Melbourne may be famous for laneways and street art, but there are also many superb water views to be found. Look out to a river or lake from these top bars and restaurants located around the city.
Accessible only by footbridge, visiting Ponyfish Island on the Yarra is a Melbourne must. Enjoy water on all sides and views to some of Melbourne’s most iconic buildings.
Did you know Southgate was once an amusement park with a waterslide? Waterslide Bar is a sleek cocktail bar that pays tribute to this unique history. The moody interior space opens to a balcony with stunning views across the Yarra and CBD skyline.
The Common Man
The Common Man is a laid-back bar and restaurant on the banks of the Yarra River in South Wharf. There’s always something happening here, including games on the lawn, bottomless brunch on weekends, or live sports on the big screen. There’s also $10 espresso martinis all day everyday.
With capacity for up to 400 patrons, Arbory Afloat is the place for a cheeky after work drink or lazy Sunday catch up. For larger groups, two decks with bookable daybeds and cabanas are available. Find Arbory Afloat above the Yarra River.
Pilgrim Bar is an intimate bar working with all-Australian suppliers and producers. The bar is tucked below Federation Square in the heritage-listed Princes Walk Vaults from 1890. Sit outside and take in views of the Yarra River, or slip inside among the glamorous interiors.
This venue offers stunning views across to the Arts Centre and Southbank precinct from the banks of the Yarra River. As well as the extensive drinks list, Riverland Bar serves sharing plates and hearty pub-style meals. Find them at Federation Wharf, about a one minute walk from Federation Square.
The Wharf Hotel
Head to the WTC Wharf precinct alongside the Yarra River and you’ll find The Wharf Hotel. Enjoy a classic pub meal inside this riverside hotel, or pop outside to enjoy the views. There’s also live music every weekend, and a whopping eight big screens showing sports from across the globe.
The Terrace on Ornamental Lake is nestled within the Royal Botanic Gardens. This venue is both a cafe and wedding venue looking out to beautiful garden and lake views. Visitors can also book a boat ride across Ornamental Lake in an elegant wooden punt, just like in Venice!
Docklands is an underrated spot for boat watching and admiring the city skyline. And family-friendly restaurant Cargo is one of the best venues to lap up these views. The menu is extensive, covering breakfast, lunch, dinner and kids, so there’s something to please everyone. Our pick? The crispy deep-fried cauliflower, with a fresh Pimms cup on the side.
Pop-up Lady Cutler bar
Enjoy refreshing beverages and tasty seasonal tapas in a bar on a boat. Normally only available for private cruises, The Lady Cutler Melbourne Showboat is currently open to the public every weeknight while docked until Tuesday March 31. Bookings are essential.