let in by an tie-clad bartender who was probably in the middle of making a nique and delicious cocktail.
It’s like being in the Black Pearl, but like, even more special because it’s a secret and on the second floor.
Above Board (above Beermash)
On Smith Street (so not Brunswick Street, but not far away!), you’ll find a fabulous beer bar called Beermash. But, similarly to The Attic, if you go to the back and locate the staircase, you will ascend to find a tiny little cocktail board called Above Board (because it’s above the boards of Beermash, I suspect).
Above Board is not your regular cocktail experience. It’s run by a well-known bartender who is a master of his craft and knows it. The cocktails on the menu for the evening will be the ONLY things on the menu for the evening, so don’t even think about ordering anything else! Trust me, though – it’s gonna be good.
Views from Naked for Satan – one of my very favorite Fitzroy bars!
Fitzroy Rooftop Bars
These open-air Brunswick Street bars will offer fresh air and a view.
Naked for Satan
Did you even go to Fitzroy if you didn’t check out Naked for Satan Rooftop?! This gem is undoubtedly the most famous of the Brunswick Street bars, and with good reason, too.
Not only does it have an awesome view of the Melbourne skyline, but the drinks and food are top-notch as well. They also regularly have cheaper drink specials, even with the view.
Upside is on the down-side (pun intended, ha ha) of Brunswick Street, just up from Gertrude. It’s located on floor 3 atop the popular Ichi Ni Nana Izakaya Japanese restaurant (say that ten times fast) on floor 1, and the Village People Hawker Foodhall on floor 3.
Basically, this is the place to come if you want to take care of some great food and drink options in one building.
The Provincial Hotel is a classic Aussie pub with a lovely open-air rooftop serving till midnight. Downstairs is more of a party, and upstairs is more views-and-chill.
Specialty Fitzroy Bars
These Fitzroy Bars specialize in some kind of certain something – whether a type of alcohol or a certain theme.
The Rum Diary Bar
The Rum Diary is an awesome pirate-themed rum bar with a few hundred different types of rum served, alongside their very own Run Diary spiced rum. Customer service and bar knowledge is always outstanding.
Picture smoking a cigar and sipping a crafted spiced rum tiki-themed cocktail – that’s the Rum Diary.
The Elysian Whiskey Bar
If you like Whisky…. come here. End of story. The Elysian has HUNDREDS of different types of whisky, which you can drink in delicious cocktails, flights, boilermakers, and more.
It’s an intimate sized bar with bartenders who truly know their craft. Picture listening to light jazz as you chat with the bartender about the newest cask-strength scotch.
The Kodiak Club
This is a North-American inspired bourbon bar known for their hot wing challenge, and well, bourbon. Come here for some good old American fried food and a variety of bourbon and drinks in a casual setting.
Bad Frankie does not specialize in one kind of alcohol – in fact, they have many. What separates this bar is that EVERYTHING is AUSSIE. That’s right – the spirits, wine, beer, even soft drinks are all Australian-made and Australian-themed.
Bad Frankie is especially known for its wide selection of Jaffles- Australian toasted sandwiches that are sealed around the outside. They have 10+ different kinds, even some sweet ones.
Casual/Fun Fitzroy Bars
These are more relaxed Fitzroy bars to sit and play games or chill.
Pixel Alley is a fun old-school arcade games bar. Think: shooting games, driving games, pinball, pac man, space invader, etc. This bar is an awesome idea for a date, or just for a chilled night (or beginning of a night) with friends.
Bar SK is what I would classify as an ‘experimental video game bar.’ These guys get random, simple video games in to play projected on big screens (the kind that you reckon may have been engineered in someone’s garage office just for shits and gigs).
For example, one time I went there was a game where one player is a kid on a bike and the other is a diving magpie trying to swoop the kid. These games change every other week or so. They also have a solid selection of craft beer that you can drunk while playing said random video games.
The Night Cat is a chilled green coffee shop during the day, known for its open-air adjacent patio covered in greenery (and perhaps with the only palm tree in Melbourne?!?).
By night, it’s still chilled out, but a bar! The music will turn up (often with a dj) while revellers relax on the venue’s comfy couches or enjoy a smoke on the outdoor (doggo-friendly) patio.
Mr Wow’s Emporium
This second-floor Collingwood gem is known for its bocce ball court, pool table, and weekly trivia games. Great drink selection too.
You’ll find this awesome mural on the side of The Night Cat.
Fitzroy Live Music Venues
Baxter’s Lot has free gigs SEVEN days a week – oftentimes discovering emerging and local artists – and also lots of open mic Sundays.
This bar aims to be a ‘friendly neighborhood bar,’ and accomplishes just this with its warm atmosphere and welcoming attitude. It’s a great bar to go alone or to chat with travelers and locals alike, whether it’s a Monday or a Saturday night!
Bar Open is another Fitzroy staple, with live music and events happening pretty much every single day of the week and every weekend. It’s not far from Baxter’s either – between these two you have a perfect weeknight agenda.
The Night Cat is a Fitzroy staple and has been at the forefront of Melbourne Live music for decades. It’s the venue on this list that would definitely be more of a ticketed music venue and less of a bar with live music.
They have gigs on all the time – both during the week and weekdays. Expect everything from Latin Night to Rock + Alt. Check upcoming events here.
The Tote is a historic live music venue with an awesome story. The building was first opened in the 1870’s, and after rebranding in 1980 it was known for having live music 6 days a week, mostly in the punk, rock, and metal variety.
It was a focal point in Melbourne’s 2010 live music rallies, and after nearly closing, it’s still alive today to tell the tale. If nothing else, check it out as a historic staple of the area. It’s still largely rock-focused – check upcoming gigs here.
The Workers Club
The Workers Club is probably the first of the Brunswick St Bars, right on the bottom end of the street. It’s pretty much a cross between a chilled-out pub and a live music venue, as there’s a band room that often has gigs during the week.
This is a great spot for affordable food and beer, and as its title suggests, it appeals a lot to the hospo working crowd by being the place to be on a Monday night. Check upcoming events here.tote fitz
Grace Darling is also a pub that holds tons of gigs. Located on Smith Street, it’s perfectly placed to pop in after trying out a few more of these Fitzroy Bars. Check their upcoming gigs here.
Relaxed Fitzroy Pubs
The Napier Hotel is known for its delicious food (you can try kangaroo or a ‘bogan burger’ here, and they also have actually decent vego options). It’s got down-to-earth staff, a good beer garden, and solid vibes.
The Standard Hotel
Just off Brunswick toward Carlton you’ll find the Standard Hotel. This is exactly what you’d imagine in a chilled out classic Aussie pub – good food and good beer. It has an old-style feel and a great beer garden.
Brunswick Street in all its glory – looking north from Johnston.
Dance Floor Fitzroy Bars/Pubs
These pubs below function as such during the week, but turn up the heat on the weekend with dj’s and dance floors.
The Fitzroy Beer Garden
While also being a lovely beer garden, this venue often has dj’s playing out in the back with quite the dance party going on. If you come in the week, they will have nightly food and drink specials (trivia, bangers + mash day, burger day, steak day etc), but if you rock up on a weekend night, expect it to be packed. Some Melbourne crews hold events here, too.
The ‘Persa’ as it is lovingly called by regulars, is a chilled out pub during the week with trivia, parma specials, and more. But, come the weekend, the 80’s and 90’s tunes will be chucked on, lasers will come on, and the pub will turn into a dance floor heaven.
Provincial Hotel Downstairs
While the rooftops bar upstairs is a bit more pinky-out, the Provincial ‘Prov’ hotel’s downstairs can get fully packed with groups of gals scream-singing “Dancing Queen” come the weekend. It’s exactly that type of night out (you know what I mean) and when you really go for it its the BEST time.
Fitzroy Clubs/Where to Go After Bars
If a pub with a dance floor doesn’t quite cut it, these after-hours venues are sure to satiate your desire for a fun (and possibly wild) night out.
Glamorama is THE electronic music club of the north side. This venue is where any and all famous dj’s will play, from all walks of the electronic music umbrella.
Even known by some as the ‘Revs of the North,’ it’s definitely worth ending your Fitzroy night out if you’re into that kind of music. Many big names will be ticketed, however, and often sell out. Check here for upcoming events. Closes 5am.
Bimbo is another classic dance floor. Previously known as ‘Bimbo Deluxe,’ the old venue actually burned down and was only reconstructed and reopened in mid-2019. They are famous for their $4 pizza specials, for the massive baby above the front door (yes, in a bit of a creepy way), and for the dj booth being inside an old airplane.
Bimbo is definitely a place to end up after a night exploring Fitzroy Bars. They have a great drink selection and a laser-filled massive dance floor when you’ve had a few and just want to dance.Old 90’s hip hop style music. Closes 3am on weekends.
Yah Yah’s is another late night venue, known for having multiple floors with dj’s downstairs and live gigs upstairs. Expect 90’s and 00’s hits or live bands. Closes 5am. Check upcoming gigs here.
The Gasometer Hotel
“The Gaso” as it is known by practically everyone, is known for throwing one hell of a grungy summer electronic day party, but also holds quite a lot of live bands and acoustic gigs on occasion.
The Gaso often opens up its roof to let daylight in over what always turns out to be a busy dance floor. It’s always a good time! Check upcoming events here.
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