Borsch Vodka & Tears

4.6
80 reviews
$40 and under
Polish
Borsch, Vodka and Tears is a Melbourne institution currently celebrating 20 years at the colourful end of Chapel Street. Styled after a Kraków cellar bar, Borsch is a romantic Bohemian enclave, the home of the Green Faery, an ode to a hazy and debauched bygone world. We specialise in Polish vodka, vodka-centric interpretations of classic and modern cocktails, authentic wormwood absinthe, Eastern European beers, contemporary Polish dishes and late night fun times.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
  • Contactless payment available
Physical distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Extra space between tables
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Contact tracing information collected
What 80 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
Food
4.5
Service
4.4
Ambience
4.4
Value
Noise · Energetic
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OT
OpenTable Diner
2 reviews
Dined on 15 January 2022
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience4

Awesome polish food
It’s a party vibe with loud music pumping - what you would expect for chapel street

Would recommend for a dinner with friends or before a big night out. Not really a sit down and have a formal type of place.

A
Anon
1 review
Dined on 15 January 2022
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience4

I’ve been here before and I loved it, but when my partner and I went the last time, we did not enjoy it near as much.

There was one waiter who was lovely and was very friendly, with prompt service.

Otherwise, we felt rushed by the other waiters sweeping into collect our plates while we were still eating. They constantly kept looking over at us, again making us feel rushed. The cocktails did not taste anywhere as good or strong, and the ginger beer was flat in my drinks. The pierogi were divine (though expensive) and pork was great too, with no complaints at all. However the bread basket had three 1/2 pieces of stale bread (when previously they had a better, fresh selection), the cabbage rolls were cold.

Overall for the price tag of the restaurant, the quality of the service and food/drinks, we would say save your money and try elsewhere! It’s a shame because we used to like this place.

OT
OpenTable Diner
2 reviews
Dined on 14 January 2022
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Food was delicious, cocktails were great, relaxed service from staff who knew their product (even the waiter who had only been there 2 shifts)

NM
NicoleM
1 review
Dined on 9 January 2022
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Haven’t been here for a while due to lockdowns etc and it was every bit as good as I remembered.

The food and service was great. My visiting parents were impressed and want to go back when they visit again.

RM
RichardM
1 review
Dined on 30 December 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Delicious food … great Menu …. Friendly staff 🙂🙂🙂

TJ
TomaszJ
1 review
Dined on 26 December 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Great atmosphere and the best pierogi in my life! Highly recommended!

JM
JosieM
1 review
Dined on 26 December 2021
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Great service, great food. Thank you staff for opening during Christmas/New Year and doing it with such good cheer. Will definitely be back.

H
Honka
1 review
Dined on 24 December 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We went there around 6 pm on a Friday, quite busy but the staff was handling everything very well. Food was amazing, awesome atmosphere. Recommend

MB
MarissaB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 23 December 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Always such a reliable favourite, the food was an absolute delight as usual and thoroughly enjoyed by me and my partner. Slowly working my way through the vodka, but are many more to go yet, so guess I need many more visits.

I
Isobel
1 review
Dined on 21 December 2021
Overall2Food3Service1Ambience2

no focus on service (probably an under staffed team but it was literally a Tuesday night) vodka shots are not a 30ml pour and no marked transparency on the actual size of the pour. Spent $80 on shots and didn’t get a buzz.

traditionally we polish shot with our food and this resulted in a serve of Ruski pierogi waiting on our table for 20 minutes while we waited for another 2 serving plates of vodka shots. When I finally decided it was time to enquire on the hold up we were told they had of course forgotten our order.
another food order came out incorrect (meat pierogi instead of veg)
Won’t be back again but used to love this place!

great sauerkraut tho!
Just dont come for the service or expect them to remember your order! LOL


nie dobrze!
But happy Wigilia all the same!

N
Natalyat
1 review
Dined on 18 December 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience3

Amazing food! Pierogi just like my baba use to make!

JF
JarrodF
1 review
Dined on 12 December 2021
Overall2Food5Service1Ambience4

Food was great, service was not the best. Drinks were lovely

NN
NickN
1 review
Dined on 11 December 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The food was incredible and the wait staff were all really enthusiastic and helpful. The vodka tasters were fantastic too - really can’t wait to go back

JB
JohnB
1 review
Dined on 3 December 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

The place was buzzing when we got there, however the restaurant is well-organised to cope. The wait staff are personable and prompt. The food is delicious and the cocktails great!

MJ
MirandaJayne
1 review
Dined on 26 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Our absolute go-to! Every cocktail is to die for!! With amazing customer service, you’ll be a regular too in no time!

JB
JadeB
1 review
Dined on 21 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We were regulars if after the tears and as much as we miss it we were very happy with our recent dinning experience

JH
JacintaH
1 review
Dined on 21 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Such a lovely place to eat and drink, phenomenal food. Great ambience. Highly recommend.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 21 November 2021
Overall3Food1Service5Ambience2

We’ve been coming to this restaurant over last 10 years, every time we are in Melbourne. Last night was disappointing apart from the service. The food was bland. The atmosphere lacking, half the menu was unavailable and two of the party were sick after. The only redeeming feature of the whole evening was the excellent and light service provided by the staff.

KD
KathyD
1 review
Dined on 21 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great atmosphere, great food, vodka tasting board delish. definitely go again.

LX
LukasX
1 review
Dined on 18 November 2021
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience1

Current density limits meant the only booking space for two left was outside. With the passing crowds on Chapel Street providing the expected levels of noise, a table of extremely loud fellow customers who were yelling over each other to be heard, made conversation between two people opposite each other nigh on impossible. The group were obviously friends of the staff, so they were made even more rambunctious by the wait-staff's presence. We did consider cancelling our meals and cutting our visit short, but persevered.
While I have always loved BV&T, this visit was less that enjoyable.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
3 reviews
Dined on 12 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Lovely date night

AS
AmandaS
2 reviews
Dined on 10 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

I love this place and the staff are always happy, polite and welcoming. The food is delicious and well presented.
The list of drinks is very good as long as you like vodka and vodka based cocktails - which is how it should be!
It has a great vibe and ambiance

M
Maxx
Edinburgh
1 review
Dined on 6 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

On Saturday, I went to Borsch, Vodka & Tears for a first date. It's located in the throbbing heart of Chapel Street, besides several other top tier restaurants and bars.

The menu was vast, but the waiters were very knowledgable, which made the experience intriguing rather than overwhelming.

The date wasn't exceptional, but the venue was. Highly recommended, though if you're hard of hearing, the outside area might be too loud for your tastes.

N
Neil
9 reviews
Dined on 2 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Love coming back to Borsch, Vodka and Tears - amazing cocktails, great service and such unique and delicious food. Great decor and ambience too. Noise levels are not off the scale compared to many venues nearby. No surprise that BVT has been such a success for so long in the Windsor foodie strip. Thanks!

KB
KimB
1 review
Dined on 2 November 2021
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

Fresh, hearty Polish-style food. Excellent service.

L
Lomax
1 review
Dined on 30 October 2021
Overall4Food5Service3Ambience4

Amazing food and Vodka. Especially the horseradish Vodka.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
9 reviews
Dined on 30 October 2021
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience3

Loved our time here. All of the food, especially the pierogi was delicious, however the cabbage rolls were flavourless and desperately needed salt. It had definitely more of a bar vibe which I wasn’t expecting so the music was quite loud and having a conversation was difficult but loved it nevertheless. Good price too!

K
Karenfromtheblock
1 review
Dined on 30 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing cocktails and food, coupled with fantastic staff. I’ll be going back again ASAP!

EH
EmmaH
1 review
Dined on 30 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Great service! Lovely dinner. Was a little loud in the restaurant but otherwise was great!

KL
KarenL
1 review
Dined on 30 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

You must go here! The food and vodka were exquisite. As a vodka novice, I actually recommend the huntsman tasting tray over the beginner’s, since it’s a little sweeter. Absolutely everything on the menu is delicious.

JV
JuulVennekens
1 review
Dined on 3 August 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Superb food and cocktails, plenty of vegetarian/vegan options for a good price! Staff is friendly and would highly recommend anyone to buzz in and have a taste.

a
annep
1 review
Dined on 6 July 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Wonderful hearty winter food. Our waitress helped with our selection as it was our first time dining here. All meals were wonderful

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 6 July 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

BVT is an old favourite of mine. As reliable as home cooking. Fantastic food on a cold winter’s night.

L
Leslie
3 reviews
Dined on 1 July 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great place, AMAZING cocktails! Will definitely be back.

TS
TristanS
1 review
Dined on 30 June 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing food drink and service I’ll be coming back :)

JS
JemS
1 review
Dined on 26 June 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

This is honestly one of the best restaurants I've been to. The atmosphere is lovely, the food was loved by all 8 of us (Even the picky eaters). The drinks were spectacular, specifically loved the Moonshine Southside and Serenity Now. It was for my birthday dinner, and multiple people at the table mentioned that they loved the place so much they wanted to have their own birthday dinners there. Honestly couldn't recommend it enough, Chapel was too busy to find a bar afterwards but on a quieter day the location would be perfect for it. Big thank you to the staff as well, keen to come back asap.

JR
JoanneR
1 review
Dined on 26 June 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing service with happy friendly staff. Cocktails were brilliant! Polish food absolutely delicious. I will definitely be back.

PN
PhillipN
1 review
Dined on 24 June 2021
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

Great service, everyone from floor to behind the bar were wonderful, I really looked like they enjoyed what they were doing and wanted the best for all patrons. The selection of drinks is impressive and would take many, many visits to try even half of what's available. The 3 we has were all wonderful. The food was really hearty only a couple outside our pallet. Wonderful night. Highly recommended.

J
Jord
1 review
Dined on 24 June 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The staff, led by the amiable and hospitable Callum, are so polite and wonderful. The drinks and food are all very yummy, particularly the house specials Grapefruit Margs. I love frequenting this fine establishment.

OS
OlgaSev
2 reviews
Dined on 23 June 2021
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience4

Used to be one of my ultimate favourites, but they seem to have updated their menu and it really lacks that authentic Eastern European flavour. My Ukrainian mum did not agree that gnocchi should be seen in a stroganoff…

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Borsch Vodka & Tears using the Order Online button.

Borsch Vodka & Tears is rated 4.6 stars by 80 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.