Press and Reviews

It can certainly be argued that Melbourne’s current appetite for serious cocktails started right here, in the plush velvety interior of this Brunswick Street institution. Now over 15 years old [update: now over 18 years], Polly still attracts the crowds with what must be one of the city’s most extensive drinks lists.

Settle into a cosy corner and begin making your way through the cocktails – just don’t leave without trying one of the many Absinthe’s on offer from the skilled staff who know how to serve it correctly. Just be prepared for a wait at the bar on a Saturday night, this place is still packed after 15 years [update: 18 years].


In the popularity stakes, Polly takes the crown, being the clear winner in 2016’s People’s Choice award. With more than 15 years under her belt, this pretty Fitzroy perennial is a favourite for functions and it’s not hard to see why. The plush, boudoir-inspired interiors were made for ladylike lounging, with deep leather armchairs, chaises longues and swathes of velvet, along with gilt-framed pre-Raphaelite paintings and Art Deco embellishments.

Timeout Melbourne

Featured in Best Cocktail Bars In Melbourne: In the old-world décor, staff in waistcoats and ties shake every favourite and more of an awesome cocktail list. Order the renowned espresso martini or sample some traditional French Absinthe. As you leave, the doorman gifts a pink heart lolly pop. Discrete yet divine.

Lifestyle Food

One of Melbourne’s earliest cocktail bars, Polly is still going strong and keeping the Brunswick Street punters well lubricated. Polly is a sumptuous, red velvet-clad lounge, where you’ll be all too happy to sink into a plush sofa and make eyes with a tall dark stranger across the room.

With an epic cocktail list and staff who know their spirits inside out, Polly is a decadent retreat from modern day stresses and the scene of many a crime against moderation.

The Urban List