The best pubs and bars in Ballarat

Subscribe to Forte Magazine


The best pubs and bars in Ballarat

18th Amendment Ballarat
Words by Tammy Walters

Shout yourself a glimpse into Ballarat life at any of these well-loved pubs and bars.

Our buddies in Ballarat boast some of the best pubs and bars in Regional Victoria. Gear up for the Easter long weekend by getting your boozy schedule sorted.

Here are our recommendations:

18th Amendment Bar

Address: 14 Camp Street, Ballarat Central
Vibe: Chicago Classy
Outdoor Area: N/A
Dedicated Menu: Designer Cocktails and Bar Snacks

Having celebrated huge success in our humble town of Geelong, the brainchild of Gorge Camorra cloned itself and headed to Ballarat. The speakeasy-style setting offers the most innovative cocktails, a grandiose selection of spirits and scrumptious bar snacks, adding to the atmosphere and experience. Plus, with over 130 Gins and over 160 whiskies you are spoilt for choice.

Piano Bar

Address: 31 Sturt Street, Ballarat Central
Vibe: Vibrant, fun, music-filled
Outdoor Area: N/A
Dedicated Menu: Bar snacks

Another Geelong spawn that doubled and headed down the Midland Highway, Piano Bar became a permanent resident of Ballarat after hosting sell-out pop-up shows in the area. Thanks to their world-class piano man, and cabaret entertainment, Piano Bar is a go-to for a good time. Be warned, losing your voice from the non-stop singalongs is inevitable!


Address: 209 – 211 Mair Street East, Ballarat Central
Vibe: Luxury meets Disco Stu
Outdoor Area: Street dining option
Dedicated Menu: Rounded menu of small meals, large meals and platters

Dubbed a “bistro-esque discotheque”, Renard doubles as a dreamy cocktail bar and social club by day and a bouncy disco by night. With a tantalising contemporary bistro that offers bar snacks, charcuterie platters, specialised mains and delicious desserts, Renard has it all. Not to mention, their elegant emerald green booths and terrazzo countertop styling is interior design goals.

Aunty Jacks

Address: 315- 317 Mair Street, Ballarat
Vibe: Industrial, relaxed brewhouse
Outdoor Area: Outdoor seating options
Dedicated Menu: Craft beer, bar snacks and wood-oven pizza

This brewhouse is a beloved Ballarat local spot. From Brewmaster, Peter Aldred, Aunty Jacks is a locally owned, brewed and housed beer, venue and experience. Taking a hands-on approach to beer-drinking, Aunty Jacks offers tours, educational classes and events, including incorporating a huge live music calendar! Wood oven pizzas slide your way as their specialty brew flows from taps. When you go to Aunty Jacks, you become part of the family.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Aunty Jacks (@auntyjacksballarat)

Bunch of Grapes Hotel

Location: 401 Pleasant Street South, Ballarat Central
Vibe: Family Friendly
Outdoor Area: Outside playground
Dedicated Menu: Classic Pub menu with lunch specials and HUGE Parma selection

Regardless of the conflicting stories on establishment dates, with the exterior signage claiming 1906 and documentation stating 1868 when J. Currell was the publican, Bunch of Grapes Hotel has a rich history as a pub in Ballarat. Sourcing local produce to serve their extensive classic pub menu, including lunch specials and a whopping selection of Parma toppings, Bunch of Grapes has a strong focus on its wider Ballarat community, providing a family-friendly setting suitable to every patron.

Hop Temple

Location: 24-28 Armstrong Street North, Ballarat Central
Vibe: Relaxed atmosphere
Outdoor Area: Hop Lanes iconic umbrella entrance
Dedicated Menu: 220 craft beers and ciders, from the pit and pizzas

There is a reason Hop Temple is an award-winning venue. Perhaps it’s the converted stable setting, or that they have created a magical entrance experience through the hidden Hop Laneway, lined with a vibrant umbrellas ceiling, or maybe it’s their gigantic craft beer and cider collection, over 220 strong, the largest range in Victoria. Regardless, Hop Temple worships great beer, food and company, and it shows!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Hop Temple (@hoptemple)

Oscars Hotel and Cafe Bar

Location: 18 Doveton Street South, Ballarat Central
Vibe: Classy pub
Outdoor Area: Beer Garden
Dedicated Menu: Upper-Class Pub

Originally the Criterion Hotel, a staple venue in the gold rush era, Oscars Hotel and Cafe Bar have redefined their existence by establishing an unparalleled state of the art facility and experience. With quality food, drinks, settings and hospitality service, Oscars Hotel and Cafe Bar is not only a favourite local spot but a major tourist attraction to out-of-towners.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Oscars Hotel Ballarat (@oscarshotel)

Roy Hammond

Location: 24-28 Armstrong St N, Ballarat Central
Vibe: Quirky Korean snack bar specialising in gin, whisky and cocktails 
Outdoor Area: Street seating 
Dedicated Menu: Next level gin, whiskey and wine selection, delicious Asian-inspired food

Roy Hammond is a warmly lit treasure trove of wine, spirits and cocktails. The incredibly quirky boutique bar features recycled furniture and dozens of birdcages are strung from the ceiling and over 100 gins and 100 whiskies displayed behind the bar. Serving up a stellar menu of Asian food, like Korean fried chicken, dumplings, bao and banh mi, you’ll also find the most knowledgeable bartenders who can make pretty much anything you like.  This place books out most weekends so make a reservation.

Ellington’s Wine Bar

Location: 405A Sturt St, Ballarat Central
Vibe: Sophisticated European-style neighbourhood bar
Outdoor Area: Rooftop 
Dedicated Menu: Wine, and seasonal, flexible and  locally sourced food 

In what is Ballarat’s first wine bar with a rooftop, Ellington’s Wine Bar is an independent cutesy European-inspired neighbourhood bar located in the heart of Ballarat. It combines a bottle shop and rooftop with views onto Sturt Street and features a carefully curated selection of local and international wines that complement a seasonal menu of small, shared plates.