Everyone loves unwinding after a long day at work by hanging out with their mates and de-stressing – and what better way than unleashing your inner extrovert over a fun karaoke session! After a few drinks of courage, even the most introverted can’t resist singing along to the thousands of classic hits we’ve all grown up listening to.
The biggest appeal of karaoke is that it doesn’t matter if someone sings terribly – it’s all about the fun atmosphere! But before we go through Melbourne’s best karaoke bars and why they’re the perfect choice for your next big night out with friends, you may have some questions if you’ve never experienced the exciting atmosphere of a karaoke bar before.
Karaoke is insanely popular in Melbourne and throughout the world. Basically, each person takes turns singing along to a song of their choice. The songs available are usually pop classics spanning a range of decades and range in difficulty.
A screen on the karaoke machine or TV will display the lyrics in time with the music to help the person when they are singing. While many people purchase this machine to enjoy in their own homes, the best way to experience it is at a karaoke bar!
The meaning of the word ‘karaoke’ comes from two Japanese words.
‘Kara’ is derived from ‘karappo’, which means void or empty, and ‘oke’ is derived from ‘okesutura’, which means orchestra.
The word ‘karaoke’ is known to have originated from a Japanese bar where the owner would invite customers to sing over recorded music when the scheduled performer wasn’t able to perform on stage.
As you would have guessed from the previous explanation, karaoke is Japanese. Back in 1971, Daisuke Inoue built the world’s first karaoke machine known as Juke-8.
However, and rather confusingly, it was Roberto del Rosario, a Filipino inventor, who held the patent for the karaoke machine. He developed and built his own version in 1975 and became officially recognised as the only person in the world to have a patent for a karaoke machine, technically making him the first – but karaoke is Japanese.
Karaoke was and still is an incredibly popular pastime throughout Japan as a form of night entertainment. It exploded in popularity during the 1980s across the world, with countries such as America, China, Thailand, South Korea, Australia and the Philippines fully embracing the karaoke phenomenon with open arms. Ever since then, you can easily find a karaoke club in pretty much any city.
If you are ready to grab the mic and show off your rendition of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”, then here’s where to find Melbourne’s best karaoke bars:
Located on Bourke Street is Heroes Karaoke & Rooftop Bar, offering four levels of drinking and signing adventure. Featuring a South-East Asian inspired theme, you can sing in their public and private karaoke rooms, sip cocktails on the rooftop bar and grab a bite to eat at their Asian BBQ kitchen.
Their awesome rooftop bar on the 4th floor is the best place to start your night. Once you’ve found a good spot for your group in their outdoor area, head over to the bar and grab yourself one of their signature cocktails. We recommend the mamase mamasa mamakusam made with bitters and pink grapefruit.
When you’re all ready, head down to your pre-booked group or private karaoke room and let the fun begin! Heroes Karaoke & Rooftop Bar features over 200,000 sounds to choose from, so make sure to think of a few songs before it’s your turn. Their biggest karaoke room that holds up to 25 people is on the lowest level, which is perfect for celebrating special occasions!
Split over two spacious levels, FM Karaoke Bar is a very popular hotspot for one of the best karaoke experiences in Melbourne CBD. Upstairs is home to its four private karaoke rooms that fits up to 20 people, and downstairs is where you’ll find their public karaoke bar which offers free open karaoke.
Their private karaoke rooms offer a unique experience with an Egyptian, Roman and two modern themes to choose from, perfect for dressing up with some mates and singing the night away to your favourite classic songs. FM Karaoke Bar also caters to functions and events such as hens night, corporate functions, birthdays and bachelor parties.
Apart from English hip hop, R&B, rock and pop songs, they also have a huge range of popular Korean and Chinese songs to choose from as well. With your own special table service, their themed private karaoke rooms provide a fun atmosphere for kicking back with friends and unwinding over some great karaoke after a long hard week.
Located on the ground floor of Hotel Fitzroy is Ichi Ni Nana Izakaya, an absolutely stunning Japanese restaurant (check out where to find the best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne if you’re searching for a great dining experience instead). It also is a great spot to head to with a group of friends and sing the night away in either their private karaoke booths or in front of a crowd!
Ichi Ni Nana features an outdoor deck with its own retractable roof (perfect during the hot Melbourne summer), a mezzanine, Sing Song Den located in their soundproof basement which holds up to 60 people, a fun rooftop area and an enormous sushi bar section.
Even though their private karaoke booths offer undisturbed privacy, we recommend hitting up their rooftop karaoke area for the best experience – but make sure you book in advance as Ichi Ni Nana is very popular. We recommend ordering your group some delicious Japanese tapas such as their ichi tacos with renkon chips, and some of their unique cocktails. One of their most popular cocktails is the angry monk which is made with spiced rum, whisked egg white, tequila, cherry juice, Irish whiskey and lemon juice.
For one of the most fun karaoke experiences Melbourne has to offer, be sure to make your way to Jankara Karaoke Bar! With warm lighting from their hanging chandelier basking over the rustic brick wall interior, it creates an intimate and comfortable atmosphere that is perfect for belting out a classic tune!
Jankara Karaoke Bar has over 5,000 songs to choose from, including Filipino, Japanese, English and Chinese songs, so you’ll be sure to find a fun tune to sing along to. They also feature a very extensive drink menu, including a wide range of Japanese saké, cocktails, shots, champagne, wine, beer and so much more.
We recommend ordering a cheery blossom, made with cherry brandy, lemon juice, Cointreau and grenadine, then making your way over to a table and chilling out with friends while waiting for a free spot to get on stage!
Did we also mention that there is no entry fee or cost to get up on stage and sing?
The ultimate karaoke destination in Melbourne Central can be found at Party World Karaoke Bar. As the perfect option when searching for affordable karaoke, Party World offers a huge selection of Korean, Chinese, Japanese and English songs to choose from.
No matter your budget, Party World will have your karaoke needs covered. With over 44 private karaoke rooms that are fully furnished with the latest equipment, comfortable lounges, intimate lighting and your own modern table and chairs, it offers the ideal amount of privacy in case you or your friends are a little mic shy.
If you are planning to celebrate a special event or host a function, Party World has large private rooms that can comfortably accommodate up to a whopping 35 people. You can also order a bite to eat and browse their expansive drink menu and choose from a range of spirits, imported and local beers, ciders and wine, which can be delivered to your room to ensure the fun never has to stop.
If you aren’t a fan of singing in front of strangers and prefer to just drink, sing and have fun with your mates, then make sure you check out KBOX Karaoke. This fun and award-winning karaoke club offers a range of private karaoke rooms for you and your group to sing the night away!
KBOX is well known amongst Melbourne karaoke connoisseurs. Each of their private room contains unique carpeted walls, hanging disco balls, comfortable plush couches, a glass table and your very own karaoke machine setup containing over 200,000 songs to pick! You can also order some delicious deep-fried snacks if you get hungry, and they offer a range of drinks such as premixed jugs of mixers and spirits, beer and shooters if you’re looking to get serious!
Their singing pods are designed for smaller groups of up to eight people and can be rented in two-hour increments. You can also hire their larger rooms designed for up to 22 people every two hours or their available packages which offer a flat rate for a certain amount of hours. Just check their website to see what packages are available.
Tucked away in the heart of Fitzroy is where you will find Rice Queen, a kitsch little Pan-Asian restaurant that not only serves incredibly delicious food but also offers a fun, vibrant karaoke room. Rice Queen also has a beautiful outdoor area that is ideal for kicking back and relaxing with mates over a cold beer or two before getting ready to unleash your inner Elvis.
When it comes to one of the most fun karaoke experiences in Melbourne, Rice Queen delivers the best. With a stunning vaulted ceiling, beautiful cherry blossoms and colourful lanterns scattered throughout, you can enjoy their karaoke room each and every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It can accommodate up to 10 people at a time, and can be booked in one hour intervals.
If you want to grab a meal before hitting their karaoke room, then we highly recommend ordering the lamb rib bao, which is succulent lamb ribs in a bao bun with pickles, pisco apple and hoisin plum sauce. Their huge drink menu has everything from Japanese saké and wine, to imported beer, lager and Japanese liqueurs.
Karaoke is one of the funnest experiences you can have, whether it’s with a small group of friends at home or entertaining a large crowd of people at an open karaoke bar. Now that you know where to find the best karaoke in Melbourne, book yourself a private room or table and get ready for a wild night out!
However, if you want to give the mic a rest and instead chill out with friends over a stack of scrumptious cakes while taking in the beautiful view of surrounding gardens, then check out where to find the best high tea in Melbourne.