Bar, Eatery

1/252 Swanston St
Melbourne, VIC 3000

+61 3 9663 7660 | map

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Photo of RichardLeahy
Reviewed by RichardLeahy from Australia

3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.25
Mainly been here for the food, which is exceptionally good. It does look like an impressive range of beer, but too many hipster/wankers around for my tastes.
Oct 21, 2018
Rated: 4 by tribeerguy70_3 from New Jersey

Oct 14, 2015
Photo of twald
Rated by twald from California

4.58/5  rDev +15.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75
Large selection of beer with a couple of good local IPAs on tap
Feb 23, 2015
Rated: 3.85 by ddaedalus from New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Feb 22, 2015
Rated: 3.85 by Taphouse_Traveler from Florida

Feb 14, 2015
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Reviewed by spark from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
Dudes, I am really surprised some people here didn't love this place. Its been two years since I've been here, but I am going back next month, so I will give a update soon. But this is one of my top 5 beer bars in the world. Phenomenal selection, tons of unique local stuff you would never find here in the US. Maybe I was just lucky but I had an awesome bartender who was totally into super hoppy beers, very knowledgeable and cool. And the food is excellent! I love thai, so great for me. I did go earlier in the day so must have missed the poser crowd some of you referred to. I can see that might be the case. But this is an awesome place. Update to come.
Jul 28, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by bylerteck from Canada (ON)

Nov 12, 2013
Photo of soju6
Reviewed by soju6 from Missouri

3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25
Located in central Melbourne and seems to be a trendy place to be seen at as much as a place for drinking and dining. There are more craft beers available than in the past. Service can be a bit cold depending on the servers and the prices are a bit stiff. Been there, done that.
May 27, 2013
Photo of heygeebee
Reviewed by heygeebee from Australia

3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
Went to Cookie a couple of times in January. Once on a Sunday night to eat, then on a Friday night to drink before eating elsewhere.

You climb a flight of stairs in the dark, open a dark door, and there you are...

When you eat on Sunday, you get taken to your table by the smiling Maitre'D, the beer bible comes out, you pick from an extensive - and sometimes rare - selection of tap beers. Bottles go on forever. Your beer is delivered to your table where you sit in comfort.
When you drink on Friday, you stand in line at the bar for ages, and eventually can grab a beer bible - as you can't see the taps - and finally your beer comes to you, that is if you have not died of thirst waiting. You then have to find somewhere to sit (hah!! fat chance) lean, (better chance, but still not good) or just stand.

I had Victoria's Secret on tap, Moylans on tap, and some locals. Tops.

The food is Thai and wonderful.

Mar 19, 2013
Photo of MrKennedy
Reviewed by MrKennedy from Australia

3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4
Trendy bar in the middle of town. Huge marble bar with 24 taps.

Aimed more upmarket with a Thai restaurant and strong spirit selection. Seems to attract a cocktail crowd. Beer selection is mixed, plenty of dull lagers with more exciting things like Bridge Road Saison, Moylander.

Service is good for a Sunday afternoon, not overly busy, friendly enough, while knowing their stock.

Decent tap range from local micros to macros, imports and craft imports like Moylans. Good bottled list, covering styles pretty well.

Prices are a little high, bottles about double the normal off-licence price.

If you want a trendy bar with some good beer, this is it. If you want a craft beer mecca, you'll be left short.
Nov 27, 2011
Photo of dgilks
Reviewed by dgilks from Australia

3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3
Cookie is a nice space, some what dark but bustling with its casual, if upmarket, crowd. They have plenty of taps but they are covered with mostly standard import lagers. The best options appear to be very pricey Leffe and decent but not exceptional Fat Yak and Cooper's. The service is good but not great. The friendly staff were happy to answer my questions on a mildly busy night. The quality of the beer itself was good although it was served a bit cold. Thumbs up to proper, branded glassware.

On the whole, the experience is good but the prices are too high and it doesn't meet the expectations I've been given. Perhaps it was atypical of Cookie not to have any higher quality or local craft on tap but my review will reflect the quality as experienced when I visited.
Jan 02, 2010
Photo of vancurly
Reviewed by vancurly from Australia

4.58/5  rDev +15.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5
Finally getting the Melbourne junket I've been chasing every since being a BA member. Had a nice stroll from Transport, to Y&J, then into Cookie.
Cookie is by far the superior beer venue. I didn't get to try Mrs Parma's, nor outside the city to Royston or Local Taphouse.
But.... I visited Cookie twice....
After wandering up & down a weird set of stairs, varying in style between Victorian marble and Artschool graffiti, opened an innocuous doorway to be overwhelmed by the sounds of enjoyment.
The beer menu is fantastic; the brewery of the month being Willie Simpson's Seven Sheds.
Bar staff was knowledgable & friendly. Upon not having Meantime IPA available, I was pointed towards an Epic PA. Not quite the same style, but the gesture was appreciated nonetheless.
Didn't try the food, but will next time.
Highly recommended.
Aug 21, 2009
Photo of dirtylou
Reviewed by dirtylou from Washington

4/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
read about this place on this site prior to a recent visit to Melbourne

As a stupid American tourist, i found this place very difficult to find...i walked all over Swanston looking for this place and finally noticed the sign and realized it was on the 3rd floor

atmosphere: i went in on a sunday evening on my first night in the city and this place was absolutely jumping. It was kind of swanky with a DJ playing lounge records. The decor and design was very dark and woody, seemed like something you would find in eastern europe. There were lots of beautiful women in the house as well!

quality: at first, i just looked at the taps and wasnt overly impressed. i finally got a hold of a bottle list and it was very well organized by country and was rather impressive. I figured there was no way in hell i was coming all the way across the world to Australia and drinking European beer, so i tried to stick to the Australian menu

service: very very busy, but service was generally still ok. I asked for some random stout, that they did not have so i was offered a Sinha Stout instead (which turned out to be a lion stout, and about 12,000 times better than the bottle i sampled in the states earlier this summer). Food delivery was prompt

selection: see quality section above...The thing that separated this from the Australian Hotel in Sydney was the international bottle far as domestics go, id say they were close

food: Cookie is actually an upscale Thai joint. I ordered the grilled banana soup but was actually served the chicken and prawn salad, which was wonderful but could have been bigger

value: drafts were pretty comparable to other spots, some bottles were a bit more expensive and food seemed a touch pricey as well

cool place, i'd go back
Jun 30, 2007
Photo of brendan13
Reviewed by brendan13 from Australia

4/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
I've been here a few times now. The 1st couple of times on dates so didn't get to really appreciate the beer selection (looking like/being a beer nerd probably isn't going to get you a 2nd or 3rd date) the last couple of times have been great however. It was the start of the 10 years of BA - Melbourne Pub Crawl. Drinking with fellow BA's for my 1st time was cool. And in such a great place! As already mentioned you need AT LEAST 15-20 minutes to fully read through the beer menu.

A very good selection of aussie micros but their international selection is what makes it. Lots of Belgian & German beers which also adds to the "European" feel of the place. Yes, 4 or 5 beers will add up but I guess it comes back to that old BA saying.

Like the beers, the thai food is pricey but it is probably also A LOT better than your suburban thai take away. If your not into Thai food they do have a token pasta and a couple of pizza options at night but last time I went there was with my dad and he spotted the Rump Steak. My dad eats a lot of steak and he declared it "one of the best ever!" It came out on a sizzling plate and it covered the whole plate. Huge meal.

Overall its pricey but worth it. Can get packed at night even on Tuesday and Wednesdays with trendy city dwellers and uni students. Go during the day for some peace and quiet. Around 3-4pm on a Sunday afternoon is great as there is a few people around but not so many that you cant enjoy your beer in peace. If your lucky you may also get some free samples of the tap beers.
Feb 10, 2007
Photo of dwarbi
Reviewed by dwarbi from New York

4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
*First of all I have to note that it's hard to select a pricing value for a place that sells beers unavailable in most of the rest of the continent. The beers are a bit pricey but the distribution to Australia must be so low that I believe it is out of necessity... and worth every penny.

Cookie is an upscale Thai restaurant with a killer beer selection.
Cookie is a killer beer bar with a wonderful Thai restaurant in it.

I learned a lesson after my first visit to Cookie. The next time I go, if it is not with beer geeks like me, I will arrive 20 minutes early to give myself ample time to flip through the massive, detailed beer menu. Detailed? Yes: descriptions of the beers and styles. A real book. Thai food is an odd pairing considering most BAs would order whatever beer they have never had or had not had in a while, regardless of what they are ordering. So you wind up with Emerson's Bourban-Aged Ported and Pad Thai or Emerson's Limited Release Belgian-Style and Tom Yum Soup.

Nov 19, 2006
Photo of norwichboy
Reviewed by norwichboy from Australia

3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5
Cookie seems to have created a real European bar feel: dark wood panelling, antique style fittings, God: even doillies on the tables. But it still has a funky youthful vibe. It works well. It can get crowded and noisy around the bar, but there are plenty of tables and you can get served without waiting too long even on a Friday evening.

I think the important thing is that you feel instantly at home just coming here to enjoy trying a range of beers, even though there is a mixed crowd in here with varying interest in beer. It seems to manage this better than other options in Melbourne.

So, to the beers. Well it has to be said there is an exceptionally large range of beers for Melbourne, with a paritcularly good collection of Belgian ales, and a number on tap. They also pack in a fantastic range of single malts and other spirits and have good wines by the glass too. Prices seem variable: I was pleased to be paying $9 for a bottle of Tripel Karmeliet when I haven't seen it anywhere else in Melbourne, but $12 for a bottle of Salvator is a bit steep.

I was disappointed that there are not more British style ales though - only a handful and nothing worth getting excited about. Another downside is that Unibroue glasses seem to be used as a generic glass for everything rather than having a wider range of glassware.

However, overall Cookie would be a great bar to come to even if it weren't for the beers, so two thumbs up.
Aug 16, 2006
Photo of DaveFL1976
Reviewed by DaveFL1976 from Florida

3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5
A trendy, popular with the pretty people hook-up joint upstairs on Swanston. They won't let you in the door with shorts on. I tried, and had to come back another day when I was more 'appropriately dressed.' The beer selection is pretty darn good, especially with Belgians and German beers. Pricey, though. I paid $16 for an Aventius. Most good beers are $10+ there so prepare to second-mortgage the house if you plan on having more than a few beers.
There's an attached restaurant, but I haven't tried food other than bruchetta.
Dec 13, 2005
Cookie in Melbourne, Australia
Place rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 17 ratings