Vegetarian American barbeque has hit Melbourne streets and dining will never be the same again. An Urban List favourite, the appropriately named Gem Bar is serving up smoky, soul-enriching veggies, along with their usual authentic American fare.
Step inside the historic venue and take in the old-school pub vibes. Think: wooden flooring, wooden joinery and—you guessed it—wooden furnishings. Upstairs, there’s an Elvis-themed bar that can be booked for functions (retro Christmas party, anyone?). Yep, you’ll be making this welcoming pub your new local!
Nearly half of the menu is vego-friendly, so you can leave your flimsy salads and juice cleanses at the door. Expect comforting dishes like cauliflower and four cheese bake, barbecued broccoli with buttermilk dressing and an unmissable Southern fried eggplant burger stacked with pickles and ranch dressing. True blue meat lovers will be green with food envy.
For the carnivores, classic Texan-rubbed meats and Southern American flavours dominate the barbeque. The Kentucky black lamb shoulder champions Australian lamb, while the ever-changing ‘rib of the week’ will have you coming back again…and again! Don’t forget lip-licking crowd-pleasers like the Carolina slaw and mac ‘n’ cheese.
If it’s your first at this Collingwood gem, make a beeline for the Pit Master’s Plate. As the ultimate cheapskate deal, this bad boy stars your choice of three meats and two sides for just $39 a head. Sign. Us. Up.
The Gem Bar hosts happy hour from 4pm to 7pm every Tuesday to Friday with $7 pints and wallet-friendly tacos and wings. Time your visit with Wednesday night’s famous Viva Las Trivia quiz night. Hosted by Elvis Presley himself, it’s an entertaining night for you and your squad. There are also live bands and DJs providing toe-tapping tunes across the weekend.
Trust us when we say: Gem Bar is a total, err, gem. Vegetarians and meat-eaters unite! There’s an American barbecue calling you both.
For group bookings, you can email [email protected]
Image credit: Griffin Simm for The Urban List