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FOOD & DRINK

The Old Fitzroy Hotel

An old fashioned pub in the heart of Woolloomooloo where you can follow up a night of theatre with a beer and a laksa.
By Madeleine Watts
October 07, 2011
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The Old Fitzroy Hotel

An old fashioned pub in the heart of Woolloomooloo where you can follow up a night of theatre with a beer and a laksa.
By Madeleine Watts
October 07, 2011
  shares

The Old Fitz has been in operation for over a century, and remains one of the few pubs left in inner Sydney with a bit of character to it. It prides itself as being a place with history and substance, as well as a meeting place for artists, writers and musicians. It also stands as one of the last bastions of old-fashioned Australian drinking culture in the heart of one of Sydney's most gentrified areas.

The Old Fitz has thirteen different beers on tap including varieties of Coopers and James Squire, as well as Little Creatures and Guinness. They also have Bulmer's Cider at the ready, which is always good for those of us who don't actually enjoy beer very much but, for fear of derision from one's friends, like to look like we're drinking one. Wines on offer are mostly Australian or Kiwi, the cheapest glass costing a mere $6.80 and most bottles averaging at about $30, and the most expensive bottle of French 'sparkling wine' will set you back $97.

Sadly, the legendary laksa of old is gone but the new menu is nothing to fear. At the helm of H is Hamish Ingram (of Billy Kwong and Bar H) with a menu that features excellent Cantonese still at cheap-as-chips prices. Think San Choi Bow, Wontons and a Shanghai Pork Burger. While not quite a restaurant in its own right, H offers perfect drinking food.

In the colder months there's an open fire and a supply of marshmallows to keep you warm and toasty, and in the summer there's a good outdoor seating area. If you rock up on a day that the upstairs bar is open, the balcony is one of the finest places to while away an afternoon and comes equipped with jukebox, pool table and sound system. A bit of a local secret, the crowd is ebullient and warm, and industrial-levels of noise are rarely reached, meaning conversation is entirely achievable.

The Old Fitz is also the access point for the Old Fitzroy Theatre, where you can catch independent short film festivals or groundbreaking theatre with a spot of nudity, while also enjoying a beer and some food from the restaurant. Meaning that, at bargain prices, you can get an old fashioned dinner and a show with a side of beer.

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