Alcohol may warm the insides, but to survive the chill you’ll need more than a bottle of red. Combine some crackling logs, a hearty meal and whoever you can drag out of hibernation, and you’ve got a recipe to keep you going through the sub-temperate nights.
If you grew up on Lady and the Tramp, you’ll appreciate the red-checkered tablecloths. You won’t find any spaghetti and meatballs here, though. Get cosy around one of its two fireplaces with some wood-fired pizza and espresso martinis and let some of Melbourne’s funnest electro DJs tie it all together.
9–11 Peel Street, Collingwood
(03) 9417 1177
The Local Taphouse
This venue is really not for the gluten-intolerant. With 20 beers on tap at any one time, and 30 by the bottle (local and imported), there’s no going for “the usual” here. Gather around the open fire in the outdoor courtyard with some friends, or check out Melbourne’s longest-running comedy night every Monday.
184 Carlisle Street, St Kilda East
(03) 9537 2633
Head here if you’re after a boogie. DJs are usually spinning hip-hop, which goes surprisingly nicely with the Eastern European vibe. Order a round of Zappiekanki (melted cheesy sandwich) with Truffle Mac N Cheese to keep you toasty, pair it with a Polish beer, and you’ll be warm inside and out.
1 & 2, 239 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
(03) 9639 3750
With a different live music act and other events every night, get yourself a table by the hearth, set yourself up with a glass of wine and you’ll know several definitions of the word “hot” by the end of the night.
250 High Street, Northcote
(03) 9482 1333
The Union Club Hotel
Taking it back to basics, a crackling fireplace is the essence of a cosy pub. Look no further if you’re after your typical parma-and-pint local to take the family to on Sunday and perhaps sneak in a round or two of pool. The cheerful fire warms up the whole venue, so no need to shotgun a table.
164 Gore Street, Fitzroy
(03) 9417 2926
616 Elizabeth Street, CBD
(03) 9348 2957
The Town Hall Hotel
An eclectic mix of vintage record memorabilia and framed paintings of Jesus and Satan, we’re not sure if irony is the aim, but there’s no denying there’s a charm to the place. Stroll through to the back dining room and lounge by the old-school fireplace and reminisce about the summer of ’93.
33 Errol Street, North Melbourne
(03) 9328 1983
Quiet Man Irish Pub
Quiet Man is proof the Irish are experts at keeping the cold at bay. If you think one log fire won’t do the trick, this venue offers two. Order yourself one of five steak options on the menu and a hot whiskey or port.
271 Racecourse Road, Flemington
(03) 9376 6232
Acqua e Vino
Some love to be spoiled with choice, others find it overwhelming. If you’re the latter, be warned – Acqua e Vino doesn’t do things in halves. With a drinks list so extensive it has its own index page, treat yourself to a themed cocktail in front of the fire before heading to the dancefloor.
18A Ballarat Street, Yarraville
(03) 9687 9006
This Brunswick East favourite keeps it simple and cosy, with a charming fireplace that’ll sweeten any date.
134 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
(03) 9380 9003
If that’s not enough heat to keep you going this season, here are some honourable mentions:
La La Land
134 Chapel Street, Windsor
(03) 9533 8972
The Great Britain Hotel
447 Church Street, Richmond
(03) 9810 0082
The Raccoon Club
145 Plenty Road, Preston
0433 827 003
517 Chapel Street, South Yarra
(03) 9827 9004
67 Chapel Street, Windsor
(03) 9521 7610
Churchill Cafe and Larder
13-15 Hamilton Street, Mont Albert
(03) 9890 9690