What I love about writing top 10 features is they piss people off so much. A few days back I had a feature in the SMH on Sydney’s top 10 pubs and, naturally, it caused a little friction. Actually, it caused a LOT of friction.
Some complained the feature was subjective. Well … yes. Yes it was. It’s a list of 10 pubs I like to go to. Furthermore, I was limited to only 10, when there are SO MANY pubs in Sydney just as good. In Balmain and Rozelle alone, I could say that The Welcome Hotel and the Riverview are easily as good as The Three Weeds, which I listed. And then I also love The London’s dog friendly balcony. But then, I was not only limited to 10 pubs, but also writing for a specific audience – namely the people who read Metro, which is the youth-orientated entertainment SMH section that commissioned the feature.
(My favourite complaint was from several people who suggested I need to drink in more pubs since they disagreed with my list. I’d laugh at that, but my liver hurts too much.)
But enough of my bitching. In all fairness to the detractors, there ARE plenty of great pubs in Sydney that I should have listed but didn’t. In fact, I still wake up screaming at 3am every night because I didn’t include The Local Taphouse or The Carrington. And since I realise that you, my sweet and gentle Bar Zine reader, are far more knowledgeable about Sydney’s alcoholic venues than the average SMH reader, I want to know your views. Which pubs would you have put on a top 10 list? For those wanting a recap, here is the list I created for Metro below, along with links to the relevant Bar Zine reviews when available:
- Hero of Waterloo
- Carlisle Castle
- The Norfolk
- Darlo Bar (to be honest, I’ve been planning on reviewing this pub for Bar Zine for years but, even though I’ve drunk countless times there, I just never got around to it).
- Lord Nelson
- Bavarian Bier Café on O’Connell Street (chosen for its art deco interior, which I love, rather than it’s a Bavarian Bier Cafe although I do like their beers.)
- The Three Weeds
(PS the photo shown above is of the old Caledonian Hotel, King Street, Darling Harbour [courtesy of State Records NSW]. No date was recorded for it. It really has no connection to this story, but I like photos of Sydney’s old and forgotten pubs.)