Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published July 31st 2011
Grumpy's Green is a oddly-named bar. While the second half is right, as the extensive food menu is mostly vegetarian, the wait staff and bartenders could not be friendlier. You'll find it at 125 Smith St, easily accessible by the 86 tram.
There's a wide variety of beers on tap, including both Hightail and Steam varieties from the deservedly popular Mountain Goat brewery and the excellent Holgate Pilsner. Two of the taps are devoted to Grumpy's Specialty beers that change with the seasons. While the prices are fairly high – the cheapest pint is just over eight dollars – the staff are happy to pour samplers so you can decide which beer you prefer before buying.
The cider on tap is nothing special, but Coldstream cider is available by the bottle. Grumpy's Green is one of the very few places in Melbourne that sell gluten-free beer, although don't rely on them having much at any particular time.
The real attraction is the food, complete with a breakfast menu to rival most restaurants. The Spanish Egg Hotpot is guaranteed to cure even the worst of hangovers, and the Skorthalia with Asparagus Eggs is guaranteed to satisfy the most judgemental of your foodie friends. For dinner, try the Lima Bean & Fig Stew or the enormous Pozole with Mole. There's no warmed-over pub parmas or soggy chips here (although the eggplant parmigiana is delicious).
The famous Grumpy's Green beer garden. (Image courtesy of Grumpy's Green website)
Relax in the stylish beer garden or on one of the many couches. Ironically, the couches are almost too comfortable; it's difficult to sit leaning close enough to the table to eat. However, this is a minor negative in a sea of positives. Grumpy's Green is a great bar to visit with your friends for a quiet night out – and if your friends are vegetarian, it might just be the greatest bar in Melbourne.