Overlooking the glow of Central Station’s main platform on Chalmers Street, Tipple Bar & Bistro is a lone wolf on a pretty dry strip of lower Surry Hills. The space is surprisingly large, with a couple of tables out on the footpath. Round, recycled-wood tables and stools covered in stamped hessian sacks take up the interior and stools line the window ledge. One wall is papered with a black-and-white comic book-style motif, another exposes a distressed brick wall and a spot next to the bar is planted with bright green ferns that surround Sydney’s favourite bar decoration – a big ol’ stag’s head.
The menu holds the usual crowd of pub classics, all with change from a twenty. You’ll find burgers, a steak sandwich, a few salads, soft-shell beef tacos and steak, plus a bar menu of snacks like beef sliders, dips and wedges and things. We’d skip the French fries, which are a shade on the wrong side of soggy. The piri piri dusted calamari salad with ginger dressing is a fantastically spicy, lighter choice and is great with one of the range of James Squire beers on tap.
Look out for the special events offered each night at Tipple: trivia on Thursdays and super-cheap tacos and tequila on Wednesdays, while Tuesdays welcome local talent for an open mic night.
An area dominated by its dodgy train station needs a place like Tipple to satisfy a hunger for cheap pub food and cold drinks, and if you feel like a break before your commute there’s no better place to while away the time.