Having spent the last few years living abroad I now wish to rediscover my home city of Sydney to keep that 'travelling feeling' and share my findings with those that might want a bit of inspiration.
Published May 22nd 2013
For less than $10 - some places even eat for free
By the time happy hour has come and gone on Fridays, the responsible drinker will be looking to line their stomach. So where can you tuck in without forking out so that you can spend your extra dollars on round two at the bar afterwards?
The Shelbourne is an institutional city worker favourite. Sitting on the Darling Harbour fringe, this bar has it all. Multiple ambient lounge areas are available (some you can book for groups), including a leafy outdoor bar offering a burst of fauna relief amongst all the city buildings. Fridays sees the establishment assisting patrons to drink responsibly by offering $5 tapas pizzas all night. For less than you'll pay for your next drink, fill up on traditional flavours such as prawn with chilli and shallot, lamb with caramelised onion & feta and even a delicious prosciutto with pesto and balsamic glaze! Dig in - your tastebuds will thank that evening and your body will thank you the next morning!
After extensive renovations this old Crows Nest haunt has emerged from the depths of a grungy elderly men's saloon to a North Shore hotspot with relaxing and welcoming décor. The daily specials don't stop when the weekend rolls around, in fact – they get better! Fridays sees the friendly staff throwing open their doors (and large street facing bay windows) offering $9 spicy quesadillas (5-9pm) and $7 frozen cocktails (3-7pm). Since you can dine and drink on the cheap, why not spend your whole evening there. For those that want to party on until the wee hours, the Crows Nest Hotel is only a block away with live tunes pumping until the early hours. Incidentally they are also serving up Friday night discounts, so if quesadillas aren't your thing head up the road between 5 & 7pm and you can feast on 2- for-1 tapas plates.
As soon as hump day each week has come and gone, St James Hotel is ready to welcome you with open arms and lower prices! Not only can you indulge in $3.50 beer, wine and house spirits and $9 cocktails after 5pm but meals are also 2 for 1 as soon as the 5pm finishers clock off! Schnitzel, salmon, steak and pizza are among the offerings so there's something for everyone. Why not offer to shout a colleagues or a friend on a Friday if they cover your expenses on Saturday? You'll find yourself ahead in the dollar stakes in no time!
One of Manly premier venues with views of the water (just across the road from surf, sand and the last rays of sunshine) is the sultry Sugar Lounge. With three areas to choose from you are sure to find a perfect fit for your evening whether it be a date in the Beach Bar, dancing with girlfriends at the Grand Ballroom nightclub or hosting a function in the Ocean Room. Fridays sees the beautiful people of the Northern Beaches indulging in the flavours of Italy with $5 Pizzas, Peronis and house spirits between 5 & 9pm. Don't stay away from the beach in winter; just stay inside across the road at Sugar Lounge.
Free Barbeque anyone? Yes you've read that correctly! If you roll up to Hotel Cremorne to spend time in one of their 4 bars in the venue between 4 & 6pm on a Friday you can enjoy a gourmet barbecue on the house. Nothing more perfect to accompany $4.50 wine and bubbles during the same two hours.
$7.90 steaks all day every day with mash and your choice of sauce (béarnaise, red wine jus, creamy mushroom or pepper) sound too good to be true? Well it's not! Any day of the week this juicy meal can be yours with the purchase of a drink from the bar. The décor is relaxed; more like an afternoon café than a bar. Large windows allow guests to look out onto the leafy vintage vista of neighbouring Boronia House whilst relaxing and unwinding from a busy week. It's easy for you to forget you're in one of Sydney's more exclusive areas when you wake up with money in your wallet the next morning.
Gorgeous Hotel Mosman - and only $7.90 for steak and mash!
Free Oyster Fridays sound good? For those of you whom always have wanted to try oysters but don't want to fork out the big dosh without knowing if it'll take your fancy, this is the perfect solution! Between 5 and 6pm you have a small window of opportunity to sample these sweets of the sea without paying a dime. The Albion Place Hotel is just opposite Oportos on George Street with both inside and outside (laneway) seating, so if they don't tickle your tastebuds you can just run across the road for more standard fare.