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Hands toasting with whiskey in front of fireplace
Photograph: iStock

The best pubs with fireplaces in Sydney

The only thing better than a boozy winter warmer is drinking one in front of a roaring fire

By Matty Hirsch, Emily Lloyd-Tait and Alannah Maher
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The weather is getting cooler, and with restrictions on dining and drinking lifting, we can finally go back to the pub. Winter is when some of Sydney's best pubs really are the best place to be. Better yet when the mercury really drops, is a pub with a great fire place. Curl up in front of the flames – preferably wood, but we'll take gas if that's what's on offer – with a pint of beer and lose whole evenings in the comfort of your local, staying warm and dry all winter long.

There are rules for going out to drink and eat, which we've covered over here. Make sure you're across them, and before you pop out for a schooner and a parmy you should double-check whether the pub you're keen on requires you to book ahead.

RECOMMENDED: How to go out safely in Sydney right now.

The best pubs with fireplaces in Sydney

People sitting inside at Duke of Clarence
Photograph: Anna Kucera

1. The Duke of Clarence

Bars Pubs Sydney

The fireplace is a fitting detail at this distinctly British pub and cocktail bar, hidden away in the centre of the CBD. If a spot in front of the open flames and the offer of bangers and mash with a proper cask ale poured from a proper hand pump doesn’t scream cold weather comfort, we’re not sure what does.

The Duke is welcoming back customers under a strict bookings-only policy, that gives you and your fellow diners an hour and a half window to enjoy a proper meal and some drinks, with a deposit or minimum spend of $50 per person. Book online.

People sitting inside having drinks at The Hero Of Waterloo
Photograph: Anna Kucera

2. The Hero of Waterloo

Bars Millers Point

There's few pubs in Sydney we'd want to hole up in more than the Hero. Somehow, you just lose track of time here. It's probably something to do with the low ceilings, Sydney cut-sandstone walls, and Guinness and James Squire brews from clean lines. You'll also find four fireplaces roaring here – one wood and three gas.

The Hero is open again and the fireplaces are roaring. Bookings are not required but are recommended if you'd like to sit down for a meal, just give them a call on 02 9252 4553 or drop an email to info@heroofwaterloo.com.au.

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3. The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel

Bars Pubs Millers Point

Sydney's oldest continually licensed hotel, the Nelson is a handsome watering hole if ever there was one: convict-mined sandstone walls built around a roaring hearth and microbrewery. Pick up a ploughman's lunch and one of the six award-winning ales brewed on the premises, and get stuck in.

The Lord is back, and is now welcoming back diners. Your best bet is to make a booking online or call ahead on 02 9251 4044.

Fireplace at Lord Dudley
Photograph: Leigh Griffiths

4. The Lord Dudley

Bars Paddington

Enter the warmth of the Lounge, and you'll find an enormous fireplace roaring to welcome you. Many a romance has blossomed here (including for heavyweight icon Les Darcy, who worked as a barman while wooing the licensee's daughter). There are more than 20 taps to choose from, so grab a pint and settle in. 

The Lord Dudley is welcoming back patrons from June 3. There is limited space for walk-ins, your best bet is to book ahead online or call 02 9327 5399.

 

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at The Cricketers Arms
Photograph: Anna Kucera

5. Cricketers Arms Hotel

Bars Surry Hills

Cosy and rustic, cheap and chic – this Slurry Hills icon is the perfect place to grab a scotch or sparkling ale and while away a rainy arvo by the fire watching the footy with a toastie in hand and a flatulent labrador dozing at your feet. You'll want to head there midweek for some fireside action because Fridays and Saturdays are no fire days, probably to prevent people getting singed during the weekend rush.

The Cricketers welcomes back patrons from Thursday, June 4. Bookings will not be accepted, instead it will be operating on a first come, first served basis. When it reaches capacity, there will be a one in, one out, policy. 

6. Dove and Olive

Bars Surry Hills

The beers are awesome, the schnitzels are crunchy and golden, the steaks come with blue cheese and the gas fireplace is ready and waiting to warm your toes and banish the chill at this excellent boozer.

The Dove welcomes back patrons from Thursday, June 4, and the team recommends you make a booking to make sure you don't miss out. Book online or give them a call on 02 9699 6001.

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7. The Bayview Hotel

Bars Gladesville

There’s a lot of room to move at this expansive Gladesville hotel, but we aim for cosy spots around the central gas fireplace. Should the need for a bit more action strike, there's a packed calendar of karaoke nights, trivia and live music here, too.

The Bayview is back in business and they recommend you make a booking if you want to nab a table. There are two allocated time slots to choose for dinner, 5.30-7.15pm or 7.30-9.15pm, and you can book by calling 02 9817 2632 or email info@bayviewgladesville.com.au.

8. The Riverview

Bars Balmain

A lovely old neighbourhood pub in the quiet backstreets of Balmain, the Riverview is gussied up in the style of a classic British gastro pub, its bright red doors holding the promise of a good feed and a few tall tales over a Guinness, White Rabbit, James Squire, Coopers, or Little Creatures pale at the matching red-tiled bar or by the open fireplace.

'The Riv' is welcoming back guests, and encouraging people to make a booking online so they don't miss out.

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The-Steyne-Manly-070.jpg
Credit: Daniel Boud

9. The Hotel Steyne

Bars Manly

Forget everything you think you know about the Steyne. A facelift gave the once-troublesome hot spot a swift 180 and it's been smooth sailing for this Manly watering hole ever since. There on a blustery day? Take shelter in one of the window booths, toast your feet by the fireside and watch the breakers roll in over schooners of craft beers.

The Steyne is open and welcoming visitors, they're not taking bookings so entry is on a first come, first served basis.

10. The Old Fitzroy Hotel

Bars Pubs Woolloomooloo

The Fitz has considerably more uses than your average pub. The joint houses an in-demand theatre space plus there's a fireplace, a pool table, and some of the nicest bar staff in the city. They also host short film nights, trivia competitions and live music. What's not to love?

At the date of publication this venue has not announced a reopening date.

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Inside venue, dining area, seats and tables at The Duke Enmore
Photograph: Supplied

11. The Duke of Enmore

Bars Enmore

This really is the perfect spot to warm up (literally, and figuratively) before a gig at the Enmore Theatre. Toby Wilson's menu of revamped pub classics ticks all the boxes and then some (fried enoki mushrooms, anyone?), and a solid natural wine list seals the deal.

At the date of publication this venue has not announced a reopening date. 

On the hunt for other ways to enjoy winter?

A plate of pasta with black truffles on top
A plate of pasta with black truffles on top
Photograph: Nikki To/Supplie

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