The Best Bars in Collingwood

Updated 2 months ago

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Collingwood doesn’t have the same density of bars as neighbouring Fitzroy, but it does have a bit of everything. The oldest pubs and bars have retained the area’s original attitude: grungy and working class. But in more recent years, polished wine and cocktail bars have taken over as the main places to find a drink. We’re into all of it, from sipping a pint on The Tote’s sticky carpet to enjoying a bottle of natural wine at Hope St Radio.

  • Finding this secretive, 16-seat cocktail bar is half the fun.

  • One of the most legendary venues in Melbourne’s live music scene, as well as a pilgrimage for interstate bands. Its three gig spaces (main room, front bar and upstairs) are sticky-carpeted tributes to the thousands of punk, metal and stoner-rock acts it hosts every year.

  • This neighbourhood gem is from the team behind The Alps and Toorak Cellars. More than 400 thoughtfully-curated drops make up the wine list, which you can team with sophisticated small plates.

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  • Nearly every style you can imagine is available at this convivial beer hall, and they're all made right there.

  • As far as neighbourhood bars go, it’s pretty hard to top this laid-back hangout inspired by the beautiful old dive bars found across America.

  • In an old furniture warehouse, you’ll find sour-coffee ales and beer that mimics wine. Plus, a schmick Southeast Asian restaurant (and beer garden) next door with kangaroo tartare, twice-fried chicken wings and more.

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  • A glowing wine (and pasta) bar at Collingwood’s mammoth arts hub, which doubles as Hope St Radio’s home. Settle in for rigatoni all’amatriciana, Fernet-Branca-and-cola sorbet and plenty of juicy lo-fi wines.

  • Head to the sunny, fruit-tree-filled rooftop above Collingwood Yards for wallet-friendly wines and cocktails, plus a superlative view that won’t cost you a thing. Cap it off with rotating DJ sets through a killer sound system, and you’ve got plenty of reasons to stick around.

  • Experience interesting takes on Middle Eastern classics at Shane Delia’s moody spot. Go for crispy burek buns filled with duck fesunjun (a classic Persian stew), pickled octopus and sweet muhammara (roasted capsicum dip) wrapped in lettuce, and the signature Pomegranate Sour cocktail. Its siblings Maha and Maha East are also worth your time.

  • Shoot some pool, relax in a booth and share Southeast Asian curries – all are possibilities at this spacious, grungy warehouse bar that feels like a brewery without the beer obsession.

  • Despite the modern refurb, this charming all-day boozer feels like it’s been around forever. Park up in the sunny, plant-filled atrium or out front for upmarket parmas. The knockout-style pool competitions here are a mid-week spectacle.

  • A verdant greenhouse bar with plenty of natural light.

  • There’s beer, and then there’s award-winning India Pale Ale served straight from the tank. Here, you’ll get the latter.

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  • A late-night bar bringing the flavours of New Orleans and Texan barbeque to Melbourne.

  • It may feel like a neighbourhood wine bar somewhere in Europe, but this tiny spot exclusively pours Victorian vino as a rule. It also goes hard on the cheese front – mop up some melty, stretchy raclette with a stub of crusty sourdough for the full Smithward experience.

  • This saloon-style pub has an Elvis fixation. The boot-worn floorboards feel lived in, and you might even catch a cowboy hat-wearing country act. The food sticks to the Americana theme: think Southern fried chicken and cheeseburgers.

  • This compact brewery punches above its weight with a lush beer garden, birria tacos and crowd-pleasing drinks. Its house brews span the traditional to more experimental, from easy-drinking algers to hoppy IPAs and sours.

  • Grab a growler to go, or sit in and take advantage of the huge range of draught, canned and bottled beers.

  • The Gaso is one of the city’s best rock’n’roll pubs. Its cosy, red-brick front bar belies the size of the band room out back, where you can catch the cream of the city’s musical crop from the dance floor, or the upstairs mezzanine beneath a retractable roof.

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  • A little gem, with intimate corners and old-world charm.

  • The kitsch floral wallpaper, bright-orange tabletops and retro lampshades might remind you of your nan’s house. The tongue-in-cheek cocktails, vodka-saké jugs and excellent pizza (from nearby Thin Slizzy) probably won’t.

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  • By day, this clean-cut store sells house, techno, Italo, disco and Balearic records curated by a trio of respected Melbourne DJs. By night, it’s a cool, relaxed wine bar with a pumping beer garden.

  • Three Gerald’s Bar alums run this wine bar, which is bursting with personality. Its ever-changing menu includes a daily staff meal, as well as drinks like the Cookie Monster cocktail and “Butter Beer” served warm.

  • This historic pub will take you right to 1975. Find Bodriggy beers, a Latin American-leaning menu (think cheese-stuffed jalapeno tacos and 12-hour braised brisket tortas) and Marmadale Margaritas.