18 December 2015
For pub-hopping of an outdoor kind, here’s a short guide that shows you a few angles of a multi-faceted city, with a beer, wine or cocktail in hand. Start at the beach, travel deep into the home of Sydney’s live music scene and finish at the heart of the city.
The Watson’s Bay Hotel
1 Military Road, Watsons Bay
The Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel goes to the top of the list. The full package when it comes to outdoor entertaining in Sydney, the harbour side location, fresh seafood and a huge beer garden make it an experience not to be missed.
Since the only thing separating you from the water is a thin stretch of sand, it’s easy to hop on a ferry or catch a water taxi to the Rocks or Manly.
Of the venues on this list, it’s closest to the Beach Rd Hotel in Bondi, so if you’re thinking of spending your day by the water, you could fit them both in with ease.
The Beach Rd Hotel
71 Beach Rd, Bondi Beach
Off the main drag, and a ten-minute walk from the sand is this Bondi institution. It’s a pub you could start a bar crawl with, end a bar crawl with, or find yourself staying in all night. Downstairs is a sports bar, in the evening, the upstairs becomes a live venue for up and coming DJs and bands.
While the courtyard might not have the size of some other pubs, what it lacks in scale it more than makes up for in character. Doors open at midday, so swim first before walking over for a drink while the sun is at its peak and the salt still clings to your skin.
There’s plenty of beer and wine options available and a menu of Australian pub staples done well.
The Beresford Hotel
354 Bourke St, Surry Hills
Directly opposite the Beach Rd Hotel is a bus stop, the 389 will get you to Darlinghurst in half an hour. Here you’ll find the green tiled façade of the Beresford Hotel, a pub in a revamped, beautiful, art deco building. The courtyard is one of the biggest the city has to offer. Filled with green plants and glamorous people.
There’s beer, wine and cocktails aplenty, but it’s nice to settle in for the afternoon with the house special, a jug of Pimms and lemonade. For the hungry, the food offering is a step up from traditional pub fare, with a slight Italian influence.
Ample use is made of the outdoor area, from Sunday roasts to movie screenings.
The Courthouse Hotel
202 Australia St, Newtown
Twenty minutes from Darlinghurst is Newtown’s ‘The Courty’. The area is home to Sydney’s burgeoning live music scene and the clientele of this mostly-outdoor pub reflects that.
The drink of choice is cider by the jug, although plenty of local and craft beers are available on tap. It’s the perfect space to catch the last few moments of sun with friends, as day turns to night. If you find yourself staying for a burger, or fish and chips on a Wednesday, be sure to catch the crab-races. Even the most avowed non-punter will be hard pressed to resist a bet when they see hermit crabs travelling at speed.
102 Erskineville Rd, Erskineville
A ten-minute walk from the Courty, is the Erko, it’s name also shortened in true Australian tradition.
The heart of this suburb, the Erko’s colourful outdoor garden is the perfect place to soak in the strong community atmosphere. There’s a barbecue on the deck, which makes this neighborhood classic an ideal space to experience an Australian institution, the Sunday afternoon backyard barbeque.
18 Argyle St, The Rocks
When night hits, and you want to up the tempo, move on to The Argyle. Travel by train from Erskineville station, through the city and into The Rocks.
In an area steeped in history sits this distinctively modern venue, housed in a centuries old building with a cobblestone-covered courtyard. Wood fired pizza is the go for food, and there’s an impressive range of expertly crafted cocktails. DJs play house music while the historic walls around you come to life with playful lighting.
It’s the perfect place to end a daylong outdoor pub-crawl, however if you want to keep going, the Slip-Inn (111 Sussex St, Sydney NSW) is only moments away. It’s open till late, and it has a great courtyard too.