Botany View Hotel
The front bar of Newtown’s Botany View Hotel felt a bit like a scene from Cheers. For the locals, it’s clearly a place where everybody knows your name. Drink specials abound: from ten-buck Aperol Spritzes “all day every day”, to twelve-buck jugs of mainstream beers, or a bottled selection of craftier options.
Vic on the Park
In my ever-widening search for a pub with something different, I’m forced to admit I might have misjudged the humble slider. This fast-paced yellow kitchen - clearly delineated with a suitably hipster font - produces four winning Sliders ($20/4) from a repertoire of six.
Ribs & Burgers
Confession time: I find butchers, butchers’ aprons, Berkel meat slicers and sharp knives rather exciting. However it was still disconcerting to find out my dining companion had a Hungarian butcher doppelganger - a brother-from-another-mother - whose image loomed over our table.
Royal Hotel Randwick
This stately two-storey heritage listed hotel looks like a country pub. Built in 1887, it’s wrapped by wide verandahs. The downstairs one is the perfect place to sink a ten-buck Frozen Margarita ($10) on a sunny day, watching the people of Randwick pass by.
Queens Park Shed
New is out, converted is in. A disused sports shed in Centennial Park is the latest ‘found café’ to emerge in the fields of Queens Park. The space is modern and airy, while maintaining the integrity of its past through rustic finishes, quirky light fittings, and a gorgeous water station that employs the original pipes.