Builders Arms Hotel Bistro

4.4
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292 reviews
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$41 to $100
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Australian
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 292 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
Food
4.4
Service
4.1
Ambience
4.0
Value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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d
Bath
5 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall3Food3Service2Ambience4

Stopped by for a family birthday meal. Bistro was 80% full but service was a bit haphazard. Had to ask twice for empty wine glasses to be refilled and by the time we got the bill they had to bring the bottle over and leave it on the table with the remainder of the wine. Which we had to guzzle as the non-drinkers were ready to leave. Food was fine, but not much choice for the vegetarian amongst us (one fairly unexciting pasta main), and everything else was upscale pub food (burgers, steak and fish). $55 for an okay steak (bit overcooked) is the sort of price you might pay for a high end dining occasion. The $28 chicken parma was, well, a nice piece of crumbed chicken. None of the desserts jumped out at anyone notwithstanding it was a birthday occasion so we skipped and had some chocolate at home. In the end it was around $90-$100 per head for some shared nibbles and a main course (2 drinkers and 2 non-drinkers). I think for that money and a bit of an occasion next time we would go up the road to Cutler & Co, or for a more casual meal we would go to one of the many options nearby in Smith and Gertrude St. This seems a bit caught in between the two ends of the spectrum and therefore isn't quite offering a special occasion experience or a casual restaurant experience. Not a bad experience by any stretch, but not standout. Not sure in what circumstances I would go back.

OT
1 review
Dined on 17 January 2020
Overall3Food3Service5Ambience2

The food was fine, service was great but it was so noisy it was impossible for us to talk - there is zero ambiance

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on 17 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Fantastic vibe and beautiful food!!

GH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 5 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service3Ambience4

Yes it is an excellent place - food and service is exemplary with good acoustics in the bistro.

B
1 review
Dined on 5 January 2020
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

My wife and I enjoyed our meals very much noise level was not to bad
the menu was good with a good variety. Wine list extensive with some wines
overpriced wines by the glass were good.

R
Hawaii
19 reviews
Dined on 4 January 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience3

Good food and wine selection. It would have been nice to get complimentary bread for a dinner reservation. The fish pie is a highlight . Overall worth a return visit

BS
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 3 January 2020
Overall2Food1Service3Ambience1

This booking at Builders Arms Bistro was to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
It was a Friday evening and the Bistro was very noisy. Could not easily converse over a table for two.
I ordered the Rotisserie of the day which was Wagyu Beef. My mistake. The beef was so rare that I could not
tackle it. My partner ordered the vegetarian pasta dish which was reasonable but unexceptional.

GD
1 review
Dined on 31 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Came here for NYE with three friends. We had a wonderful night! Three of us had dietary requirements and they were so accommodating and knowledgeable. The food and wine were fantastic. Highly recommend it!

GW
1 review
Dined on 29 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

I have had two great meals here in late 2019 and both have been fantastic. Fresh, delicious flavours and great service.

OT
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on 27 December 2019
Overall3Food4Service2Ambience4

The food was definitely delicious. But the pace of food being served was a bit slow, the service was friendly but could definitely be improved.

RT
Melbourne / VIC
3 reviews
Dined on 20 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great food and the service was impeccable.
Highly recommend the pan fried trout.

M
London
1 review
Dined on 17 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great food and good value. Chicken Parma delicious.

TM
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 1 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing service, staff was knowledgable and attentive. Food all on point, came in perfect timing. Winning all around.

OT
1 review
Dined on 25 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great steak night

l
1 review
Dined on 8 November 2019
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience3

Having visited the BAHB from Sydney over many years we have always enjoyed dining in the Bistro. This time we were disappointed at the very noisy environment and less than exciting menu and food. Whilst the service was excellent and attentive the food was underwhelming. The duck was not up to expectations and the fish pie had more sauce than fish. The wine list was excellent however and the bar menu looked great. The waiters were well informed and welcoming and we will certainly return. Hopefully the Builders Arms will be more like it was a few years ago. Fingers crossed.

LA
1 review
Dined on 3 November 2019
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

I very much enjoyed my lunch at the Bistro. The atmosphere was relaxed and I really appreciated the low noise level. It was refreshing to have a meal and be able to chat with friends easily. The service was friendly and prompt and the food was great.

E
1 review
Dined on 18 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

I have eaten at the Builders Arms bistro a few times. The food and service is always excellent. The chocolate mousse and the jam rolly polly were both delicious desserts to share, comfort and make you smile. 😊

KG
1 review
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We had a group of 13 and everyone provided fabulous feedback. From the phone booking and follow up conversations prior to our lunch the sergvice was exremely accomodating and friendly. The service on the day and ambience was fantastic, however the food was the highlight - amazing!
Thanks again for a great day.

K
1 review
Dined on 29 September 2019
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience3

An amazing local. Food is superb. Staff are attentive and you don't feel at all rushed, even though it's busy. The specials are worth considering - beef pie was awesome. The menu has something for everyone.

GP
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 26 September 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

It was amazing and it’s been an ongoing faithful place all these years, it’s never let me down for a place to pick for a get together with friends. Food was on point last Thursday night.

JM
London
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2019
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience3

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
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience3

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
Overall3Food5Service3Ambience2

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
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Great food and the staff were faultless. Great night

DO
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

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
2 reviews
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience5

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

JK
Sydney / NSW
2 reviews
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall1Food4Service1Ambience3

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
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience3

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
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

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
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

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
Overall2Food2Service2Ambience1

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

JD
1 review
Dined on 4 August 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

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
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience4

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

BR
Brisbane / QLD
4 reviews
Dined on 13 July 2019
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience3

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
Overall3Food4Service3Ambience1

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
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience3

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

n
Melbourne / VIC
3 reviews
Dined on 20 June 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

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

AS
Sydney / NSW
2 reviews
Dined on 2 June 2019
Overall3Food4Service4Ambience2

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
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

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
Overall4Food2Service4Ambience4

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