February 15, 2023
6 mins Read
With more than 20 pubs and breweries around the city, it’s safe to say that a great pub in this ultimate guide to Townsville is easy to come by. Whether your choice of tipple is an iconic XXXX, a locally brewed craft beer or an artfully made cocktail, these watering holes have it all, along with some of the best pub food in Townsville, too.
One of the best positions in Townsville to enjoy a sundowner, the Seaview Hotel is perched on The Strand with views of the sparkling Coral Sea.
It reopened in early 2022 after an extensive renovation that saw the historic 1929 pub given a fresh façade, contemporary interiors, a new sports bar, and a spacious beer garden with plenty of shady spots to relax.
Enjoy pub favourites (pizzas, burgers, steak, schnitzel) as well as some wholesome salads and vegetarian options, with the soundtrack of live music at the weekends.
What’s on? Live music Friday to Sunday
Smack-bang in the CBD, near Reef HQ and the Museum of Tropical Queensland, Molly Malone dubs itself ‘Townsville’s favourite Irish Pub’. It’s not hard to see why: it’s everything you expect from an Irish pub – cosy interiors with dark-panelled wood, Irish stout on tap and plenty of craic to be had.
Order a beef and Guinness pie, a crumbed steak or a kilo of chicken wings to share and enjoy the regular entertainment including open mic comedy and live Irish music.
What’s on? Acoustic sessions on Friday afternoons, live music every Friday and Saturday, open mic comedy every second Thursday, Irish jam sessions on the second Saturday of each month, and trivia every Thursday.
Swapping postage for a pale ale, the former Townsville General Post Office, a historic 1886 building complete with a clocktower, became the Townsville Brewery in 2001. Choose a frothy from its core range, which includes a Great Barrier Reef Gose, created using pristine water from the reef to provide a slight saltiness, or sample one of the limited edition tap beers.
The onsite tavern is an English-style pub with cosy booths, while Restaurant 1889 has a modern Australian menu that is a nod to the building’s post office history.
What’s on? Trivia every Wednesday
Not much has changed at ‘The Commy’, a pub built in 1901 for people to come and enjoy cold beers, a hot meal and a place to lay their heads for the night. Except for perhaps the menu, which now features Korean dishes such as karaage chicken, Korean pork and Korean beef salad alongside its classics.
Relax on the upstairs verandah or nab a table in the outdoor beer garden so the kids can run around the grassed area and playground (what more could a parent ask for?). There’s also a cafe for dine-in and takeaway coffee and breakfast.
What’s on? Kids eat free every Wednesday, live music from Friday to Sunday
This hip bolthole feels more like an intimate bar than a pub; styled with dim lighting, exposed brick walls, leather furniture and bow-tied bar staff. Housed in the former Exchange Hotel established in 1881, Heritage Exchange‘s refurbished space also includes an eclectic Rum Garden that’s ideal for balmy nights of revelry under festoon lighting.
The food menu features pizzas and charcuterie, but the whiskey menu is where it’s at, an extensive selection that will take your tastebuds on a world tour.
What’s on? Trivia on Tuesdays, Latin dancing on Thursdays, live music on Saturdays and Sundays.
Serving beers since 1888, The Australian Hotel was one of the first pubs in Townsville. The family-owned pub is located south of the CBD and has a classic pub menu with weekly specials such as Tuesday Steak Day, Pot and Parmie Wednesdays and Free oyster Fridays, which are shucked right at your table.
Sit streetside or take a seat in the charming courtyard out-back for relaxed dining and drinking.
What’s on? Check the Facebook page for live music announcements.
Named for the city’s peak that is but a few feet short of a mountain, Tiny Mountain Brewery celebrates all that is local to Townsville. It has seven beers in its core range, including Magnetic IPA (after the tropical island a short ferry ride away), Hamilton Island Lager (the Whitsunday isle a little further south) and Cowboys Castle German Kolsch (after the local NRL footy team).
There are also limited-edition beers – at the time of writing the Sour Quencher was inspired by Berliner Weisse and features passionfruit, guava and blood orange flavours. Keep hunger pangs at bay with bites such as fried chicken, a grazing board and loaded sandwiches.
What’s on? Tap Trade Out on Sundays from 8pm (to help reduce waste when the brewery clears its beer lines), trivia every Wednesday, brewery tours every Saturday (bookings essential)
Located in the bustling City Lane dining and retail precinct, The Taphouse serves up a rotating selection of craft beers on tap from Australia’s best independent craft brewers.
There are always bottled and canned beer in the fridge, too, alongside cider and wine, and a delicious cocktail menu (spicy margs, dark ‘n’ stormy and espresso martini make the cut).
When it comes to food, the menu is a selection of small, medium and big plates to share (think fish tacos, pork belly, brisket or a butcher’s block share board), as well as salads, burgers and a kid’s menu.
What’s on? Check their Facebook page for live music announcements.
This state heritage-listed pub has been welcoming locals and travellers alike since it opened its doors in 1885. Overlooking the Townsville Showgrounds, the corner West End Hotel still retains much of its old-world features, such as its original balcony.
The bistro has an extensive menu featuring much-loved pub grub such as steak and ribs, chicken carbonara, salt and pepper calamari and a whole parmi section.
What’s on? Check the Facebook page for live music announcements.
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There’s always something new happening in Townsville. Maggie Island Brewery is another option. A short ferry ride away.