February 22, 2023
Whether you’re in the mood for a drink at a dive bar or supper club or a locally brewed craft beer, you’ll find eight of the best Cronulla bars hiding in plain sight.
Executive chef Carl Jensen has the Shire sewn up. He helms Summer Salt, where Prince Harry was spotted dining about seven years ago. He also has Jensen’s Restaurant in Kareela, and Papa Js. The sophisticated 1950s-style cocktail bar and lounge is a welcome addition to Cronulla with its dedicated martini and margarita menus.
The dimly lit Eurostyle bar is perfect for cosying up in after a couple of G&Ts. And you can eat cheese and charcuterie or fried calamari and karaage chicken in addition to sipping through the extensive drinks list.
Best for: A platter of cheese and charcuterie before or after the cinema.
Address: Shop 7, 2-6 Cronulla St, Cronulla
This subterranean live music venue and basement bar is fitted out in plush red velvet and speakeasy slash bordello chic. The entrance to the Brass Monkey is discreet. But it’s the dark and dim drinking den of your dreams once you find it. And definitely one of the best bars in Cronulla for live music.
As well as listening to local acts such as Jackson Carroll and Caravana San, the Brass Monkey attracts big-name blues and rock acts from around the world. The wine list and cocktail list are as crowd-pleasing as the food prepared by chefs from sister venue Yalla Sawa.
Best for: Live music and really exceptional Lebanese fare.
Address: 115A Cronulla St, Cronulla
The menu and cocktails being created at Cony’s nod to the owner’s South American roots. And Cony has you covered. Sit opposite the wall art, which is a popular attraction for selfies, for spirit-forward drinks such as the Spicy Senorita (chilli-infused tequila) and the Pisco Disco (pisco, whiskey and Cointreau).
We love the Latina-leaning dishes such as Cony’s guacamole, and the signature ceviche. The bar looks like it would be right at home in Lima, Peru, and is popular with 20-somethings who like to frock up for the bottomless brunch on weekends.
Best for: Spotting C-list celebs from reality TV while slurping cocktails.
Address: 15 Surf Road, Cronulla
You might be likely to find members of local bands, the Skegss, Ruby Fields or Adam Newling holed up in The Blind Bear when they’re not touring the world. If it’s not one of the band members bellying up to the bar, it might be one of their many stunt doubles who have trudged in from the beach looking like tousle-haired rock gods.
Order a G&T using small-batch Ruby Wednesday Gin distilled just down the road in Taren Point or from Hairyman Brewery, one of the local boutique breweries. This drinking hole is much loved in Cronulla and one of the best dive bars in Sydney.
Best for: An Old Fashioned cocktail and burger with the lot.
Address: 28 Cronulla St, Cronulla
Looking to impress your date with dinner and drinks in Cronulla? Head to The Pines Terrace, which is designed for those who want to enjoy The Pines menu, albeit in a more relaxed and al fresco environment. The go-to al fresco spot for a sundowner is a space that has Bali beach club vibes written all over it. It’s a relaxed refuge that would also look right at home in the Hamptons.
It’s also considered one of the best bars in Cronulla due to its location overlooking The Alley, which makes it perfect for people-watching. The Pines Terrace is the more casual sibling to The Pines, which is one of the best restaurants in Cronulla.
Best for: Wining and dining on the weekend.
Address: Unit 1/8-18 Kingsway, Cronulla
Surfing and boating have helped create Southern Cali vibes in Cronulla. But the waterside suburb in Sydney’s south has also become a destination for dining. This dinky little wine bar looks to have cleaned out a bordello to furnish it with its red velvet chairs and charmingly mismatched décor.
Basically, you’ll find half of the suburb kicking back here with a drink on a typical weekend. The dimly lit Croydon Lane Wine & Tapas Bar is tucked away down the lane it is named after.
Address: g8/30 Kingsway, Cronulla
Low & Lofty’s looks like a place for good times. There’s a pinball machine, pork ribs, and lots of young people wiping sauce from their chins. Come searching for flavours of the Caribbean and find a slo-mo vibe that brings groups of friends together.
Low & Lofty’s is tucked away upstairs away from the well-trodden corridor through Cronulla Plaza. And it’s a bit of a quest to massacre a tray of BBQ sticky brisket imbued with intoxicatingly smokey flavours. Bring on the joy of the Jamaican goat curry with a Jalisco summer cocktail in a jar.
Best for: Smoky ribs and craft beers.
Address: 51A Cronulla St, Cronulla
Shop, do yoga, rent a sailboard, eat acai, surf, and swim between the flags. And then balance the ledger with a few cocktails with friends at Old Joe’s located in the multi-venue Northie’s Hotel. Guard your chippies closely from seagulls on days when the sky is swept clean blue and you’re eating and drinking outdoors.
Because Cronulla’s population swells with visitors in summer, the suburb has a holiday-by-the-sea vibe. Catch the train to the southern beaches and you might actually make some new Sydney friends. This Laundy Hotel is one of the best places in Cronulla for a bevvy.
Best for: Cocktails with the girls or a pub meal with the family.
Address: 141-143 Elouera Rd
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