The Carlton Hotel
Open: Mon-Wed 3pm-late, Thurs-Sun 12pm-`late
Flock wallpaper, sprouting greenery and a zoo of taxidermy creatures - an ostrich, giraffe and peacocks among them - have transformed the bar from down at heel to over the top. Once a gathering place for some of Melbourne's less salubrious characters, the Carlton now plays host to a wide variety of punters, from city types looking for post-work refreshment to creative's, musicians and hipsters who revel in the unusual surroundings. As well as the eclectic interior, there's also a large deck (a retractable awning protects those who prefer the outdoors even when the weather is inclement) that overlooks the Bourke Street bustle. From the huge wooden bar choose from the eight beers on tap, an extensive wine list (there are 20 available by the glass) or a range of cocktails that traverses the traditional - Cosmopolitans, martinis and the like.