The Rocks / Circular Quay, Sydney

42 Reviews

The Rocks

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  • Kangaroo
    Kangaroo
    by cjg1
  • Mussels
    Mussels
    by cjg1
  • Cheers (March 2012)
    Cheers (March 2012)
    by cjg1
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    Mercantile Hotel: Beer and Cricket

    by cjg1 Updated Nov 6, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My wife enjoying here beer (November 2010)
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    The Mercantile Hotel is one of the many bars situated in the Rocks and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The bar areas is rather large with bar seating as well as indoor and outdoor tables. My wife and I love exploring the Rocks and found this pub to be an excellent place to grab a drink.

    We first came here in 2010 and now we find ourselves here at least once during our visits for a drink. There is usually a game on; cricket mostly which I love. We usually sit at a table for two or at the bar if there are seats available.The patrons are typically a mix of tourists as well as locals and all seemed to enjoy the casual friendliness of the place.

    I really enjoy that they keep the doors open to allow for a nice breeze from the harbour instead of cranking up the air conditioning. Food is also served here and is ordered at a seperate window at the back of the bar.

    Dress Code: Casual

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    The Australian Hotel: A Fun Pub high in the Rocks

    by cjg1 Updated Nov 6, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Liz and I enjoying the Australian Hotel (11/2010)
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    The Australian Hotel is an old pub in the Rocks section of Sydney. The orignal pub was opened in 1824 and this location has been around since 1913; which makes it a popular Sydney institution.

    After wandering the back streets of the Rocks in 2010; my wife and I decided to stop here for some drinks. The place is huge with both indoor and outdoor seating. They also have an extensive pub menu if you need some food with your drinks.

    Our first visit here was in 2010. We decided to have a seat at a table for two near the bar since the outdoor crowd was a bit on the rowdy side. We enjoyed a few Toohey's while people watching and discussing our future travels .I like that this place had a nice mix of people; young and old; casual and professional.

    Since our first visit in 2010, we have found ourselves here several times during our trips; usually at the same table. It's just such a chill place with good beer and really nice pub grub to boot;especially their pizzas.

    Dress Code: Come as you are

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    Lowenbrau Keller: Good German Beer

    by cjg1 Updated Oct 10, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Liz and her beer (february 2012)
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    This is one of the places I have been to every time I come to town. Yes, it is a big "tourist" spot but even locals are drawn here for food and drinks. They serve traditional German food and beer which is unique to this area. Servers are dressed in traditional German costumes which is a hoot.

    I love the atmosphere and the liters of Spaten. Located right next to the Rocks Sydney Visitor’s Center on Argyle Street it’s just a place I always find myself for at least a few beers per trip.
    I must admit it doesn’t get to be much more than one or two though; as its only a liter and they charge $19. You can get the same amount of beer just down the street for $12 to $14. And that adds up quick. So I go and enjoy one or two and then move on. My wife and I usually come in to enjoy some beer and their tasty, warm pretzels before heading on to a different spot.

    The nice thing here is that they do have a large our-door seating area with bench tables and also individual tables and then inside a couple large rooms. So the atmosphere will be one where you can easily relax. In fact I would say this is one of my favorites to hit when in Sydney.

    Dress Code: Casual

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    Belgian Bier Cafe: Large Selection of Belgian Beer & Food

    by cjg1 Updated Oct 10, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Liz and her Stella (feb 2012)
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    The Belgian Bief Cafe situated in the Rocks is a favorite spot for my wife and I. We both love the food here and the large selection of Belgian beer. My wife and I enjoy a good Belgian Beer and we can find some of our favorites available such as: Leffe Blonde, Stella Artois, La Guillotine, Chimay, Orval and Titje.

    The establishment is quite large with a large bar area and several dining areas. The food here is excellent and they have good lunch specials. Liz and I love coming here for a meal especially their Kangaroo Loin and their mussels which come prepared in many different ways. We've enjoyed it here so much we have visited on the last three trips we have taken to Sydney and most recently we found a Belgian Bier Cafe such as this in Perth.

    Dress Code: Casual; but it has a large business crowd for lunch and drinks.

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    Opera Bar: Drinks with an Incredible View

    by cjg1 Updated Jan 25, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Liz enjoying her beer (March 2010)
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    Opera Bar is normally not a place you'd find me but Liz wanted to try it out and I can never refuse a request from my wife. So off we went from the Opera House down to the Lower Concourse. We decided to sit outside instead of inside since it was a gorgeous day. The bar also serves food but we were not hungry as of yet. The bar has several beers on tap as well as wines and mixed drinks. The prices here are definitely on the pricey side especially for mixed drinks and full bottles of wine.

    I went to the bar and ordered us two Pure Blonde's while Liz found a seat at a table for two. I was amazed at how relaxing it was just sitting there with the view of the bridge, harbour and Opera House. Liz and I chose a table under an umbrella so we could enjoy the beautiful day and not get fried by the sun. The breeze was perfect of the water and I had a wonderful time with Liz. There is so much activity to watch yet you can sit back and feel so removed....

    I was so glad that she suggested we come here; it really was an awesome experience and a definite must see when in Sydney. We loved this bar so much it has become a staple to our Sydney visits. Our last visit here in 2012 we came here for drinks with our friend Jackie and had an excellent time.

    Dress Code: Casual

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Beer Tasting
    • Wine Tasting

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    Fortune of War: Sydney's Oldest Pub

    by LadyRVG Updated Apr 9, 2012

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    Enjoying a cold beer
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    The Fortune of War is Sydney's Oldest Pub dating back to 1828. The Pub is a popular spot in the Rocks mainly for its traditional pub atmosphere and cozy vibe.

    My husband and I have been enjoying this pub since our trip in 2010. I love the casual vibe and large local presence. I prefer to be where the locals are than the touristy watering holes. Let me live like a Sydneysider and I'm happy.

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    Opera Bar: Great Harbour Views

    by LadyRVG Updated Jan 24, 2012

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    Enjoying a Frosty Beer
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    The Opera Bar is one of my favorite sports to grab a drink when in Sydney. I love the location; right on the Lowe Concourse of the Opera House with stunning views of Sydney Harbour. Enjoying a drink with a spectacular view is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in my opinion. Almost every visit to Sydney has included a stop at the Opera Bar for an afternoon or pre-dinner drink.

    The bar itself is situated right on the lower concourse of the Opera House right above the water line. There are plenty of tables inside and outside. There is a variety of cocktails, beer on tap, champagne and wine to quench your thirst. Wine and Champagne is sold by the glass (certain selections) as well as by the bottle. Drink prices are a little more expensive here than other bars but you are paying for the location. Food is also an option with lunch, dinner and snack selections available throughout the day.

    I prefer to sit outside on a sunny day and enjoy an ice cold beer or a glass of Sauvignon Blanc while taking in the buzz of activity of the Harbour. My Husband (the nautical enthusiast) delights in watching the ferries and boats sailing in and out of the Harbour. People watching here is definitely a fun activity with so many visitors to the circular Quay area. Nighttime this place lights up with the after work crowd and pre-theatre crowd. The bar is decorated with twinkling lights and the Harbour is aglow from the illuminated Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

    Dress Code: Casual during the day and dressy during the evening.

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    Baroque: Great Cocktails and People Watching

    by LadyRVG Updated Jan 24, 2012

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    Loving my Bellini
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    Baroque is a restaurant located in The Rocks that also has a great terrace bar. There are two things I love; an outdoor bar and a great view...Baroque does not dissapoint. The way the terrace is situated on a corner; there are views of the Harbour as well as the lively Rocks area (perfect people watching in my opinion).

    Their cocktail menu has the usual libations; wine, beer and mixed drinks but what I come here for is their Bellini. I love a good Bellini and it is very hard to find a place that does it the "right" way by using peach nectar. Baroque has the best Bellini in Sydney hands down; and trust me I tried plenty of them around the city.

    I also loved the food at Baroque; delicious bistro fare. My husband and I have had several tasty meals after enjoying some pre-dinner drinks and people watching on the terrace.

    **This is a good place for afterwork drinks or pre-dinner drinks. The vibe is relaxed and the cocktails are tasty.**

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    Fortune of War: Sydney's Oldest Pub

    by cjg1 Updated Jun 23, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Enjoying some beer with my baby girl...
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    Fortune of War is Sydney's oldest pub; with the first recorded liquor license on record in 1828. This pub is right in the heart of the Rocks. We first discovered this pub in February 2010 while exploring the Rocks.

    We enjoyed the nice relaxing atmosphere which we enjoy. We especially liked their back room that was a large enclosed patio with windows and a balcony. Sitting in that room with a cold beer and nice breeze was a great place to relax and talk. The action seems to be at the front of the pub by the main entrance but we still chose the quiet of the back.

    The bar also serves food but we came here primarily to enjoy some beer and relax. I would have a Toohey's and Liz enjoyed her Pure Blonde. We found ourselves here several time throughout our trip to grab a beer after a day of sightseeing.

    Sadly we returned in November 2010 to find the back room patio had been changed. The balcony no longer existed nor the open windows. Another good things has ended....

    Dress Code: Casual

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Wine Tasting
    • Beer Tasting

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    Hero of Waterloo: Great Pub for Relaxing

    by cjg1 Updated Jan 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Liz and I enjoying some drinks (November 2010)
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    The Hero of Waterloo is a quiet and relaxing pub in the Rocks area. It's off of the tourist drag so it has more locals than your typical Rocks pub.

    Liz and I came here to enjoy some beer before heading off for a lunch with some friends. The pub has that oldtime feel with lots of hardwood accents and a nice worn in bar. There were plenty of seats at the bar as well as a back area with tables. We had a seat at the bar to enjoy some ice cold beer.

    This was a great find and the perfect place to relax without any worries.

    Dress Code: Casual

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    The Glenmore Hotel: Busy Pub in the Rocks

    by cjg1 Updated Nov 30, 2010

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    Liz enjoying a beer (November 2010)
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    The Glenmore Hotel is a historic pub in the Rocks. Built in 1921, this pub is high in the rocks with beautiful harbour views; especially from its rooftop bar.

    The bar has two levels as well as outdoor seating. My wife and I stopped here for a drink and a snack during our most recent Sydney trip in November 2010. We decided to sit indoors since the wind was kicking up outside and didn't want to get blown off the rooftop. We sat at a table for two to enjoy some ice cold beer for Liz and a cider for me as well as an order of their tasty garlic bread. We had a fun time here people watching and discussing our upcoming trip to South America.

    The vibe here is very casual during the day which is something I cherish in a pub.

    Dress Code: Casual

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    Ship Inn: Ship Inn

    by cjg1 Updated Jul 23, 2010

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    The Ship Inn is one of those places I'd walked past every time I'd been here and never stopped in. Well after leaving Orient the first time in 2007 we walked over here to meet up with Laura.

    Your usual happy hour pricing on beer and then the early week food savings that abounds around town made this a nice evening. We sat outside and enjoyed a couple drinks and some pizzas.

    They are right on Alfred next to the Circular Quay train station.

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    Orient Hotel: Orient Hotel

    by cjg1 Updated Jul 23, 2010

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    A nice cold beer.....
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    The Orient is another pub in the Rocks that we discovered during our October 2007 trip. The pub has two levels with a club, Bier garden, hotel and brasserie. The atmosphere is very laid back so no worries about not being a local. The crowd is a mix of locals and tourists. They often have sporting evens playing on the many TV's as well as music. The beer selection here is good and the prices won't break the bank. The Orient also serves pub grub at the bar which is very good and reasonably priced.

    We recently returned to the Orient during our 2010 trip and found it to be the same as when we left it. We has a few beers here to beat the heat after a day of exploring.

    Dress Code: Casual

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    Baroque: Evening Drinks in the Rocks

    by cjg1 Updated Jul 23, 2010

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    Liz and her Bellini(2/ 2010)
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    Baroque is a restaurant but also has a bar. Liz and I were in the mood for a nice drink outside and Baroque was just steps in front of us. We decided to have a seat on the patio and relax with a late afternoon drink. The menu has a variety of beer, mixed drinks and wine. Wine is available by the glass or by the bottle.

    I decided I wanted a nice cold beer while Liz had her favorite drink a Bellini. Our waitress was very nice and attentive. My beer was cold and refreshing; it hit the spot. Liz loved her Bellini and was happy she found a place that made it the "right" way with Peach nectar instead of Schnapps.

    We enjoyed sitting outside in the nice weather and people watching. The location is perfect to see the harbor and the happenings at the Rocks. This was a nice was to unwind and get ready to the evening adventures.

    Dress Code: Casual

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Historical Travel
    • Beaches

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    Observer Hotel: Observer Hotel

    by cjg1 Updated Apr 15, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Liz and I having fun @ the Observer
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    This pub is one of my favorites. The Observer is located in the Rocks but is not the typical tourist nightmare. The pub has indoor and outdoor seating with Claude's Kitchen in the back if you feel like ordering a snack or a meal. The pub also has Pub Trivia and live entertainment nights.

    Liz and I first discovered this place back in October 2007. We had such fun times here that we came back several times during our Feb/March 2010 trip. This place has a great relaxed atmosphere. The bartenders are friendly, the beer is good and the other patrons are quick to chat you up. Liz and I have spent some time here enjoying some beer, wine and having good conversation with locals.

    The pub has a nice selection of beers And I enjoyed a few Toohey's and Liz enjoyed some Sauvignon Blanc or a beer when we were here.

    Dress Code: Casual

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting
    • Beer Tasting
    • Food and Dining

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