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Melbourne’s pub scene has upped the ante

melbournes pub scene

The ultimate pub. It means something different to everyone – for some, it means a sunny courtyard to while away a weekend afternoon; for others, a cosy corner to bring a plus one or a long timber bar to rest against and strike up a conversation with a neighbour. The non-negotiables across the board, though? Excellent beers on tap (as cold as possible), a well-made spritz, and a refined and revived food menu that offers more than just hot chips and soggy parma. 

As locals and visitors venture to the eclectic mix of pubs in Melbourne, they’re met with a scene that has levelled up in many ways – combining history, innovation, and a touch of sophistication.

Elevated Standards and Diverse Menus

Today’s pub scene in Melbourne boasts a new level of refinement. Food is now at the forefront, and punters expect more than what was once widely accepted ‘pub grub’. Schnitty’s are breaded in panko crumb, fish is seasonal and line-caught, and the mother of all menu staples – hot chips – are now hand-cut and twice-cooked (at a minimum).

Craft Beverages Take Center Stage

Melbourne’s transformation isn’t confined to food alone. The plethora of local craft breweries, distilleries and wineries are leaving pubs and their guests spoiled for choice, where you’d be hard pressed to visit a revived Melbourne (gastro) pub without a rotating list of drinks once solely reserved for bars and fine-dining institutions.We see gin and tonics made with your choices of Melbourne Gin CoFour Pillars or Patient Wolf, Happy Hour pints poured with Sailors Grave IPA’s, Better Beer lager and Brick Lane watermelon sours, and the ever-favourite Aperol slowly being replaced by the likes of Tommy’s limoncelloMarionette peach liqueur, and Rhubi mistelle.

A Pub Renaissance in Melbourne

Melbourne has always been spoiled for choice when it comes to dining out, but with Amphlett House and the likes of Hotel Collingwood, The Central Club HotelThe Builders Arms and The Rainbow transforming the scene of your favourite go-to (and that’s just within a 2km radius of the CBD), there’s never been a better time to head out and discover your new local.

As Melbourne’s pubs continue to evolve, they appear to embrace the best of what the city has to offer – the rich heritage of its iconic pubs, the creativity of its culinary experts, and the spirit of community that has always been at its core. Whether you’re seeking the best pubs in Melbourne CBD or venturing further into the city’s neighbourhoods, the experience promises to be one of discovery, a celebration of an age-old tradition elevated to new heights.