The Rocks / Circular Quay, Sydney

42 Reviews

The Rocks

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  • Mussels
    Mussels
    by cjg1
  • Kangaroo
    Kangaroo
    by cjg1
  • Cheers (March 2012)
    Cheers (March 2012)
    by cjg1
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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:
    • Beer Tasting
    • Food and Dining
    • Wine Tasting

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    Ship Inn: Ship Inn

    by cjg1 Updated Jul 23, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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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    Fortune of War: Oldest Pub in Sydney

    by dlandt Updated Nov 25, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fortune of War

    Like the sign says, its the oldest pub in Sydney. Let me tell you, they make a great draft stout as well, one of the best I've ever tasted. Even though its not far from the Rocks, there is nothing conceited or snobby about this place. Feel free to wander in and relax, chat a little, no one really cares who you are, so long as you can carry a conversation or tell a joke.

    Dress Code: None

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    • Beer Tasting

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    Orient Hotel: Casual Pub Atmosphere

    by LadyRVG Updated Oct 9, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Enjoying a Cold Beer on a Warm Day
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    The Orient Hotel is a nice little place located in the Rocks. It's situated on the corner with large windows. The bar itself serves a variety of drinks as well as food. There are several rooms to eat, drink or gamble (in the back room). The place has a casual and inviting atmosphere. Chris and I found ourselves here several times during our Sydney stay to enjoy a nice cold beer, relax, people watch and occasional meet up with some of his Sydney friends. We prefered a nice table by the window so we could watch the outside happenings.

    Monday & Tuesdays had a bar menu special: any bar menu entree was $10.

    **If there's a major sporting event on the television this place gets packed. We were fortunate to already have a table before a big horse race.**

    Dress Code: Casual

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    • Beer Tasting
    • Food and Dining

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    Observer Hotel: American Baseball in Sydney

    by LadyRVG Updated Jul 23, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Having fun at the Observer
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    The Observer Hotel was one of the first pubs Chris and I hit in Sydney. We were wandering back from the Rocks MArket and Chris spied a baseball game on TV. Being the good girlfriend, I indulged him and agreed to stop in for some drinks and some baseball watching. The bar was rather cozy with plenty of seating and served food as wel as drinks.

    As we were njoying some drinks we began chatting with another couple. They turned out to be Brittish red Sox Fans. They have family in Boston and have become fans over the years. They even get American Baseball on their TV back home. We had a fun time talking about what we saw and were planning to see in Sydney. I got to talk about my London days and favorite towns in England. I was glad we stopped in.

    Dress Code: Casual

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    The Glenmore.: Also a hotel...

    by dlandt Written Nov 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Glenmore

    See my accomodations tip for more, but his is another resonably priced bar with friendly clientele, a great view of the skyline and bridge, and can keep you safe while your wife shops in the Rocks.

    Dress Code: Street clothes are just fine.

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    Lord Nelson: A Pub with a bit of History.......

    by LadyRVG Updated Jul 23, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chris and his beer
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    As soon as I saw the Lord Nelso I wanted to go in. I am a big fan of English history and the famous Admiral Nelson and his naval victories were some of my favorite stories. The pub itself is in an old but cozy building. The Pub has its own Microbrewery with a nice list of beers. The bar has numerous seeting areas as well as a restaurant. The bar is decorated in heavy wood and various references to Admiral Nelson's famous battles are throughout.

    Chris and I enjoyed sitting at a table relaxing after some sightseeing. The beer was okay. I'm not a big beer fan but I know Chris was less than thrilled with his. I liked the calm and casual atmosphere of this place.

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

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    The Glenmore Hotel: Busy Pub in the Rocks

    by cjg1 Updated Nov 30, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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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    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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    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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    Baroque: Great Cocktails and People Watching

    by LadyRVG Updated Jan 24, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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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    The Rocks / Circular Quay: Ghost Tour: not your typical night life, I guess!

    by kooka3 Written Jul 26, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cadman's Cottage

    I was going to put this in the "things to do" column, but decided, obviously, not to. I don't remember this tour being offered last time I was in Sydney, but that doesn't mean much, I guess.

    The ghost tour goes through the Rocks district, which is the original Sydney settlement, so it has lots of old buildings. It's a great way to see the area, even if you don't believe in ghosts! The tour guides - who are all supposedly 34d generation local residents - tell some great stories, so it's a good way to spend about an hour and a half.

    The tour starts at 6:45 (April-October) or 7:45 (November - March). There are special tours on Halloween, Full Moon nights, and black fridays. No tours on Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years Eve, or Good Friday.

    Dress Code: Wear good walking shoes! You'll be walking for awhile over roads that aren't always smooth, and up and down stairs. Also bring clothes appropriate for the weather (rain gear, a jumper/sweater, etc) since you'll be outside for most of the time.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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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:
    • Wine Tasting
    • Food and Dining
    • Beer Tasting

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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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