Restaurant Guide

Bar Liberty: Restaurant review

The go-to joint for gonzo libations and none-too-serious snackage.


234 Johnson St
Fitzroy, Melbourne, Vic


Lunch Sun noon-5pm;
Dinner Mon-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-midnight


E $18-$24
M $28-$35
D $12-$14;
Dégustation $65

Three-and-a-half years after opening, Melbourne's favourite low-fi hangout has reached the age of reason. Sure, it has the same gravitational pull it's always had thanks to the ineluctable charms of a wine list packed with natural curios along with a menu with the dial set to global grazing, but the anarchistic approach of its early days has been replaced by a solid dependability. A full-throttle mussel dip on a potato crisp with a sprinkle of lovage, or fried salt-and- pepper vegetables lifting capsicum and brassicas up where they belong, are rusted-on features of a menu dedicated to the snacking dark arts. A raft of wholemeal sourdough, grilled to order and served with the gently acidic curve ball of cultured cream, remains a meal in itself, but go bigger to the lamb with eggplant lifted by a lick of anchovy sauce. The kitchen's love of salt might mar an otherwise sound bucatini cacio e pepe – a similar salty scenario is playing out at the group's American-Italian Carlton newcomer, Capitano – but it's a small mid-life crisis for a bar-slash-restaurant thoroughly deserving its place in the city's heart.
Bookings recommended
  • Licensed
  • Bar
  • Vegetarian-friendly
  • Private room
  • Impressive wine list
  • Outdoor dining
Accepted card types:
  • American Express
  • Eftpos
  • MasterCard
  • Visa
Casey Wall & Zackary Leon Furst
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.