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.
Le Pub Balmain
As I got stuck into an excellent crusty French-bread take on Sydney’s obsession with miniaturisation - Le Petit Dog ($6) with lamb shoulder, lime labne, green chilli jam and coriander - the ladies at the next table mused: “I guess if I order a Grilled Chicken Salad ($18), I won’t feel so bad about the wine.”
While the outward facelift hadn’t attracted my attention, the steampunk interior of this Pyrmont stalwart made me smile. From boilerplate bar, to repurposed materials like cracked leather stools and a railway signboard listing two dozen on-tap Aussie craft brews, it was hard to take it all in!
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.