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Burger, fries and a beer.
Photograph: Supplied / The Happiest Hour.

Surprising research reveals where Sydney and Melbourne differ on fave pub eats and drinks

We'll take beers over cocktails, thanks

Lauren Dinse
Avril Treasure
Written by
Lauren Dinse
Avril Treasure

From historic neighbourhood watering holes to hip new bars with sunny beer gardens, our vibrant pub culture is a big part of what makes Melbourne such a great city to live in. In fact, we'd argue we've got some of the best boozers in all of Australia. We love them for their vibes, sure, but it's also what you can eat and drink there that draws us in by the droves. (This writer's partial to a mid-week steak and a pinot.)

But have you ever wondered what the most popular meal and drink of choice is? Well, wonder no more. New research by pub app the Happiest Hour has just revealed Sydney and Melbourne’s respective favourite pub meals and drinks, as well as those we're now shunning. Parma lovers, the results may surprise you.

In sad news for pies, the flakey hand-held bite ranked at the bottom of the list in both cities, while the legendary parma (Sydney calls it “parmi”, but we reckon they’re wrong) only got a vote of love from 39 per cent of Melburnians and 26 per cent of Sydneysiders. That's a sharp slip from its ranking near the top of the list a decade ago. RIP.

The outdoor drinking area at a city pub.
Photograph: Supplied / Australian Venue Co

At 53 per cent, juicy burgers are the most-loved eats of choice in Melbourne pubs, a fact that should come as no surprise if you've sunk your teeth into one of these bad boys. Pizza is closely followed at 50 per cent. Across the border, Sydneysiders share our love for a slice of 'za, but tacos also took up a top spot on their list of faves.

Joonas Karppinen, co-founder of the Happiest Hour, reckons Sydney's preference could be because tacos and pizza are shareable dishes, and best enjoyed with mates (unlike, say, a steak). But we reckon it's 'cause a burger would ruin their glammed-up manicures (Sydney, please don't come for us).

Interestingly, seafood, wings, roasts and schnitzel also received relatively lower rankings in both cities.

When it comes to booze, Melbourne sure loves a pint with 75 per cent of people saying beers were their top drink of choice, followed by cocktails at 70 per cent and wine at 59 per cent. Cocktails actually took out the number one spot in Sydney, with 82 per cent of people giving it their vote. The research also revealed that cider was the least favourite drink for both Sydneysiders and Melburnians.

Crafty brews at the local, anyone? You don’t need to ask us twice.


This is our guide to the 50 best pubs in Melbourne right now

Need to line your stomach first? Grab a slice from one of these top pizza joints

Here's where you can find the tastiest burgers in Melbourne

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