With a thriving bar culture, there are many cool places to spend your evenings in Melbourne where you can enjoy live music along with delicious drinks and snacks.

Transport Public Bar

For a relaxed and comfortable place where you'll be greeted by friendly staff and a chilled out crowd, head to this bar.

The gigs are consistently lively and fresh, with local artists taking to the stage. You'll catch music four nights a week, from a range of genres such as funk, blues and rhythm.

As you listen to the music, enjoy a cold one. This bar has a great range of beer and cider, including artisan and international products as well as Australian-made classics. The Orchard Thieves, Pink Lady or Kopparberg ciders are all delicious choices.

Find this bar on the corner of Flinders Street and St Kilda Road, in the energetic Federation Square.

Golden Monkey

Want to feel like you've stumbled into the orient? Head to this club. Allow the mood lighting, in the form of lanterns and tea lights, as well as antique furniture piled with cushions transport you to Old Shanghai.

Every Tuesday night you can listen to the soulful sounds of live jazz – the Opium Jazz evening starts at 7:30pm, while every Thursday you can groove to R&B with the Shaolin Funk night, starting at 9pm. If you'd like a selection of music, from pop to disco, head over on Saturday night to enjoy the musical creations of a range of DJs.

While you listen, enjoy Asian cuisine,  including light and flavoursome Japanese dishes and Chinese Yum Cha. The Shanghai Basket is great to share with one of your mates. Pair your food with a cocktail – the signature drinks, including Smoking Dragon, are surprising and tasty.

The Esplanade

This 100 year old hotel has long been a place to go for gritty and awesome rock. Along with touring bands and guests, The Esplanade has a bunch of regulars. Every Saturday from 6pm in the front room, you'll see Phil Para Band and The Hell Hounds and every Sunday Dale Ryder Band with Stand and Deliver will show off their talents.  

The front room is where you'll satisfy your musical cravings, and the kitchen is the place to go for amazing food. Burger night is on every Thursday from 5pm. Try the Sambal Burger with chicken breast, sambal cream cheese sauce, tomato and lettuce, or the Epsy Burger, which is a real classic with beef pattie, cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, red onion and topped off with a secret sauce. While you take in the music and enjoy your food, check out the views of the St Kilda promenade.

If you're travelling via hired car, be sure to leave this where you're staying and take a taxi, or nominate a sober driver to get to home safely.