Melbourne is full of old renovated hotels that have turned into bars. The Grace Darling Hotel keeps that old hospitality feeling with open fireplaces and quirky wallpaper. It is a great place to go to meet friends and have a meal. They have plenty of decent beers on tap and make a mean cinnamon sour using Fireball whiskey. On weekends, it’s open late, and they often have live bands or DJs playing.
Mr Scruff’s has the best Bloody Mary in Melbourne. Indeed, they have three different types of Bloody Marys, but the ultimate one is the ‘Mr Mister Bloody Mary.’ It’s a labor-intensive drink to make for the poor bartender as the garnish alone is elaborate and time-consuming to make. It’s not your standard Bloody Mary with a garnish of celery; there’s pickle juice, Tobasco, a slice of bacon, some olives popped on a stick and some horseradish mustard plopped in. It’s a meal in itself.
Mr Scruff’s, 60 Smith Street, Collingwood, VIC, Australia, +61 3 9995 3881
If you were standing outside Easey’s and looked up, you would think it was just an abandoned building with some old train carriages slightly overhanging on the rooftop. Those train carriages are there for a reason, and they are still in use. You can either eat on the ground floor of Easey’s, or like 90 percent of people, you can eat in a train carriage — there is a lift or several flights of stairs that will take you up to the rooftop. The carriages themselves are often chockablock with people, but there is also an outdoor seating area where you can plonk yourself in between the carriages and take in a fairly nice view of the city. The burgers are great, and the chili cheese fries are an excellent alternative to normal fries. There’s a good range of beers to choose from as well.
Easey’s, 3/48 Easey Street, Collingwood, VIC, Australia, +61 3 9079 5942
Shop Ramen, hands down, has the best ramen in Collingwood. They cater to vegetarians with their tofu ramen and tofu buns. The menu is short, but they do everything well. There are four steamed bao on offer, four types of ramen plus four rice dishes. The brisket and kimchi bun and the pork belly ramen are two must-try options. As for drinks, the sparkling matcha — matcha and sparkling apple juice — is a refreshing option. Matcha has many antioxidants and will leave you feeling energized.
Shop Ramen, 329 Smith Street, Collingwood, VIC, Australia, +61 3 9123 4567