Melbourne is a city well known for keeping secrets, with many a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment to be had. The city’s sprawling network of laneways, rooftops and underground hotspots means hidden gems are literally everywhere, you just have to know where to look.
Here are 10 of our favourite hidden gems in Melbourne tucked away that we’ve discovered and that we think you’ll love too.
Home to epic eats and equally epic views, Easey’s is a must-visit if you’re hanging out in Collingwood. Cast your eyes skyward and you’ll notice three rather derelict-looking train carriages perched on a rooftop; a sure sign you’ve found the right place. Upstairs you’ll be transported to a retro cool carriage fitted out as a laid-back restaurant slinging some of the best burgers in town.
You’ll need to look closely (and perhaps employ your old friend Google Maps) to locate retro arcade bar Bartronica, but once you’re in you’ll definitely want to stay awhile. Home to over 50 vintage gaming machines, comfortable booths and aptly themed cocktails, you can easily whittle away a few hours reliving the nostalgia of your youth with the likes of Pacman, Daytona, and Mortal Kombat.
Chuckle Park, CBD
Tucked just off Little Collins Street, Chuckle Park is a vibrant little sliver of a bar that’s about as Melbourne as you can get. Complete with hanging lanterns and local artwork, the team here serves up a well-curated range of craft beers, cocktails and wines from the window of a quaint vintage caravan.
The Garnet Den @ Trinket, CBD
If you’ve ever wanted a Narnia experience to call your own, you’ll want to make your way to Trinket Bar in Flinders Lane. Here you’ll find a decorative looking wardrobe that isn’t what it seems. Crack open the door, push aside the clothes and take the stairs down to The Garnet Den; an opulent underground cocktail bar decked out in gold and plush velvet that also serves up some killer pizzas.
Karaoke @ Rice Queen, Fitzroy
You may be familiar with this bustling Asian eatery located on Fitzroy’s famous Brunswick Street, but did you know they also offer karaoke? With capacity for 25-30 people, you can head straight from the dinner table, cocktail in hand, to your own private karaoke den and sing the night away.
Hosier Lane, CBD
This famous laneway might not be much of a secret anymore, but it is well worth a visit if you’re into street art. Join a walking tour or navigate the iconic bluestone lane that put Melbourne urban art firmly on the map solo, taking in local and international artwork in this unofficial outdoor gallery space. When you’ve had your fill of art, grab a seat at Movida for some award-winning tapas.
Ponyfish Island, CBD
One of the top things to do in Melbourne is to take a stroll over the Yarra via the Southbank pedestrian bridge and keep your eyes peeled for the stairs heading down to Ponyfish Island. This hidden floating bar is entirely surrounded by water and offers a unique viewpoint of the city, making it the perfect place to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat with friends on a sunny afternoon.
Jungle Boy, Windsor
A bar in a fridge behind a sandwich shop? Sounds like a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. In fact, Jungle Boy might just be one of Chapel Street’s best-kept secrets. To visit this tropical tiki bar, first make your way to Boston Sub. Next, in what feels like a rather bold move, head behind the sandwich counter and open the cool-room door. Take the stairs and you’ll find yourself in the dimly lit plant-filled wonderland that is, Jungle Boy.
Fall from Grace, CBD
Fall from Grace is a hidden bar in Melbourne that you just have to find.
Located in the cellar of bar/restaurant State of Grace – to enter you’ll first need to locate a bookshelf, then a book titled with the bar’s namesake and give it a pull. Behold, a secret speakeasy, complete with Great Gatsby vibes. The classic cocktails here are not to be missed.
Cat Cafe Melbourne, CBD
Finding a quiet spot to chill in the Melbourne CBD can be something of a hard task, but we think we might have nailed it. Cat Cafe Melbourne is the first of Melbourne’s cat cafes, and makes for a very relaxing experience. Spread over two levels in a stunning converted warehouse, Cat Cafe Melbourne is home to over 20 rescued friendly felines who love nothing more than receiving a good scratch while you enjoy a coffee and a treat.
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