When it comes to pubs, Colin Fassnidge knows how to sniff out the best pub grub whether it’s a good beef cheek or chicken schnitzel. Here are a few of his favourites.Less
This pub is 150-years old and despite its multiple owners and identities, you will find a historic venue, offering alfresco dining on the street and a dining room inside. The food menu, pays homage to its fine-dining past, featuring kingfish terrine, steak Frites, and BBQ chicken with plum. As for the drinks, you’ll see a selection of beers, and wines. There are even talks of some performances happening soon, with Red Line Productions.
Fassnidge returns to his pub pedigree at Banksia, bringing hearty, seasonally driven pub food to the bistro. He says Banksia is more family than a fancy diner. “My favourite pub grub is lamb chop or porchetta, depending on the time of year. Although you can’t go past a good chicken schnitzel. We make it ourselves here. It’s soaked in buttermilk overnight, crumbed with oats, seeds, and breadcrumbs, so it’s not just breadcrumbs. Gives it a great crunch,” says Fassnidge.
The Paddo as the locals call it is a great place to hang out, meet friends, enjoy a fuss-free dinner and some drinks. There’s not one weekend, where the Paddo is full of locals enjoying good conversation. The menu has all the classics, with an Italian lean including spaghetti Pomodoro and a salami plate to start. If you’re a sports fan, then the Paddo is where you need to be to watch live sports.
Come to The Unicorn Hotel for the piano man, and stay for the parmigiana. It’s a pub that’s most famous for it’s golden, crunchy schnitzels. The decor is simple, and they don’t offer anything fancy, just good old pub grub, including pies, weekly roast, and Jatz with dip. Expect the taps to be filled with old-school beers, including VB, and Cooper’s. It’s a popular pub, so bookings are recommended but you can try your luck and walk in one day.
This Erskineville local has a smoker out the back and is dog friendly. What more could you want? Dig into a shredded brisket burger, and savour an old school, or new school beer on tap—they have both. Their homey backyard style Beer Garden is an ideal spot for Sunday sessions or after-work drinks. Don’t forget to bring your four-legged friend, because they want to see them.
Fassnidge designed the menu at Terminus, so it’s only fair it would be one of his favourite pubs in Sydney. Expect a luxurious space spilling out onto a large, outdoor terrace with a retractable rooftop. Sip on cocktails, or work your way through their selection of craft beers. As for the food, you will find beef cheek and stout pie, battered local fish, crumbed pork cutlet, a range of burgers, and pasta.
This Chippendale Pub saw ratbags, miscreants, and bent cops when it first opened in 1932. After a scandalous history, the pub was revived in 2017, by Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham, from Mary’s and The Unicorn. Together, they recemented the pub as an iconic live music venue, serving Mary’s famous burgers and pizzas. For a fun night out, good food, or good vibes, The Lansdowne Hotel is the place to be.
This pub is perhaps one of the more important venues in history, particularly Sydney’s LGBTQ+ community. Bought in the 80s by the mother of gay, Dawn O’Donnell, The Imperial Hotel was ordained safe for the LGBTQ+ community and has since been a place for queer identities to thrive. During Mardi Gras, this pub comes alive, hosting a myriad of events every year.
This odd-looking building is straight from 1880 and commands one of the best views in Sydney. Hotel Palisade was a haven for wharf workers of the nearby docks, and at the time was the tallest building in the city. It housed a cellar, ground floor bar, and three additional levels above, which are now a hotel and rooftop bar, Henry Diane. After a substantial renovation, you will find a modern pub, that pays homage to its industrial roots.
It’s hard not to miss The Dolphin Hotel when you’re wandering around Crown Street. Either you’ve seen people lining up outside, or have experienced the hotel yourself, it’s a classic and one of Surry Hill’s best. Here, you can grab a slice of some of the best pizza in Sydney, enjoy a glass or two of wine, or craft beer. In the dining room, you will find modern Italian, and Australian cuisine, which is that good, it’s a one hatted venue.