Pubs in Sydney have been around since the early 19th century. Back then, public houses were required to carry out more functions than a typical drinking establishment. So pubs would also serve as hostels, post offices, general stores and community meeting places. Australian pubs had to be larger than their counterparts in England.

That’s why classic Australian pubs are usually found towering over the intersections of Sydney’s busiest streets. Their size – and all of the different functions these pubs cater for – is their greatest strength. What makes the best pubs in Sydney so special is how easily they can accommodate so many different types of people seeking distinct experiences.

Whether you’re looking for a trivia game, a family meal, a big group catch-up, a place to go before a big night or a place to have a big night, you’ll find what you’re looking for at one of these pubs.

The George Hotel

Tacos, a DJ booth and a natural-wine bottle shop.

760 Elizabeth Street, Waterloo

The Marrickville Hotel

This place calls itself a “small-bar pub”; think big enough to get a seat, small enough to have a bar’s attention to beer and vibe.

244 Marrickville Road, Marrickville

The Imperial Hotel

After closure, this Erskineville pub came back with a new outlook.

35 Erskineville Road, Erskineville

Friend in Hand Hotel

A local waterhole big on charm and small on pomp.

58 Cowper Street, Glebe

The Terminus

Award-winning designers worked with a heritage architect to bring this pub back to life.

61 Harris Street, Pyrmont

The Lansdowne Hotel

Live music and hardly any food over $20, from a Mary’s burger-flavoured pizza, to American-Korean nachos.

2-6 City Road, Chippendale

The Welcome Hotel

An old boozer with a new face, plus excellent pub food.

91 Evans St, Rozelle

The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel

A pub as old as The Rocks.

19 Kent Street, The Rocks

The Lord Dudley Hotel

Sydney’s go-to English-style pub.

236 Jersey Road, Woollahra

The Oxford Tavern

A fun boozer with a shady beer garden, pool tables, and more booths than that restaurant from Seinfeld.

1 New Canterbury Road, Petersham, Petersham

The Glebe Hotel

A modern and comfortable heritage-listed gastropub (on the site of a former brothel).

63 Bay Street, Glebe

The Henson

Family and fur-baby friendly.

91 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville

The Unicorn Hotel

Thongs encouraged at this classic Aussie pub.

106 Oxford Street, Paddington

The Vic on the Park

Catch a live gig or shoot hoops, schooner in hand.

2 Addison Road, Marrickville

The Dolphin Hotel Dining Room and Wine Room

All white everything, washed down with cocktails.

412 Crown Street, Surry Hills

The Newport

While away the day on the water.

2 Kalinya Street, Newport

Hotel Palisade

Five levels and a stunning view of the harbour.

35 Bettington Street, Millers Point

The Paddington

Old-school pub meets upscale cocktail bar.

380 Oxford Street, Paddington

The Oaks Hotel

One of the prettiest courtyards in Sydney.

118 Military Road, Neutral Bay

The Rose Hotel

Pizzas and beers in a friendly courtyard setting.

52-54 Cleveland Street, Chippendale

Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel

Water views, oysters and alfresco dining.

1 Military Road, Watsons Bay

The Lord Gladstone

Come for the burgers, stay for the '90s tunes.

115 Regent Street, Chippendale

Courthouse Hotel

One of Newtown's finest.

202 Australia St, Newtown