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Published February 22nd 2017
The classic cheese burger with hand cut chips (by Old Fitzroy Hotel)
For an easy night out, unwinding with friends at your local pub is a Sydney tradition. The choice of lunch and dinner options continues growing, with pub meals for every craving, from pizza, pasta and seafood, to burgers, steaks and chicken (with a mandatory side of chips). Aussie pubs offer our favourite dishes at pub grub prices, with these 5 serving some of the best and cheapest pub meals in Sydney.
Drawn in by the live music, you'll enjoy settling in with the locals as you debate which craft beer is craftiest. Enjoy the show in the Old Fitz, Australia's only pub theatre, where Tim Minchin, Kate Mulvany and Brendan Cowell have trodden the boards.
All the classic pub meals are dished up from the Jimmy Fitz Kitchen but there are specials for the cash-strapped, including grilled barramundi with hand-cut chips on Mondays ($15), the signature chicken schnitzel with Irish Colcannon mash on Tuesdays with bonus trivia ($15) and the Sunday Roast, still ruling Britannia with beef and Yorkshire pudding, veges and red wine jus ($20). If you've been good, splurge on the deep fried Mars Bar with Young Henrys hop ale and Gaytime ice cream ($12).
The Old Fitzroy Hotel is open for lunch and dinner Mon - Thur 12pm - 3pm and 5.30pm - 9.30pm, Fri and Sat 12pm - 9.30pm and Sun 3pm - 9.30pm.
One of the best places to people watch in Newtown, the 'lived-in' Courty has lush beer gardens, one for smokers, the other for families to escape into. Chat with the locals or cheer the Swannies kicking goals on the big screen. If you can translate the Arabic on the vintage red sign, you must be a regular (or you've learnt Arabic).
On the chalkboard menu, share veg or beef nachos ($18) before inhaling the Courty Burger with shoestring fries ($18) or the beer battered John Dory with chips and tartare ($22). There's also spaghetti, fish and chicken schnity for the kids ($8 each).
Bringing the character of Happy Days and Cheers to Caringbah, in Huxley's is a great place to watch the footy. Just a short walk from the station, don't be scared by the freezer door. Step through to enter an American-style sports bar. Once you've grabbed a table, order at the bar as the staff aren't gliding on rollerskates to take tableside orders (yet).
The Yankee theme continues on the menu, with all the iconic 'cuisine' available to satisfy big American appetites. On Wednesdays, there are $1 spicy chicken wings and Burger Night is on Thursday when the Huxley Burger with beef, cheddar, pickle, lettuce, tomato, special burger sauce and crinkle cut chips is $10. There is also the Fire Dog with frankfurt and pulled chilli beef, spare ribs with red, barbecue or cola sauce and prawn gumbo.
For dessert, alternate between apple pie with vanilla ice cream and a brownie with choc soft serve and fudge.
Huxley's is open from 5pm till late Mon - Thur and 12pm till late Fri - Sun.
It's busy on the weekends as beach-goers flock to the recently refurbished Newport to watch the sun set across Pittwater from the beer garden. The pub is also child-friendly where the play area occasionally hosts a face painter to pub a smile on little faces. Canine companions are also welcome if kept under control.
The kitchen serves a range of flavours, from seafood to burgers, wraps, roasts and pizzas. The best cheap eats are the omelette with Alaskan crab, fresh herbs and Vietnamese dressing ($17), the classic cheeseburger or schnitty ($18), or the Salento pizza with San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella, salami, grilled eggplant and salted ricotta ($22). There are equivalent dishes for kids too.
The Newport is open from 12pm - 12am weekdays, 11am - 12am Sat and 11am - 11pm Sun.
Mary's Burger with crinkle cut chips (by The Unicorn)
Follow the loud conversations, 70s rock and bearded bar staff to reach The Unicorn, climbing the stairs for dinner once you've had a drink or two in the beer garden. Pulling beers since WW2, the Unicorn is the perfect place in Paddo for a casual meal in an old fashioned Sydney pub.
Full of our favourite pub grub, highlights are the chicken parma with ham, tomato, cheese and chips ($27), Mary's Burger with double patties and crinkle cut chips ($23) and the steak Diane with mash and peas ($24).
The Courthouse Hotel is open from 4pm - 1am Mon and Tue, 4pm - 3am Wed, 11am - 3am Thur - Sat and 11am till midnight on Sun.
Where do you go for an old fashioned pub feed in Sydney? Please let us know with a comment.