Discover Australia’s best secret and hidden bars.
Hidden bars…. You’ve almost certainly walked past quite a few without even realising. Our beautiful cities in Australia have them scattered around but figuring out how to get to them and once there how to access these hidden pockets of fun located behind bookshelves, doors and laneways is the real secret.
Whether they’re high up on our country’s different skyscrapers or hidden below the hustle and bustle of the city, there is always an added anticipation of what’s to come, what drinks might be on the menu or what secret jazz band could be playing.
So to help you find the best hidden bars in Australia we’ve summed up which secret bars need to be on your list.
Goldilocks Rooftop Bar
Kicking off our best hidden bars in Australia list is Goldilocks Bar, which is definitely a challenge to find.
Hidden above the city floor on the fourth story above a Chinese diner on Swanston street lays the true heart of the city. This bar lives up to its enchanting name through its magical cocktails and fairytale setting.
Once you’ve made it past the Chinese diner and up the lift to Goldilocks you’ll be met with the beautiful Melbourne skyline, dazzling fairy lights and retro fake grass really adding to the fairytale ambience.
As for their cocktail menu, it is ever-changing but is always guaranteed to be outstanding. With a focus on local victorian craft brew and wine and an extensive cocktail list from the ‘Too Cold’ consisting of aubrey watermelon, baxters vodka, lemon juice and a watermelon popsicle to their ‘Baby Bear’ which included gin, pavan, grape, aloe vera and lime juice you will not be disappointed.
Location: Level 5, 264 Swanston Street
Beneath Driver Lane
Hidden in a tiny alleyway just off Little Bourke Street in the heart of Melbourne is where you will discover Beneath Driver Lane.
If you’re visiting at night you’ll be greeted by one of their friendly staff guarding a velvet roped door who will give you access to descend the stairs where you’ll reach huge wrought-iron doors that open into this boozy, vintage bar.
Once you step food inside Driver Lane you could be anywhere; a New York City speakeasy, a basement bar in Paris or a New Orleans blues bar with the swanky atmosphere that this bar holds.
There is a huge drinks menu from signature cocktails to top-shelf wine and whiskey. Equipped with a large wooden liquor cabinet as well they store almost 160 different types of whiskies and more than 70 different types of rums.
As for food, from oysters to smoked octopus and burrata, you will be spoilt for choice.
Location: 3 Driver Lane (Just off Little Bourke Street)
Trinket Bar Melbourne
Hidden down Melbourne’s famous Flinders Lane is where you will find a vintage antique wardrobe hiding all the secrets of this tiny bar.
Trinket Bar in Melbourne is the perfect way to live out your Narnia dream. To enter this beauty you’ll first have to enter a velvet padded room where you’ll find Gem the ballerina. By turning her dial you’ll be granted access to the main entrance of the bar.
However, push aside the fur coats in the old mahogany wardrobe and you’ll be greeted with complete opulence; velvet-covered walls, plush booths and candlelit tables.
Cocktails are a speciality here and include ‘It’s My Turn Now’ made up of passion fruit-infused vodka, prosecco, vanilla liqueur, wonderfoam and pineapple (Trinket’s go-to cocktail for the ladies) to the ‘dark dancer’ consisting of tequila, blackberry, lime, habanero tincture and black salt rim (a spicy twist on a margarita).
There is also an extensive list of craft beers, local wines and spirits.
Location: 87 Flinders Ln, Melbourne 27 King St, Melbourne
State of Grace – Fallen Grace
Grand, majestic and mischievous, State of Grace is undoubtedly a crowd favourite in Melbourne. With its grand ornate gates keeping the mystery alive you’ve got to wonder what is hiding on the other side.
The bar is made up of their rooftop which dazzles with the beautiful Melbourne skyline background, their ground-level restaurant to the secret cellar bar hidden below known as ‘Fallen Grace’ with their crystal chandeliers and vintage armchairs that rival even the most exclusive speakeasies.
From Thursday to Sunday you can enter ‘Fallen Grace’ and sneak away for a little mischief and madness.
Truffle arancini, beef tartare and gin cured kingfish are some of the options on the food menu – however, it’s their drinks menu that you’ll be coming back for.
The ‘Saving Grace’ cocktail is a remastered version of an Espresso Martini consisting of 20.6 vodka, kahlua, Boston Black coffee and salted caramel to ‘Thy Humble Saviour’ made up of spiced rum, amaretto, pineapple and lemon.
The mere lavishness and abundance of quirky vintage touches will have you crawling back to this hideaway each weekend to escape the craze of the city’s eye.
Location: 27 King St, Melbourne
This could be the best hidden bar in Australia – yep we said it.
Behind a 1920s fridge door in a vintage style deli in the laneways of Manley lies The Cumberland, an underground speakeasy with a Spanish twist and a sophisticated style.
Every single detail has been thought of and planned out from their boastful 250 bottles of different whiskies to their craft beers and local New South Wales wines, widespread signature cocktail menu, wine cellar, marble benchtops, leather banquette seating and aged brass finishings.
Their drinks menu is completely locally sourced with Manly botanicals and seasonal produce. Each drink has been individually curated including a different native botanical whether that be herbs, fruit or flowers they are all available in and around the Manly Cove in the Cumberland region.
‘The Lilly Pilly Sour’ is one of their house specialities and is made up of Lilly Pilly, lemon myrtle tea, gin, lemon and aqua faba served short over ice; you will be guaranteed to order more than one.
Location: 17/19 Central Ave, Manly
Love Tilly Devine
Named after the famous 20th-century brothel ‘Madame and Militia’ boss, Tilly Devine is hidden in one of Sydney’s trendiest laneways. Described as a ‘love letter’ to Australian wine with over 300 bottles to choose from, showcasing local new trendy labels yet paying honour to the greats as well.
If you’re in the mood to eat, their European inspired bar menu is perfect for you. Baby Zucchini, Chicken liver pate, Marema Duck and Scallop ceviche are just some of the things you can choose from their menu.
Everything is locally sourced and curated using seasonal products and ingredients to create the perfect Friday night out meal.
Location: 91 Crown Ln, Darlinghurst
The Soda Factory
Hidden behind a freezer door in ‘Bobby’s Dogs’ (a retro 50s inspired hotdog eatery) lies the Soda Factory.
Located in the Surrey Hills the bar is known for its cheap eats and drinks throughout the week. If you haven’t already been to this popular spot then this needs to be your next go-to.
With their American diner-style interior, you can expect juicy burgers, fried chicken, chilli cheese fries and mouth-watering hotdogs that will have your mouth watering for more.
Every Tuesday they do a $1 gourmet hotdog deal and Jukebox Thursdays that will have you dancing long into the night.
Their drinks menu is debatably the best part about the Soda Factory with ‘Soda Floats’ including their ‘Cherry Lemonade Float’ made up of Gin, topped with cherry lemonade and ice cream.
Their cocktail menu boasts the likes of ‘Miss Me Marshmallow’ consisting of vodka, lychee liquor, raspberry puree, citrus and marshmallow syrup or maybe the ‘American Pie’ will be more your speed made up of Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka, cloudy apple juice, fresh lemon and house-made cinnamon syrup topped with soda.
Location: 16 Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills
From the concrete jungle of New York City comes Employees Only with its majestic dark timber floors, plush green velvet booths and brass highlights it is a true ode to its original mother speakeasy that is still located in New York’s West Village.
Employees Only is filled with all the works from tarot card reading to 80s music-making this hidden bar the perfect stop off if you’re looking to be teleported back in time.
Sticking to their roots with a New York City inspired food and cocktail menu you’ll be able to create more than a memorable night here.
Chicken and Saffron Risotto, Zaatar Crusted Lamb Rump and Crispy Skin Ocean Trout are some of the plates gracing the menu whilst cocktails range from the ‘Mandarina’ (muddled mandarin shaken with Four Pillars Shiraz Gin, Tanqueray Gin, Apricot Liqueur & lime served straight up) to ‘The EO Manhattan’ (Woodford Rye Whiskey stirred with EO Rosso Vermouth, Grand Marnier & Angostura Bitters. Served straight up).
Location: 9a Barrack Street Sydney
Taking our best hidden bars in Australia list to Brisbane you will discover Cindy Chows.
Leave the streets of Brisbane and walk through the secret freezer doors of Cindy Chows to enter a luxurious cocktail bar that is truly like stepping back into the 1920s to a Shanghai speakeasy or underground gambling den.
Their food menu is designed to share with an Asian tapas-style fusion. From prawn and veggie dumplings, pork and chive wontons and a range of different bao buns, there is an unlimited choice.
As for drinks, they have a large selection of different house wines and beers but as for cocktails, you can’t go further than the ‘Birdcage’ which includes Tanqueray ten, creme de peche, creme de passion, citrus, orange juice and rhubarb.
Location: 351 Brunswick Street Brisbane
Suzie Wongs Good Time Bar
Open the secret retro freezer door and walk downstairs to Suzi Wongs; a Hawaiian inspired surf shack bar with surfboard-shaped benches and somewhat pirate-inspired accessories and accents – this tiny bar is the perfect place to live your true island escape.
They have designated ‘Jam’ nights which take place every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month with their house band, you can even join the band on stage if you’re keen and sing your way into the night.
‘Wild Wednesdays’ are also a tradition at Suzi’s and happen every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month with local bands rotating each week.
For drinks, don’t expect anything too fancy; instead, this bar is more focused on getting you back out onto the dance floor. Therefore, Australian beers are on tap, and fun cocktails like the ‘Bubble Gun Shot’ and the ‘Pineapple Express’ flow all night long.
Location: 678 Ann Street Brisbane
The Tailors Brisbane
This mysterious speakeasy really sells itself, dripping in classy 1920s inspired decor, hidden behind what looks like an old, vintage, tailor shop lies a boujee bar known as, you guessed it, The Tailors.
To enter the bar you have to swing open a large mirror and make your way down into the heart of this Brisbane gem.
The bar is inspired by the owner Dan Rodriguez’s travels through South America, drawing on the region’s love for hidden local cocktail bars and opulent drinking spots.
Their speciality tying in with their South American theme is rum – with over 50 different types of unique rums sourced from different Caribbean and Central American regions, they are sure to have something to cure your craving.
Location: 16A Logan Rd, Woolloongabba
Mona’s Void Bar
This bar may take the cake for how secretive and hidden it is.
Buried 17 metres underground is where you will find one of Australia’s best hidden bars, its disguise covered by the Tasmanian Museum of New and Old Art, you will find Mona’s Void Bar.
So if you’re looking to have a cocktail inside one of the world’s best museums, we think it’s time for you to book a trip down to Tassie and soak up the culture and wine with a long visit to this beautiful bar.
Void claims to serve the best cocktails in all of Tasmania, with a very large selection of different house-made concoctions including their speciality the ‘Modern Madona’ which includes miso buttered Starward Twofold, strawberry vinegar, mandarin and citrus oleo, blue and verjus.
Location: 655 Main Rd, Berriedale, Hobart
This tiny speakeasy is hidden in an old flour mill sitting upon Hobart’s breathtaking waterfront. Gold Bar is known by locals as one of Tasmania’s best hidden drinking spots and is said to be a great place to come in and relax with some friends after a long week at work.
Serving up some of Tassie’s finest cocktails, spirits and beers this little hideaway creates a really personal experience with its comfortable and quirky decor and intimate atmosphere never getting too loud, it really is the perfect place to unwind.
Location: Suite 3, Ground Floor/11 Morrison St, Hobart
With Adelaide’s ever-growing eats and drinks scene, there are definitely many venues to choose from to make the best hidden bars in Australia list.
Although this bar can prove very hard to find, it’s worth tracking down for some of Adelaide’s best cocktails. Maybe Mae is hidden in the tunnel between Peel and Leigh Streets concealed behind an unmarked entrance next to Bread and Bone.
Their cocktail menu is always changing, with new botanicals inspired by the region’s large wine and spirits culture. Their favourites however remain constant and include the likes of ‘The Bill Murray’ which is a Japanese whiskey, apricot brandy, citrus and mint combination or the ‘Kiwi Herman’ a vodka, vermouth, kiwi and citrus cocktail that will leave you wanting more.
The venue is inspired by the American film actress Mae West with their interior representing the 1950s glamour, femininity and independence that Mae stood for as the breezy sex symbol of her time.
Location: 15 Peel St, Adelaide
La Buvette oozes the idea that you’re strolling along an alley in Paris and you somehow stumble upon the most perfect bar that only locals seem to know about.
Hidden behind the hustle and bustle of Adelaide down a tiny lane lies this French-inspired bar with eccentric 70s French music along with their to-die-for menu.
They have a long list of different French wines that are perfectly paired with any of their locally sourced and inspired charcuterie boards or simply just their marinated olives and array of different french bread.
Location: 27 Gresham St, Adelaide
Bank Street Social
Bank Street Social was awarded Australia’s best small Bar of the year in 2015 and the Best Nightlife Experience in 2018 and it’s easy to see why.
This underground bar in Adelaide’s west end has a massive focus on the community and providing fresh local produce to their customers.
Serving up fresh gourmet pizzas that are filled with local and regional seasonal produce along with an amazing cocktail list and debatably some of the best local wine and beer in the South Australian region.
Location: 48 Hindley St, Adelaide
If you need a secret password to get into the bar of course that means you will make it onto our best hidden bars in Australia list.
Sneaky Tonys which lies somewhere in the streets of Chinatown in Northbridge encapsulates prohibition bars of times past with swanky wooden booths and low lighting you’ll feel like you’ve truly gone back in time.
Capturing a slice of the 1920s with inspiration coming from ‘Tony the Hat’ or more formally known as Anthony Cornero Stralla who was a Southern Californian bootlegger in the 1920s. Throughout prohibition, Tony used his shrimping business to smuggle his bootleg rum into Southern California until 1926 when he was finally caught with an estimated 1,000 cases of rum.
Sneaky Tony’s has an extensive menu with over 300 bottles of rum from all over the world. Premium cocktails also grace the menu along with craft beer, cider and a local wine list.
On Fridays and Saturdays, you will need a secret password to enter which is posted on their Facebook and Instagram pages at 3 pm so keep a lookout.
Location: Northbridge, WA
L’Chaim is Hebrew for a toast meaning ‘to life’ and is perfectly tied into this hidden bar’s history as it lies in the basement of The Old Synagogue in Fremantle which was built in 1901.
To enter the bar, you’ll have to first line up to enter the Old Synagogue which, keep in mind, on weekends can be hundreds of people long. From here, going downstairs, there is a person that gates the first ‘door’ to L’Chaim. If granted access you will make your way to a ‘library room’ where you’ll have to figure out which wall opens into this 1920s speakeasy oasis.
With plush red velvet booths, a pianist, prohibition decor and often a jazz band playing you will feel like you’re a part of the roaring 20s.
Behind the bar, you’ll find famous mixologist Matt Bodycote mixing up classic cocktails including the ‘Audry Hepburn’ a sparkling classic charged fresh with seasonal pet-nat, married with gin, citrus, and agave or the ‘Old Syn’ their house old fashioned with juicy el dorado hopped grapefruit and textural whiskey will not disappoint.
Location: 92 South Terrace, Fremantle
The Jazz Cellar
Possibly one of Perth’s best-kept secrets is hidden behind this retro red telephone box, down a flight of stairs to a room that simply speaks for itself.
You’ll find local jazz bands here every Friday encapsulating the real spirit of the 1920s and 1930s when jazz bands and swing dancing brought new life to the stage.
The Jazz Cellar is only open on Fridays and you’ll need a ticket to enter. Keep in mind they have been selling out week after week for years now so book ahead if you want to secure a spot.
Once you’ve made it downstairs you’ll have three hours to dance away along to different vintage jazz bands. If you’re looking for a venue to host your next event this could definitely be the place as The Jazz Cellar is always open to creating unique spaces for people to book out for different celebrations.
Location: 139 Buxton St, Mount Hawthorn
Now go forth and discover something new, something hidden and something amazing.
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