Best bars to raise the roof

Melbourne’s rooftop terraces are enjoying another moment. And as the nights are long and the weather is fine (well most of the time), there’s no better time to bask in the city’s top open-air bars. Here’s a few favourites if you’re keen to enjoy a tipple up top.

Good Heavens

This recently opened rooftop bar is impressing the quaffing public with its cool cocktails and charming 80s vibe. The team behind Fancy Hanks have put their magic touch on Good Heavens, an Americana-themed bar that offers cocktails, craft beers and wine, together with spicy southern fried chicken and chilli nachos with brisket mole. Go early to avoid the queues.

Good Heavens

QT Rooftop

The QT’s huge indoor-outdoor rooftop bar, QT rooftop, is open for sunset cocktails every night. The outdoor deck is enormous and slick and only matched by its interiors which are even slicker with a side of gloss. Seek out the central bar and fossick out one of the many nooks for after sunset shenanigans. It’s sleek. And it’s where all the cool people hang out.

Madame Brussels

Madame Brussels is one of the city’s first rooftop terraces and remains a firm favourite. Named after a 19th-century brothel owner well-known for her ‘unconventional’ lifestyle, the self-professed ‘rather fancy terrace and public house’ offers a delightful garden party atmosphere for guests with enviable views over the city’s east side. With its pink walls, garden chaise lounges, white picket fences, faux grass complete with preppy staff in tennis whites, Madame Brussels is the peachy perfect place to visit if your thirst can only be quenched with a glass of Prosecco or Pimms.

Siglo

Siglo is an open-air rooftop terrace, upstairs from The Melbourne Supper Club. While it might not be your cheapest drinking option, you do get attentive table service, a substantial wine and cocktail list and sophisticated atmosphere. Siglo is geared towards a late supper, offering a range of options from foie gras to party pies, as well as classic desserts.

Melina on the Rooftop

With unforgettable views, attentive staff and a superbly designed interior – Melina on the Rooftop is a perfect place to unwind with a drink in hand. Its Greek cuisine is highly praised by punters, and while there is plenty of ouzo to indulge in, there’s also a cute cocktail menu alongside a selection of fine wines and craft beers. Worth the elevator ride up to the 13th floor.

Melina on the Rooftop

Loop

Loop Roof is a sky-high cocktail bar and restaurant made all the more special with its open air, garden setting. On a warm night, try the Loop punch, with Havana Club, Cognac, peach liqueur and bitters, gomme syrup and lemon.

Rooftop Bar

Quite possibly Melbourne’s favourite skyline bar, the aptly named Rooftop Bar has the distinction of offering patrons drinks, dancing, views, burgers, deckchairs and cinema. Be sure to book a ticket for the Rooftop Cinema and enjoy exclusive access after sundown. But be warned the Curtin House’s lift is notoriously slow and it’ll be quicker to climb the seven plus flights of stairs to get there.

Cabinet Bar

Cabinet is quaint in the ‘I feel at home here’ kind of way. It’s in the heart of the bustling city, and it attracts a loyal crowd keen for a refreshing drink while watching the world go by on Swanston Street.  Blackboard menus direct you to the selection of snacks, cheese, flatbreads and sharing plates.

Palmz at the Carlton

Be transported to an island paradise at Palmz rooftop above the Carlton Hotel. Complete with palm trees, bamboo, bougainvillaea and a thatched hut bar, Palmz provides a little after-work escapism. Weather permitting, this little slice of island life is the perfect place to indulge in a pina colada while soaking up some rays but not getting caught in the rain unless you’re into yoga.

Palmz at the Carlton

Bomba

Experience a real inner city Melbourne vibe, while sipping cocktails and tasting tempting tapas at Bomba Tapas Bar and Rooftop. With views out over the Lonsdale Street treetops, this smart spot provides the perfect perch to take in the iconic skyline. With a menu of Spanish delights to complement any cocktail or any one of the 30 bottled beers in stock. It’s open from 3 pm daily.

Goldilocks

With its subtle nods to the classic fairy tale, Goldilocks offer a creative cocktail list that is neither too hot nor too cold but just right with a selection of their tasty treats to enjoy on its rooftop. There’s certainly no porridge here, but it is a place for fun, adventure and even has the space to hide from the big bad wolf.

Wolf’s Lair

An icon of Carlton, Jimmy Watson’s houses one of the area’s best-kept elevated secrets, Wolf’s Lair. Enjoy the intimacy of the petite bar or sit up in the treetops amongst the perfectly manicured gardens. There’s a selection of refreshing beers and ciders, plus a range of local and international wine and bubbles.

Ferdydurke

While it’s not easy to spot, it’s certainly worth the look. With an easy-to-miss entry via Tattersalls Lane, Ferdydurke is a hip and lofty space. It offers cocktails, Vietnamese food, hot dogs (it has its own frankfurt menu), truffle mac and cheese and chilli cheese potatoes and a relaxed balcony. It’s a firm favourite with the cocktail crowd.

Blue Diamond

Taking rooftop bars to new heights is Blue Diamond. Fifteen floors above the city streets, this Art Deco jazz bar is like a 1920s Manhattan speakeasy with its jazz, cigars and cocktails. It boasts a panoramic balcony with what could be the mightiest views of any bar in the city.

Melbourne’s love affair with all that is up has been ongoing, look back and see whether the favourites have changed much from 2010 and 2014.

If you’ve worked your way through all these and you still want to get higher in Melbourne, check out the city’s other rooftop bars.