Best Pubs in Melbourne

Best Pubs in Melbourne


Best Pubs in Melbourne

Pubs are as much a part of Melbourne as trams and coffee – a pillar in the city’s architecture and a place where other basics of our culture, such as music, cuisine, and footy, may be hung.

The bars listed below stand out as strong proponents of that culture. Some of them have been recognized as some of Melbourne’s top live music and sports bars. We hope you enjoy exploring Melbourne’s bar scene as much as we do.

Table of Contents

Top Pubs in Melbourne

The Esplanade Hotel

The recently rebuilt Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda, one of Melbourne’s most historic pubs, is far too large and wide for a quick pint. The spacious front bar is still accessible through the broad front steps. The room seems like a Miami nightclub in a historic seaside house combined with a typical Aussie pub, with chandeliers and moulded ceilings, a soaring wrought-iron staircase, peeling paint, towering potted palms, and walls decorated with black-and-white images of Aussie rock icons. It’s easy to lose track of time at the Espy, wandering from front bar to restaurant, band room to basement bar, public bar to courtyard, cocktail bar to balcony, and realizing it’ll be a long walk home.
Address: 11 The Esplanade, St Kilda VIC 3182


Young and Jackson Hotel

This famous hotel shouts ‘Melbourne’ if there’s one place that does. Where else can you have a drink with a million-dollar naked masterpiece? For almost a century, French artist Jules Joseph Lefebrvre’s painting Chloe has adorned the walls of this famous hotel. The location could not be better, directly across from Flinders Street Station, and don’t miss the view from the roof top bar.
Address: 1 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Lamaro’s Hotel

This lovely early 1850’s tavern, hidden down a quiet leafy street, has recently been reopened by acclaimed chef Geoff Lindsay and restaurateur Paul Dimattina. The menu focuses on pub cuisine with a contemporary touch, prepared ‘just right.’ The main bar’s centerpiece is a magnificent marble semi-circular bar, which is both intimate and elegant. This is a favorite hangout for that all-important long languid lunch.

Address: 273-279 Cecil St, South Melbourne VIC 3205

Marquis of Lorne

Tears were shed for one of Fitzroy’s golden girls when the Marquis of Lorne Hotel closed. The Marquis’ new owners, a company with extensive hospitality experience, have achieved the ideal balance between modernizing the property while maintaining its traditional attractions. The loyal hordes that flock here after dark for a pub supper that’s a cut above have worn the timbers of this backstreets bar smooth. Allow a platter of creamy, salty taramasalata skewered with crunchy shards of pita bread to keep you over until your pillowy gnocchi with garlic and greens arrives at your rooftop perch.

Address: 411 George St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

The Lincoln

It takes a deft touch to modernize a pub without wrecking it, but the Lincoln managed it with ease, slipping in a superb wine list, an enticing array of craft brewers, and a bistro cuisine that wouldn’t look out of place on white linen with candlelight and surgically exact service. Nothing about this ancient Carlton bar, which first opened its doors in 1854, has been changed, and the new elements appear to have always been there.
Address: 91 Cardigan St, Carlton VIC 3053

Stomping Ground

Stomping Ground is a terrific pub for a delicious pub dinner and Stomping Ground Brewing Co beers, which Melbourne foodies will love. Stomping Ground is a terrific spot for a quiet lunch with family or friends, and the great kids play area with a multi-level cubby house created from salvaged materials is a highlight.

A burger or fish and chips, a fruit and vegetable snack plate, and kids ice cream are all on the kids menu. Snacks, a curated range of mains including a number of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, and a couple of shared mains – lamb shoulder and beef brisket – that you can combine with various sides – are all available on the adults menu.

High chairs and a fantastic walled play area are among the amenities.

Address: 100 Gipps St, Collingwood VIC 3066

Mt. View Hotel

Richmond’s Mt View Hotel’s Grand Final festivities are just as much about the ambiance as they are about the game, with views over the Mighty G (footy jargon for the MCG) and an annual street party that goes off like a frog in a sock. You can purchase a ticket in advance, but if you forget, you can also show up on the day.
Address: 68/70 Bridge Rd, Richmond VIC 3121

The Duke of Wellington

Melbourne’s oldest pub is a great place to catch the game if you find yourself stranded in the CBD around 2:30pm on Saturday. Serving up a ‘pie of the day’ (with sauce, of course) and screening the game across all three levels (rooftop included) if past experiences are anything to go by, the Duke can be counted on for hosting a quality ’do. 
Address: 146 Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000

The Mitre Tavern

The Mitre Tavern is nestled inside Melbourne’s oldest building, right in the heart of the Central Business District. While the pub is usually packed with suits, it’s worth the trip if only to check out Melbourne’s Wolf of Wall Street crowd. If you’re feeling adventurous, go upstairs to the steakhouse and order a large slab of meat and an expensive bottle of Australian red to keep the celebration going.
Address: 5 Bank Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000

Grosvenor Hotel

The Grosvenor Hotel delivers authentic, honest pub dinners in a refurbished late 1800s pub with industrial-chic design and a spectacular marble bar, and is known for its bistro food and superb wine.

Enjoy exceptional steaks, burgers, or wood-fired pizzas every night of the week, matched with a fashionable cocktail or a selection of local and foreign craft beers. The Grosvenor Hotel is the ideal pub hangout all year round, catering to a variety of occasions.

The excellent flavor and softness of grass-fed Victorian beef is combined with a crisp craft lager. It doesn’t get much better than that. This is an absolute must-try!

Address: 10 Brighton Rd, St Kilda East VIC 3183

The Railway Hotel

The Railway Hotel, in the heart of Windsor, has been providing classic pub meals and hard-earned beer to Melburnians for over 20 years and has stood the test of time. The Railway Hotel is a restaurant/bistro as well as a bottle shop that is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

The Railway Hotel is an award-winning restaurant that doesn’t simply offer up your usual pub meal; with up to 90% of the menu derived from the owners farm in the gorgeous Strathbogie Ranges, provenance is assured in all the produce that is sourced for a true, quality meal.

29 Chapel St, Windsor VIC 3181

Middle Park Hotel

The pub of the iconic Middle Park Hotel has just had a facelift, and now features a beautiful bar, a cozy dining area, and a two-level outside deck/beer garden.

They have a diverse menu with something for everyone, and I consider it to be one of Melbourne’s top gastropubs. They’ve got it all, whether it’s a hearty pub favorite or a more sophisticated feast showcasing the finest of Victorian products. The hanging lamb kebab is clearly the ‘wow’ dish here and they also specialized in steaks. Everything is wonderfully presented.

High chairs, a handicapped toilet, a changing table, coloring pages on the back of the kids menu, and pram access are among the amenities.

Address: 102 Canterbury Rd, Middle Park VIC 3206

The Woodlands Hotel

The Woodlands Hotel may resemble a little German castle or an ornate British firehouse from the outside, but it’s an all-Victorian bash on the inside. Seriously, when it comes to local vegetables, these people are the real deal. A house lager, a pale from Cavalier in Derrimut, and a raspberry wheat beer from Bareside’s Boatrocker are on tap during our visit. The bottled beer menu expands their horizons — it’s more Victorian in here than a VFL premiership. And you can guarantee your bottom dollar that their local emphasis includes the kitchen.
Address: 84-88 Sydney Rd, Coburg VIC 3058

The Retreat Hotel

The Retreat, tucked away in Abbotsford’s neighborhood streets just off of Johnston Street, is a Victorian pub design masterpiece. Stained glass adorns the windows, doors, and the cabinet over the bar that follows its S-curve into the comfortable front area, and the original chandeliers and dark turned wood exist. 
Address: 226 Nicholson St, Abbotsford VIC 3067

Braeside Brewing Co

Braeside Brewing Co is a family-owned and operated brewery and café in Mordialloc’s industrial sector.

The sleek, contemporary stylings of the repurposed industrial building are highlighted by an eye-catching pizza oven.

The menu includes all of the foods that go well with beer, as well as a $10 kids menu. High chairs, an enclosed children’s play area, pencils and sketching materials are all accessible, and the warehouse size allows for plenty of room for prams.

Great beer, stone-fired pizza, and a friendly atmosphere await you.

Address: 43 Governor Rd, Mordialloc VIC 3195

The Wheelers Hill Hotel

The Wheelers Hill Hotel has a cafe with a lush aspect, as well as gambling and sports on TV.

The Wheelers Hill Hotel, which opened in 1876 as the Mulgrave Post Office, is now a contemporary bar with spectacular views of the Dandenong Ranges.

You may relax inside the Family Bistro, by the toasty fireplace, or outside on our large shaded lower terrace, which overlooks magnificent vistas.

The main menu consists of pub classics with a few new foods tossed in (such as a fattoush salad), while the children’s menu is equally straightforward. I believe the gigantic playground in the main eating area will be a hit with the youngsters.

Address: 871-881 Ferntree Gully Rd, Wheelers Hill VIC 3150

The Tote

To refer to the Tote as a legend is akin to referring to the sky as blue; it doesn’t care what you think, and everyone knows it. That said, it’s crucial to take a step back and appreciate the venues that have helped to shape this city and keep its rock pulse beating for decades. When severe licensing restrictions threatened to close the bar down in 2010, this is the only pub in Melbourne to ever provoke a full-scale protest, led by Australia’s music aristocracy. The rockers and the pub were victorious.
Address: 67-71 Johnston St, Collingwood VIC 3066

The Townhall Hotel

Since 1872, this no-frills, basic hotel has served the local population seven days a week. This is a terrific spot to watch a performance on the weekends, with a full-fledged gig guide showcasing known and up-and-comers in the music field (especially the Sunday session). The public bar is crammed with music memorabilia, and the beer garden gives city living a rustic flavor.
Address: 33 Errol St, North Melbourne VIC 3051

The Royston

The Royston was Melbourne’s first bar to offer craft beer on all taps. It was cool before it was cool. It still has the air of a laid-back elder sister who was friends with that band long before they became famous and doesn’t attempt to blend in. Mountain Goat is one of the beers on tap, but there’s also strange and amazing stuff like To the Passion of the Weisst from Denmark, which received the beer name of the year award and tastes like sour passionfruit on toast. In the Melbourne winter, the hand pump normally serves 3 Ravens Black Stout, since who likes fridge-cold carbonated beer?
Address: 12 River St, Richmond VIC 3121

Labour in Vain

Set amid the bustle of Brunswick Street’s ever-gentrifying gentrification, this corner tavern has certainly seen its share of loud music and good times. The name is spelled Labour or Labor, depending on which door you look at, a written nod to that brief period in Australia’s history around 1900 when officials toyed with dropping the U in “labour.” Built in 1853 and ordained as a pub in 1998, the name is spelled Labour or Labor, depending on which door you look at, a written nod to that brief period in Australia’s history around 1900 when officials toyed with dropping the U in “labour.” It’s decorated with creaky bar chairs and harsh wooden benches, the floors are sticky, and the single drinkers all seem like members of punk bands from the 1980s.

Address: 197A Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

Builders Arms Hotel

Andrew McConnell and his co-conspirator Anthony Hammond have brought the tavern up to date with a whip-smart whitewash paint job that will either delight or dismay you, depending on how you felt about it when it was fuchsia. There are only a few charcoal seats and tables to prevent photokeratitis, aside from a weathervane-style light sculpture (Google it). The front bar is laid-back, but in a Cumulus manner rather than a pub way (read: you’ll still need to wear slacks), and the counter food selection is exceptional.

Address: 211 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

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