Food and Drink


The Drunken Poet

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You’d expect a pub with the name The Drunken Poet to be filled to the brim with douche-bag artist types who sit in dark corners drinking lonely pints, reading beat poetry. Surprisingly, you’d be wrong. You’d also be wrong if you thought that it was a pub whose name had nothing to do with the place itself, like The Charles Dickens Tavern.

Located on Peel Street right across from the Queen Victoria Market, The Drunken Poet is a lovely little authentic Irish pub (and not in the ‘shamrock-covered walls’ or ‘prevalence of the colour green’ authentic) that you really should stop in to for that not-so-frequent pint of Guinness that you’re always forgetting to have.

Though a little heavy on the stomach, it’s practically an unwritten law that your first pint has to be stout at The Poet, and you won’t be disappointed. The Guinness on tap is some of the smoothest in Melbourne. If you’re not a stout drinker though, don’t be alarmed, there is still a lot of variety on tap and on hand.

With walls adorned with paintings and pictures of famous writers and poets (a few of them famous drunks as well), The Poet is all about vibe. You know those pubs that just have an ambiance to them that makes you feel at home and at ease? This is one of them. Whether you’ve come along for a quiet afternoon beer or fancy a sustained night out, The Drunken Poet morphs from a quiet little bar during daylight hours to a bustling pub at night, but never loses its cosy, warm feeling.

How appropriate…

With friendly, attentive bar-staff headed by the lovely Siobhan, there is always something going on at The Poet; live music, poetry readings, but my favourite happens on Tuesday nights: trivia. Even when your team comes dead last—like my team, The Fighting Mongooses (comprised of myself and fellow Milk Bar writer Jade Kelly) did a few of weeks ago—it’s still a hell of a lot of fun, and the crowd is great.

And if by chance you’re there during the day—because let’s face it, drinking before 4pm is the fun-est—you can always play the ring-toss and select some tunes from the jukebox.

Speaking of which, my favourite memory of The Drunken Poet is walking in the door to the wafting, warm smell of a toasted sandwich. Grab one of those while you’re at it, too.

The Drunken Poet
65 Peel Street, West Melbourne
9348 9797
Tues – Sat 12 noon – 1am
Sun 12 noon – 11pm


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