The best pubs and bars in Richmond: Swan St, Church St and more
10.12.2021

The best pubs and bars in Richmond: Swan St, Church St and more

Richmond pubs and bars
Words by Benjamin Lamb

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

Today we’re taking a journey over to Richmond and checking out some of their amazing pubs and bars. We’ve got venues for all types of people; rooftop bars, sports bars, old school pubs and lots more.

In this detailed guide, we’ve got some classics you know and love, some fresh spots to check out, and some hidden gems you probably didn’t know about.

If you’re keen to journey up to Brunswick instead, check out our list of the best bars and pubs in Brunswick.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in Melbourne here.

Church Street

Harlow – 447 Church St

– Address: 447 Church St
– Vibe: Chilled, relaxed, Sunday arvo vibes.
– Live music: Acoustic
– Outdoor area: Killer rooftop with view
– Dedicated menu: Pub grub with a modern twist

Richmond’s bar scene is full of hidden gems and surprises, one of which you’ll find at 447 Church St.

Harlow is the ideal bar to kill some time before your event, gig or party. They’ve got a rad rooftop where you can enjoy some bevs as the sun goes down, which is a pretty unforgettable experience. They’re open from 12 most days and have a heap of tasty menu items always on the go.

There’s also a cool bottomless boozy lunch they have on the weekend, which is exactly how it sounds – for $59, you get a lunch item and 2 hours of bottomless booze, which sounds like a great way to spend one of these upcoming summer days. Check out more info about the bottomless boozy lunch here.

Contact them through their website here or give them buzz to book in a table today.

The Leadbeater Hotel – 1 Church St

– Address: 1 Church St
– Vibe: Traditional pub and live music space
– Live music: Proper bandroom

The Leady is a traditional Richmond pub favourite with billiards, trivia, a classic pub menu and an impressive 350-400 capacity bandroom that plays host to regular gigs throughout the year, previously boasting the likes of Ali Barter, Holy Holy, Elizabeth, The Slingers, Ruby Gill, Howlite and Sisters Doll.

Follow them here for all the info.

Royal Saxon – 545 Church St

– Address: 545 Church St
– Vibe: The epitome of modern Melbourne
– Live music: DJs
– Outdoor area: Trendy beer garden
– Dedicated menu: The best pizzas you’ve ever tasted

The Royal Saxon is quickly becoming one of Richmond’s hottest spots, with amazing food, chilled vibes and great drinks, you probably wish you’d heard of this earlier.

As is the case with all good restaurants, the menu at the Royal Saxon doesn’t have a lot of stuff, so you know they can focus on making it perfectly. The menu features things like the classic Parma, fish and chips, and a great array of pizzas, check out the full menu here.

If you’re also still looking for something to do on NYE, the Royal Saxon is putting on a massive event, full of DJ’s. Grab your tickets and check out more info about it here

Check out some more info about The Royal Saxon over on their website here.

Maeve Fox – 472 Church St   

– Address: 472 Church St
– Vibe: Upper class hustle and bustle
– Dedicated menu: Some of the best jaffles you’ve ever tasted.     

If you’re keen for a spot with a bit more hustle and bustle, the Maeve Fox bar is somewhere you need to check out.

They’ve got some hot cocktails on it, to name a few, there’s one called Dharma & Diego; which will make your mouth water, it’s got Vida Mescal, and caramel with banana, there’s one called Smoke House with Chartreuse, Gin, topped off with lime and rosemary. Check out their other cocktails here.

In terms of food, they’ve got some cool stuff, like a heap of different gourmet jaffles, these are flavours like Spaghetti & Cheese, Three Cheese and Chorizo. Check out their other food items here.

Check out some more information of the place and book in a visit over on their website here.

Swan Street 

The Corner Hotel – 57 Swan St

– Address: 57 Swan St
– Vibe: Pumping live music venue
– Outdoor area: Laid back rooftop beer garden
– Dedicated menu: Fancy pub food

A pillar of Melbourne’s live music scene, The Corner Hotel is a rock institution that’s been hosting live music since the 1940s. It also has a famous rooftop bar with awesome views and heaps of greenery, and they host big-name Aussie comedians for Corner Comedy – meaning this place really has something for everyone.

Rising Sun Hotel – 395 Swan St

– Address: 395 Swan St
– Vibe: Classic style with an industrial spin
– Outdoor area: Laid back rooftop beer garden
– Dedicated menu: Cheeseburgers, Sandwiches, and lots more.

The Rising Sun Hotel was once an old-style English pub, and a lot of the same architecture and styling remains throughout elements of the venue, something to keep an eye out for during a visit here.

They’ve got some cool happy hour deals available here, Sundays through Thursdays, 5 – 6, pots of beer / cider for an easy $4, pints for only $8, and some fancier drinks like a Corona or Canadian Club for $7.

The deals don’t stop there, they’ve also got some killer food deals too, each day, you can grab a meal and a pot for only $20! check out those meals here.

Check out some more info about everything happening at Rising Sun Hotel, and book in a visit over on their website here.

Fargo and Co – 216 Swan St

– Address: 216 Swan St
– Vibe: Trendy, upper class and cool.
– Dedicated menu: Finger foods and share plates.

Fargo and Co are one of the trendiest bars this side of Melbourne and are set to be one of the hottest spots this summer.

They’ve got some nice things on offer, for an easy $39, you can enjoy 2 hours bottomless frose, which is tasty flavoured frozen wine, the perfect drink for this Summer.

In terms of food, you can grab a few different finger foods and sharing plates, the perfect thing to enjoy over a cocktail or two.

Check out some more info about Fargo and Co over here.

The Ugly Duckling – 238 Swan St

– Address: 238 Swan St
– Vibe: Laid back with a fancy spin
– Dedicated menu: Extremely fancy share plates and finger foods

The Ugly Duckling is one of the coolest spots on this list – taking the best alcohol and mixing it with the fun of staying home.

It’s one of Melbourne’s only bars where you get table service! You can order some interesting cocktails like a Pavlova Fizz, which has gin, apple liqueur, kiwi syrup, topped off with egg whites, soda and lime, which sounds intriguingly tasty indeed.

There’s a bunch of other awesome cocktails that are worth checking out here.

Check out some more info about The Ugly Duckling over on their website here.

The Blacksmith Bar – 69 Swan St

– Address: 69 Swan St
– Vibe: Old school English.
– Outdoor area: Few nice tables out the front
– Dedicated menu: Extremely classy and sophisticated meals

A fair amount of the original structure at 69 Swan St dates back to around 1924, and a lot of it has been updated over the years, and has culminated in The Blacksmith, a classic style bar, where you can bask in some of the old school vibes while enjoying a cocktail or two.

If you’re looking for a spot to spend all of those birthdays you missed out on in lockdown, the blacksmith’s got a pretty nifty functions package, where you can book out their classy rooms for your event.

If you head there and love it, sign up for their membership, which gives you some awesome deals like 25% drinks, an annual birthday bar tab, plus a lot more which you can check out here.

Book in and check out all the info about food and drink here.

The best of the rest

Spread Eagle Hotel – 372 Bridge Rd

– Address: 372 Bridge Rd
– Vibe: Old school with a modern vibe
– Live music: Pub Music
– Outdoor area: Chilled dog friendly tables out the front
– Dedicated menu: The pub classics we know and love

Mixing the old with the new, Spread Eagle Hotel perfectly encapsulates the best of Aussie pub life with the modern hipster bar scene.

They’ve got pub classics like Parmas and burgers but are coupled with some of the newest wines and craftiest beers from Hawkers, Brookvale Union and Balter.

They’ve got some cool weekly specials that are worth checking out too, Wednesday is steak night – a 300g Porterhouse with garlic butter for an easy $20, Thursday is locals night, where you won’t go home empty handed, and Sunday is Parma Night, where you get a massive Parma for only $18.

Check out the Spread Eagle Hotel and book in a visit here

Royston Hotel – 12 River St

– Address: 12 River St
– Vibe: Classy Australiana
– Dedicated menu: Classy food and old classics

The Royston has been around for a number of years, providing quality food, drink and service to their loyal patrons, but in recent times, they’ve been getting more attention for their vast array of beers on offer, and their amazing approach to curating a strong menu.

Their food is of the highest quality as well, they’ve got some fancy stuff at pretty cheap prices too, like a Pan roasted Salmon fillet, Slow roasted Pork Belly, plus a heap more that you can check out here.

Check out some more info about the Royston Hotel here.

Concrete Boots Bar – 381 Burnley St

– Address: 381 Burnley St
– Vibe: Laid back and feel good
– Live music: Open mic nights
– Outdoor area: Chilled outdoor bar tables
– Dedicated menu: Burgers and share plates

Concrete Boots are one of, if not the most laid-back spots on this list. They are keen on bringing customers the best friendly service, calling themselves ‘your friendly neighbourhood bar’ – so you know if you head here, you’re bound to have a good time.

Their craft beer menu is one of Melbourne’s best, it’s got iconic beers like the Melbourne Moon Dog Lager, some Stomping Ground pale ales and some flavoured 3 Ravens. Check out the rest of the beer menu here.

They’ve got a heap of cool things happening, check out some more info on Concrete Boots here.

Cricketers Arms Hotel – 327 Punt Rd, Richmond

– Address: 327 Punt Rd
– Vibe: The best mix of sports and Australiana
– Outdoor area: Laid back outdoor beer garden
– Dedicated menu: Pub food

Only a stone’s throw from the MCG, the Cricketers Arms is perfect from some pre/post game drinks. There’s also some pool / billiards tables if you’re looking to enjoy a pint or two over a game.

There’s not a lot online about Cricketers Arms, so check out some images on their socials here, or head there to check it out.

Check out some more info about Cricketers Arms Hotel and book in a visit here.

All Nations Hotel – 64 Lennox St

– Address: 64 Lennox St
– Vibe: Sports bar with an Aussie twist
– Outdoor area: Beer garden, outdoor bistro with bar service
– Dedicated menu: Cheap classics you know and love

This is another awesome spot to enjoy some laid back drinks, down some great food, catch the latest sports from across the globe. It’s a classic country style pub with a fireplace and its family run, and you can be sure you’ll get that great service.

Like all good pubs, they’ve got some killer weekly deals, there’s always some cool stuff happening at the All Nations Hotel. Every Monday you can catch a fun trivia night, Tuesday is Rump night, where you can grab a steak and chips for $19.90. There’s a few other deals you can check out here.

According to their website, the All Nations Hotel is reportedly where the idea for the popular sports show The Front Bar was born.

Check out some more info about All Nations Hotel and book in a visit here.

London Tavern Hotel – 238 Lennox St

– Address: 238 Lennox St
– Vibe: Aussie sports bar
– Outdoor area: Aussie beer garden
– Dedicated menu: Home style Aussie pub food with a fancy spin

The London Tavern Hotel is another old school haunt providing patrons with the best service, high quality drinks, and great pub feeds.

Their menu is worth mentioning – it’ s got some cool versions of classic stuff like Eggplant Parmas, Steak Sandwiches, and even a Malaysian Chicken Curry.

But the selling point of the London Tavern is their amazing array of alcohol. Their multi-page drinks menu showcases their list – it’s got things like Carlton Draughts, Furphy’s and Champagne, but it doesn’t stop there, they’ve also got lesser-known things that are worth checking out Kosciusko Pale Ale, Twobays Brewing and White Rabbit Dark Ales.

Check out some more info about it and book in a visit 
here.