The Unicorn Hotel
There’s no room for cultural cringe, because at the Unicorn they have a deep and enduring love for Australian. Please help yourself to some Jatz crackers and French onion dip. While everyone else is trying to be a European wine bar, a fine diner or a Montauk holiday home, here they’ve got a huge map of Australia across one wall and a prawn cocktail en route to your table.
The beautiful thing about this old boozer is that it’s a pub designed to facilitate a good time on your terms. Want to sit up at the bar with a huge plate of fish and chips and watch back-to-back AFL games? This is the best place for it.
Lots of Sydney pubs are throwing out the rule book when it comes to pub dining, but when we’re talking about a counter meal there’s certain criteria that need to be met. Once you’ve locked down the classics (which they have here) you can start to get a bit experimental. At the Erko they focus on low and slow smoked meats.
Cricketers Arms Hotel
Respecting your elders is very, very easy when the lessons they’re doling out are ‘how to have a good time without being a twat’ and the teacher is one of the best old boozers in Sydney. The Crix deserves a medal for its diplomatic skills that mean a truly confusing cross section of drinkers are all happy to pal it up around this ancient, ancient bar.
Location: Surry Hills
The Lansdowne Hotel
Long-running pub with American diner eats upstairs and weekly trivia and live rock bands downstairs.
The Welcome Hotel
It’s a truly great pub that manages to strike an easy balance between being a familiar, cosy watering hole and raising the bar where it counts. We don’t much mind what old timey art sits on the walls, or if the playlist forgoes Chisel for the Natalie Imbruglia on occasion, so long as a degree of extra care has been taken so that the craft beers on tap reflect the evolving boutique brewing scene in Sydney.
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