The temperatures are dropping and winter is definitely headed to Melbourne. But that doesn’t mean you need to stick indoors until September. There are tons of bars that give off the right winter vibes: comfortable seating, cosy atmospheres, and maybe even a fireplace or two. When the weather outside is frightful, here are the bars you’ll find delightful.
Robert Burns Hotel
This Collingwood mainstay puts a spin on classic pub food with a menu inspired by Spanish cuisine. Whether you want a full meal or want to share some tapas with a friend, there are plenty of armchairs and corners to get lost in, or take a seat in front of the fireplace — the faux flames are just as warm as real ones. Collingwood
The Rochey, as it’s better known, has it all: several fireplaces to warm down in front of, an area for live music, along with a beer garden out back. It’s also home to creative menu that puts a South Indian spin on the usual pub fare, like a chips and curry starter and Goan sliders. Fitzroy
Willows & Wine
What’s better than getting cosy with a good book during the winter? Having a glass of wine to go along with it. This small, friendly bar near the Queen Victoria Market offers shelves of secondhand books for patrons to read while they sip on a wine from an ever-changing list. Seats are decked out with blankets for maximum comfort and there are board games if you’d want to skip reading. Small nibbles are available, but you can also order delivery from local restaurants. West Melbourne
Grace Darling Hotel
Established in 1854, Melbourne’s second-oldest pub is fitted out with multiple fireplaces and dark corners. The menu changes seasonally, so you can expect warmer, stick-to-your-ribs dishes during the colder months. Collingwood
This former church is a great spot to warm up with some good tunes during wintertime. The bandroom boasts a fireplace, while the main bar keeps craft beers on tap. If you’re game, you can brave the cold in the back beer garden, but we recommend sticking inside and chilling out on the comfy couches instead. Northcote
When you need an unpretentious pub to just enjoy a pot or two, you can’t go wrong with the Railway Hotel. Fireplaces and dark booths abound, and Sundays mean a $20 traditional roast — you can worry about your summer body later. South Melbourne
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