Royal Albert Hotel
Time Out says
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The world looks brighter with a cheese kransky and a stout in hand
When a hot dog and a craft brew is all your heart desires then it’s time to cannonball down the slopes of Surry Hills to the Royal Albert Hotel. You will not be the only one making a beeline for this compact taphouse so expect to squeeze inside the front bar to get amongst the good-natured carousing that happens here every evening at quitting time.
When you’re not feeling the sardine vibes out the front mosey on through to the middle pod where things get roomier and you can sit rather than lean. Head even further back and you hit the dumpling house for Asian-style bar snacks, but for our money it’s all about the burgers and hot dogs here. Our bartender admits that the kitchen won’t even tell him where they source their amazing cheese kranskies. The sausage is super-juicy with the cheese incorporated inside to rich up the meat, rather than the stuffed-crust situation you’re imagining. Approach with caution if you don’t want to spray your date with the first bite. The chilli ‘Fat Albert’ dog comes dressed in spiced tomato sauce and mustard with slices of pickled onion across the ridge and a serve of crinkle-cut fries on the side for only $10. We’re ’dawg devotees but you won’t regret giving the burger your time either.
There’s probably some old-school soul or rock’n’roll playing but you’ll be hard pressed to hear over the excitable hubbub. Collars are loose and shirt sleeves are rolled up and the eight taps and two hand pumps are getting a workout.
There’s no predicting the craft beers on offer – sometimes it’s a single brewery showcase like California’s Stone Brewing Co; sometimes dark beers are favoured with Batch’s milk stout sitting in pride of place alongside Doctor’s Orders Iron Lung black imperial pilsner – but it’s all worth a pour. If you’re a craft beer novice they have a whole collection of more accessible brews in the fridges to get you started, or visit during a tap takeover and let a local brewery show you what they’ve got.
140 Commonwealth St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-10pm|