Fitzroy Bars & Nightlife
1 Reid St., Fitzroy
Fitzroy is the epicenter of Melbourne’s wine-bar scene, and Neighborhood Wine embodies the best of its casual, drop-in-and-say-hi vibe. Every minute spent in the wood-paneled, candlelit space feels like being in a warm cocoon…with wine and snacks on tap. For the solo traveler, this spot is one to bookmark: Slide onto a stool at the bar for a glass of something unusual the sommelier has kindly recommended, friendly Melburnians on either side will probably start chatting to you over platters of salumi and, inevitably, more wine. Suddenly, you’ve befriended the locals, that solo drink has turned into supper, and you stayed for a wedge of plum tart dolloped with almond cream.
53 Gertrude St., Fitzroy
Marion is one of those ridiculously inviting, vibey bars that you stop into for “one, just one,” and stay for dinner. Why? If you’ve managed to snag a coveted window seat, the people-watching is so good, you can’t leave. The wine list travels from Australia’s Yarra and Clare valleys to the best of Bordeaux. Every bottle and bite here is considered: Franciacorta by the glass in place of prosecco; complex, spicy, burnt honey instead of the usual sweet stuff; and verjus over vinegar in the salad dressing. So commandeer those window seats, settle in for a long evening of rare sips, and order the halloumi with that spicy honey and the fork-tender roast chicken. Images courtesy of Harvard Wang.
304 Brunswick St., Fitzroy
Truly one of the world’s great cocktail bars, Black Pearl makes many cocktails incredibly well, including the best iteration of the ultimate late-night fuel—the espresso martini—that we’ve had this year. Black Pearl sticks to what it does best: Bar snacks are few (get the sausage roll), and the booze options are many. The bartenders here are the best in the business, and if you’re overwhelmed by the depth of the list, give them a few pointers and they’ll whip up a special just for you.
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