The Best Bars in Richmond
Whether you’re after a relaxed post-work wine or DJ beats leading to the dancefloor, these bars in Richmond promise a good time.
Richmond’s nightlife scene can be described as cool, but never stuck up or stuffy. The buzzy hub that is Swan Street, along with the quieter wine bars and intriguing cocktail bars that dot Swan Street and Bridge Road, mean that you’re never short of a new place to meet up with friends and sip on something special. We’ve collected all the best bars in Richmond, from funky microbreweries and specialty gin bars to multi-level partystarters, to suit every mood and occasion.
The Ugly Duckling is that rare combination of sophisticated and homely, with a highly capable bar team shaking up exciting cocktails in a relaxed, almost soothing setting. Sip on salted watermelon Daiquiris and elderflower Southsides under afternoon light streaming in from the heritage glass atrium. The largely Victorian wine list explores orange wines and fizzy pét-nats while snacks range from black truffle crisps to saltbush-sprinked kingfish crudo. We also love that they do table service here, meaning precious catchup time isn’t wasted queueing at the bar.
238 Swan Street, Richmond
This funky, ‘70s inspired microbrewery and bar is nothing like the industrial, warehouse-y breweries you usually see. Sporting colourful local furniture, ample indoor greenery and a fireplace centrepiece, Nice Guys is the kind of place you’ll want to hang around all day. They’re pouring fresh beers from chilled tanks, including a citrus-forward American pale ale, mild kiwi lager and toasty oatmeal stout, alongside top-notch wines and cocktails. Dogs are also welcome in the alfresco garden area out front, making this a great pit stop on a weekend walk.
306-308 Victoria Street, Richmond
Warm, elegant and just a smidge fancy, The Blacksmith should be high on your night out rotation. The bar takes inspiration from its historic 1920s façade, built back when it was McNaughton’s Ironmongers, taking on a “quirky antique-prohibition style décor” that’s full of personality. House cocktails pay homage to the classics, with fun additions like the Vow of Silence which blends lemon sorbet from Gelato Messina with Yellow Chartreuse, citrus shrub and prosecco. Planning a party? Their private function space includes a built-in photo booth – perfect for capturing hazy memories.
69 Swan Street, Richmond
A Richmond favourite since day one, at Atlas Vinifera it’s all about wine. To browse through their 400-strong shelves is to take a trip to every winemaking corner of the world, meaning you can start with lowkey local Chardy and end with a drop-dead gorgeous Chablis. Nurse a glass or two with a charcuterie board at their long counter bar or the sunny courtyard. During the winter months, they also do a hearty mulled wine.
274 Church Street, Richmond
The unassuming exterior of 438 Church Street belies the vibrant Cuban-inspired bar hidden within. Brought to you by the team behind Windsor’s Jungle Boy, The Palm Royale is every bit as playful with palm fronds and disco balls aplenty. Tiki cocktails full of fresh, tropical fruit will have you feeling like a million dollars, while rum boilermakers will please those without a sweet tooth. There’s even a garden-styled courtyard outside where you can light up real Cuban and Dominican Republic cigars between rounds, if that’s your thing.
438 Church Street, Richmond
If gin’s your tipple of choice, Bowerbird has your name written all over it. The specialty gin bar stocks over 70 Victorian gins sourced from regions as far wide as Ballarat, Geelong, Mildura and Milawa. Try them in refreshing G&T form or in all your classic gin cocktails like the celebratory French 75, citrus-forward Gimlet and springtime Bramble. You won’t go hungry either, with Bowerbird’s satisfying bar menu plating up oozy triple cheese toasties and meatball subs alongside your classic cheese and charcuterie.
274 Bridge Road, Richmond
This neighbourhood cocktail bar has been a Richmond staple for over 20 years. It’s changed hands and been given a new lick of paint a few times over that period, but never strayed from its calling – good vibes and great drinks. Expect house cocktails that are big and bold, with options like the Perfect Chaos with rum, tiki bitters, honey and pineapple syrup, or the spicy Chockwork Orange with rum, cacao, cold brew liqueur and chilli bitters.
328 Bridge Road, Richmond
This zippy little wine bar and shop on Bridge Road is a quiet overachiever, turning visitors into regulars with their exciting wine list, strong cocktails and warm atmosphere. Friendly and knowledgeable staff are always ready to share their passion and help you discover a new favourite bottle, with both classic wines and funky new natural drops given representation on the menu. For a low key catchup with friends or a post-dinner nightcap, Annie can’t be beat.
138 Bridge Road, Richmond
A wine bar serving snacks and supper ‘til late is always a winner in our books. At Attria on Swan Street you can nibble on earthy black truffle salami, fluffy focaccia smothered in taramasalata and wild mushroom agnolotti while working your way through a lengthy wine list that traverses vineyards across Australia and the world. It’s a bar for every occasion, whether you’re catching up with mates (go for the al fresco outdoor tables), on a date (the vibes inside are cute and cosy) or just wanting a solo glass of wine (sit up at the bar).
107 Swan Street, Richmond
Although conveniently located near East Richmond station, Swan Street and the MCG, Maeve Fox feels like a relaxed sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of its neighbours. Drop in for an after-work wine or a casual cocktail before dinner, settling into window side tables and roomy booths. On hot days you can cool off with a juicy spritz, while on chilly nights you can warm up with drinks like the Apple Cinnamon Crumble, a sweet and soothing combination of butterscotch schnapps, whiskey, apple and lemon. Swing by during happy hour on Friday for half price wines, spirits and $1 dumplings, while their famed all-day hospo Sundays see all drinks half price.
472 Church Street, Richmond
Bottomless brunches, glitzy décor and a roomy rooftop terrace – Fargo & Co is where Richmond goes to get the party started. The former heritage bank building has been transformed into a 200-seat, double storey bar glammed up with neon art, indoor greenery and a huge chandelier. There’s frosé in summer, boozy hot choc in winter and theatrical cocktails all year round. Resident and visiting DJs get the DF raring to go from Thursday onwards, while bottomless brunch is on every weekend without fail.
216 Swan Street, Richmond
We’ve got even more suggestions for going out this season. Who doesn’t love a cheap drink? Check out these great value happy hours that’ll have you clocking off early. On chilly nights you’ll find us rugged up in these cosy pubs with fireplaces, while weekends are spent exploring Melbourne’s best distilleries and cellar doors.
I'd love to live near