With top chefs and cocktail connoisseurs found in bars all over Melbourne, the city has become famous for its world-class food and drinks culture. As such, navigating through the maze of bars, pubs and clubs to discover a delicious beverage that will not break the bank can establish a challenge. Luckily, we’ve done the hard work and tracked down the top (budget-friendly) bars that the city has to offer. Ladies and gentlemen, in no particular order, these will be the very best happy hours in Melbourne to visit at the moment.
2. Tyranny of Distance
Tyranny’s earthy toned walls and eclectic décor create this vibrant indoor-outdoor venue a Windsor favourite. Then there’s the happy hour. From 4 — 7 pm, indulge in some ridiculously well-priced wine, spirits, beer or anything else takes your fancy when awaiting your dinner reservation in the ever-popular Mr Miyagi or even Hawker Hall.
Where: 147 Union Street, Windsor, Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: $4 wine, basic spirits and selected beers, $10 daily supper
When: Daily from 4 pm — 7 pm
3. 56 Bricks
Embodying the significance of cool, Windsor’s 56 Bricks is a hub of artistic talent and flavorful drinks. Focusing on promoting local artists, it regularly displays new artworks on its expansive walls while undiscovered live acts play in the upstairs bar. Should you clock off work late, don’t worry. This happy hour runs from 4 — 9 pm.
Where: 56 Chapel Street, Windsor, Melbourne
Happy Hour: $6 spirits and perfumes, $1 pints
When: Daily from 4 pm — 9 pm
4. Cantina St Kilda
Located under St Kilda’s iconic boutique resort ‘The Prince’, Cantina is an explosion of Mexican carnival atmosphere, fantastic food and better drinks. Enjoy a feast of authentic Mexican dishes such as pulled pork tacos, BBQ corn and spiced cinnamon churros before washing them down with a classic margarita. For an extra joyous night, come on Taco Tuesday and set a cool $5 taco with your happy hour cocktail.
Where: 2 Ackland Street, St Kilda, Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: $10 home cocktails
After: Weekdays from 5 pm — 7 pm
5. European Bier Cafe
In the center of the CBD, European Bier Cafe provides four degrees of beverages, fun and food. This dynamic venue hosts a retro pizzeria from the cellar, a luxe primary bar and a contemporary rooftop garden with lush hanging plants, vibrant umbrellas and an superb liquor collection. With a variety of happy hour deals on each day of the week and lasting until the early hours of the morning, it is hard to find a reason not to go to this stylish bar.
Where: 120 Exhibition Street, Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: $7.50 basic spirits
When: Sunday to Thursday from 8 pm — 1 am
6. Hoo Haa Bar
Cheeseburger dumplings, tempura fish tacos and lobster corn dogs, oh my! Hoo Haa Bar and its adjacent restaurant Kuku Mama is a vibrant venue with a gorgeous beer garden and also a killer cocktail menu. Have you ever tried a Pink Chilean Flamingo, Musk Duck or Passionfruit White Chocolate Martini? At only $10 during happy hour, you’ll want to try all three and much more of their tasty drinks.
Where: 105 Chapel Street, Windsor Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: $4 basic spirits, $5 home wine and pockets, $6 Furphy pints, $10 cocktails
When: Tuesday to Saturday from 4 pm — 7 pm
7. Bimbo Deluxe
Rooftop parties every Sunday, check. $4 meals till 3 am daily, assess. For anybody searching for good food, original songs and an unbeatable Sunday happy hour, this one is for you. With espresso martinis available for a bargain $10, a Sunday in Bimbo will have you dancing into the early hours of the morning.
Where: 376 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: $5 Sailor Jerry spiced rum, $10 espresso martinis and $10 Bloody Marys
After: Sundays from Midday — Midnight
8. Asian Beer Cafe
Asian Beer Cafe, or ‘ABC’, ‘ is famous in the university student community because of its diverse, Asian inspired decoration, buzzing atmosphere and leading rates. Whether you decide to take a seat inside the vibrant bar and listen to the music or relax on the expansive balcony overlooking town, ABC is destined to become your new go-to.
Where: Degree 3 of Melbourne Central, 211 La Trobe Street, Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: $6 chosen spirits, $8 Sumo’s Choice jugs
After: Daily from 4 pm — 8 pm
9. The Bridge Hotel
Can’t decide whether you want to visit a classy cocktail lounge chair, pumping nightclub or posh street bar? In the Bridge Hotel, you can have all three. With an edgy, cobblestoned laneway running throughout the middle, a glamorous indoor bar on each side and DJ’s spinning tunes down the back, there is indeed something for everyone at this popular Richmond venue.
Where: 642 Bridge Road, Richmond, Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: $4 closets, $7 pints, $5 house wines
After: Fridays from 5 pm — 7 pm
10. College Lawn Hotel
includes live music, $15 steak Tuesdays, Wednesday night trivia, Saturday live sports game screenings and more; College Lawn Resort is constantly buzzing with crowds. If it comes to Friday, kick off the end of a long workweek within their own sprawling beer garden with a drink (or 2) during happy hour.
Where: 36 Greville St, Prahran
Happy Hour Special: $7 wine, pints and fundamental spirits
When: Fridays from 5 pm to 7 pm
11. Captain Baxter
Looking from the magnificent water of Port Phillip Bay and the shore below, St Kilda’s Captain Baxter is your Best summer hangout. Hosting live music every evening and tasty oysters for $2 per on Friday evenings, this beachside oasis is perfect for your next date night or catch-up with close pals.
Where: St Kilda Sea Baths, 10/18 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda, Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: $12 classic cocktails, $6 Coronas, $6 home sparkling and wine
After: Weekdays from 5 pm — 6 pm
12. The Swan Resort
This iconic Richmond pub holds a prime place on the corner of Swan and Church Streets. Settle back and relax in the contemporary beer garden whilst enjoying some live music or catching up on the latest sporting game live on the large screen. Situated just a stone’s throw away from the MCG, keep the eyes open for local sports stars kicking back with a hard-earned Black Angus steak or a mouth-watering parmigiana after a game of AFL.
Where: 425 Church Street Richmond, Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: $3.50 pots, $7 pints (neighborhood Australian beers)
When: Weekdays from 5 pm — 7 pm
Located in the popular bar district of South Yarra, Imperial is a luxe, vibrant venue that never fails to impress. With a sleek, spectacular interior, enticing menu and live entertainment on the weekends, this pub has earned its prestigious reputation. Whether you are seeking top-shelf spirits such as Glenmorangie and Belvedere, boutique gins, a glass of Chandon or a easy pint of beer, Imperial has something to suit every preference.
Where: 522 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: $7 for all drinks (excluding cocktails, pints and bottles of wine)
After: Daily from 4 pm — 7 pm
14. Somewhere Bar
For all those times as soon as your friend asks “Where are we heading?” , “Somewhere” should be your answer. Together with a witty title and relaxed atmosphere, this little boutique place boasts a secret backyard vibe with exposed brick walls and blossoms hanging from the bar. Situated on the ever-buzzing Chapel Street this is a wonderful place to stop off to get a drink or three with buddies at any given hour of the day. After all, it is always five o’clock somewhere.
Where: 181 Chapel Street, Prahran, Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: $5 wine, $6 fundamentals, $12 jugs
When: Sunday to Thursday from 5:30 pm
15. The Mill House
If you’re searching for an atmospheric place to receive your espresso martini fix, The Mill House is located Flinders Lane. While there, why not try a Tequila Mockingbird before dance the night away to the audio of live DJs. Within this sultry setting, the lights are low, and the cocktails flow. To get a late night feed, snack on one of The Mill House’s gourmet truffle mac and cheeses or any mouth-watering fish and chips.
Where: 277-279 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: $7.50 pint of Boags, fundamental spirits and house wines
After: Daily from 4 pm — 6 pm
16. Munich Brauhaus
For an evening or a day filled with revelry and the live music of a German Oom-Pah band, make your way to South Wharf’s Munich Brauhaus. With multiple levels, including a traditional beer hall, this restaurant/bar is famous because of its exclusively imported Bavarian beer and hearty dinner feasts.
Where: 45 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf, Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: $5 for any craft beer, house spirit, house wine or everyday cocktail
When: Daily from 4 pm — 7 pm
17. Bosozuko HQ
If you are dreaming about Japan but can’t quite afford a plane ticket, head over to the Japanese rally car-inspired bar, Bosozuko HQ. Ever tried a crumbed swordfish burger in a green tea bun? Neither had we until we found this delicious burger bar. The hidden place is a burst of lights, color, and sweet cocktails, which pair perfectly with all the must-try food. In case that is not enough to lure you in, they also have private rooms to play Mario Kart on the big screen or sing karaoke, along with a dry ice spa.
Where: 34A Bray St, South Yarra, Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: $5 beer, wine and sake shots
When: Fridays from 4 pm — 6 pm
Transforming playing video games in the cellar into an enjoyable, daring night out, Bartronica is Australia’s famous arcade pub. Enjoy a cocktail or a few local beer whilst playing rare, original arcade games from the 1970’s to the 1990’s and trying your luck on the pinball machines.
Where: Basement, 335 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: $4.50 pots, $7 pints
When: Tuesday to Friday from 3 pm — 6 pm
A favourite of locals, Katuk’s quirky library-themed décor makes it a tasteful, yet homely place to spend a night out. Lay back on among the wide couches or hide away in one of the booths while playing some Connect Four. Add elite cocktails or a couple of beers into the equation and prepare to make Katuk your brand new Friday go-to.
Where: 517 Chapel St, South Yarra, Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: $12 cocktails, $5 wines, half-price bud, pints, and jugs
After: Fridays from 5 pm — 9 pm
20. Maeve Fox
While its trendy little sister bar Katuk resides in South Yarra, Maeve Fox is the cool older brother over in Richmond. Full of wit, expect to discover quirky cocktails like Orange is the New…, Treuse or Dare and Sweet Chai of Mine at this elegant cocktail bar. For sailors who live or work in Richmond, sign up to the pub’s Locals’ Club and make every hour spent there a joyful one. Members get 25% off beverages at both Maeve Fox and Katuk as well as a complimentary bar tab in their birthday.
Where: 472 Church St, Richmond, Melbourne
Happy Hour Special: Half price tap beer, $4 wine, $10 contemporary cocktails
When: Fridays from 5 pm — 9 pm