So technically we're heading into spring, the days are getting longer and a wee bit toastier, but as far as we're concerned, the hearty pie is a year-round favourite. The perfect combination of crumbly, melty crust and richly chunky filling is a marriage made in heaven, and one we cannot get enough of. Here are some of our favourite bars, cafes and restaurants where you can sit in and tuck into Melbourne's best pies.
EDINBURGH CASTLE | BRUNSWICK
Pie-lovers should set a weekly reminder in their calendars for the Edinburgh Castle on Sydney Road's Wednesday pie night, welcoming meat lovers and veggies one-and-all, and all served with lashings of creamy mash. Think cauliflower and leek with a trio of cheeses, swimming in peas and gravy, or match the leek with chicken and bacon for double the carnivorous cravings. They have a great beer list to wash it all down and one of Brunswick's coolest courtyards out back, too.
A1 BAKERY | BRUNSWICK
If you're on a budget and looking for damn good cheap eats, walk a little further up Sydney Road and one of the best and cheapest pies in town is the cheese one at A1 Bakery. It's gotta be amongst the city's tastiest and you'll get change from $5. They make a great coffee, too, and it's always buzzing. Grab one of the tables by the big windows and you can watch the world go by while you're at it.
BUILDERS ARMS HOTEL | FITZROY
One of Melbourne's best pubs, the spiffy Builders Arms Hotel on Gertrude Street is a real gem in Andrew McConnell's empire, and we can't go past their classic fish pie (incuded in our list of the 50 best pub meals in Melbourne). Loaded with smoked trout, rockling and prawns, there's a yummy undercurrent of sorrel that seals the seafood deal. It's a great space to while away an evening, too, with a glass or three of crisp white to perfectly complement your pie.
TERMINUS HOTEL | ABBOTSFORD
When we were growing up, a floater was not the sort of thing you'd want to find swimming in your lunch, but in this instance, the pie floater at Victoria Street's newly re-opened Terminus Hotel refers to the American cuisine approach, rather than your gross sibling's spit. Their tasty home made pie 'floats' in creamy mash, mushy peas and tasty jus.
THE LAST JAR | Melbourne CBD
The Irish may not be famed for vegetarian cuisine, but The Last Jar, at the top end of Elizabeth Street near where it meets the Queen Vic, has a fantastic veggie option. Their celeriac black pepper and egg pie comes packed with pickled beets, watercress and their own cottage cheese. It's a flavour sensation that must, of course, be sunk with a pint of Guinness.
KRIMPER | MELBOURNE CBD
Another of Melbourne's best pies comes from a hidden gem tucked away on the red brick Guildford Lane. Krimper does a delicious shepherd's pie with a twist – Donald and Daffy beware, it's chock full of duck done in a French style. It's a mighty feed and they're dab hands with the coffee, too, with Proud Mary supplying the beans.
ADRIANO ZUMBO PATISSIER | SOUTH YARRA
You might well be forgiven by being blinded by all the cake when you stroll into Adriano's pink neon-lit and space age-style Zumbo on South Yarra's thriving Claremont Street, but there are options for those with a savoury bent, too. Try their lush French-influenced beef bourguignon pie, packed with mushrooms, or a heavyweight chicken and smashed potato option for a lunch on the run that will keep you fuelled until dinner.
THE WINDSOR CASTLE | PRAHRAN
We love this kooky joint hidden on Albert Street, with its pea-green facade and a trio of pink elephants on the roof. We can also attest to them doing one of Melbourne's best pies – a roast chicken and leek pie served with big, thick-cut chips and salad. The Windsor Castle have one of the southside's best beer gardens, too, perfect for a Sunday lunch feast.
THE LOCAL TAPHOUSE | ST KILDA
The Local Taphouse on Carlisle Street is all about the 20-tap beer list, but when it comes to their wholesome pie goodness, they make a mean beef pie with a rich red wine stew. It's a great feed and comes with a delicious broccoli, goat's cheese and almond salad drizzled with an Indian tomato-based sauce called kasundi.
MEATMAIDEN | Melbourne CBD
It's not all about the savoury when it comes to the best pies. We have a finely honed sweet tooth, too, so here's a sneaky top tip for a dessert pie. Meatmaiden's slick basement space buried below Reader's Feast on Little Collins Street has a firm focus on smoky goodness, American BBQ-style, and what's more all-American than apple pie? We heartily recommend their house-made classic intriguingly entitled 'Crack Mom's apple pie.' So that's how they get us hooked on this darn tasty dessert, is it? Oh well, we're hooked.
Image Credit: Simply Delicious