Chin chin! 9 of the best gay bars: Melbourne

gay couple enjoying a night out

Apologies in advance to any staunch Sydneysiders reading this. However, EliteSingles’ Magazine has come to the conclusion that Melbourne may just take the crown for having Australia’s best gay scene. Feathers suitably ruffled, we decided to put together a lovely list of the best gay bars Melbourne has to offer in homage to the Victorian capital. Whether you’re after a casual beer or some serious party vibes, we’ve got your back.

Glorious gay Melbourne

At EliteSingles we’re extremely proud of the fact that we’ve helped foster one of Australia’s most exciting gay dating communities. Over the years, thousands of men seeking men have found love through our dating site. This is something that makes us very happy. Because Australia’s gay scene is fast-paced and forward-thinking, we’re constantly on the lookout for goings-on, making sure we’re always on the pulse.

Nowhere embodies this dynamism than Melbourne. As far as gay scenes go, it arguably has one of the most diverse communities, not only in Australia but in the world too. From the hustle and bustle of Commercial Road to Collingwood’s artsy buzz, there’s a slice of something for everyone. This is especially true when it comes to nightlife. Because we’re as partial to a good drink as the next chap, we decided to chart 9 of our fave gay bars in Melbourne.

Got nobody to go to the bar with or don’t fancy taking your chances solo? Read our comprehensive guide to the best gay and lesbian dating apps on offer in 2018 and find yourself a date!

  • The Peel Hotel

    #1 The Peel Hotel

    Let’s get started with an absolute stalwart of the Melbourne circuit. Yes, it may be more of a club than a pub, but it’d be a travesty not to include this legendary haunt on our list. Open since 1988, The Peel has been a loyal servant to Melbourne men down the generations. Because of its late licence, it’s often where you’ll end up if you want to carry on dancing into the early hours… and beyond!


    Photo: The Peel Hotel

  • Sircuit Bar

    #2 Sircuit Bar

    If you’re looking for a joint that typifies Melbourne’s open-mindedness, you can’t go wrong with Sircuit. Hunkered down on the border between Fitzroy and Collingwood, this Smith Street hostelry shot to notoriety in next to no time. Boasting an enormous bar and exposed brickwork, it’s definitely a trendy place to party. It’s also home to the world’s only Kylie Minogue themed pop-up bar, Bar Kylie, which is usually Love at First Sight for most patrons.


    Photo: Whatcani

  • Mr Wow's Emporium

    #3 Thursgay

    While this Fitzroy establishment isn’t an out-and-out gay bar, Melbourne can be proud that it camps it up in style every Thursday. The aptly named Thursgay party at Mr. Wow’s Emporium is easily one of the city’s most exciting gay parties. With its sleek interior and prohibition-chic vibe, it’s a great spot to enjoy a cocktail or two. If you get the itch to kick-off the weekend a day early, you know where to go!


    Photo: Smudge Eats

  • Fabuland

    #4 Fabuland

    Again, this gig isn’t a gay bar per se, it’s a club night. Every Friday the chaps behind Fabuland take over Mollie’s Bar and Diner, transforming it into an oasis of hedonism right in the heart of Fitzroy. Fabuland is definitely geared towards more flamboyant fellas, it’s a fabulous blend of camp-as-they-come drag shows and stomping DJ sets. Dress up in your most garish gear, leave your inhibitions at the door and get set for a gay old time.


    Photo: Fabuland

  • The Laird

    #5 The Laird Hotel

    As it happens, the Laird is one of Australia’s longest standing gay venues. With such an illustrious pedigree that dates back to 1980, it’s no wonder that this place is revered by blokes across Melbourne and beyond. Because of its popularity it attracts a wonderfully diverse crowd. From your standard guys to burly bears and leathermen, you’ll be certain to mix it with fellas of every inclination. Get down and live it up amongst the Laird’s friendly vibes!


    Photo: The Laird

  • Prince of Wales

    #6 Prince of Wales Hotel

    Another brilliant boozer of stellar repute is St Kilda’s Prince of Wales. This spot is a bit of a peculiarity in that it’s not entirely a gay bar – the venue is split in two, one half reserved for gay guests, the other for footie fanatics. This setup works in perfect harmony and lends itself to the inclusive feel. Keep your eyes peeled for the secret door that’ll lead you to a hidden burlesque-themed gay club. 


    Photo: Broadsheet

  • The Railway Hotel

    #7 The Railway Hotel

    South Melbourne’s Railway Hotel is an inclusion that’s not technically an out-and-out gay pub. Nonetheless, Sunday afternoons are an unofficial staple fixture in Melbourne’s gay calendar and for good reason too. Boasting a gorgeous roof terrace and serving up the crispest of beers, there are few better places to languish in the Victorian sun. It’s definitely worth getting down their early doors as nearly all the local lads are eager to pack out this popular hostelry!


    Photo: The Railway Hotel

  • dinner table

    #8 DT’s Hotel

    If you don’t know about Richmond’s revered DT’s Hotel, where have you been hiding? When it comes to big players, this is one of the most popular gay bars Melbourne lays claim to. Weekdays are all about the laidback flex; pub quiz Tuesdays and Wednesday karaoke nights are favourites if you’re out on a school night. Weekends are a bit more raucous; Friday raffles and Saturday drag shows attest to this. There’s bound to be something that floats your boat within.


    Photo: Timeout

  • Poof Doof

    # 9 Poof Doof

    Last but not least is South Yarra’s notorious Poof Doof. In short, you’re either going to love or hate this glorious gay hot spot. Housed a mere stone’s throw from foodie haven Prahran Market in Chapel Street’s Chaser’s night club, it’s the perfect place to come if you fancy a proper Saturday stomp. The mainstay of this night out is the dance floor, and you can be 100% sure to get your groove on to a soundtrack of delicious disco and house. It’s party time. 


    Photo: The Music

About the author: Alex Rennie

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