Vibrant, loud and reviving an apparent Brunswick St legend (a man nicknamed Satan who would get down and dirty, naked because of the heat, in an illegal vodka distillery under the shop), this place packs a punch both with its popular pintxos (Basque tapas; $2) and huge range of cleverly-named beverages. It won ‘bar of the year’ in the Age’s 2011 Cheap Eats Guide .
Relaxed hipster hideaway with home-away-from-home charm, excellent coffee and Portuguese custard tarts. Just keep on going up that alley.
The street-level public bar is the place to go if you’re up for sinking a few pints, wiggling to whatever comes on the jukebox and snogging a stranger before last drinks are called. The rooftop bar feigns a bit of class, but things get messy up there too.
This sumptuous hideaway has the air of an exclusive gentlemen’s club. Overstuffed leather couches, private booths lining the walls and excellent service complete the picture. It’s the perfect place to work your way through a wine list.
The state’s contemporary dance company performs at its sexy venue behind the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Chunky Move’s pop-inspired pieces are internationally acclaimed. The company also runs a variety of dance (contemporary, ballet, funk, breakdance), yoga and pilates classes; see the website for details.
Speakeasy chic with a couple of snugs for contriving your own cocktail-fuelled dirty secrets. Down the tiny stairs, there’s a cosy (or claustrophobic) bluestone basement. If there’s not a private party going on here, you might find djs, acoustic acts or comedy. The drinks menu is broad and they have an excellent range of spirits.
This collection of bars is like a hotel without the rooms upstairs and without the bellhop palaver or aggressive pricing. It’s a grown-up space with few rough edges but has a timeless appeal. There’s a variety of different areas and moods. A magnolia tree sprouts from the courtyard and inside there’s a wood fire burning.
This is the most spacious of the Seven Seeds coffee empire; there’s plenty of room to store your bike, sip a splendid coffee beside a growing coffee plant and check out all the other lucky people who’ve found this rather out-of-the-way warehouse-like cafe (follow Elizabeth St from the CBD, then turn right at Queensberry).
Florence Broadhurst wallpapers, a black granite bar and Louis chairs set the tone, which gets rapidly lower as the night progresses. Footballers, glamour girls and the odd lost soul come for cocktails and commercial house. Expect to queue after 9pm. Spencer St becomes Clarendon; it’s near the corner of City Rd.
Practise your best pick-up lines and take a heavy wallet: Electric Ladyland is packed to the rafters with eager young things looking to hook up and be seen on Saturday nights. If the sceney-scene is your thing you’ll love it. It’s open nightly though and the ambience is far more subtle during the week.
This is the quietly upmarket Rathdowne Village’s local and its position opposite leafy Curtin Square and footpath tables make it very popular. There’s no shortage of good wines as well as beer on tap, and the restaurant has had a respectable reputation for many years.
A narrow and dimly lit sanctum away from the bustle of Chapel St, Blue Bar’s linear architecture and street-smart clientele contrast with the sprawl of couches within. And Blue Bar blessedly debunks the theory that you have to look like a model to drink in Chapel St.
More local watering hole than inner-city chic, gorgeous Prudence lays out a snug and delicious spread of tables, bar stools, upstairs drinking rooms and a downstairs courtyard. Groups ham it up by the open fireplace and bohemian locals concentrate on chess by the window.