Whether it’s riverside cocktails or ales among historic architecture, take it outside this spring with these beer gardens and alfresco drinking spots.
Pepe’s Italian & Liquor
Housed in a handsome 19th century synagogue, Pepe’s Italian & Liquor comes complete with a picturesque courtyard. Enjoy a drink under the garden’s 150-year-old heritage-listed tree. But be sure to get in early – seats go fast at this spot during summer.
Garden State Hotel
Four levels of dining, drinking and fun await at the gorgeous Garden State Hotel. Find a spot under the towering ficus in their beer garden and settle back with a margarita. Paired with a sizzling steak or fresh seafood, your outdoor evening will be off to an excellent start.
Bourke Street Green
Head up Collins Street and find a hidden green oasis in the heart of the city. The weatherproof courtyard at Bourke Street Green features a retractable roof, perfect for bevs in all seasons. Settle in and watch the trams roll past as you knock back a delightful series of gin-based cocktails.
Riverland Bar was one of the original bars to open along the rejuvenated banks of the Yarra. It's got river views from its spot in the Federation Wharf vaults below Federation Square. Visit the laid-back outdoor bar, perfect for casual after-work drinks with mates. Bevs range from craft beers to wines and cocktails. The food menu features burgers, pizzas and salty snacks to share.
The Leveson is a Victorian-era building on the CBD fringe with modern hospitality in mind. From the astroturf floor to the retractable roof, comfort is key here. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of old-school pleasure on the menu, including a parma with smoked ham and beer-battered chips. Check the meal deal roster and score a parma and a pint on a budget.
The days are longer, the weather's better, and Cargo's colourful beer garden has the best riverside view in town. Take a seat in their rainbow-assortment of outdoor chairs and snap a cute selfie with the glittering city skyline behind you. Then share a Pimms, smash some fried fish tacos and lap up the sunset.
The Boatbuilders Yard
A heritage shed on a glorious wharf, this airy riverside venue makes relaxing a breeze. Take in The Boatbuilders' maritime charm and sip beers beside the Polly Woodside. Ask the bar staff about the giant games available, challenge a friend to a round of bocce or kick back with free wi-fi.
A little further along the river, Southbank’s bars and restaurants beckon. Hopscotch’s indoor-outdoor deck is a paradise for beer lovers in summer. Choose from 30 on tap, including brews crafted on-site. As the name suggests, they’re mad for hops, but anyone who prefers wine or cocktails is also well looked after.
The Clyde Hotel
A classic Aussie pub in Carlton, The Clyde Hotel dishes up hearty pub fare every day of the week. Whether you’re cracking open a cold one or enjoying live jazz music, their open-air (and accessible!) courtyard and rooftop space are al fresco gems tucked away on Cardigan Street.
There’s more than historic architecture at Mitre Tavern, a little cottage-like pub that’s the oldest building in Melbourne. Their roomy beer garden is especially handy as beer tastes better outdoors. Punters spill out into one of the west end’s most charming laneways on warm days and nights. Gather the crew for a classic parma and enjoy the laneway vibes.
The Mint Bar and Restaurant
Another historic building – on a much grander scale – the Royal Mint is now taking rather than making money. It’s a fair exchange though, as The Mint Bar & Restaurant serves quality pub-style food and drink. Raise a glass in the beer garden amid beautiful Victorian architecture.
Town Hall Hotel
At the rear of North Melbourne’s iconic Town Hall Hotel on Errol Street is a charming leafy oasis. The beer garden of this classic neighbourhood pub offers plenty of shade in the daytime and twinkling fairy lights in the evening. Music lovers should look out for the band memorabilia when ordering a drink at the bar.
A classic 19th-century pub at the edge of the CBD, the Queensberry Hotel caters to modern Melburnians’ alfresco fixation. With pub night specials every week, it really is like a country pub in the city. The indoor-outdoor space has plenty of seats and greenery, perfect for your next Sunday session.
Last updated on Tue 28 Nov 2023
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