The best bars and pubs in Thornbury
11.02.2022

The best bars and pubs in Thornbury

Thornbury bars and pubs
Words by Jordan McCarthy

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

Squished in between Preston and Northcote, Thornbury’s High Street has one of the most crowded and diverse selections of bars and pubs you will find in all of Melbourne. Head down on any given weekend and you’ll spot a swarm of people enjoying a cocktail on the street side furniture or lined up for a live gig.

In a strip of street, roughly a kilometre and a half long, you will find an amazing collection of stops for a beverage, making it a great place for a walking pub crawl on a sunny weekend. If you’re feeling especially lazy you can catch a tram up the length of the strip and save that energy to dance to some of the live tunes you are likely to come across on your travels.

If Thornbury is feeling a little to confined for you, you can keep heading north and see what Preston, another emerging Inner North social suburb of ours has to offer: you can check out our list of best bars and pubs in Preston here.

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

High St bars and pubs (and High St only)

Nasty’s

ADDRESS: 806 High St, Thornbury
OPEN: Tues – Sun: 4pm-1am

Don’t mind the name, Nasty’s is anything but. It is fun and colourful little bar, with a miss matched interior where nothing quite makes sense. It’s a bar full of personality.

If you are after a fancy cocktail Nasty’s may not be for you, what it does offer is beer, wine and spirits at a price that won’t leave you with buyer’s remorse the next day. Nestled in up the crowded north end of High St, Nasty’s is known for its top selection of reasonably priced beers as wells as its beer specials.

Nasty’s will feed that hunger you may have to, with food specials often on the go, whether its Sandwich Sundays or Taco Tuesdays you should find something to line your stomach.

Known for its fun vibe and fun and energetic staff, Nasty’s is well worth a look.

Franklin’s Bar

ADDRESS: 646 High St, Thornbury
OPEN: Sun, Wed – Thu: 4pm-12am, Fri – Sat: 4pm-3am

Franklin’s is one of the finest venues on this list of Thornbury bars and pubs, with a constant crowd decking its halls, bars and beer garden. Known as one of the cosiest little cocktail bars in town its well worth a stop on your trip along High St.

With a great menu of local beers, seasonal wines and signature cocktails you are sure to find something you like. Open from 4pm till late every Wednesday-Sunday you can even catch some pretty happening beats of a weekend with local DJs spinning their black circles.

The bar formerly known as Trumpy Bar is one that the locals love and you will too.

Ballard’s

ADDRESS: 915 High St, Thornbury
OPEN: Wed – Sat: 6pm-10pm, Sun: 6pm-9pm

As far up High St you can get whilst still calling it Thornbury, you’ll find this cosy and often packed wine bar Ballard’s.

Ballard’s is one of the top choices on the list when it comes to both food and drink. With a constantly evolving plant-based menu, Ballard’s is one you have to show off to your vegan friends. The extensive and often rotating wine list will make sure that you always have something to pair with your crumbed and marinated oyster mushrooms or buckwheat battered cauliflower.

Hell, you might even stumble across some live music or DJ beats in the wine garden? out the back. The only thing you will struggle with at Ballard’s is finding a seat.

Joanie’s Baretto

ADDRESS: 832A High St, Thornbury
OPEN: Wed – Sat: 4:30pm-1am, Sun: 3:30pm-1am

Barely a minute walk down the road from Ballard’s you’ll find Italian wine bar Joanie’s Baretto – that little bit of Italy we have all been looking for on High St.

Joanie’s is another Wednesday-Sunday staple that brings the “vino, antipasto and musica” that we all need in our lives.

With an extensive menu of bar snacks through to full sized mains as well as a drinks menu full of beers, wins and cocktails the only person who isn’t going to be impressed is the Uber driver unlucky enough to have to take you home.

The place is full of vibrancy and life, and you are guaranteed to have a great time, so be sure to check it out.

Welcome to Thornbury

ADDRESS: 520 High St, Northcote
OPEN: Wed – Fri: 5pm-12am, Sat – Sun: 12pm-12am

Yes, the address is technically in Northcote, but you just need to look at the name to know on what best pub and bar list Welcome to Thornbury belongs. There isn’t a hell of a lot that the self-advertised “probably the best beer garden in Melbourne” doesn’t provide, making it no empty boast. From food trucks to festivals, Welcome to Thornbury can and does provide it all.

It is a must stop on any travel through the area and you are guaranteed to find a crowd of people and something happening when you walk through the gates to the plus sized beer garden and beyond. Whether it be a sporting event or live music you will love the way Welcome to Thornbury entertains you and a crowd.

Barton Fink

Barton Fink

ADDRESS: 816/818 High St, Thornbury
OPEN: Tue – Fri: 4pm-1am, Sat: 3pm-1am, Sun: 3pm-late.

Food, drink and music is the claim and is 100% Barton Finks’ game. From Tuesday to Sunday, you will get the best of what Thornbury’s High St strip has to offer right here. Starting with their Tuesday night trivia night through to their live music line-up of a weekend, no matter what day you find yourself in town it is worth a visit.

You will be left in awe of the 40’s inspired furnishings, as well as the comprehensive drink and cocktail menu, and I can’t forget to mention the food. One look at Barton’s Fink Instagram and you can see the spread they can provide. Your mouth will be watering as you make your way out the door to grab a bite. It is a must visit.

Thornbury Taphouse

ADDRESS: 851 High St, Thornbury
OPEN: Mon – Thu: 3pm-11pm, Fri – Sat: 12pm-1am, Sun: 12pm-11pm

Thornbury Taphouse is a great place to take your friends from out of town to show them how fancy Thornbury can be, without being pretentious. From the impressive wall length wine display to the polished wood décor Thornbury Taphouse screams class. It’s the perfect spot to finish up a High St crawl for a nip of your favourite spirit before heading home to bed.

High end liquor and classy vibes isn’t all Thornbury Taphouse has to offer. Known for their super friendly staff and great service you will also find what seems like a never-ending food menu to order from, including all day snacks. You must check this place out.

Pallino Bar

Pallino Bar

ADDRESS: 790 High St, Thornbury
OPEN: Wed – Thu: 4pm-12am, Fri: 4pm-1am, Sat: 2pm-1am, Sun: 2pm-11pm

Pallino Bar is a must stop on any High St travels. Bright and energetic, Pallino’s is a surprisingly spacious “little” bar that is full of life and fun. The beer garden out the back is surprisingly large and perfect for a spot of bocce. Love a rhyme? You will love their daily specials from Whiskey Wednesdays to Spritz Sundays.

What makes Pallino a must stop on that sunny High St pub crawl though is their super refreshing frozen cocktail options, there is no better way to cool down in that summer heat. So, play some pinball or listen to a local DJ when you can down at Pallino’s.

Quick side note – if you are feeling too lazy to head down the street, head to Pallino Bar’s home page and check out their alcohol delivery options.

Thornbury Fromagerie

Thornbury Fromagerie

ADDRESS: 666 High St, Thornbury VIC 3071
OPEN: Wed- Thu: 5pm-9:30pm, Fri: 5pm-10pm, Sat: 3pm-10pm, Sun- 3pm-9pm

Got a hot first date coming up? Word to the wise, don’t take them here! Why? Because you will be setting a standard you cannot possibly maintain. Seriously, look at the reviews for The Thornbury Fromagerie, this place is a stone-cold hit. Cheese, wine and tunes! It’s the exact recipe for greatness.

From Wednesday to Sunday, you can come on in to the Fromagerie and try the best that Melbourne has to offer, their wine list is legit, their cheeses are top notch, they even have a cheese toastie that is second to none. You need to get in quick before it sells out though.

This is one place where booking is definitely a good idea, but it can’t hurt to stick your head in if wondering past and see if you don’t get lucky. You will find live music in the beer garden most weekends as well. So, for that killer cheese platter, head to Thornbury Fromagerie first chance you get.

The Thornbury Local

The Thornbury Local

ADDRESS: 635 High St, Thornbury
OPEN: Mon – Thu: 3pm-1am, Fri – Sat: 12pm-3am, Sun: 12pm-1am

The Thornbury Local is a must stop if you are sauntering along High St for music and munchies. With two levels of bars and fun you really can’t go wrong at an establishment that is rolling into its 15th year in existence.

The menu is that perfect North American pub fare will all know and love and the kitchen here is open later than most, making it the ideal late stop if you are in need of a feed before heading home.

If you fancy a sing yourself stop by on one of the Thornbury Locals many open mic nights and dazzle the local crowd with your own wondrous talents. The Thornbury Local is more than just eating and drinking and music as it promises to be a place of “community and diversity”, what’s not to love.

The Croxton

Croxton

ADDRESS: 607 High St, Thornbury
OPEN: 10am-6am: 7-days-a-week

The Croxton is on its own level on this list of Thornbury bars and pubs, it couldn’t be more different, but boy does it deserve its spot. It’s an RSL, pub and iconic live music venue rolled into one.

Want a feed to start the crawl up High St right, the bistro at the Crox is the perfect place to go. All your pub classics at a more than reasonable price and all your favourite beers on tap and ice cold ready to be enjoyed.

It’s the band room that sets the Croxton apart though. It’s been one of Melbourne’s go to live music venues for decades. AC/DC, Midnight Oil and INXS have all graced the stage in years past. I caught Grouplove there myself a few years back and more recently, Melbourne live rock up and coming super stars Amyl and the Sniffers took to the stage.

The Croxton is one of those long-lasting live music establishments in Melbourne that everyone needs to go to at least once.

Carwyn Cellars

Carwyn Cellars

ADDRESS: 877 High St, Thornbury
OPEN: Tue – Sat: 12pm-11pm, Sun – Mon: 12pm-10pm

Last but not least on our list of Thornbury bars and pubs to visit along High St is Carwyn Cellars. This one is for the craft beer lovers out there. Carwyn Cellars opened exactly as that in 2007, a cellar, for you to stop on in and pick up your favourite drop and leave again. In the years since its popularity has seen it open an adjoining bar and become Thornbury’s home of craft beer.

If you love that amber stuff you have to make a stop at Carwyn Cellars, this place has 32 rotating taps of some of Australia’s best craft frothies. I highly recommend you don’t try knock them all off in one sitting, but each to their own.

If your travelling companions aren’t as keen on the beer as you are, don’t fret. You shouldn’t have any time twisting their arms to drop in for a drink or two with Carwyn Cellars also having a long list of wine and spirits for them to choose from.

There you have it, a list of the best pubs and bars along one little strip of Hight St, Thornbury. The perfect place for a boozy weekend stroll and you will find a lot more than those just mentioned above.

In addition to Preston above, for more of the best places to eat and drink in the northside, check out our lists of the best pubs and bars in Coburg here and in Brunswick here.