Insider Travel Tips: Sydney’s Hottest Pub Restaurants

Some of Sydney’s hottest pub restaurants are located in Paddington.

Sydney’s Paddington has come alive again with some of the hottest pub restaurants in town.

Now known as the latest restaurant Mecca un Sydney, thanks largely to a declining retail market on Oxford street, a swathe of pub sales over the past 2 years and a rash of new operators breathing life into the trendy Sydney suburb of Paddington.

From upmarket pubs, to glamorous restaurants, it is all on offer as diners turn away from the city in favour of suburban night out. These are the pubs I am into right now.

The Paddington.

The Paddington, Oxford Street.

The re-vamp of this former daggy pub known as The Paddington Arms Hotel by Justine Hemmes was the first to breath new life into Oxford Street – one of the most economical pubs to eat in, with a roast chicken and sides at just $36 which can feed four people, this place is packed during the week and is perfect for families, or couples. However, a glass of chardonnay will set you back $16, so drink slowly.

The upstairs dining room is stunning for a birthday dinner with friends.

My Take: The best place to take the family or for a casual date, and be sure to check out the upstairs bar which is a bit moodier and sophisticated than the ground floor.

Any specials? Not right now.

Locals say: It’s a sensational venue, but drinks are pricey, especially cocktails at $18 each on weeknights.

The Centennial Justin North

The Centennial

Executive Chef Justin North is serving up some of the best pub food in Australia here, and the new interiors make this a stunning place to be any night or day of the week. There are gorgeous mid-week set dinners including lobster or lamb feasts with matching wines. The menu is varied and extensive and includes traditional roast style dishes, as well as modern fish mains and gorgeous sides.

My Take: Brilliant on Sundays, for lunch and really any time.

Any specials? The special of a main meal, side and dessert for $30 weeknights before 6pm is a steal.

Locals say: They should never have taken the iconic lamb pizza off the menu, and the new versio of the famous Centennial waffles is a bit too neat for locals who adored the traditional ones.

The Paddington Inn

This pub on the corner of Oxford and William Streets was closed for over 6 months whilst it was renovated top to toe. It re-launched with a new restaurant and new upmarket gastro pub feel at this iconic Oxford Street spot. The large windows overlooking Oxford Street are loved by locals.

My Take: Brilliant renovation, great front bar, and stunning dining room with a broad and very upmarket menu including gourmet raw seafood, meat and fish..

Any specials? Happy Hour weekdays 5-7, $5 wines.

Locals say: Food in the restaurant is over-priced. This is a pub guys, not Bondi Icebergs.

East London, Paddington

This is some of the best Asian food in the country. Lauded Melbourne chef Jack Steer of Chin Chin and China Diner fame is serving up clean, modern Asian dishes, matched with wines from boutique growers around the country. There are steamed home made seafood dumplings, pork san choy bau amongst others, and chilli as far as the eye can see. Kingsley Smith of Kingsley’s fame is the GM, and brought Steer into the Paddington suburb to give not only the pub, but the food scene a boost.

My Take:A great place for a group or intimate date.

Specials: There are well priced lunch specials that vary.

Locals say: This venue is very surprisingly upmarket.


Fred’s in Paddington.

This new venue opened earlier this year on Oxford Street, and is another upmarket Merivale establishment serving seasonal, fresh French and Italian food. The slick fit out was created by the team behind The Grounds at Alexandria, Architect Vince Alafaci and interior designer Caroline Choker of Acme & Co, and is minimalist but lavish and has a gorgeous, warm but slick feel.

Chef Danielle Alvarez, from San Francisco’s renowned Chez Panisse is in the kitchen, serving up dishes with Moroccon and Turkish flavours and Asian spices. Interesting oh, and not strictly a pub, but operated by Merivale.

My take: Love the bar in the entry, just gorgeous for a pre-dinner drink. Beautiful first date restaurant.

Specials; Not yet and not likely to be that kind of venue.

Locals say: Gorgeous but super pricey for Paddington so only for a very special night out.

Charlie Parker’s:

This bar is under Fred’s, and is THE place to be seen at the moment in Paddington for pre-dinner drinks o matter where you are going. If you want to know who is dating who in Paddo, this is where you find out.

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