The Best Pub Grub in Sydney

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

I’ve been living in Melbourne for the last few months in an effort to escape the frozen hell on earth known as Canadian winter. A fellow Canadian friend of mine is living over in Sydney (Manly, actually) so I decided to hop over to have a little fun for St. Patrick’s day. Aside from it being (more than a little) rainy, we had a great time sight-seeing, doughnut-eating, and bar-hopping our way around town.

Who wouldn't want to visit Manly?

Another gorgeous day on Manly Beach, photo credit Livia James

What We Don’t Want

If there’s one thing we can both agree on as vegans, it’s that we’re sick of the assumption that we always want to eat healthy raw meals, small portions, or effing green salad all the time. The fact of the matter is, when we go out, we’d like to eat like slobs just like everyone else. So forget the sprouts, ditch the quinoa, and for the love of god, do not offer us a plate of steamed veggies as a main dish if you value your life. We’re human and we’re hungry, dammit! Many pubs offer a standard grocery store variety garden burger, but many are single patties, no “cheese”, the sauces are extremely limited, and some of these options aren’t even vegan because they’ve got egg in the batter. Pretty boring and lacking in creativity most of the time, but when there’s only one veg option on the menu, you’ve gotta do what you gotta do.

Always on the lookout for the latest and greatest of vegan junk, I was pretty excited to see what Sydney had to offer, especially after hearing my friend rant and and rave about this boutique pub called The Hold.


Like eating in a ship cabin without the sea sickness: photo courtesy of The Hold

Located at Manly Beach, a quick and scenic ferry ride from downtown Sydney, this charming nautically-themed establishment offers drinks, live music, and a vegan counterpart to every item on the food menu. Exciting news, especially because they serve plant-based chicken nuggets, mac and cheese and a variety of big fat burgers. Remember when I said we wanted to eat like slobs? Well I wasn’t lying. We both got the “Captain Jack”, which is a thick patty (double patty option available), complete with coconut bacon, pickles, onions, cheddar cheese slathered in Bourbon BBQ sauce, and a homemade MAC AND CHEESE ONION RING. Behold the beauty:

PB Captain Jack 1 with Tecate

The Captain Jack burger. Photo courtesy of The Hold

Best devoured with a beer (or three?), and sure to appease even the toughest food critic, I can’t recommend this burger enough. And the mac and cheese onion ring? To die for. Vegan or not, next time you’re in Sydney, be sure to stop by The Hold in Manly. You definitely won’t be sorry you did.


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