In the words of Tugg Speedman from Tropic Thunder: “Who left the fridge open?” Melbourne just got icy. Like really properly cold. We haven’t checked with Jane Bunn, but we’re pretty sure we’re only about five degrees away from ice-skating with penguins on Russell St. Watch this space.
In the meantime, here’s five toastie bars where you can huddle in front of a crackling open fire. Bring mittens.
Photography: Michelle Jarni
Leonard’s House Of Love
If we’re talking cosy, Leonard’s wins hands down. The beer garden might be empty this weekend, but everyone will be loving it inside. They’ve got a big double-sided stone fireplace, pool table, more 70s nostalgia than your eyeballs can handle, and some truly excellent burgers. Get in early to snag one of the good seats. For food we recommend the double cheeseburger with a side of popcorn chicken and eggplant tenders. Mmmm...tenders.
The Marquis Of Lorne
Good old Marquis. Still one of our favourite pubs for when the weather is lousy. The first-floor dining room has a roaring open fire, and you can get Tobasco-smothered cheeseburgers or giant chicken schnitzels to ward off the cold. They’re also rocking roast beef ribs on weekends at the moment, with crunchy slaw, roast spuds and pumpkin puree. Wash it all down with a Bertie Colonial cider. Happy days.
There’s usually a few logs smouldering in the big fireplace at Lazerpig, especially when Melbourne’s weather turns nasty. The moody chandelier lighting and all that exposed 1868 heritage brick certainly adds to the coziness-factor too. You can’t go wrong with the Fun Guy mushroom pizza (unlike most other mushroom pizzas, these guys puree mushrooms straight into the freaking base). An order of hand-cut chips and Lemon Meringue Pie for dessert should keep the cold at bay.
Photography: Charles Weston
The Charles Weston
The Charles Weston is everything a good Brunswick pub should be. Warm, inviting, a little scuzzy ‘round the edges, with a huge fireplace burning night and day. There’s just something magic about this place—they’ve got the vibe just right. Grab a squishy couch seat in the front bar (there’s a fireplace there), or park yourself in the dining room out back (there’s a fireplace there too). If you’re still cold, get the juices flowing with a game of table tennis and a huge plate of vegan moussaka (they do a solid vegan mozzarella here).
Avoid Windsor Castle’s tiki-style beer garden this weekend—Melbourne is not gonna resemble anything close to a tropical paradise. Head inside instead and toast the digits in front of the big central fireplace. It’s always nice and warm in there. For lunch, it’s gotta be the roast chicken and leek pie, served with chips, garden salad and a housemade gravy that’ll warm the cockles. The parmesan chicken tenders and eggplant chips are pretty awesome too.
Want to mix things up? We've rounded up 5 of the best new bars in Melbourne.
Image credit: Tash Sorensen