Melbourne Top 50 Venues in Melbourne (50-41)
50. Redwood Tasting Room, North Fitzroy.
You have to love a bottle shop (the city's cheapest btw) that doubles as a bar. Owned and operated by couple Brian (Californian) and Anika (Aussie), their beer distribution company enables them to keep the prices low and the beer brands unique, being mostly derived from the USA's west coast. Head there for a trivia night!
49. Curtin Hotel, Carlton.
10 years ago a new owner came into John Curtin with the desire to make it into one of Melbourne's best live music venues. While it often goes under the radar, the verdict is in…he succeeded (he has since left, but new owner continues the theme). A big space upstairs goes down a treat for a late night noise session and the old school front bar with its graffiti ridden toilets and dodgy booths good for necking bottles and necking. Due to its proximity to RMIT you'll often find a student crowd there which keeps it lively. Historically, being opposite the Trades Hall, you can only imagine the deals that went down at this place and when Bob Hawke passed away last year, everyone came here within the hour.
48. Mona Castle, Seddon.
The Mona reminds us of a typical pub in East London. One that the locals gravitate to as if it's their own. Kinda like those soaps on TV. Hell we even saw the local butcher come in and sell his meats at the end of the day. Certainly one of the best footy pubs going around (there is a dedicated sports bar through the back), though if you don't barrack for Western Bulldogs, you might be in trouble. The pub once sponsored former Bulldog's captain Matty Boyd, so they are pretty keen. Not too far from Seddon Station for the curious.
47. Peacock Hotel, Northcote.
With one of the best beer gardens in town, this is a great summer destination, in an area lacking old school pubs. Popular with locals and the "knock off at 3pm" tradie set, it also piles them in during the AFL season. Has lots of specials but Wednesday's 2kg of chicken wings for $15 is the ticket!
46. The Grosvenor, St Kilda East.
What separates the Grosvenor Hotel from other nearby venues is the standard of food. Not too many pubs have their own meat ageing room for example. Add some excellent specials, some great areas to watch sport and a very family friendly bistro, and this has shot into the rankings with a bullet.
45. Quiet Man, Flemington.
It's the beacon out west. Irish owned and staffed with Irish backpackers, it's a homely place that isn't afraid to get rowdy when the music starts. Apparently it was built and designed in Dublin and shipped over here. Now that's authentic. Half the place is dedicated to the bistro, while the front bar is where to congregate for sports and such. It's a great option if you find yourself out that way, especially during Spring Carnival and of course St Pat's Day.
44. Park Hotel, Werribee.
Since re-opening in late 2012, the Park Hotel has become a beer lover's haven, arguably having the best beer list in Victoria with 20 rotating craft beer taps and 400 bottled brands (try the dogfish). The food too, takes simple pub fare up a few notches. Close to the train station (you wont want to drive) it's a worthy day trip. Bands often play and there is a popular trivia night on Thursdays. Plans are underway to open a micro-brewery on site too..if only they had more specials!
43. Maori Chief, South Melbourne
South Melbourne is a suburb with many pubs, though sadly most have been yuppified up and homogenised over the decades…but not the Maori Chief. Its history (1867) and "vibe" has remained true, making this a type of northern pub in the south if we can be so bold to say. It's a comfortable local with good pub grub and a space where watching sport (very popular with Rugby Union followers) is encouraged.
42. Ale House Project, Brunswick East.
There are three things that make a good beer bar. The first is obviously a good selection of beer but it's much more than that. The beers must turn over continuously as to offer the customer a differing range. Many beer places around town seem to have the same five taps on forever. We really appreciate hard to find collaboration brews or rare seasonal drops. A hand pump doesn't go astray either. Secondly the food must cater for the beers on offer. Thirdly the dynamics of the space should facilitate communal drinking. Large wooden tables, intimate beer gardens, etc. A space that gets people talking. Thank you Alehouse for nailing all three.
41. Grace Darling, Collingwood.
There is no other pub in Melbourne that twists our emotions as much as the Grace Darling. You could call it a love/hate relationship because we used to love it and then we hated it for no other reason in that it changed. You see it used to be pretty grimy and old-school. That kind of place elderly gentlemen who like a beer frequent most hours. We liked it. Then it changed and the hipsters moved in. At first we refused to go there but sometimes a band we wanted to see was playing there so we went. We admitted it did have a good band room. Then we ate there. We admitted the burger was top quality. Then we found out the happy hour and basically we go there on a weekly basis. It won us over very slowly but now it's one of our "locals". At least once a week. Kudos for not changing specials too much too.