A stroll through Abbotsford
Enough is enough! The buzz around Abbotsford is undeniable; it's undeniably 'hot' right now. With this in mind, we embarked on an exhaustive exploration, meticulously combing through Abbotsford's vibrant tapestry with a discerning eye, seeking out the hidden gems and highlighting the unparalleled charm that has placed this neighborhood in the spotlight.
Distance Travelled: 3439 metres
Situated conveniently below Victoria Park (booooo) Station, Dr Morse Bar and Eatery sets the tone for lively Fridays, drawing a bustling crowd, especially with their enticing offer of 50% off cans and bottles. Embracing a younger clientele, this vibrant establishment pulsates with energy as patrons gravitate towards the expansive beer garden. Here, amidst the verdant surroundings, the younger crowd engages in a playful symphony of flirtation and fashionable fidgeting, creating an electric atmosphere that amplifies the charm of this bustling hotspot.
Then it's off to an absolute beauty in The Yarra Hotel (200 metres east). It was named Number 19 in our 8th Annual Top 50 Pubs in Melbourne List. In addition to it's very "can anyone name a current Australian cricket player session" beer garden (which has little random facts like how the fireplace was built by a former resident upstairs, or that the doorway at the back fence leads to a guy who hots-up old postie bikes), we especially rate the band spaces as up there with any in town. Their brand new happy hour is an after-work tipple waiting to happen.
The historic Retreat Hotel (150 metres south) has a 1.7% gradient down hill so time should fly getting there. It's in our top 5 front bars in Melbourne, and a new entry at 25 in Top 50 List after the legends that are the Palace Hotel crew took it over last year. Its got a week full of food specials, but the $15 Sunday Roast is our pick. While the Retreat Hotel excels in its culinary offerings, a call for some happy hours resonates among enthusiasts seeking an extended dose of merriment. As a revered member of Melbourne's pub scene, the addition of happy hours could further enhance the lively ambiance, offering patrons an additional reason to gather, unwind, and celebrate amidst the timeless charm of this iconic establishment. How about some happy hours though guys?
Then it's off to the Park Hotel (220 metres south and No. 23), which is in our Top 5 Parmas and has been for eight years. It was taken over last year by the Royston Hotel crew, who don't ever put a foot wrong. Beer garden is great but the front bar is crying out for stoolin' (did we just invent another term?). The allure of the Park Hotel extends beyond its delectable Parmas. While its beer garden stands as a testament to conviviality and relaxation, offering a serene oasis for patrons, the front bar beckons for a touch of revitalization.
It's then a 800 metre walk (come on you can do it) to the newly opened Carringbush Hotel. The Collingwood FC snug might be gone, but they have some decent drink specials (that were only announced this week) on weeknights and a menu that promotes vegetarian cuisine.
A bit further up the road (150 metres), the well run Yorkshire Stingo is hugely underrated and offers good drink specials ($5 schooners anyone?) and honest pub grub most nights. We like $15 Steak Night (it comes with a fried egg).
Located 239 meters away, the Aviary emerges as the ideal destination for a charming date night in Melbourne. Offering an ambiance that effortlessly balances casual vibes with an understated touch of class, this establishment sets the stage for a memorable evening. It's akin to saying, 'the shopping bag might bear the David Jones logo, but nestled within is the delightful surprise of a chocolate mud cake from Coles.'
This inviting locale offers an array of delights, including a stellar happy hour that amplifies the joy of gathering. The allure deepens with enticing food specials, such as their renowned $10 burgers on Mondays – a testament to their exceptional culinary offerings that never fail to impress, especially with those very good burgers.
Adding a touch of indulgence to the weekend, the Aviary beckons patrons to savor their Bottomless Brunch on Sundays, where the word 'bottomless' takes on a beautiful allure of its own. It's a promise of endless delights, echoing the spirit of abundance and celebration that defines the Aviary's essence, making it the perfect setting for an enchanting date night experience.
From there we head to (deep breath) Two Hands Rooftop and Beer Garden Eatery, long in name, but short in distance at 138 metres, making it an easily accessible haven for those seeking value and quality in their dining experience.. It goes under the radar but with specials like $6 pints and $6 burgers it really shouldn't! Bring a sunset. Nestled beneath Melbourne's skyline, Two Hands beckons patrons to bring along a sunset and revel in the breathtaking views while indulging in pocket-friendly delights.
It's a place that effortlessly combines affordability with a panoramic rooftop view, making it a well-kept secret worth uncovering for a memorable evening against the backdrop of a stunning city sunset.
Though a bit of a hike at 1km away, the final stop of this pub crawl presents itself in the form of a delightful brewery – Moon Dog. What better way to culminate the evening's adventure than in the heart of a brewery? Offering $6 schooners of their freshly brewed concoctions from Wednesday to Friday, Moon Dog Brewery stands as the perfect punctuation mark to this spirited journey.
The trek may be a touch longer, but the promise of the freshest brews at an unbeatable price makes it a journey well worth the steps. As patrons step inside this beer haven, they're greeted by a lively atmosphere and an array of aromatic, freshly brewed beers waiting to be savored.
With its welcoming ambiance and an offer that's hard to resist, Moon Dog Brewery serves as a fitting finale, allowing revelers to toast to the night's memories and celebrate the joy of discovery amid the lively hubbub of a bustling brewery scene.