The Dock is like a house party where everyone is invited and you don’t need to carve out fridge space behind Thai leftovers and half an elderly watermelon for your drinks. It’s a cosy, low-lit, ramshackle place where the playlist is a freewheeling party mix of cheesy-but-secretly-awesome school disco bangers.
Historically speaking, a 'dive bar' has been less about trends, craft beers, and — dare we say — particularly friendly service. They're more about police raids, underground characters and sticky floors. In Sydney though, for better or worse, dive bars have evolved past the Bundy and Coke, schooners of Old, and criminal activity (as far as we're aware).
What has remained from the dive tradition, is affordable drinks, unpretentious service and a distinctly lived-in atmosphere that makes these Sydney watering-holes comfortable and like you're right at home. Side-by-side with suits, punks, hipsters, queer folks, uni students and '90s revivalists, the humble dive bar is the great equaliser — where nobody knows your name and that's just fine.
We've rounded up our favourite haunts to grab a brew when you just want to pull up a pew, switch off and have a good time.