Following the fine work done by Tim Falk in his article Paddington Pub Crawl, it's time to tackle another suburb made for pub crawls: Surry Hills. Located within walking distance of the city, the suburb boasts some outstanding watering holes. So arrange a meet-up and pool your drinking money. This is a suggested itinerary, but feel free to mix it up – there are plenty of other splendid drinking spots in the neighbourhood.
Kick things off at Hotel Hollywood. An easy walk from Central, Hotel Hollywood is the pub time forgot. Owner Doris Goddard used to be a fairly famous actress and reminders of the golden era of showbiz hang proudly on the wall. The glamour days may have passed, but the Hollywood still offers frosty schooners, a solid wine list and an interesting mix of patrons.
After the Hollywood, follow Commonwealth Street south for 150 metres. You'll arrive at the Royal Albert Hotel, a small corner pub that's not well-known outside the area. The front room has a tiny bar with James Squire Pale Ale, John Boston Pale Ale and Royal Albert Lager on tap. The middle bar has wooden floorboards, comfy chairs and old-timey video games. The next room houses the pub's Bamboo Dumpling Bar which pumps out cheerful Chinese classics.
After enough pale ale, head along Commonwealth Street until you get to Albion Street. Then walk up the hill to Bellevue Street. Follow that for about 100 metres and hey presto, you've reached Mexico. Or at least you've reached the Excelsior Hotel & El Loco. To drink there's Pacifico Beer and a stupefying selection of tequila. The attached El Loco cantina sees chef Dan Hong crank out tacos all night long. The pub is absurdly popular and snaring a seat is often a chore, but swing by for a Pacifico, and if you're still peckish, a taco or three.
Cross from Mexico back into Surry Hills and head up Foveaux Street, then turn left on Crown Street and make for the Dolphin Hotel. A fairly blokey pub, the Dolphin is best known for its giant TV screen. There are also pool tables and plenty of space to spread out. The pub's bistro does decent fare – stay for a steak if you feel your stomach rumbling.
Next, head east on Fitzroy Street towards one of the best boozers in the area: the Cricketers Arms. Occupying a corner block, Surry Hills may have changed, but the Cricketers certainly hasn't. Packed with a bewildering collection of memorabilia and boasting wooden floorboards and a battered bar that's been kicked a billion times, the pub also has a terrific courtyard. Commandeer a table outside or surround the pool table and settle in.
The nearby Flinders Hotel is another pub recently taken over by Jaime Wirth and Dane Gorell, who are the pub whiz kids behind the transformations of the Norfolk, Carrington and Abercrombie hotels. And this place ain't much different. Weird crap on the wall, tick. Strange beverages, tick. A hell of a lot of hipsters, big tick. But there's Kirin on tap and tasty hot dogs available from the bar, so stick around.
Head up the road, and you'll reach that old faithful, Kinselas. The pub overlooks Taylor Square and you can watch a never-ending parade of humanity passing by at every hour of the day. The pub's a bit the same, it manages to attract all sorts of people. Dress up, dress down, hell, dress as a member of the opposite sex – it won't really matter. There's a good selection of drinks on offer and plenty of people to talk to.
And so you're probably feeling it right about know. Luckily, you're pretty centrally located. You could head back towards town, disperse for the evening, or hit up a few surrounding venues. The possibilities are endless really.