Melbourne lost its collective mind when news of an impending cat cafe surfaced this year. But for us, nothing trumps a pub with a dog. Twitch is the chocolate-nosed patron saint at the Rainbow. You'll find him doing the rounds in the covered courtyard out back, angling for pats from pool players, smokers and jeering footy fans. The Rainbow strikes the balance between grungy local and progressive pub. It’s many things to many people: Friday luncher for local media types, unearther of new music talent and craft beer haven. Publicans Adam and Jason King used to run the crafty Lambs Go Bar and they haven't left their love of hops behind. They've got all the beers: 2 Brothers, 3 Ravens, 4 Pines. Count ‘em up. Ten taps pour craft gold like the bitter Holgate ESB, and if you want to tackle 101 beers from around the world, they’ve got a club for that. The courtyard is simply enhanced with hanging ferns and kegs turned lights. In the main bar it's all red drapes, squat tables, Chesterfields and beer and band posters with fires burning bright. They do a great steak – $14 for a 300g monster porterhouse on Wednesdays – but half the menu is dedicated to the meat-free cause. Go for fennel and pea risotto or two roasted sweet potatoes, split and filled with salty sour cream and jalapeños. It’s practically free at $7. Chuck in some friendly banter and you’ve got the formula that can’t fail.