For all the money we pay for our Sydney abodes, it’s crazy that they (generally) don’t have fireplaces. Or if they do, they’re already blocked up and repurposed as a really handy place to store your shoes. So as the mercury drops, it’s human nature to seek out a pub to warm your hands by the hearth, gaze into the open flames, and try with all your might to transport yourself via the floo network a la Harry Potter (Note: do not actually try this. Fire is very hot.).
Quit the googling—we’ve done the hard work for you, guys. Here are Sydney’s best pubs with fireplaces to boot.
The Duck Inn Kitchen & Pub
We think they should consider renaming this place “DOGS AND FIREPLACES”, because aside from their A-plus refined pub food, there are often doggos hanging about and a fireplace to boot. So, if you can’t score a prime spot by the roaring fire, just you know, grab your pooch and snuggle hard.
Duke of Clarence
The Duke of Clarence pub is unapologetically British. The Victorian-era styled tavern is the type of place where you want to put on your plaid smoking jacket, pull out your pipe and smoke it. The premium real estate is the library (that’s where the fireplace magic is happening). The drinks menu clocks in at eighteen pages, including four pages of whiskeys, three pages of gins, and a longer than usual list of stickies. And, bless them, they do Pimm’s cups too. Their Sunday roast lunches are super-popular too—make sure you book!
The Hero of Waterloo
The Hero of Waterloo ticks a few excellent boxes: Sweet fireplace set up. A ghost-in-residence. And the most charming Sydney live pub band ever. The Old Time Band is legendary, playing trad-swing tunes and featuring the glowing vocalist, saxophonist and trumpeter Valda Marshall. She’s been part of the band since 1979, and is just the bee’s knees to watch.
The Lord Dudley
Get cosy in front of the fire at The Lord Dudley, with beer in hand—they have twenty beers on tap, so you can do the old hot-fire-cold-beer temperature dance. This corner pub is a Paddington institution, maybe because of their classic British pub food and good vibes, but also maybe because THERE IS AN RESIDENT BULLDOG CALLED BRUCE AND HE’S SO CUTE.
Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel
This one is Australia’s oldest (continually licensed) hotel and pub brewery, pouring award-winning ales that are brewed onsite. Food-wise, we’re suckers for the classic beef pie served atop a mountain of mash, mushy peas and gravy but it also doesn’t hurt that this place is simply one of Sydney’s best winter bars. There’s beer, there’s pub grub, there are sandstone walls, and dayum, there’s even a fireplace. What more could you want?
No doubt, Bitter Phew has some of Sydney’s best beer selections on tap. Upstairs and away from the hubbub of Oxford Street, knowledgeable bar staff pour an ever-changing range of unique and exciting beers, and on Monday nights, they bring out the board games (so you can play scrabble in front of the fireplace, Jumanji-style). Every other day, you can BYO dinner from nearby eateries (highly recommended: Mr Crackles, and BL Burgers).
The Riverview Hotel
The Riverview takes the trophy for “slickest pub fireplace” in Sydney—it’s a fine beast, framed with marble and adorned with a gold-edged mirror. The whole place screams heritage-listed good taste, from its stately furniture to its horseshoe-shaped bar. Their Sunday roast comes with all the trimmings and a sizeable Yorkshire pud—the perfect pairing with a crackling fire, we think. Note: they also do a mean roast complete with gravy (but not pud, soz).
The best part about camping is sitting around the campfire—and The Newport has created not one, but three outdoor fire pits for all your fire-gazing needs. We love the communal vibe that an outdoor fire brings, and we love it even more when The Newport’s tasty food and drink are within easy reach.
The Hotel Steyne
What’s better than a double rainbow? Double fireplaces. The Steyne has a cracker one at the Seaside deck, and another in the bistro area because they don’t do anything by halves. Did we mention there’s a killer ocean view involved too? Because there is. Order up on their delicious pub grub menu (you can’t go wrong with the pork bangers ‘n’ mash) and a bevvo from the handsome-looking bar, and you’ll be warmed up in no time.
The Old Fitzroy Hotel
Real pub, real atmos, and a real fire. That’s what you sign up for at The Old Fitz. There are sixteen brews on tap, weekly menu specials, and marshmallows by the crackling fireplace—all the better for mallow-roasting in the fire. That’s next level hospitality that we’ll gratefully accept.
Dove and Olive
No doubt you’ll score the ultimate #pubfeels at Dove and Olive (cue epic trivia nights and a chicken parmi we dream about more than we’d like to admit). And yep, you guessed it; this locale is home to what we like to call our little winter slice of heaven. Think chesterfield velvet lounges bundled around one pretty schmick toasty flicker.
The Foxtrot Inn
Oh yes, this bad boy is as cozy and insular as they come, so you’ll be snug as a bug ordering up cocktails which naturally have all been smoked, blowtorched or blazed. You’ll want to keep an eye on Falcon Street to find The Foxtrot but when you do, you’re in for a major treat. Not only are the bartenders cooking up some delicious concoctions, but you get to sip them in the type of chairs that say “I’m going to be here for a while” right next to a crackling furnace.
The Bayview Hotel
Three words: central gas fireplace. If that’s not music to our ears then we don’t know what is. And to make it even better, order up a dark ale and the Hawaiian Belle burger with spice-crusted chicken breast, shredded iceberg lettuce, caramelised pineapple, American cheese, jalapeño mayo and sweet potato wedges. If this is winter, it can stay.
Australian Hotel & Brewery
Okay Sydney, if roasting some marshmallows in a ginormous fire pit has been on your bucket list since forever, grab a stick at the Australian Hotel and Brewery. Craft beer and fluffy mallows always make for a good time, and you can roast em’ any night of the week!
This one's not strictly a pub, but we don't think you'll be mad that we've included them. When there’s a chill in the air, maybe you’re looking for the mother load of all hearths in which case, you make your way straight to Zeta Bar. This glorious blaze takes up an entire wall and by default, will make you a total fireplace snob. On a side, the cheese platters here are also pretty damn fine.
Cricketers Arms Hotel
She may be little but she’s damn powerful. Take it from us; if you’re looking for some character in your next visit to the watering hole, the Cricketers Arms Hotel is your best bet. With a bed of wood that’s always blazing and super plush leather lounges, these vibes really do bring a whole new meaning to comfort.
We don’t want to alarm anyone but 3 Weeds has the type of sandstone fireplace you’ll want to gram. Plus if you’re in early enough, you’ll score front seats to the hunky stone furnace, which if we’re being real is every foodie’s winter dream.
Looking for two-for-one pub nights? Head here.
Image credit: The Urban List Auckland