Sydney's best Sunday sessions
A Sunday at the Dolphin is like a choose-your-own-adventure game – head upstairs to the courtyard for Spritzers and soaking up the last few hours of sunshine, make your way to the wine room for aperitivo from 5-7pm to enjoy snacks and wines for $5-$7 from guest chefs, or saddle up at the bar with a pizza.
This neighbourhood bar always has an inclusive feel and Sundays are no different. Cure your hangover with $10 Bloody Marys and a rollicking live band.
Head to the insular peninsular and pretend you're in the Hamptons for a day at the Newport. Enjoy the day dining across all the mini restaurants within the goliath – share a wood-fired pie from Vinnie's Pizza, grab rotisserie chicken rolls from the Kiosk and work your way through a bucket of prawns from the Seafood Market.
Darlo Bar’s Viva La Vinyl Sundays will see you nursing a $12 Bloody Mary while DJs spin soul, rock, and obscure pop gems from way back. You’ll often find Sydney legend Jay Katz behind the ones and twos and Rolling Records (a mini record shop in a van) parked out the front.
This inner city cellar door hosts local party crews and record label showcases so that you can farewell the weekend with a boogie. Turns out vinyl mixes, cheese platters and rosé from the party wine label is a great way to spend your day of rest.
If your idea of a perfect Sunday night is a quiet night with a pizza then probably give Frankie's a miss... Frankie's is much more of a trudge-home-at-three-am-and-call-in-sick-on-Monday kind of Sunday session. Load up on pizza by the slice, cheap tinnies and frozen Margaritas, or duck back to the Fun Room and prop yourself up at the bar for some whisky and mischief.
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. 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.
There ain’t no party like a rooftop party and the Coogee Pav does a damn good one. It’s the perfect destination following a dip or a walk at Coogee or Gordons Bay, and if you've got little ones, there's plenty to keep them entertained back downstairs.
Cap off your weekend with sweaty techno bangers until the wee hours, at the queer, excellent Sunday night knees-up. Pavlova Bar dishes out a local line-up every week, and sometimes will pull some international names too.
The Courthouse is the nucleus of the Newtown community. The outdoor space is at least twice the size of the indoors, and the beer garden is where you want to be when the sun is shining and jugs of cider are the order of the day.
While you may have to shell out a few extra dollars for a Spritz or a vino, IDRB’s famous views are totally worth it. Drink up as the sky turns a pastel palette behind the cyan blue pool and churning ocean, and if you're not ready to go home yet DJs spin lounge-house tunes into the late evening.
An afternoon spent by the harbour in the Watsons Bay’s beer garden is like taking a mini break without having to leave the city limits. Get in early for prime seats by the bannister, which is all that separates you and your Spritz from the shoreline.
Young Henrys is all about the inclusive afternoon sessions and on a weekend you’ll want to shake a leg in order to secure one of the prized high tables at the brewery cellar door. Drink like a local with a frosty Newtowner, down a Real Ale for a proper, English-style bitter or secure serious summer refreshment with the perennially popular cloudy cider.
It’s not hard to see why the Manly Wharf Hotel is obscenely popular. There’s just something about drinking with harbour views that makes everything seem a little brighter. On Sundays this place is a bit of a scene so dress up for some waterfront drinks.
Sundays on Kensington Street are getting a rose coloured makeover with an a la carte brunch menu at Kensington Street Social, accompanied by Frosé or bottomless rosé for $35 per person. If you really want to do the turn you can kick back until 4pm when live music kicks off int he Old Clare Hotel bar next door.
After a Sunday roast?
Our colonial heritage is responsible for the proliferation of British-style pubs across this great southern land, as well as the tradition of the Sunday roast. But rather than spending your Sunday baking over a hot oven, let the professionals take care of the cooking and head out to these ace Sydney pubs putting on a proper roast lunch or dinner during the colder months.
Want to head outside?
Sure, we're good at swimming and rugby, but what Australians excel at is kicking back in the leafy courtyard of our local, sinking some beers and chewing the fat with our mates. Beer garden sessions should really be our national sport, and here's the best places to do it.