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The Best (and Cosiest) Bars and Pubs with Fireplaces in Sydney

Warm up over fireside beers, whisky cocktails and gravy-covered roasts.
By Concrete Playground
June 22, 2022
By Concrete Playground
June 22, 2022


Warm up over fireside beers, whisky cocktails and gravy-covered roasts.

As the chill of winter settles in, it's easy to feel your enthusiasm for a night on the town being replaced by a deep craving to don your loungewear and settle in for a low-effort night of mini-series and home delivery.

But there's one thing we know that's worth braving the cold for, and that's cosy beers at one of Sydney's fireplace-equipped pubs and bars. It's your chance to feel like Hemingway with an alcoholic beverage in one hand as you relax in a room filled with that incredible open fire. Here are some of the best.

  • 10

    Located underneath the delightful fine diner Fred’s, Charlie Parker’s is the perfect place to hide away on a cold and wet Sydney evening. Down here it is dim, cosy and, most importantly, warm due to the fire that’s usually burning in the front section of the basement bar. Grab a spot on one of the lounges in front of it — however, if they’re taken, a seat at the bar is still a nice option. You don’t need to be dining at the restaurant, either — in fact, you can just eat down here. Bar snacks include burrata with fried herbs and olive oil, wood fired flat bread, and a daily oyster selection.

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  • 9

    In 2019, the 157-year-old Australian Youth Hotel became The Glebe Hotel. It scored a new pub menu, a lush courtyard and a luxe private space. But, thankfully, it’s retained its fireplaces — both in the public bar and its restaurant, Stables Bar & Grill. The public bar allows you to get comfy on the chesterfield sofas with a glass of red wine, while the restaurant — fit out with exposed brick walls, cream timber tables and vintage tiling — means you can keep warm while tucking into hearty pub eats, such as a ham hock scotch egg, press pork belly or fish & fat chips.

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  • 8

    A bootery, a boarding house and an opium den. These are just a few of the past lives of 77–79 George Street, but The Doss House is the latest moniker for this heritage-listed building — and this time round, it’s all about on whisky. The basement bar boasts five distinct spaces that each pay homage to a past tenant. The exposed sandstone walls and renewed original fireplaces are paired with brass fittings, antique mirrors, luxurious orange velvet banquettes and an antique chesterfield sofa. This winter, you can get cocktails such as The Mac Martini (a house martini infused with olive leaf, lime leaf and bay leaf) and the French Foreplay (cognac, coffee-infused yellow chartreuse, grenadine and citrus).

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  • 7

    Named after the fellow who would go on to become King William IV, The Duke of Clarence is a particularly ambitious venture — it’s an 1800s-style British tavern, somewhere Charles Dickens might have penned Great Expectations over a couple of ales and a pork pie. It’s also the perfect place to escape to during the winter months — order one of the hundreds of spirits off the menu (and, if you head in on Sunday, the super-popular roast) and settle down in front of the fireplace. Stay there long enough and you may be inspired to write a novel of your own.

    Image: Kitti Gould.

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  • 6

    Boasting the warmth and history of an old English pub — all dark woods and shadowy corners — The Lord Dudley is a perfect place to hide away this winter. A mock Tudor building complete with a creeping vine-covered exterior, it has a rabbit warren of adjoining rooms awaiting you inside. The carpeted floors sink in all the right places due to the storied halls being ploughed by a steady stream of drinkers who come seeking solace and warmth. You’ll find the roaring fireplace in the lamp-lit, timber-panelled rear lounge which is furnished with booth-style tables. Gather some mates for a signature pot pie with a game of darts or some Thursday night trivia.

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  • 5

    A reliable local, the Crix has all the comfort and familiarity you need for a cosy winter’s night. It’s a beautiful old pub, boasting wooden floors and wall tiles, a laidback atmosphere and plenty of character behind the bar. In winter, a fireplace is always lit and surrounded by cosy lounges. Basically, any night of the week is good here. Eat some classic pub grub and catch some live DJs on the weekends.

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  • 4

    The easily missed and almost unmarked Gothic doors on Falcon Street hide a darkened entryway to one of the city’s most exciting hidden playgrounds. Forsake the welcoming indoor courtyard and head to the carpeted living room round the fire for a chance to feel the comforts of home with the addition of a luxurious drinks menu. Alongside a solid craft beer selection, there is a creative selection of cocktails including the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (Starward, amaro and rhubarb) and a Grapefruit Collins (grapefruit soda, gin, rosemary and fingerlime).

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  • 3

    As Sydney’s oldest “continually licensed” pub (if we disqualify The Fortune of War for being demolished and rebuilt), this Australian monument is a great place to stare into the flames with a pint in hand and contemplate a long history of similarly-minded beer aficionados taking shelter from the cold. With exceptional views straight across the harbour to watch for oncoming storms, naval prints on the walls and a warm atmosphere, it’s the perfect pub in which to find sanctuary. The beer selection is particularly special, with six beers brewed on site. We suggest pairing a Victory Bitter (a classic English ale with a touch of caramel) with a porterhouse or roast lamb rack for maximum winter comfort.

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  • 2

    A Dowling Street stalwart, Woolloomooloo’s Old Fitz may have undergone a relaunch in 2019, but it’s still an old pub at heart. The exposed brick pub boasts a healthy collection of regulars, a variety of tap beers and Four Pillars cocktails you can enjoy around the ground-floor fireplace. Once you’ve warmed up in the Ftiz’s front room, head upstairs to sample rooster rolls and Insalata di Maré from the new Toby Stansfield-helmed bistro, or catch a performance at the attached Old Fitz Theatre.

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  • 1

    In 2020, The Duke of Enmore was given a major revamp from the team behind The Oxford Tavern and The Taphouse. The new-look inner west drinking hole now packs in patrons for gigs, tasty wood-fired eats and pickleback shots. With locals heating up the dancefloor and a roaring fireplace, the Enmore Road spot is an ideal winter hideout for live music lovers. Snag a seat next to the flames and warm yourself with mortadella fried bread, portabello mushrooms or the superb steak with bone marrow.

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Top image: Doss House

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