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 25th 2013
Food, drink and entertainment all for nothing
What better way to save your hard earned dollars for the weekend than indulging in Sydneys best free food, drinks and entertainment mid-week? We can't think of one so here are some of our picks for getting the best bang without forking out your bucks.
Mondays: Free Movies at Soda Factory - 16 Wentworth Street, Surry Hills
If old and new classical films are your thing then heading to the Soda Factory in Surry Hills on Monday nights will be right up your alley. Screenings start at 8pm and free popcorn accompanies the feature. Can't get much better than that. This new hotspot in Surry Hills hides behind a fluorescent pink and white entranceway and screens films such as Top Gear, Billy Madison, Space Jam and more. With food and drink coming in at the $5 mark its hard to go wrong. Make sure you get in early to settle into a nice nook or cranny and while away the hours with all your favorite stars on their big screen.
Free Movies and Popcorn on Mondays at Soda Factory
Tuesdays: Free Pasta at Scary Canary - 469 Kent Street, Sydney
If the words 'backpacker bar' don't scare you and send you running for the hills away from all the backpackers who descend on our shores wearing singlets in winter going "Eh, this isn't cold! then you'll fit right in at Scary Canary, the bar connected to Base Hostel. With different theme nights every night of the week to keep our travelling friends entertained there's bound to be an evening that takes your fancy. For anyone whose wallet is feeling a tiny bit stretched you can tuck in without forking out on a Tuesday. Between 7 & 8pm they are serving up steaming bowls of hot pasta for free. There's also a $100 bar tab up for grabs if you participate in the evening trivia rounds; perfect for the week leading up to pay day.
Popular with the corporate crowd mid week and then the beautiful people on the weekend Establishment Bar at 252 George Street in the city down near Circular Quay transforms into a hub of Latina energy as Tuesdays roll around. Every Tuesday at 8pm Establishment Bar sends out the teachers to give a complimentary salsa class to the patrons to accompany the $10 Mojitos and $5 Coronas on special that evening. So move your legs, shake your hips and shimmy away the cold midweek as winter sets in.
Free Salsa Lessons - 8pm Tuesdays at Establishment
Every girl loves a good pamper session but not all of us are willing to pay for the pleasure on a regular basis. Well girls on a budget, The Haymarket Hotel is set to rise to new levels in the best bar stakes. Wednesday night is Ladies night with this marble bar with high ceilings enticing the girls even further with free manicures on a Wednesday night. Every Wednesday from 5pm this opulent venue offers complimentary manicures to accompany $3 glasses of bubbly, $5 wines and $10 cocktails. Get the girls together and get down to George Street. Your cuticles will thank you.
Wednesday Manicures at Haymarket Hotel
Thursdays: Free Steak & Schnitzels at the Cock 'n Bull - 1/89 Ebley Street, Bondi Junction
Meat is one of most people's largest expenses on the weekly food bill. The Cock 'n Bull goes out of its way to try to alleviate this pain every week by offering free steak and schnitzels every Thursday. This Irish pub in the heart of Bondi Junction is every backpacker/budget conscious individual's friend for dishing up the daily protein free with any drink purchase from 6pm - 10pm and with sides/sauces for $1.50. Get in early to get a table and enjoy live traditional Irish music from 7pm or stay later and party on with DJ PJ until 2am.
If you've ever seen the television show Man v Food you may have some idea of what to expect at the Pyrmont Bridge Hotel on a Thursday night between 6 & 9pm. This hotel with views of Darling Harbour just near the footbridge is offering a free dinner of steak, chips and salad. Only 1 catch though, the steak is 1kg and you have to clear your plate in order to get it for free. Not a mouthful left. For us mere mortals who can't consume a baby's weight of food the price is $20 but there is sure to be plenty of entertainment as the men size themselves up against one another. Oh, and no sharing allowed.
If you can eat it all - free steak at Pyrmont Bridge Hotel
You wouldn't be a proper Aussie if you didn't indulge in the occasional prawn here and there. Chamberlain Hotel on Pitt Street (near Central Station) serves up freshly grilled complimentary prawns on Fridays from 5pm. With Coronas only $5 until 7pm one can almost imagine that summer is still about with the fresh zingy flavor combination. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available (footpath style) so smokers can rejoice and not be excluded from all the fun.
As mentioned in one of my earlier articles, Frugal Friday Feeds in Sydney, the Albion Place Hotel on George Street serves up free oysters on Friday evenings between 5 & 6pm. These smooth delectable morsels are ranked in the higher levels of free bar food and certainly beat nuts and crisps to have us pull up a chair. Laneway and 2 levels of bar seating are available and best of all the cinemas are only a few doors away so why not start Friday night date night with some champagne and oysters to really wow their socks off without emptying your wallet.
Friday 2-for-1 Drinks & Free Bar Snacks: The Three Weeds - 193 Evans Street Rozelle
If you are in the inner-west region as 5pm rolls around on Friday head on down to local favourite, the Three Weeds in Rozelle. This traditional hotel, established back in the late 1800s, exudes charm from every corner and has patrons rolling in on Fridays to take advantage of their 2-for-1 drink offers and a plethora of free bar snacks from 5pm. Complimentary offerings include pizzas, pies and other finger-food in the front bar so if seafood and the city aren't your thing just jump on the bus down to this friendly venue just 5 minutes from the CBD. Best of all? As the weather gets colder this pub will get warmer. One of the 5 bars inside has a roaring fireplace to toast your frozen tootsies.