Justine de Jonge is a Melbourne freelance travel writer and blogger who loves travelling the vegan road. She also loves blogging about her vegan travels at www.fireandtea.com .
Published October 19th 2012
An unpretentious locale for good food and local beer
Since it was established in 1871, The Fox Hotel has serviced many punters and is the gateway to Melbourne's CBD; located on the corner of Alexandra Parade and Wellington Street in Collingwood. The Fox Hotel's historic backbone is a heady mix of working class sweat and inner-Melbourne comradery. Nowadays, The Fox Hotel breathes a genuine Melburnian charm, giving punters an unpretentious locale for micro-brewed beers and a swagger of good food.
As patrons push through red doors and into the inner sanctum of The Fox Hotel, they'll be greeted by an intimate dining room, a warm, welcoming vibe, pub bands and lashings of comfort food. Extensive local and imported beer choices are available as well as a lengthy menu of entrees, mains and desserts. Patrons can grab a pint from the bar (bar-staff are more than willing to make recommendations) and head to the secluded dining area that's decked out in kitsch furnishings and ample space to eat.
For the sunnier months, a recently refurbished rooftop beer garden is the perfect escape on a Friday afternoon when the working day's traffic is left to drone along Alexandra Parade below. While the afternoon sun sinks over Melbourne's suburbs, punters can laze away with a pint of freshly pulled beer and pick over a mezze plate piled with Turkish bread, dolmades, haloumi and olives in chilli and garlic oil, hummus and beetroot dip. Moussaka with haloumi, chips and salad or a bowl of gnocchi dressed in basil and pine nut pesto, mushroom, spinach, semi-dried tomato and fetta are served as substantial pub meals that won't leave patrons under-nourished.
For something a little dressier, then marinated tofu wrapped in nori and stuffed with wild rice, mushroom and cabbage is a stand-out. The tofu is silky in texture, placed atop gently wilted greens dressed in mirin and ginger. Another option that's more casual is the vegetarian burrito; a tortilla stuffed with spicy red kidney beans, rice, corn and zucchini then crowned with salsa, guacamole and sour cream, complemented by a lightly dressed and playful salad.
What's promising about The Fox Hotel's menu is its vegetarian-specific section where a couple choices can be made vegan upon request. This is a testament to The Fox Hotel. On this side of the city, pubs with vegetarian and vegan selections are in demand. The Fox Hotel, among others in the area, is paving the way for other pubs across Melbourne to follow suit.
The Fox Hotel's kitchen is open every night of the week and it's a good idea to turn up early or book a table in advance so you're not left out.