Young and Jackson
Despite its size, significance and location on the corner of Flinders and Swanston streets, it’s easy to forget about Young and Jackson as an actual destination. More likely you only think about it when standing opposite waiting for the lights to change, so you can cross one of the city’s busiest intersections. But that familiar heritage-listed facade hides range of drinking rooms, dining options and, perhaps surprisingly, an enormous range of local craft beers.
Aside from Young & Jackson’s own in-house drop, brewed for them by Matilda Bay, Thunder Road, and 2 Brothers Breweries, it also boasts taps featuring the likes of White Rabbit Sour Red and Dark Ales, MONA’s Moo Brew, James Squire Nine Tales Amber Ale and One Fifty Lashes Pale, and Little Creatures newcomer, Furphy. Get a table at the window on a cold winter’s day, peck from a bowl of hand cut kipfler chips with in-house tomato sauce, and watch literally half of Melbourne walk by.
The Reverence Hotel
This Footscray favourite is a winner for those who love live music. While you might make your first trip to The Reverence Hotel for a band, you’ll return for the food. Know this: the chips are excellent. Shoestring fries dusted in a signature spice mix of chilli, paprika, salt and more. They’re spicy enough to warm you up and keep you thirsting for a beer, while the chipotle and lime mayo is perfect for dunking. For those who love extra heat, The Rev stock a range of hot sauces to kick things up a notch.
With an open fireplace and sprawling heated (but covered) beer garden, The Rainbow Hotel, tucked away in Fitzroy’s back streets feels like a home away from home. It’s a classic pub, and any classic pub does good chips. Here they hit the table in the form of fat chips with tomato sauce and aioli. Tap beers regularly include a large range of oddball choices, like the NOMAD “Supersonic” Finger Lime Double IPA and The Grifter “Banshee” Black Lager, while the fridge offers reliable highlights such as Little Creatures, 3 Ravens and Bridge Road.
This American-inspired diner is classic without being cliché. The burgers are some of the tastiest in Melbourne, and sitting at the window watching Chapel Street bustle is one of the best spots for people-watching in town. The chips? Curly fries that are crispy, crunchy and enhanced when dipped in housemade Chaos Sauce. The spicy little number is best washed down with one of the many bottled beers in stock.
Formerly the Pint On Punt, the Windsor Alehouse has rebranded and revamped from an Irish-themed pub to a craft beer bar. With polished wood and dark tones it’s both cosy and spacious, has two gas log fires, and plenty of quiet spots to catch up with a friend or watch a game on the telly. Providing nourishment is a serve of beer-battered chips with aioli, or the pub classic of wedges, sweet chilli and sour cream. They also have 20 taps that span everything from Guinness, to James Squire Pale Ale, to local barrel-aged sours.
In 2016, the Halal Snack Pack was one of the biggest food trends in Australia. It became our version of loaded fries or Canadian poutine. A few places offer their own versions, but none quite like Littlefoot. With two Snack Packs on the menu, the highlight is the hybrid snack pack parma; beer battered chips, tasty cheese, sliced crumbed chicken and napoli sauce. Basically the ultimate parma and chips for 12 bucks. Grab one of the intimate booths, a local tap beer, and tuck in.
This article produced by Broadsheet in partnership with James Squire.