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Melbourne – Best Outdoors Winter Dining: The Builders Arms

"The Builders Arms Hotel offers delicious and original food, plenty of space and a beautifully restored, historic pub."

An old Aboriginal activist pub and now home to weekly trivia quizzes, The Builders Arms also has a charming courtyard with umbrellas, heaters, strings of lights and an outstanding menu. Enjoy dishes like this –

  • Pickled sardine, horseradish on rye (pictured) $8.00
  • Lettuce hearts, anchovy, Caesar dressing, guanciale $20.00
  • Prawn omelette, aioli, smoked paprika $19.00

This is a fashionable neighbourhood; Prince Harry and Meghan visited another restaurant nearby on Gertrude Street – Charcoal Lane.

Gertrude Street is an expensive street of designer shopping and a short taxi-ride from the city. You could also walk it from Bourke Street Mall if you were feeling fit, or take a tram.

A long, long choice of wine by the glass makes The Builders Arms a good place to linger longer. They do half bottles, alcohol free beer and other unusual options for a Melbourne pub. Even a very, very good Melbourne pub like this one. They also have their own beer, Molly Rose.

Top-end champagne is $800 a bottle. Or – you can get away with lunch for $30.00.

Bring a jacket or coat in winter – you’ll be fine outside – and even on a busy lunchtime day like Friday, there was just one other table of people when we visited. Delicious and original food, plenty of space and a beautifully restored, historic pub. Recommended to all Goddesses.


Photographs ©JPirkis2024

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The Courtyard at The Builders Arms. Photographs ©JPirkis2024
The prawn omlette is not to be missed. Photograph ©JPirkis2024
No matter the temperature, these outdoor heaters will keep you toasty. Photograph ©JPirkis2024
Example of the menu from The Builders Arms, Photograph ©JPirkis2024
Sardine on Rye at The Builders Arms. Photograph ©JPirkis2024

Operating Hours

Open 12pm to Late

Book +61 3 9417 7700


211 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy VIC, Australia