Australian Heritage Hotel
The archetypal Aussie hotel (really just a pub with a few rooms to stagger upstairs to), the Australian has a charming brick exterior, terrific beer, and a lively atmosphere. Built in 1913 in the historic Rocks district, the pub has two bars where many a stevedore has whiled away the afternoon (and his paycheck); these days, though the crowd tends mostly toward the well traveled and the well heeled, tall tales still get told. For beer lovers, the best lager on tap is Scharers, an excellent drop brewed in the Blue Mountains; there’s also a top-notch selection of boutique bottled beers.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.