Your top 20 Bendigo pub picks revealed | Photos

When the Bendigo Advertiser asked readers to name their favourite pub, you weren't short of an answer, with almost 50 hotels shortlisted for the best watering hole. 

But none proved as popular as the Queens Arms, which has taken top spot in the online poll of 1800 people.  

The hotel, on the corner of Olinda and Russell streets in Quarry Hill, came out just two votes ahead of High Street pub the National.

A close third was Braidie's Tavern, which won almost 8 per cent of the public's votes. 

For Queens Arms owner Cal Francis, the win was a reward for seven years' hard work in the taxing hospitality industry.

He juggled the job with parenting his three children, aged six, four and two. 

"There's a lot (of people) that leave this line of work quickly, because they thought it was easier," he said. 

But the social side of the job was another reason the long hours were worth enduring, he said. 

Secret to pub’s success

Asked what he thought secured victory for the Queens Arms, Mr Francis said: "The friendly nature of the place. 

"It's a really wholesome, welcoming place to come to.

"Also, being just outside of town has got its advantages; we're just far enough away."

The hospitality business in Bendigo had changed since Mr Francis arrived at the Queens Arms, with the publican observing there was much more competition now, especially from cafes. 

But the central Victorian city's burgeoning foodie culture meant diners were willing to try new places and there were also fresh faces coming in to the Queens Arms. 

"It means you have to stay on top of the game and try and be innovative," he said.

He also made the effort to visit other pubs and check out the competition.