Melbourne's live music scene is arguably the best in the world, and every night of the week, in every nook and cranny, there will be dozens of genres on offer, mostly in pubs. A lot of the venues are in the inner north such as Fitzroy, Carlton and Collingwood, though a few worthy places are in Richmond and St Kilda in the south.
It was hard picking between the Tote and the Esplanade to top the list, as they are both cultural icons, but in our opinion the Tote is grittier and more Melbourne-like. Saying that the Esplanade has 3 bands rooms offering some great tunes if you find yourself that side of town. Other great live music venues nearby include the Fox Hotel, and the Dan O'Connell which often remains true to its Irish roots.
The Rainbow is a backstreet gem offering free blues, roots and acoustic solo shows most nights of the week, while the John Curtin has a great band room where bands like to play their instruments loud. The Standard and the Builders Arms like to put on free shows near the bar, which is a great way to start an evening while the Sunday afternoon sessions at the Great Britain is the most chilled out place in town.
71 Johnston Street
Corner of Johnston and Wellington Streets
11 Upper Esplanade
27 St David Street
Great music, beer garden and beer list make this an ideal choice... read more
293 Fitzroy St
Fantastic backstreet pub that is full of surprises... read more
447 Church Street
Great local watering hole that is more bohemian in nature than the more upmarket pubs nearby... read more
211 Gertrude Street
223-227 Canning St
Great Irish pub that doesn't feel fake... read more
351 Wellington Street
A great local, with an impressive beer list and awesome rooftop deck looking towards the city... read more