Very cheap eats: The Charles Dickens Tavern

Charles Dickens Tavern290 Collins Street, Melbourne Tel. 9654 1821

I’ve got a confession to make: I have a dark, secret, guilty pleasure.

I love bangers and mash.

There, I’ve said it. So what do we do about it, now that it’s out in the open? Well, I’ll let you in on the secret of where to get some of the best ones in Melbourne.And the best ones I have ever eaten are at the Charles Dickens Tavern. I really don’t want to make such a spurious claim for something so simple, but I want to throw down the gauntlet, challenging anyone for what they believe to be their favorites.

How much for this, you might ask? Why, only $10.50. Good to see that some things never change.

The Charles Dickens Tavern is an old-fashioned pub, English themed, with plasma screens for sports. Regardless, it’s cosy and quiet. It’s the sort of place you can get away to for conversations when you just want to be left alone. They have a restaurant as well (which is also quite cheap), but I’ve never strayed from the bar area, where they have seating for 30 people with a lot of space between tables. The barman alone gives it a warm, familiar feel – delivering the meals, asking how they were, with a very happy “yum-yum” when he brings the meals over. Yum yum, indeed.

As you can see from the prices, they haven’t changed in years. But that’s OK, that’s just how i like it. This is a nostalgic trip ladies and gentleman, and for a country boy, this makes me feel right at home. It’s not going to win any awards, and there certainly isn’t any foam or Escoffier meals on the menu, but on a cold winters day, when all you want is a quiet meal somewhere warm with friends and good company, this is it.