Winter is coming! And with it comes Melbourne's best pubs lighting their fireplaces so you can beat those winter blues. Our advice? Pull up a pew, grab a pint, gather your friends by the fire and get cosy.
The best pubs with fireplaces in Melbourne
Nothing beats spending a cold winter's day, or night, around a fireplace – with a freshly pulled pint in hand
Melbourne pubs with fireplaces
On any given night at this Collingwood bluestone stalwart, punters of all ages, genders and sexualities are sinking pints by the roaring fireplace, smashing brilliant pub grub, and standing shoulder-to-shoulder at the bandroom. All of this is thanks to publicans Shan Vanderwert and Clint Fisher. Their mission? To create a warm, welcoming environment that would reflect Melbourne’s incredibly diverse music scene and the people who make up that ecosystem. It’s a philosophy that you feel the moment the doors to this grand old corner pub swing open.
4. The Cricketers
If there's anywhere you want to be on a frosty day, it's at The Cricketers in Port Melbourne. The pub, which doubles as a neighbourhood eatery, has not one, but four fireplaces around the venue and it's one of those great locals you'll want to spend hours at. It's family friendly (and dog friendly!) so grab the crew and head down there to warm up this winter.
It can be hard to find a place without a queue in Windsor, so it’s good to know that this Scandi-cool pub and cocktail bar has enough room for everyone – especially on a cold winter's night. Come to this all-occasions venue for a knock-off cocktail, weekend pint or weeknight pub meal.
With walls lined with beer bottles and tables inlaid with Perspex boxes of hops and malt, the Taphouse has the warm, lived-in feel of your Grandpa’s living room. If beer is your thing, or just awesome pubs full of awesome people, you could do worse than set up here in winter.
While its modish disco-and-pizza sister venue Lazerpig generates steady buzz down the road, the Grace is a member of the old guard, still boasting on-point garage punk bookings in the upstairs bandroom along with a perennially attractive happy hour deal of $7 Coopers pints between 4-6pm each day. In the warmer months, the outdoor tables lining the Smith and Peel corner bustle with creative types kick-starting their nights into gear. When winter strikes the sprawling front bar becomes a mix of suits swilling knock-off pints, and smatterings of young couples on dates.
It takes a deft touch to update a pub without ruining it, but at the Lincoln, they slipped in the excellent wine list, an exciting collection of craft brews and a bistro menu that wouldn’t look out of place on white linen with candlelight and surgically precise service. Nothing that people loved about this historic Carlton pub, which was established in 1854, has been disturbed, and the new features seem like they’ve always been there.
The dark wood and carpets of the Middle Park Hotel give you the impression of an exclusive gentlemen’s club, or the Long Room at the MCG. But the bright, welcoming bar quickly puts paid to any notions of stuffiness. On the food front, you'll find $15 mains on Monday, a Tuesday steak night and schnitties on Wednesday, but the highlight of the week are the slow-cooked Sundays, where you can nab a glass of wine and a meal for $30, plus kids eat free.
There’s history aplenty behind these whitewashed walls. South Melbourne, the Melbourne suburb seemingly blessed with a higher pub-to-population ratio than any other, has tucked one of its jewels on a chi-chi backstreet where women in frivolous frocks and the men who love them take kerbside seats behind a wall of potted greenery. It’s a smart place that doesn’t ditch the pub brief in delivering aesthetics a cut above the average corner boozer.
Stepping through the doors of the Railway is like entering a time warp to the 1960s. Wine and beer are simple and cheap, but the spirits offering is impressive (someone here clearly loves whisky). The food, too, is simple and delicious. Perfect for a rainy day.