There’s a bar for every mood in Australia’s capital, whether you’re chasing a secret speakeasy, bustling jazz bar, or casual brewski. Here are our top picks for a memorable night out.
Hidden behind an unmarked wooden door and down an unremarkable staircase on Odgers Lane, you’ll find Molly’s: Canberra’s coolest speakeasy. Boasting everything from secret rooms to live jazz and whiskey tastings, Molly’s delivers a truly unique experience.
A few hundred metres away, you’ll find Hippo Co. It’s a little louder than Molly’s (and a little less subtle), but just as much fun. There’s live blues every Monday and live jazz every Wednesday night, as well as a regular roster of cocktail masterclasses, making it the perfect choice when you’re after a bar with that little something extra.
Stay at nearby Adina Apartment Hotel James Court for an easy stroll home, stopping in at late night foodie favourite Akiba on route.
Long time local favourite, Polit Bar, is the kind of venue that has something for every mood. There’s stand-up comedy, burlesque, and karaoke, for those who want to be entertained, as well as a seriously impressive selection of books and board games for more introspective patrons. All options come with impeccable table service, politically-themed cocktails, and delicious all-night bites.
Keep the political theme going with a room at Hotel Kurrajong, which first opened its doors in 1926 as a residence for public servants. The Benny’s Double – Gold Label Johnny Walker, Luxardo, Orange Bitters and a 23 Carat Gold Leaf - is a tribute to former Prime Minister Ben Chifley who briefly called the hotel home.
If you’re after something a little more casual, it’s hard to go past the tap room at Capitol Brewing Co. As well as rotating roster of local beers, you’ll find Canberra’s iconic red Brodburger caravan, serving up burgers, hot dogs, and perfectly crunchy onion rings.
Chasing a warm fireplace and cool architecture alongside your tipple of choice? Settle in for an evening at Helix Bar & Dining on the ground floor at Vibe Hotel Canberra. The stylish island bar offers creative cocktails (their signature is the playfully named ‘one in a melon’), local wines, and craft beers, as well as views straight up the hotel’s soaring atrium. The hotel itself is located just a few hundred metres from Canberra Airport, making it the perfect location for late arrivals and early departures. For an extra touch of comfort, spend a night in one of the hotel’s aptly named first class suites.