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The Royal Hotel, Darlington

Home > Sydney > Bars | Food and Wine | Hotels | Nightlife | Pubs
by Telani Kumar (subscribe)
A free-spirit studying psychology at the University of Sydney.
Published November 30th 2016
'Beer & good times since 1894'
One of the pinnacles of life at Sydney University would have to be regular visits down the road to The Royal. What's so great about this old hotel? We find ourselves drawn back time and time again because of the great variety of drinks to unwind with, delicious pub feeds, and cosy rooms perfect for catch-ups. To top this off, it doesn't break the bank.

royal, hotel, darlington, pub, 1894
The Royal Hotel looking much the same as it did in 1894 - photo by Freia Kirkaldy

This Darlington/Redfern establishment has been keeping its guests happy since 1894. Of course, it's undergone some refinement since then to ensure it continues to live up to its reputation of being a venue of comfort and quality. However, its face and its welcoming spirit, traditional of Aussie pub-fare, has remained much the same.

royal, hotel, darlington, pub, 1894
Getting a feel for the venue's history - photo by Freia Kirkaldy

The venue is divvied up into two levels, and a handful of different rooms. The front rooms close to the downstairs bar are great for a coldie in a casual yet often bustling setting (particularly by evening). Behind this, find a Tuscan-style eatery, with a warm atmosphere in which to grab a bite. You may however dine wherever you fancy.

royal, hotel, darlington, pub, 1894
Cosy front room looking over the street-front - photo by Freia Kirkaldy

Venture upstairs for a larger, well-lit space, with a series of longer tables. This is great if you have a posse with you, or simply want more room to dine and drink with your mates. An adjacent pool table room provides further entertainment. These can be reserved for functions for free (with no minimum bar tab), as we've done many a time for uni events.

royal, hotel, darlington, pub, 1894, bistro, food
Eatery at the back - photo by Freia Kirkaldy

The bistro has all your pub favourites - from snack dishes like fried chicken and hot chips (including sweet potato chips and wedges), to fillers like burgers and schnitties. Not to mention their budget-friendly $10 steak meals. Also find Mediterranean specials like lamb souvlaki, Spanish Parmy, and a range of pizzas.

royal, hotel, darlington, pub, 1894, bistro, food, sweet potato, chips, aioli, beer, schooner, vodka, soda, lime, drinks
Delicious sweet potato chips with aioli, alongside some drinks to unwind with - photo by Freia Kirkaldy

It always smells delicious inside - no surprise we often end up grabbing a bite with our refreshments. Speaking of which, we tend to share jugs of beer and cider (around $12 each), along with plates of chips. We've found The Royal in groups is even kinder yet on the purse. Also cool down with schooners (around $5), a glass of wine ($6-8), or spirits (around $7).

royal, hotel, darlington, pub, 1894, bar, drinks, beer, cider, alcohol, alcoholic, beverages, wine, spirits
Order from a variety of drinks on offer with the friendly bar staff - photo by Freia Kirkaldy

For further entertainment, The Royal has a quaint casino and features live sport on the plasma televisions throughout the venue. Some outdoor seating is provided too for those who want to dine and drink alfresco. With a list of great features, it's no wonder this casual and comfortable hotel has continued to welcome guests for over 100 years.

royal, hotel, darlington, pub, 1894, casino
Photo by Freia Kirkaldy

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Why? Drink, dine, relax
When: Mon - Sat 10am-12am | Sun 12pm-10pm
Phone: 02 9698 8557 | E:
Where: 370 Abercrombie St, Darlington NSW
Cost: Drinks $5-12 | Food $4-24
Your Comment
Great review! Sounds like a nice place.
by Jay Johnson (score: 3|1368) 1594 days ago
Love classy charming places like these
by Lucinda (score: 2|342) 1592 days ago
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