Summer is an open invitation to get outside, but that doesn’t just mean for a stroll or a swim. It’s time to reclaim outdoor dining, looking beyond the immediate walls of your local to some breezy, sun-warmed rooftops around the city.
Here are some of Melbourne’s most distinctive al fresco dining spots to sip an Aperol spritz.
Named for the Spanish word for “century,” Siglo is the statuesque terrace atop Spring Street’s venerable Supper Club. The views alone are stunning, showcasing nearby landmarks like Parliament, St Patrick’s Cathedral and the Princess Theatre. The food and desserts gravitate towards late-night indulgences, especially classic cocktails. So settle into a cosy wicker chair and sip the night away, from 5pm until the wee hours of 3am. It’s an exquisite stage for soaking in the final hours of daylight, or simply relishing the open air in timeless elegance. No wonder it’s such a popular spot for wedding parties.
Naked in the Sky
The rooftop sibling to Brunswick Street anchor Naked for Satan, the aptly named Naked in the Sky has been an in-demand perch ever since 2010. The immediate skyline backdrop can’t be beat. Snag seating as soon as you arrive, even if it means delegating a mate to secure drinks in the meantime. The menu ranges from hearty steaks and skewers to lighter share fare, with a wealth of vegetarian options.
Surrounded by the soaring buildings and (at night) bright lights of the CBD, Bomba’s rooftop bar is a sparkling jewel in the crown of its ground-level, tapas-focused eatery. Five floors up, the elevated destination slings Spanish-style toasties called “bikinis”, available until 1am. That makes this a readymade favourite for late-night snacking, again with that luminous inner-city backdrop. Beyond the dreamy locale, Spanish wines thrive alongside Bomba’s house lager and approachable, Spanish-influenced cocktails. Inventive cocktails are well represented too, with no shortage of Australian craft spirits. Bar manager Cara Devine even hosts online cocktail courses and a popular YouTube series called Behind the Bar.
Marquis of Lorne
This three-storey corner institution in Fitzroy has more going for it than location. The historic Marquis of Lorne offers three distinctive zones: its friendly public bar (including footpath table seating), intimate dining room (complete with fireplace and stained-glass windows) and a sun-soaked rooftop terrace. Open seven days a week, this classic pub prides itself on a wide selection of tinnies and stubbies, plus a strong slate of craft beers on tap alongside local wines and generous cocktails. That makes for fine times indeed under clear blue skies, especially after tucking into a robust main for lunch or dinner. Also look out for regular steak, burger and parmi specials, making this a popular midweek destination.
Former music haunt The Great Britain Hotel got a dramatic makeover in early 2019, emerging as the open and inviting Harlow. There’s a beer garden and a refurbished wraparound rooftop bar, with inner-city views aplenty. Live bands, DJs and drag shows sit snugly with local and international sports, including US basketball and gridiron. The menu is classic pub fare, flanked with cocktails ranged from familiar classics to playful tiki creations. Best of all is the Bottomless Boozy Lunch, a two-hour session of endless drinks and lunch for just $59 per person on Saturday and Sunday. Choose from burgers, schnitzes, bacon and egg sangas or even a lobster and prawn roll.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Aperol. With 100,000 Aperol Spritzes up for grabs this summer to help celebrate being together again, find out how to claim yours.