Let’s be real: when it comes to trendy laneway bars and cafes, Melbourne is the undisputed champ. It’s tough to pick favourites out of so many brilliant options, but we’ve just about narrowed it down to five unmissable spots.
Manchester Press might not look like much from the outside, but inside lies an eclectic haven of classy cuisine. From the funky murals to the giant bowling pin, it’s brimming with style and character. We’d definitely recommend ordering the Club Sandwich, with turkey, bacon, cheese tomato and relish served on a bagel. It even comes with pickles and pretzels, just for good measure.
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This place just made Phaidon’s World’s Best Bars Guide, so it’s safe to assume we’re dealing with a pretty fantastic establishment here. Bar Americano serves almost exclusively cocktails, and what magnificent cocktails they are. The guys here are true masters of mixology, and the only problem you’ll have is deciding what to sip on first. Hint: the answer is a Whisky Berry Daisy. Trust us!
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Specialising in a rich blend of French and Spanish food, Hardware Societe is one of Melbourne’s most popular breakfast and lunch joints. The butterfly wall, the low-hanging lamps and dangling set of china teacups all do their part to build a truly unique atmosphere. Try the Lobster Benedict, with grilled asparagus, poached eggs and a brioche bun, all drizzled in lemon and saffron hollandaise.
“I could have breakfast here every day if I lived in Melbourne. Coffee is 10/10 every time. Once you taste the baked eggs you will be hooked, and the French Toast is perfect for a light brekky. I will be back for sure!” – Food lover 21
Cocktails, board games and gourmet finger food is a winning combo indeed, and Sister Bella offers it with aplomb. This ultra-cool bar is pretty much exactly what you think of when the phrase “Melbourne laneway” comes up, and its list of creative and stylish design quirks is simply too long to go into. What we will say, however, is that you should order a fiery Levensteins Lady. Again, trust us!
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Like a suave Victorian drawing room, Murmur is a plush and elegant bar where finery rules supreme. Think chandeliers, leather recliners and smooth timber floors, with slick mood lighting and a fantastical array of top-shelf booze. If you want something interesting, go for the Caramello Kolada. That’s rum mixed with pineapple juice, lemon juice, caramel syrup and bitters.
“Love this bar! Very cool atmosphere. The cocktails were brilliant and the staff were great. Ultimate cocktail professionals!” – 4chillis