Bondi is Sydney's brashy oceanfront playground, and it attracts tourists, beach bums and daytrippers by the busload. And why? Well, having Sydney's most famous (and arguably best) beach doesn't hurt. But on top of that, Bondi still manages to be home to some of the city's hippest eateries, cafes and shops. Not to mention bars. Long home to a rocking pub scene, Bondi has caught the same small bar bug that the rest of this town's got. Here are five of the best bars in Bondi.
Ahoy mateys! The Anchor is Bondi's very own pirate-themed tequila bar. Inside, the little room has dark wooden tables, exposed brick walls and some truly impressive chandeliers. The best perches are close to the window, or if hipster-gazing is your poison, grab a seat out on the pavement. To drink, it's largely about tequila. They stock plenty and use them in beverages such as a Tommy's (tequila, lime and agave) and a Paloma (tequila, lime, grapefruit and soda). Washed up sailors should sip a Dark and Stormy or a Daiquiri. The eats aren't bad either. Try tempura fish tacos, crispy soft shell crabs or Hawaiian tuna poke.
Previously Bucklers Canteen and before that The Wreck, The Canteen has gone through a few name changes – but it hasn't changed much. It's still all about the cheap beers, hearty grub and locals chilling out, and as the night progresses, locals getting rowdy. Inside the decor's grungy: there are some pinnies and a pool table out back as well as a jukebox to drop some shrapnel in. Drinks are simple – think ice cold beers, cheap wine and some super-syrupy cocktails. Burgers, tacos and an odd assortment of share plates form the food menu.
The Bucket List Bondi Pavilion, Queen Elizabeth Dve
Set up a bar overlooking Australia's most famous beach and you're pretty much guaranteed to put bums on seats. Starting out as a pop-up on the former Nick's Seafood site, The Bucket List looks to have popped up and stayed up. Yes, it's touristy. And yes, it can get populated by a very try-hard crowd. But when the sun's shining, there are few better surfside drinking spots. Bintang, Stone & Wood and White Rabbit are on the beer list, while they also do a good trade in jugs of sangria and Pimms and lemonade. The food's pricey and you'll do better elsewhere. Best just to stick to drinking and enjoying the view.
Bondi's first (and to be honest, only) Canadian-themed sports bar, The Stuffed Beaver is a whole heap of silly fun. Housed in an old shopfront, the room is narrow with a small bar up front and a collection of wooden booths out back. The drinks are simple: Miller, Little Creatures, and longnecks of Melbourne Bitter, plus a cocktail offering brimming with classics like Bloody Marys. To eat, go the nachos, burgers or wings. Beware of attending when large sporting events are in progress (particularly of the North American variety) the Beaver will be standing room only and plenty loud.
Formerly a – you guessed it – hardware store, this Bondi bar is seriously attractive. Low lighting, exposed brickwalls, lush green pot plants and some leftover hardware items make up the decor. After snaring a perch, down a McLaren Vale pale ale, Lord Nelson Three Sheets or a Batlow cider. Cocktails are sweet and cheerful. Consider the Bondi Tai with rum, Amaretto and pineapple and lime juice. After too many of those, it's time to share a pizza (one with prawn, roasted garlic, chilli and lemon for example), or a delicious plate of sliders.