The best sports bars in Sydney
They love their sport so much at this Paddo/Woollahra borderlands hotel that we’ve seen them turn every seat in the house to face the big screen like it was a cinema, and they still post the televised sport schedule online so you never miss a match, whatever your code.
When there’s a bite in the air that makes sitting in the garden a little too chilly for comfort, there’s no better way to spend an afternoon that posting up on one of the bar stools and watching the footy over a jug of beer and a Courty burger. They only have the commentary on for Swans games, but they screen most big games on the four large screens.
The 24/7 Sports Bar is your destination in the Star for all things sports-related. The bar features three mega screens as well as more than 50 LCD TVs (yes, 50). The menu is pub classics and there's a paperless TAB right in the centre of the action. Plus, the bar has a slew of specials including happy hour (Mon-Fri, 5-7pm) with $5 local beers, house wine and spirits.
As one of the closest public bars to the SCG, this well-worn local is the next best thing to being at the game when the Swans are playing. Plus, once the full-time horn blows you can sit smugly on your bar stool while people try and cram into the pub to discuss the outcome over a schooner.
The big drawcard of this Double Bay establishment is the beautifully renovated leafy garden bar, which conveniently means getting a seat in the older-style public bar with a great view of the big screens is a good bet.
Sydney might be struggling to keep the late-night vibes pumping, but there’s a rebel force of party people and most weekends they are congregating at the Lord Gladstone. The ability to squash so many Sydney scenes inside a modest space is one of this pub’s most impressive attributes. On an unremarkable Saturday night you’ve got Bondi babes, queer indie kids, footy fans, sneaker freakers, hip-hop heads and what appears to be a crew of nonchalant models all cramming into the concrete courtyard for a good time. Remember out the back of the Abercrombie? It’s like a more condensed version of that: you’re yelling over the tunes, people are smoking up on the balcony and everyone’s getting their flirt on. And they like to keep you guessing. There’s always a Sunday session, but it might be disco tunes at Completely Sundays, or perhaps it’s an afternoon of hip hop and live graffiti at Sunday Walls. Fridays are a knees-up featuring Sydney legends like Joyride and the Bad Deep crew, and if you clock off a little early, Fridays at 5pm are also when they tap a keg of Tooheys New with the proceeds going to an elected charity. What a clutch of good eggs. You can trust them with your $22 sirloin, which comes with green beans and a peppery gravy, or visit on a Thursday and a rump steak will only cost you a tenner. And you’re not a real Sydneysider until you’ve eaten at least one deep-fried Golden Gaytime and thumbed your nose at the gods of nutrition. Right now many of our pubs are going ha
Fancy a flutter? Every sporting event you can think of is available on the big screens here and they have a bistro menu that stretches from breakfast through to late night snacks so you are all sorted for game day.
At this gussied up Petersham pub you'll find a huge HD projector screen and good sound, both for sport as well as film screenings. They’ve also added a whole lot more furniture so everyone can bung in together for a pub dinner; replaced the gambling facilities with a dedicated games corner (the fooshockey is still there); and strung the upstairs verandah with festoon lights so that smokers have a nice spot to sit and muse on the state of the nation.
A top notch clubhouse hidden above Bistrode CBD, which itself is stacked on top of the Hotel CBD. This is the place where your booth comes with it's own, individual TV screen. That’s right, sports fans, the power is yours. Sick of your niche interest always getting bumped in favour of the NRL? Desperate to catch some of the Netball World Cup and no one is screening it? If it’s televised, you can watch it here over beers and a Philly cheesesteak.
The big advantage of this Enmore favourite can be summed up thusly: the beer garden, which has a gate off Enmore Road. But the front rooms fill up fast on finals weekend because the TVs ringing the room mean everyone can see.
They have one of those ludicrously large projector screens for the preferred game, plus TVs mounted around the main room of this beachfront RSL. The drinks are wallet-friendly, they do good trade in counter meals and if your team’s getting flogged you can always zone out and watch the breakers roll in over Bondi Beach instead.
Being by the beach is all well and good but once the sun goes down the surfboards, goggles and togs get put away and those sun-kissed bodies need a place to let off steam. And that place is the Coogee Bay Hotel, which has a dedicated sports bar if you're looking for somewhere to watch the game.
Sometimes a little nip and tuck can be good for business. We’re not talking a terrifying facelift, more a renovated bistro and a few craft beer taps to spice things up for the regulars. The public bar at the Golden Barley they’ve left well enough alone. Behind the beautiful old Art Deco façade there is still dark green carpet, comfy vinyl chairs, a Keno corner, and four big TVs for watching the game.
The bright front bar still shows footy on multiple screens, serves jugs of Carlton and holds fast to the kind of dark carpet that hides a myriad of sins. But prime real estate at the Vic is out the back on the huge, covered wooden deck with a shady tree at one end and a fire pit for the odd spit-roast lamb at the other and a big screen on one wall.
It's been cosied up a bit, but there’s no serious refurb to get accustomed to. It’s just a little nicer, a lot cleaner and there’s a beef stroganoff on the menu. You know what we like more than Russian comfort food? Big wines. In an increasingly rare sight, the whole wine list comes in under ten bucks a glass, and they make good company when you don't want to miss any of the action on the big screen.
This is a pub that’s sticking to its old-school guns. Inside you’ve got a hard-wearing, dark wooden bar, walls decked out in sports memorabilia, TVs tuned to the footy and stubby holders that you can buy on the spot. Over the massive beer garden there’s a huge domed roof protecting one half of the paved courtyard from inclement weather, and if you’ve got a faithful friend of the four-legged variety that’s AOK: dogs are welcome in the open-air section.
Rock up on a Saturday arvo and the front bar here is full of locals and regulars having a punt on the tote, yelling at screens showing various sporting events and downing lager. It’s a beer-drinking, sports-watching kind of place.
You might have pegged this Surry Hills bar as a spot for barbecue and American brews amongst the beautiful and beardy, but they made sure to mount two big screens behind the bar so you can get a lean on and catch every play over mac’n‘cheese and slow cooked ribs.
Manly’s sprawling boozer has undergone a lot of upgrades recently, but the public bar is still a great spot to draw up around the old horse-shoe shaped bar and sink dark ales and lager while the footy is on.
On grand final weekend they crack out the big screens throughout this spacious Surry Hils pub and let the love of sports take over its leafy courtyard, rather than the love of party, which is its usual MO.