The best bars and pubs in Docklands: Bourke Street and beyond

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The best bars and pubs in Docklands: Bourke Street and beyond

Best bars and pubs in Docklands
words by ben lamb

Here are the best bars and pubs in Docklands in Melbourne's CBD for wine, beer and cocktails, as well as great food options.

When you think of Melbourne nightlife, Docklands likely isn’t the first place to come to mind. Tucked into the area just to the west of the CBD, the newly-developed suburb makes for a surprisingly delightful night on the town.

Today, visitors would never guess that Docklands was a swampland back in the 1880s. As the city evolved, it quickly became a port for ships from across the world.

The best bars in Docklands

  • Once an industrial port zone, Docklands is now a bustling suburb next to the CBD
  • From riverside eats to sky-high cocktail bars, you can’t go wrong on a night out to Docklands
  • This list covers the vibe, specialties and locations of the best Docklands bars

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In the 90s, however, big investments into the area helped to bring the former industrial area to life, with skyscrapers, office buildings and modern amenities springing up seemingly from nowhere. Docklands is now an entertainment hub, wth Marvel Stadium, Docklands Studios, and HQs for Channel Nine and Channel 7 located within its borders. 

These days, Docklands bars are no joke. Catering to tourists, workers, and anyone else who fancies a good time, the suburb is home to some of hospitality’s best new talent. And let’s not forget that it sits right on the Yarra, which makes for plenty 0f idyllic riverside drinking and dining options.

For those planning an evening in one of Melbourne’s freshest party areas, we’re here to help you figure out which destinations will guarantee a good time in Docklands. 

If you’re a real Melbourne explorer, feel free to check out our guides to the best bars and pubs in South Yarra, Melbourne CBD, and St Kilda as well. If you’re keen to journey somewhere a little bit secret and ‘underground’ instead, check out our list of Melbourne’s best hidden bars.

Bourke St

The Nixon Hotel


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  • Address: 757 Bourke Road
  • Vibe: Laid-back pub
  • Dedicated Menu: Pub grub with modern twists

Just a short jaunt from Marvel Stadium, The Nixon makes for a perfect pre or post event drink and meal. On the menu, find gnocchi, lamb salad, steak sandwiches, and more. As the racing season rolls around, The Nixon is chucking on events in celebration and more information can be found on their website.

The Hof Downtown


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  • Address: 737 Bourke St 
  • Vibe: Hustle and bustle
  • Dedicated Menu: German inspired

    There aren’t too many places across Melbourne that sling Bavarian food, so The Hof is definitely worth checking out. If you fall in love with a Bavarian beer while you’re here, you can become a beer expert with their course. On the food end of things, there are many sausages and pretzels, or enjoy it all with the feast platter – $110 for sausages, schnitzel, mash, and sauerkraut.

Locker Room Bar

  • Address: 740 Bourke St
  • Vibe: Sports pub
  • Dedicated Menu: Drinks

Located within the Marvel Stadium, Locker Room Bar has everything a sports lover needs – big TVs, fresh beer, and a fun atmosphere. The Locker Room bar is open on game days as well, if you’re not a fan of watching it at the ground.



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  • Address: 807 Bourke St 
  • Vibe: Trendy
  • Dedicated Menu: Asian inspired

    This Vietnamese eatery has a homely feel, this venue coming to life in memory of the owner’s grandma, Bon Nguyen. The traditional food and drinks will make you want to keep coming back. According to their website, Banoi Docklands is currently closed but will be opening back up very soon, keep an eye on their socials for any info.

Watermark Docklands


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  • Address: Tenancy 9/800 Bourke St
  • Vibe: Events space
  • Dedicated Menu: Modern Italian

This addition to the list is actually an events space but warrants a mention as one of the best bars in the Docklands region. The bar overlooks the river, making it a beautiful space for photos you’ll cherish forever. Their four rooms suit everything from weddings to small meetings. 



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  • Address: 831 Bourke St 
  • Vibe: Social
  • Dedicated Menu: American

Tap831 is quickly becoming a spot for catchups due to its prime location in the heart of Docklands, tasty food, and wonderful service. You can eat stuff here like grilled chicken, parmas, and juicy scotch fillets too. If you’re heading here with a big group, you can preorder your food, making sure there’s no wait time.  

The best bars and pubs on Collins Street



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  • Address: 727 Collins St
  • Vibe: Modern
  • Dedicated Menu: Grill

Hightail is the new Docklands watering hole, with laid-back seating, chilled lighting, and a tasty drinks list. The price is right, with $7 wines, $7 spirits, and $10 pints. When it comes to eats, they’re serving up porterhouses, risotto, schnitzels, and so much more. 

Bar Nacional 


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  • Address: 727 Collins St
  • Vibe: Modern
  • Dedicated Menu: Tapas

Bar Nacional is one of Melbourne’s best spots to enjoy Spanish-inspired cuisine. Bar Nacional’s highlighted meals include a chorizo hot dog, corn grits, and beef cheeks. Their range of tapas is the real reason for heading to this spot. Take your pick from cheese plates, patatas bravas, roast chicken, and lots more.

Siddeley St

The Wharf Hotel


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  • Address:  18/38 Siddeley St
  • Vibe: Chill bar
  • Dedicated Menu: Bistro

The Wharf is the kind of place you’d catch up with mates to watch the game over the weekend – it’s got that laid back vibe with massive TV screens, making it the perfect place to kill many hours. They also have a Happy Hour every day from 4pm to 7pm, so swing by to enjoy $7 drinks of all sorts. 

Byblos Bar


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  • Address: 18-38 Siddeley St
  • Vibe: Friendly
  • Dedicated Menu: Mediterranean

Byblos Bar slings seasonal cocktails and tasty Mediterranean meals. They’ve also got a number of events spaces too, so you can hold all those events you missed out on during lockdown. For the best of Byblos’ try the mezza banquet which involves a selection of their best food. 

Docklands Drive 

Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq Melbourne

  • Address: 440 Docklands Drive
  • Vibe: Fun
  • Dedicated Menu: Sandwiches

Visiting here will be like being a kid again. There’s a wide selection of activities to do, such as bumper cars, virtual reality, and laser tag. Once you’ve built up your appetite with all those games, enjoy delicious gourmet sandwiches. 

Waterfront Venues


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  • Address: 427 Docklands Drive 
  • Vibe: Modern
  • Dedicated Menu: Catering

Another event venue, Waterfront Venues is located right on the water, making your next birthday/wedding/party an extra special occasion. There are four separate areas in the venue and info about booking can be found on the Waterfront Venues’ website. 

Waterfront Way

China Bar Docklands

  • Address: T13/90 Waterfront Way 
  • Vibe: Restaurant
  • Dedicated Menu: Chinese

If Alcohol bars aren’t your thing, the China Bar is for you, focusing on noodles and rice. A few of China Bar’s most popular meals include pork fried rice and sweet and sour pork. There are also many awesome Asian beers on offer at the venue that’ll pair perfectly with whatever meal you choose.

Sunset House

  • Address: Level 25/3-43 Waterfront Way
  • Vibe: Classy
  • Dedicated Menu: Drinks

In this day and age, there aren’t too many places out there that have an almost perfect rating on Google – but not too many places are like Sunset House. Located on the top level of the Docklands Marriott Hotel, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a drink as you soak up the view of our beautiful city. Undoubtedly one of the best Docklands bars to watch sunsets, fireworks, and the like.



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  • Address: 15 Waterfront Way 
  • Vibe: Trendy
  • Dedicated Menu: Drinks

A constant throughout these bars and pubs seems to be hidden locations. Ada’s can be found on the lower floor of Melbourne’s Marriott Hotel. It’s named after Ada Coleman, who was known as the world’s first female mixologist. 

The best of the rest 

Platform 28


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  • Address: 82 Village St
  • Vibe: Modern Australian
  • Dedicated Menu: Locally inspired

Formerly a railway goods shed, Platform 28 is a now modern bar lighting up the Docklands nightlife. With an Australian-inspired menu, they specialize in dishes like the eye fillet, steak sandwich, parma, and lots more. When it comes to drinks, they have a selection of local wines, international beers, and tasty cocktails. 

Urban Alley Brewery

  • Address: 12 Star Circus
  • Vibe: Modern brewery
  • Dedicated Menu: Pizza and pub food

Urban Alley Brewery is one of Melbourne’s many amazing local beer makers, their stacked beer list offering up something for everyone. You can grab good beer food here, things like schnitzels, pizzas, and of course burgers. A selection of their highlighted beers include a Sour IPA, Saison, and their most popular brew, a Crisp Blonde Ale. If you find your new favourite, you can pick up a few tinnies to take home while you’re at Urban Alley. 

Network Public Bar & Pizzeria


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  • Address: 99 Spencer St
  • Vibe: Chill
  • Dedicated Menu: Pizza

Located within the Southern Cross station hub, Network Public Bar & Pizzeria is an awesome meeting spot. They’ve got spread out tables, big screens, and a bunch of beers on tap – it’s everything you need out of a pub. A few of their popular pizzas include classics like Capricciosa, Pepperoni, Supreme, and Hawaiian. 

Hooks at The Yarra

  • Address: 50 River Esplanade
  • Vibe: Laid back
  • Dedicated Menu: Italian + Seafood

If you’re a seafood fan, this bar is a must-visit spot. Their changing menu currently features salmon, barramundi, fish and chips, and everyone’s favourite: oysters. Like all good venues out there, Hooks at The Yarra has weekly specials including steak night, where you can grab a steak for $25.50.

Belluno Food & Wine


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  • Address: The Lantern Building, 707 Collins St
  • Vibe: Restaurant
  • Dedicated Menu: Italian

Italian food can never fail, and Belluno knows that. The soon-to-re-open Belluno promises a taste of Italy. Make sure you keep an eye on their website to ensure you get in early to this renovated Docklands gem.

The Espressonist 


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  • Address: 108 River Esplanade
  • Vibe: Quirky
  • Dedicated Menu: Cocktail and wine

The Espressonist is like the superhero of bars. It’s a café by day, but when it gets dark, the alcohol comes out and it turns into a cocktail and wine bar.  The Espressonist is closed for late-night service at the moment, but we’re crossing our fingers that this changes soon because it’s one of the best classy-casual bars in Docklands.

Dive Bar

  • Address: L2/1-5 Spencer Street  
  • Vibe: Quirky
  • Dedicated Menu: Drinks

Next time you’re unsure of where to head out for the night, look no further than Dive Bar. They’ve got drinks galore, including their own range of signature cocktails. Sip on a Melbourne Fizz, a Lemon Meringue, or a Mango Margarita, and booze the night away.

Renzo’s Bar


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  • Address: 46 Newquay Promenade 
  • Vibe: Laid back
  • Dedicated Menu: Italian

Located right near the water, Renzo’s Bar focuses on all things pizzas. They make them in the traditional way too – it’s like taking a little trip to Italy. To top it off, Renzo’s has an extensive Italian wine list and many classic cocktails too.

To learn more about the Docklands area, head here.