The Best Pubs in Bendigo
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Gold boom towns in Victoria sure do have a lot of beautiful pubs, and Bendigo is absolutely no exception. Like Ballarat, Bendigo is home to many pubs, some that have stood the test of time since the 1800s and will continue to pour beers, and serve great food, for a long time into the future.
Gold was discovered in Bendigo in 1851, and the resulting gold rush saw Bendigo’s population grow by 15,000 over the next three years. Hotels, of course, sprang up all over Bendigo, creating places for weary and hungry gold miners a place to rest their head, and fill up on food, beer, and whisky after a long day underground. The imposing Shamrock Hotel was established in Bendigo in 1854, and was rebuilt in 1897, and still stands today.
Also Read: The Best Pubs in Country Victoria
Canvas tests serving sly grog gave way for grand hotels that popped up all over Bendigo, and continue to serve the growing areas of Bendigo now. These are the best pubs in Bendigo.
Let’s start this off with that imposing Gold Rush-era hotel, Hotel Shamrock. The hotel was reconstructed in 1897, but the Shamrock has been in existence in Bendigo since 1854. Easily one of the best pubs in Bendigo, Hotel Shamrock is home to Yard Bird Bar & Kitchen—a great spot for a pub meal—and the Gold Dust Lounge. Given the size of the building, there are plenty of accommodation options. Standard rooms, executive rooms, and even spa suites are available at Hotel Shamrock.
Established in 1869, the Queens Arms Hotel in Bendigo’s Quarry Hill has been serving beers for more than 150 years. On the menu at the Queens Arms you’ll find everything you’d expect at an excellent Victorian country pub. Expect braised beef cheek, lasagne, fishermans catch, chicken parma, and much more. The Queens Arms Hotel also has a function room perfect for literally any kind of event.
The National Hotel Complex is situated right across the road from Bendigo tourist attraction the Central Deborah Gold Mine, as well as being right near the Bendigo Talking Tram. Until recently Bendigo’s all-you-can-eat Pizza Hut was next door but closed during the pandemic (RIP). The National Hotel Complex has accommodation options, a bistro, bar, and a function room.
The location where the Bendigo’s Bridge Hotel stands has had a licensed premise on it since 1858, and was formerly known as the Waterloo Hotel. The Bridge Hotel serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has a range of great pub meals.
Looking for a rooftop bar in Bendigo, than look no further than Bendigo’s one and only rooftop bar, Nimbus. Much cooler than the Nimbus that the dreadfully uncool family drove to school drop off, Nimbus—the Bendigo rooftop bar—is an excellent place for a night out whether you’re a local, or just visiting Bendigo.
Gold Mines Hotel
The Gold Mines Hotel was built in 1872, and cuts an imposing figure on the roadside. Situated across the road from the rich Victoria Hill gold mine, the pub would’ve seen many prospectors come through its doors, both happy, and dejected. The pub has an upmarket, but not pretentious, menu with pub classics thrown in to keep everyone happy.
Find out more about the Gold Mines Hotel here.
Handle Bar is a bar that’s basically like having a few beer in someone’s backyard. Handle Bar has a focus on independent beers, and has free live music every weekend. You can get your food delivered to the bar as well, as they don’t have a kitchen on site.
You’ll find One Tree Hill Hotel in Spring Gully, in the southern part of Bendigo. The hotel has been recently refurbished, and expect to find an open fire inside. One Tree Hill Hotel is open for both dinner, and lunch, and serves pub classics such as seafood basket, chicken schnitzel, and a range of chicken parmas in Oscar’s Bistro.
While not technically in Bendigo, the Axedale Tavern is close enough, and good enough, to get a run. 20-minutes to the east of Bendigo, the Axedale Tavern has been serving hungry and thirsty locals since the 19th century. The menu is spectacular, with a range of burgers, and upmarket dishes with some pub classics thrown in.
Find the Cambrian Hotel in North Bendigo on Arnold Street. The heritage pub has a focus on independent beers and now has Korean BBQ to keep you full, alongside its usual menu. Korean BBQ at the Cambrian Hotel happens Tuesday to Saturday and is $40 per person.
East of Bendigo in Strathfieldsaye you’ll find Bradie’s Tavern, and is a great stopping point no matter whether you’re hungry of thirsty. The roadside pub has a great menu with all the pub classics on offer, along with a kids, and seniors menu.
Using seasonal ingredients, and local produce, the Old Boundary Hotel has a great menu that boasts the pub classics you’d expect such as chicken parma, caesar salad, along with slow-cooked lamb shoulder, Tasmanian salmon, a range of burgers, steaks, and much more. Old Boundary Hotel has a great range of local wines on offer as well.