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Where is Melbourne's Grungiest Bar?

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by Michaelie Clark (subscribe)
Pun-loving freelance writer based in Victoria.
Published October 20th 2011
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.

Melbourne's Cheapest Grungy Bars - Lucky Coq
On the hunt for Melbourne's grungiest bars.


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'.

Lucky Coq
Quirky and retro with a genuinely impure attitude, the Chapel St hang-out draws all-comers for $4 pizza and rowdy revelling.

Lucky Coq Cheap Melbourne Bars
The Lucky Coq


Bimbo Deluxe
As sister bar to Lucky Coq, this is where you go when you want basically the same gig, but on the other side of the river.

Melbourne's Cheapest Grungy Bars - Bimbo Deluxe
Bimbo Deluxe


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.

Melbourne's Cheapest Grungy Bars - Pony
Pony Bar


The Branch
Not as filthy as some, but known for cheap eats from $5 to $12 every night of the week. All it really needed was the phrase 'eight dollar wing dings' to qualify.

Melbourne's Cheapest Grungy Bars - The Branch
The Branch


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.

Melbourne's Cheapest Grungy Bars - Tongue and Groove
Tongue and Groove


Iddy Biddy
Marginal in the grunge stakes, but with $5 pizzas, old-school video games posing as tables and outhouse style toilets – it deserves a mention.

Melbourne's Cheapest Grungy Bars
Iddy Biddy


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.

Melbourne's Cheapest Grungy Bars - The Joint
The Joint


The Joint
Seedy in the extreme, with cheap drinks and an atmosphere so relaxed, they'd probably let you start pouring your own drinks if the need arose.



Banff
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?
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