Whether it’s riverside cocktails or ales among old architecture, take it outside this summer with these beer gardens and alfresco drinking spots.
Sprawling along a scenic stretch of the Yarra, Riverland Bar is an unexpected escape. Spend a summer session watching the Australian Open with charcuterie, cheese and a fruity spritz.
A little further along the river, Southbank’s bars and restaurants beckon. Hopscotch’s indoor-outdoor deck is a paradise for beer lovers in summer. Choose from 30 on tap, including brews crafted on-site. As the name suggests, they’re mad for hops, but anyone who prefers wine or cocktails is also well looked after.
The Boatbuilders Yard
A heritage shed on an old wooden wharf, this airy riverside venue makes relaxing a breeze. Ask the bar staff about the giant games available, challenge a friend to a round of bocce or kick back with free wi-fi.
Speakeasy at The Barre
Inspired by Chicago’s prohibition era, Speakeasy at The Barre is the latest Arts Centre pop-up. Sit in the garden inside the sneaky green door and sip razzle dazzle cocktails, whisky, gin and more. If you’re peckish, loaded pizzas, gluten free snack boards and oysters await.
It’s easy to see why the Common Man is popular with people of all types. Take in the river views on their large astroturf lawns for breakfast, lunch or dinner any day of the week. There’s also daily food and drink specials and an array of activities. Think open-air trivia, yoga classes and live sports screenings. Pop by for the family market on Sundays throughout summer.
Pepe’s Italian & Liquor
Housed in a handsome 19th century synagogue, Pepe’s Italian & Liquor comes complete with a picturesque courtyard. Enjoy a drink under the garden’s 150-year-old heritage-listed tree. But be sure to get in early – seats go fast at this spot during summer.
There’s more than historic architecture at Mitre Tavern, a little cottage-like pub that’s the oldest building in Melbourne. Their roomy beer garden is especially handy as beer tastes better outdoors. Punters spill out into one of the west end’s most charming laneways on warm days and nights.
The Mint Bar and Restaurant
Another historic building – on a much grander scale – the Royal Mint is now taking rather than making money. It’s a fair exchange though, as The Mint Bar & Restaurant serves quality pub-style food and drink. Raise a glass in the beer garden amid beautiful Victorian architecture.
Bourke Street Green
Quality good times keep expanding in the CBD’s west end with the opening of Bourke Street Green. A relaxed glasshouse-inspired space with a retractable roof, it’s filled with leafy green plants and natural light. Settle into a sunny spot for a cocktail, or try the beer flights with matching arancini.
Garden State Hotel
Four levels of dining, drinking and fun await at the gorgeous Garden State Hotel. Find a spot under the towering ficus in their beer garden and settle back with a frozen margarita. Paired with a sizzling steak or fresh seafood, your outdoor evening will be off to an excellent start.
Nothing says summer like barbecued food straight off the grill. B’Churrasco cooks meat on sword length skewers over an open flame, before carving it right at your table. Head in on Friday and Sunday for Portuguese music, order a signature Caipirinha (made of fresh lime, sugar and Cachaça) and sip away under the sun.
The Clyde Hotel
A classic Aussie pub in Carlton, The Clyde Hotel has a pub meal special for every day of the week. Whether you’re cracking open a cold one on parma Tuesdays or fish and chip Fridays, their open-air (and accessible!) courtyard and new rooftop space are al fresco gems tucked away on Cardigan Street.
Town Hall Hotel
At the rear of North Melbourne’s iconic Town Hall Hotel on Errol Street is a charming leafy oasis. The beer garden of this classic neighbourhood pub offers plenty of shade in the daytime and twinkling fairy lights in the evening. Music lovers should look out for the band memorabilia when ordering a drink at the bar.
From the team behind Section 8 bar comes the new urban retreat Park Melbourne. This Chinatown car park space has been transformed into an open-air bar featuring native plants and stunning city views. As if that weren’t enough, dogs are welcome too.
A classic 19th-century pub at the edge of the CBD, the Queensberry Hotel caters to modern Melburnians’ alfresco fixation. With lots of seats and greenery, the indoor-outdoor space awaits your next summer session.
The Leveson is a Victorian-era building on the CBD fringe with modern hospitality in mind. From the astroturf floor to the retractable roof, comfort is key here.
Lane’s Edge Cafe
Nestled at the end of Meyers Place, Lane’s Edge Cafe has long defied the trend for fancy fit-outs, food and drinks. The laid back courtyard garden hidden outside is made for chillin’ with your mates. After a few ales, and maybe some dips or fish and chips, you’ll soon forget the urban angst around the corner.