Sydney’s thriving bar scene includes a number of beautifully restored heritage pubs, boutique clubs and even floating venues! Whether you’re looking for delicious food and wine, live music or impressive views, there are some of the great pubs and bars located beyond the wharf just waiting to be explored. Why not get some friends together for a ‘ferry crawl’!
The Fortune of War dates from 1828 and is Sydney’s oldest pub. Embodied in the history of Sydney, the bar was the first and last port of call for generations of sailors and the troops of the Australian Armed Forces who were to experience the ‘fortune of the war’ when they departed Sydney Cove to defend their country. Whilst retaining its old world charm, the hotel has built an enviable reputation, for providing a warm and traditional service in a cosy, heritage bar.
Head to the northern end of George St and you’ll find The Fortune or War is situated in the heart of the Rocks, opposite the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The Glenmore Hotel was built by Brewers Tooth & Co in 1921 and has been an Aussie icon ever since. With its colonial old English charm and character, The Glenmore is a popular watering hole and has survived depressions, wars and plagues. The Glenmore is now one of Sydney’s premier rooftop venues with 180 degree sweeping views of Sydney harbour and the CBD.
Located at 96 Cumberland St, The Glenmore can be reached via Argyle Street, a five minute walk from the wharf.
The Royal Oak is regarded as one of the finest pubs in Balmain. Famous for its food, the Oak prides itself on using fresh, seasonal and ethically sourced ingredients to produce delicious meals of generous portions. Balancing old world charm with modern day design, the Royal Oak is a popular destination for both locals and visitors alike and offers a great range of local and imported beers both on tap and in the bottle.
Located at 36 College St, The Royal Oak is a five minute walk from Balmain wharf.
The Sir William Wallace Hotel is more than just a pub with a famous name. Once known for being the pub of choice for actor Mel Gibson the “Willy Wally”- as the locals call it, is nestled in the middle of Balmain’s bohemian back streets and offers a wide range of local and international beers, a pool table and a great jukebox.
The Sir William Wallace Hotel is located at 31 Cameron Street – a five minute walk from the wharf.
The East Village Hotel is a pub with a penchant for craft beer and it’s a look that works. The crowd here is made up of families, young professionals and well-dressed Balmain locals who split their time between the shady beer garden, dining room and the front bar. The heavy timber tables and fireplace have an old-fashioned and comforting feel, and anyone will feel welcome at The East Village.
Just 300 meters from the wharf, head straight up Darling Street and you’ll find The East Village hotel on the left hand side of the bustling strip.
The Island Bar is located on Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour and is a hop, skip and a jump from Circular Quay, Woolwich and Balmain Ferry services. The bar is constructed from recycled shipping containers, giving it a funky industrial look, in keeping with the history of the island as a shipbuilding yard and Commonwealth naval base. With deck chairs for relaxing in while enjoying the view, The Island Bar is the perfect spot to watch the sun go down over Sydney Harbour. The Island Bar has a hiatus over winter, and shorter opening hours in the shoulder seasons, so check the website for opening hours before you visit!
Cockatoo Island is just at 25-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay, or 10-minutes from Darling Harbour and Balmain.
The Slip Inn, is famous for being the pub where the now Princess Mary met Prince Frederik of Denmark back in 2000. Today, the Slip Inn’s laid-back courtyard setting and unique cocktail lounge mean it’s a welcome respite from the inner city bustle. The menu features mouth-watering Mexican style dishes and the relaxed outdoor area features a state-of-the-art retractable awning and a heating system so that it can be enjoyed all year round.
Located at the business end of Sussex Street, the Slip Inn is located only five minutes’ walk from Darling Harbour.
Small bars have taken over inner city Sydney in recent years, and this New Orleans and Haiti inspired venue offers a great taste. Infused with the spirit of witch-doctor apothecary and tiki cocktails, Papa Gede’s offers a fun escape from corporate Sydney. Located down a traditional alleyway, indulge in a home-made herbal elixir and enjoy the funk and reggae music.
You’ll find Papa Gede’s in a laneway at the rear of 438 Kent St.
The Royal Oak Hotel, has been serving quality food, wine and beer for more than a century. Considered a Double Bay icon, The Royal Oak Hotel has everything to offer; leafy surrounds, a cool and relaxed atmosphere and a harbourside location, right in the heart of the Bay. The Royal Oak is also home to one of Sydney’s most iconic sports bars – a popular venue on big game nights.
The Royal Oak is located on Bay Street in the Heart of Double Bay it’s 200 meters from the wharf.
For a relaxed meal right on the waterfront, the Australian 18 Footers League Club in Double Bay provides a great dinner option. Located right at the Double Bay wharf, this sailing club offers some great Australian pub-style cuisine. The bar provides a more relaxed option with more affordable meals, while in the restaurant most mains are priced from $20-30. Enjoy the beautiful harbour views local a glass of local wine or beer as the sun sets on a fantastic day in Sydney.
18 Footers League Club is located right at the wharf, so it is very easy to find!
Situated at the water’s edge, Manly Wharf Hotel perfectly reflects Sydney’s relaxed coastal lifestyle. Whether you’re a Sydney local or a visiting tourist, a ferry trip across the harbour to the Manly Wharf Hotel makes for a great day trip and the ultimate destination. Unwind outdoors on the jetty bar with an ice cold beer and watch the sun go down or relax with friends in the bar or restaurant.
Manly Wharf Hotel is as the name suggests located on the wharf and can’t be missed when you disembark the ferry!
Manly beach wharf
The Ivanhoe Hotel is a much loved, local pub, located in the heart of The Corso in Manly. Offering a refreshing, timeless and sophisticated setting, the Ivanhoe Hotel has a strong emphasis on food, quality and produce. Boasting indoor and outdoor spaces over three floors and two of Sydney’s most impressive rooftop bars, The Ivanhoe Hotel’s spaces are perfect for lunch, dinner, drinks or a night out on the town.
The Ivanhoe is situated in the centre of the corso, just a two minute walk from the wharf.
Manly beach wharf
Established in 1937 the Kirribilli Hotel has a reputation as being one of the North Shore’s favourite local pubs. Located on the footsteps of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it’s a traditional local pub with an emphasis on good service, great food and friendly locals.
It’s a ten minute walk along Broughton Street on the crossing with Crescent Place.
Milson’s Point / Luna Park