The best bars and pubs in North Melbourne: Errol St, Victoria St and beyond
10.02.2022

The best bars and pubs in North Melbourne: Errol St, Victoria St and beyond

North Melbourne bars and pubs - Prudence
Photo: @cmapblel
Words by Benjamin Lamb

Here's our list of the best bars and pubs in North Melbourne, so you can go grab a beer, sip a wine, eat some pub food or catch some live music in this Melbourne nightlife precinct.

North Melbourne bars and pubs are perhaps underrated, being a suburb often frequented by an older demographic, but in truth they’re close to becoming some of the best and most popular across our state’s entire food and drink scene.

North Melbourne has always been a well-populated suburb, often lauded for its upper-class shops and locations. Located right in the middle of the city, it’s a stone’s throw from some of the greatest music venues, locations, and landmarks across Melbourne. It’s right on the cusp of public transport too, so drink as much as you like, there’s nowhere you can’t get to from North Melbourne.

Their drinking and dining scene is often applauded for its variety, as you’ll see from the list today, there’s options for people who love pizzas, want to try out a new cocktail or two, or even those who just love seafood.

If you’re keen to journey further around our amazing state and check out more of what Melbourne’s bar and pub scene has to offer slightly over to the west, check out our list of the best bars and pubs in Fitzroy. Otherwise, read on and check out our handy interactive map to all the venues we’ve listed here.

You can also check out Melbourne’s most comprehensive guides to the best bars and pubs in each suburb and street here.

Errol St

Joe Taylor

– Address: 7 Errol St
– Vibe: Laid back with fancy spin
– Dedicated Menu: Fine dining Pizza

Joe Taylor is the perfect mix of laid back and fancy. You’ll get to experience some of Melbourne’s nicest food and drink across Melbourne.

It’s a little hole in the wall nestled away on Errol St, and they’re dedicated to bringing you the best service and amazing gourmet pizzas, with some pretty quirky toppings, like beetroot, boar, or even zucchini. They’ve also got some killer cocktails on offer, there’s old favourites and some new interesting creations, so you might even find your new favourite. Dive into the seemingly never-ending drinks menu here.

The Courthouse Hotel

– Address: 86-90 Errol St
– Vibe: Classic pub with Melbourne hipster vibes
– Dedicated Menu: Pub food

This is the kind of spot to head if you’re after a great pub feed. The Courthouse Hotel is one of Melbourne’s premier Gastro pubs, focused on curating an amazing wine list, and coupling it with some great pub food.

The Courthouse Hotel have some cool things happening on regular occasions as well, like an improvised musical called Smells like a Song, which is happening until March 25. Check out more info and grab your tickets here.

Townhall Hotel

– Address: 33 Errol St
– Vibe: Live music pub
– Live Music: Rock
– Dedicated Menu: Pub grub and other classics

The North Melbourne Townhall Hotel is a cool pub that sums up Aussie live music culture. Some of the greatest Aussie rock bands have graced the Townhall stage, groups such as Airbourne, Jet, and Smoke Machine.

The fun doesn’t stop at music, the Townhall has some awesome food, it’s a menu full of classics you know and love like lamb cutlets, fish and chips, or even a thai beef salad. If you head there and fall in love with the spot, you can grab a t-shirt or stubby holder to show your appreciation for the venue.

Errol’s

– Address: 69-71 Errol St
– Vibe: No drama bar, Sunday arvo vibe
– Dedicated Menu: Pizza

Errol’s is a spot that has a bit of everything, there’s something for all types of food and drink fans.

They are open pretty long hours every day, so they offer some awesome breakfast options, where you can grab some beautiful coffee, and lunch and dinner, where you can really make the most of the bar aspect of the spot.

They’ve got a great jam-packed menu, with some great share plates, pastas, burgers, pizzas and a whole heap more. They’ve also got some great function options, so you can hold all those events that you missed out on during lockdown. Dive into all the options here.

The Comic’s Lounge

– Address: 1/26 Errol St
– Vibe: Feel good, comfortable
– Live Music: Live comedy bar / club
– Dedicated Menu: Small meals

The Comic’s Lounge is of course a comedy club first, but when coupled with a bar stocking some awesome beer and wine? It definitely becomes a contender for one of our favourite North Melbourne bars and pubs.

As the name suggests, the comic’s lounge is a laid-back spot that puts on almost daily comedy shows for Melbourne’s massive comedy scene. In previous years, it’s had such performers as Chris Rock, Eric Andre and Aussie export Adam Hills.

On the food and drink side, they’ve got some surprisingly cool stuff, you can grab some Arancini, Gnocchi or even a Guinness Beef Pie, or pretty much any of your favourite drinks.

With the Comedy festival approaching, the Comic’s Lounge is preparing for a big few months of awesome shows, some upcoming shows featuring Neel Kolhatkar and Christian Hull, alongside many more you can check out here.

Limerick Castle Hotel

– Address: 161 Errol St
– Vibe: Great catchup spot, laid back
– Dedicated Menu: burgers, burgers and more burgers

The Limerick Castle has often been lauded as one of the best pubs in the Melbourne region, thanks to their great food, drink, and service. Head through their doors and you’ll be transported into their world, you’ll forget you are in the middle of the city.

Like all good food spots out there, they dedicate their kitchen onto perfecting limited foods, so you know it’ll be high quality. There’s all the classic cheesburgers and chicken burgers, which you can choose whether you want single, double, or even triple. They also have a small selection of hot dogs too!

Salt Seafood and Burger Bar

– Address: 11 Errol St
– Vibe: Nautical feel with great service
– Dedicated Menu: Fish and chips

Finally, while most of you are searching for North Melbourne bars and pubs because you want to get sloshed, we like to include a bit of variety. So, a quick aside if alcohol isn’t your cup of tea, look no further than the Salt Seafood and Burger bar. As the name suggests, they’re focused on providing customers with remarkable seafood and burgers of all types.

There’s all the classics like flake, potato cakes, and of course chips, but there’s also some special options like Salmon, Barramundi, and even Pineapple fritters. On the burger side, you can grab some interesting options, things like crab burgers, breakfast burgers, or even a chilli chicken burger. The food doesn’t stop there, you can even grab some souvlaki or tacos too. We haven’t included a photo because they’re all of potato cakes.

Victoria St

Prudence

– Address: 368 Victoria St
– Vibe: Chilled bar with amazing service
– Dedicated Menu: Drinks first with bar food

Prudence first came into action back in 2000, and opened in an ex-record store, so the hipster vibes are still bleeding through this spot a lot, with many popular LP’s still littered around the Prudence grounds.

There’s a beautiful outdoor beer garden section that is great for enjoying a beer or two in during these warmer months, you’ll get to sit among ornate shrubbery that really gives the spot a distinct Melbourne feel.

You get to enjoy a great drinks menu, with wine from some of the Australia’s most recognisable wine regions, cocktails new and old, and even a rotating beer menu that features their own personal brew, called the Prudence lager.

Summer’s Garden Bar and Holiday Inn

– Address: 494 Victoria St
– Vibe: Cute, great for catchup with friends
– Dedicated Menu: Japanese Inspired

Summer’s Garden bar brings the best of Japanese culture and mixes it with the Melbourne bar life to create a really enjoyable spot. It’s one of the most beautiful venues across Melbourne too, really topping off the enjoyable experience of the food and drink.

There are some cool drink programs happening at Summer’s Garden Bar too, you can do a Japanese whiskey tasting, where you can enjoy 15ml tasters of some of the best spirits, and who knows, you might find your new favourite. If the often-strong Japanese spirits aren’t up your alley, they also offer classic beers like Carlton Draught, and wine from Australia.

The best pubs and bars in the rest of North Melbourne

The Leveson

– Address: 46 Leveson St
– Vibe: Aussie pub with a modern, upper class vibe
– Live Music: DJs + Acoustic performers
– Dedicated Menu: Classic pub fare

The Leveson has been a staple of the North Melbourne bars and pubs scene for a whopping 11 years, and has garnered a lot of attention for their impeccable service and tasty food.

It’s got all the trimmings of a standard pub, with classics like parmas, pizzas and platters to share. Like all good pubs out there, The Leveson also has a bunch of weekly specials, things like a parma and pint night. If you’re an American football fan, The Leveson are also holding a cool event to celebrate the Superbowl, check out more info on that here.

Their live music comes hard and fast too, with every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, a talented acoustic performer will hit the stage alongside happy hour – how good does that sound?

Bobbie Peels

– Address: 351 Queensberry St  
– Vibe: laid back pub with a bit of a trendy vibe
– Live: Live weekly comedy
– Dedicated Menu: Pub grub with a modern twist

Bobbie Peels is a family run joint that is dedicated to simply bringing customers some of the best service across the state.

According to their Instagram, Bobbie Peels specialize in craft beers, constantly updating their tap beers, at the time of writing, they featured classics like Carlton Draught and Kaiju Krush, as well as some pretty special features like the Karma Oatmeal Stout and the Moscow Moose sour. There’s definitely no shortage of beer options here.

On the food side, they offer some awesome parmas and tasty burgers, you’ll easily find something up your alley.

Albion Hotel North Melbourne

– Address: 171 Curzon St
– Vibe: Country pub with a modern Melbourne spin.
– Dedicated Menu: Classic pub grub

The Albion Hotel has garnered a lot of attention in recent times for their amazing service, high quality food, and well curated drinks list. Walking in here is like walking into an old friend’s house, you’ll be treated like you’re long lost relatives of the staff.

Their menu has all the classics you know and love, these are things like Steaks, Pastas, sausages and mash, and a whole lot more that you’ll have to head there to check out.

The Castle Hotel   

– Address: 56 Courtney St
– Vibe: No drama restaurant vibe
– Dedicated Menu: Classic meals

The Castle Hotel is slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of most of North Melbourne’s bars and pubs, and a great spot that brings some great tasty food to customers of all types.

Their menu’s got classics you know and love like porterhouses, burgers, and Parmas, as well as some different items like a chickpea salad, linguine marinara or even a Haloumi Burger. These meals can also be enjoyed in their spacious outdoor section, which is perfect for these warmer days.

Like many great spots across the North Melbourne region, The Castle Hotel has some great function rooms and packs that are affordable, it’s a great spot to hold your next party.

The Drunken Poet

– Address: 65 Peel St
– Vibe: Irish pub vibe
– Live Music: Rock, modern, and Irish.
– Dedicated Menu: Great Irish drinks with few select food items

One of the only and most popular Irish pubs in the North Melbourne region, The Drunken Poet provides customers with everything they’d ever want out of an Irish pub.

But the Drunken Poet is great and laid back, entering here feels like walking into somebody’s kitchen, you’ll be made to feel at home. Their walls are full of images of icons in Irish history, mainly popular poets.

On the live music front, they have a great spread of musos hitting their stage. The Drunken Poet host local/interstate original artists five nights a week, so you can really feel like you’re in Ireland.

There’s a limited selection of food for revellers at this spot, popular Irish staples like sandwiches and pickled eggs, as well as their popular chip variety, called Taytos.

Want more? Check out our list of bars and pubs in Carlton