The haunts of students, backpackers and slumming city slickers, the grungy bars of Melbourne allow nightlife nomads to make the rounds of urban amusements without the constraints of stringent budgets, tough door politics, or indeed, social decorum.
These bars are dingy, peculiar and patronised by an assortment of idiosyncratic characters that change from one day to the next. They are also lively, incredibly diverting and usually hold the allure of 'something cheap'.
Pony Dirty, broken and borderline hostile – if you can't handle the funk, then you're not cool enough to enter. This place is all about the underground music, moody lounging and a live vibe until dawn.
Tongue and Groove A veritable den of iniquity – and that's after being forced to tone it down. Everything is cheap including the ladies down the street. Grab a shot of something toxic off a passing tray, then sit back and watch fisticuffs between foreigners followed by an assortment of rather incredible courting rituals.
E Fifty Five A bit arty, in an artless kind of way, there are no dress codes here and definitely no pretensions to glamour. This bar also serves the almost mandatory $5 pizzas and has a worn-in vibe unlikely to wear out.
Happy hour goes for three at this self proclaimed "homely bar" where travellers congregate to drink extremely cheap cleanskin wine – i.e., you'll get change from a tenner… even if you order three glasses.
The finesse is less but the clientele high (sometimes literally) in Melbourne's dirtiest, dingiest, cheapest and strangest grungy bars. Tell us - where is your favourite gloss-gaunt haunt?