The coastal city of Wollongong might be best known for its stunning surf beaches and the fascinating rock pools which line the coastline. But it is also a pretty decent spot to go out for a drink too.
There are plenty of venues to choose from in the area. Catering to all different kinds of clientele, and serving up a wide range of craft beers, delicious cocktails, notable wines and top-shelf spirits, they all exude charm, a great vibe and an alluring quality.
If you are currently in, or will soon be visiting the area, this list of the 8 of the best pubs and bars in Wollongong should give you some inspiration of where you can go.
Pick any of them to frequent for a couple of hours, and a good time will surely be in the offing.
The Daring Squire
Named after James Squire, the first convict in Australia to reinvent himself as a successful brewer, The Daring Squire attempts to honour his memory by championing top quality craft beers and contemporary pub food.
Located on Flinders Street, this venue is set within a quaint renovated cottage. It’s probably a far cry now from when Squire was creating his early batches, with Hawaiian shirts, male and female mullets and lumberjack shirts not being an uncommon sight.
However as it is always busy and lively, at this open plan communal style brew house, it makes for a decent place to go for a night out.
On warmer days, the outdoor tables which look out directly onto Flinders Street makes a great base for people watching.
Address: 3 Flinders St, Wollongong NSW 2500
Night Parrot Wine Bar
One of the brightest spots in town, literally, is the Night Parrot Wine Bar.
Found on Crown Street, the venue is renowned for the vivid, eye-catching colours of its decor.
Open late, it is a small, yet sophisticated bar, that offers an extensive and delightful drinks list.
It also boasts a fabulous atmosphere and Asian-influenced street food, which includes the likes of spicy chicken wings, kingfish sashimi, and crab san choy bao.
Address: 69 Crown St, Wollongong NSW 2500
Howlin’ Wolf Bar
If you love whiskey and/or craft beer then the Howlin’ Wolf Bar is somewhere you should definitely head too.
Situated over on Crown Street, it only opened in 2017. However the bar has already achieved legendary status amongst locals, due to the fact that it offers no less than 260 different whiskies and 50 craft beers.
In addition to these, it also presents 18 gins and 13 rums. All of which you can drink in a relaxed and laid back setting, replete with amber-lighting, that also serves up tasty burgers and a soundtrack of banging tunes.
Address: 103/53-61 Crown St, Wollongong NSW 2500
Just over the road from the Howlin’ Wolf Bar you will find a quirky establishment called Moo Minn.
Presenting a kitschy decor that includes bright yellow walls, lampshades straight out of the 1970s, Chinese lanterns dangling from the ceiling, ornate framed embroidery and the kind of lounges your Nan used to sit on, the venue is a Czech pub of discernible character.
Showcasing an impressive mix of cocktails and wines, their food menu also has a strong Asian influence. Which includes the likes of spring rolls, arancini and crispy cauliflower, among various other dishes, that are served in small plates.
Address: 68 Crown St, Wollongong NSW 2500
North Gong Hotel
The North Gong Hotel has a lot going for it.
For a start it offers some of the best bar food in Wollongong, with hearty portions of chicken wings and chips and gravy being perfectly cooked every time.
It also has a fantastic range of tap beers, which you can buy from any of its three bar areas, whilst its spacious beer garden, which overlooks the stunning Illawarra escarpment, provides a wonderful space to people watch as you drink and eat.
The music is also good here too, as is the vibe, and its convenient location on Flinders Street makes it fairly easy to get to and from.
Address: 3 Flinders St, North Wollongong NSW 2500
A very popular wine bar with the ladies, The Throsby on Kembla Street is one of the more sophisticated venues in town.
Opened in 2014, it may be small in size, but it showcases some of the world’s best boutique wines, sourced from small, independent producers located in Australia and internationally.
To go with the wines they also offer an exquisite range of cheeses, again made both in Australia and abroad.
Light, airy, yet intimate, the bar features a charming decor that includes mocha banquettes, polished and rendered concrete and light coloured woods. This makes it the perfect destination for after work drinks, or to celebrate a special occasion.
Address: 2/88 Kembla St, Wollongong NSW 2500
Well if you do, then you need to get yourself down to Juniper.
Located on Keira Street, this cool joint is the first dedicated gin bar in Wollongong.
Presenting 58 boutique gins sourced from all around the world, it is an elegant venue where the good vibes roll.
If you don’t like gin there are plenty of other choices for you here too including wines, cider, spirits and craft beer. While the hip, neon-lit venue also offers a lovely range of casual bar food and some killer tunes.
Address: 121 Keira St, Wollongong NSW 2500
Pepe’s on the Beach
With so many wonderful beaches in Wollongong why not take the opportunity to enjoy a few drinks overlooking one.
Located within the space previously occupied by the iconic Beach Bar, a popular spot in the 1980s and 1990s, Pepe’s on the Beach strives to be the ultimate beachside paradise.
Offering all day drinking and dining on a large sized deck, or private cabanas, the venue showcases wonderful views of the ocean.
It also presents a terrific selection of cocktails and beers, as well as a tasty menu of favourites like pulled pork tacos, jalapeno poppers and shoestring fries.
Whilst Pepe’s is a great place to visit at any time of the day, try to get there during Happy Hour, which takes place every weekday between 3pm and 6pm.
Address: 2-14 Cliff Rd, North Wollongong NSW 2500