Bars & pubs with cosy fireplaces in Sydney

On a cold winter afternoon, one of the best places to be in Sydney is beside a roaring fire with a drink in hand. These are some of our favourite bars and pubs across the city for a cosy escape.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

May 2024 -
min read

Grain Bar, The Rocks 

This stylish bar at the base of the Four Seasons Hotel has one of the finest whisky collections in Australia. With over 200 bottles on the menu from Scotland to Japan and beyond, you’re sure to find the perfect dram to warm your bones on a cold winter night. Take a seat by the fireplace and admire the harbour views from the floor-to-ceiling windows. 

Credit: Grain Bar

Grain Bar, The Rocks

Duke of Clarence, CBD 

Step into a cosy slice of 18th-century London at the Duke of Clarence. Inspired by historic British taverns, its dimly lit and warmly welcoming. Grab a seat by the fire and order snacks like Scotch eggs, fish finger sandwiches, and salt and vinegar potatoes cooked in beef fat, or tuck in to a full English roast. 

Credit: The Duke of Clarence

The Duke of Clarence, Sydney CBD

The Hero of Waterloo, The Rocks 

The hand-chiselled sandstone walls of The Hero of Waterloo have kept both beer drinkers and rum smugglers warm for almost 180 years. This heritage-listed corner pub is one of the oldest in Sydney, and its warren of low-ceilinged rooms are lined with photos from its glory days. Settle in by the fire, listen to the live music and feel like a part of history. 

The Lord Dudley, Paddington 

Nestled in the leafy backstreets of Paddington, The Lord Dudley is all polished wood, deep green walls and rich fabrics. It’s reminiscent of an English country manor and has long been a favourite of British ex-pats who frequently gather to watch the rugby over a pint. The plush armchairs by the roaring fire are a prime position on a drab winter’s day. 

The Lord Dudley Hotel, Paddington

The Lord Dudley Hotel, Paddington

Lord Nelson Brewery, The Rocks 

Holding the titles of Sydney’s oldest continuously licensed hotel and Australia’s oldest pub brewery, the Lord Nelson is another piece of living history. The fireplace sits at the end of the main bar, keeping the room warm in any weather. Their award-winning natural ales are made using only malt, hops, yeast and water, and pair perfectly with a pie and mash or ploughman’s lunch. 

Couple enjoying food and drink at Lord Nelson Brewery, The Rocks

Lord Nelson Brewery, The Rocks

Charlie Parker’s, Paddington 

This dark and moody basement bar sits beneath Fred’s restaurant on Oxford Street and is the place for fireside drinks and snacks after work or late into the night. Stay warm with a pear punch cocktail, made from aged mead, white rum and cinnamon, or a glass of rich French Cotes du Rhone. 

Charlie Parker's - Credit: Merivale

Charlie Parker's - Credit: Merivale

The Old Fitzroy Hotel, Woolloomooloo 

The only remaining theatre pub in Australia, The Old Fitz (as it’s affectionately known) has been bringing together drinks and drama for more than 150 years. You’ll always find a crowd of locals gathered around the fireplace on a cold day, and on Sundays you can sit down for a roast with all the trimmings and a live jazz performance in front of the flickering flames. 

Credit: The Old Fitzroy Hotel

The Old Fitzroy Hotel, Woolloomooloo

The Doss House, The Rocks 

This underground speakeasy in Sydney’s oldest suburb has a colourful past – since the 1840s, the building had been home to a bootmaker, boarding house, doctor’s surgery and opium den, among others. Today, it’s a stylish bar specialising in whiskies, spirits and cocktails, best enjoyed on one of the overstuffed leather sofas in front of the restored sandstone fireplaces. 

Credit: The Doss House

The Doss House, The Rocks

The Glebe Hotel, Glebe 

Another of the city’s historic watering holes, The Glebe Hotel (formerly the Australian Youth Hotel) dates back to 1862 and has been given a tasteful modern spruce up. The owners have retained the two working fireplaces – sit down on the couch, sip a glass of mulled wine and challenge your friends to a game of Jenga. 

The Treehouse Hotel, North Sydney  

This eclectic, buzzy bar high above Miller Street is a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces for all seasons. In winter, you want a table in the main dining room, close to the artsy glass-walled fireplace. There’s a modern Australian menu, slick cocktail menu, and an endless array of art, sculptures and plant life to admire. 

The Treehouse Hotel - Credit: Green Moustache

The Treehouse Hotel - Credit: Green Moustache

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