Builders Arms Hotel Bistro

4.1
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272 reviews
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$41 to $100
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Australian
Top tags:
  • Casual
  • Sunday Lunch
  • Lunch
The Builders Arms Hotel is a historic pub on Gertrude Street Fitzroy, where the public bar has been whetting the whistle of locals since 1853. Housing a Public Bar, Bistro, private dining spaces and a courtyard, the Builders Arms Hotel is a regular meeting place for drinks and meals to be shared.

The Bistro is our welcoming dining room offering generous table service and a menu focused on classic, seasonal dishes with our wood-fired rotisserie informing much of what we cook. Expect pub classics, seasonal specials, dishes to share, oysters, charcuterie, and everything that relaxed dining and drinking calls for.

The Bistro is open for dinner Wednesday to Sunday and lunch Friday to Sunday.

Private Dining

The Builders Arms Hotel offers flexible dining options that can be tailored to your unique event, regardless of size or celebration.

View Private Dining Details
What 272 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.2
Food
4.1
Service
4.0
Ambience
3.8
Value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JM
London
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 3

Our second visit within 6 weeks took friends they enjoyed it very much . They would come back

MM
London
1 review
Dined on 1 September 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

The Builders Arms is definitely worth a visit, unfortunately we went on a busy night. Service was attentive, food was lovely, but regrettably not one person had hot food - merely warm and the price too high for what was received.

GM
1 review
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 3Food 5Service 3Ambience 2

Fabulous food, especially the vegetable-based entrees and sides. But the noise level was pretty unbearable. We were only two and I moved to sit beside my companion when we were between courses to give us a rest from shouting.

AM
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Great food and the staff were faultless. Great night

DO
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

What a treat to revisit the Builders Arms bistro on Sat night.
Great food combined with top service is always a winner!

C
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

Great night out in great surroundings . Service and food first cladd

JK
Sydney / NSW
2 reviews
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall 1Food 4Service 1Ambience 3

The staff that worked in the bistro on the day need training
The young man that serviced us was all over the shop and hard to get a drink
The young lady working WOW how rude,3 time I tried to make contact with her to say
"ha could you please ask your friend about our drinks"
with only 6-8 people there she was so put out the poor girl, and her body language to the guy service us was disgusting.
Food Great thanks ....Service Crap

CB
1 review
Dined on 15 August 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 3

The wines available by the glass could be better. Food was ok, but not what I'd expect for the price point. The lighting is almost non-existent in the bistro... I noted diners at the table next to us were using the torch on their mobile phones to read the menu. Somewhat disappointing evening, although the service was good.

HR
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

We visit Melbourne regularly, but tend to frequent CBD establishments. My wife read a review of the Builders Arms and decided we would catch the tram and try something different. A pleasant surprise. A busy, energetic venue with great staff and good food. Even though it was very busy the staff took time to explain the menu. We arrived about 20 minutes early and checked our reservation. THEY apologised for not having a table ready and provided a seat and complimentary drinks while we waited. Now that's service, especially as we were imposing on them.

CB
Melbourne / VIC
5 reviews
Dined on 9 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Great night at the pub with excellent food served by very friendly staff. Noise levels were high but we expected that on a Friday night and the meals and wine were all delivered quickly and were delicious.

JG
1 review
Dined on 9 August 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 1

Food could be described as pretentious, costly and failed to meet expectations.

JD
1 review
Dined on 4 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The best pub meal in town. The food is fresh and delicious and the service is always excellent

BH
1 review
Dined on 21 July 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Cosy and attractive bistro with wonderful food - lots of flavour and generous servings. Excellent service from impeccable, attentive waiters.

BR
Brisbane / QLD
2 reviews
Dined on 13 July 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 3

Saturday lunch in the bistro did not disappoint. The coq au vin special was outstanding.

Dont miss the Baker Bleu sourdough to start to the meal. Our five year old demolished it the proceeded to mop up his napoli sauce with it.

Service was attentive and well trained as per all McConnell venues and there was no problem in getting us to the nearby matinee performance within the hour.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 5 July 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 1

Food was ok, but the space was average - couldn’t hear a thing - acoustics so bad in the space that we resorted to texting one another as we couldn’t stand yelling across the table to be heard. Not going back anytime soon unfortunately. Staff recognized it was an issue and said they had taken it up with management but nothing had been done. Definitely not the nicest night out.

SM
Brisbane / QLD
2 reviews
Dined on 21 June 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 3

Great night out - very noisy but staff went the extra mile

n
Melbourne / VIC
3 reviews
Dined on 20 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Simple things done so so well. So hearty. Best carrots I have ever had....

AS
Sydney / NSW
2 reviews
Dined on 2 June 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 4Ambience 2

We were seated beside two swinging doors which opened continuously. One member of our party had to get up constantly to shut the doors. Also when open, a cold breeze wafted through and this definitely distracted us and reduced the ambiance of the Bistro.

OT
Melbourne / VIC
3 reviews
Dined on 30 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We brought friends from San Francisco to experience a great pub meal & we all thoroughly enjoyed the it. Thank you

OT
1 review
Dined on 24 May 2019
Overall 4Food 2Service 4Ambience 4

very expensive for what it is.
Waiter was not clear and was difficult to understand.
Certainly won’t be returning anytime soon.

OT
1 review
Dined on 19 May 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 4

Been here many times and the food is always amazing. We unfortunately had a waitress this time that was unfriendly and we felt that we put her out every time she came to our table!

PR
1 review
Dined on 19 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We are coming back. Serves you right for doing such a great job

OT
1 review
Dined on 3 May 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 4Ambience 2

Great food and wine, and service, but had a number of different servers. The interiors were warm and comfortable in a modern setting. Only criticism is the how noisy it was, despite, the floor being carpeted. It is possibly due to the size of the larger round tables, where people had to shout to be heard across the table and this collectively made it difficult to talk even on a smaller table of four. I will return but maybe on a not so busy and noisy night mid week.

BK
1 review
Dined on 21 April 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

Thank you we had a good experience , friendly staff , interesting menu and great food

LC
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 22 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We enjoyed the lunch at the buildersarms very much
The food was beautiful and perfect for the lunch time get together.
A few girls had to make changes to what was on the menu
This was taken care of without a hitch
Again a few girls needed to change the wine which was offered as part of the express menu
Again this is as done with minimal ease
It was so lovely
Thankyou fir looking after my gluten free friend we had an amazing time
Thanks once again
We will be back
Louise Cullinan

JA
London
2 reviews
Dined on 13 March 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 2

Food was average. I had steak that was tough. I asked for medium rare and struggled to see any pink. Had to order at the bar as they had a trivia night on in a room at the back. Very noisy with loud music even before that function started. Menu choices didn't inspire. Staff were very pleasant. Standards have slipped. Not up to my last experience a few years ago. Disappointing.

PM
Melbourne / VIC
3 reviews
Dined on 9 March 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Booking the Restaurant Express lunch was a lovely way to make the acquaintance of this fine venue. Relaxed but charming, excellent service and delicious food made a great impression on us. We'll be back!

KK
1 review
Dined on 22 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great place .Food was excellent.Highly recommend the chicken parmigiana or the seafood hot pot .Great friendly service

MJ
Melbourne / VIC
3 reviews
Dined on 17 February 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Good pub style meals with friendly staff and comprehensive wine list. But we didn’t get any bread!

N
1 review
Dined on 10 February 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 4Ambience 5

The fish pie was utterly disappointing and overpriced.

The other dishes were nice.

TW
1 review
Dined on 19 January 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

there is a great variety in menu options and the table service was fast - excellent experience

L
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 5 January 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Cannot fault the food and the wine list was great. Wonderful atmosphere and service. Only drawback was the closeness of the tables along the window side - extremely close and the group next to us took the opportunity to interrupt our conversation repeatedly, telling us how wonderful their child was and to look at his drawings!! Not the fault of the establishment but maybe if the tables were a little more spaced it would have made this not so easy to do. A minor blemish in an otherwise great night.

DS
1 review
Dined on 4 January 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 3Ambience 1

The service, food and drinks were great. The noise however made communication a real challenge. We left with our ears ringing and exhausted from our efforts to communicate. Not recommended for anyone planning a serious or intimate conversation!

NF
London
10 reviews
Dined on 26 December 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Very decent neighbourhood restaurant. Great food.

JC
1 review
Dined on 26 December 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 3Ambience 2

We were very disappointed with bistro, having gone there on Boxing Day evening on a friend's recommendation. Apart from the noise level, we found the food to be uninspiring and over-priced. In particular, the mulloway dish main course was over-cooked and over-priced given the miniscule volume for a main dish.

m
1 review
Dined on 10 December 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 4

it was monday lunch so not many patrons BUT they placed another couple right next to us with minimal space between tables such that the waiters backside was in our face whenever she was serving them, and there were dozens of empty tables they could have been seated at.!! So being a bit quieter there was no background buzz to mask our separate conversations. Seems the staff on the floor had no discretion in seating us. Very upsetting.

ND
1 review
Dined on 8 December 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Good gastro pub and food is excellent but serves are small and prices are on the high side.
That's why it is so busy on Monday and Tuesday specials nights

EN
1 review
Dined on 8 December 2018
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 1

Confused and understaffed service. Entrees can our 5 minutes apart. First bottle of wine not available (after a 20 minute wait), next bottle of red was fizzing in the glass and the third was corked. By which time we’d finished our meals without a drink and nothing offered in way of apology or compensation.

PD
1 review
Dined on 7 December 2018
Overall 1Food 3Service 3Ambience 1

Insanely loud in the dining room on a Friday night

MB
1 review
Dined on 7 December 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 2Ambience 1

Unfortunately we had a negative experience. 2 weeks before Xmas - had to wait 45 minutes for our table - the hotel was completely understaffed, the food was poor, salads forgotten. Drinks were slow with repeated requests t staff for items missing from the table and service. Totally appreciate it was Xmas but our reservation was in the system - which seemed impossible to locate by the several staff who were getting pulled from pillar to post.

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