It’s a pretty big call, but in my opinion the Hope and Anchor in Paddington is the best pub in Brisbane. Of course, I haven’t been to all the pubs in Brisbane, but I’ve been to quite a few, as I like my beer and I don’t mind a pub. So what makes a great pub? Read on to find out why I think the Hope and Anchor is the top gun of Brissie pubs.
The Hope and Anchor is one of the more English-style pubs in Brisbane, which is perhaps why I like it so much. It’s cosy and poky and has a flight of stairs above a narrow bar. Additionally, the Hope and Anchor sits in a heritage-listed cottage that was once a bakery in Paddington in the late 1800s, which gives it old-world charm throughout.
It’s a pretty small pub in all, but there are a few different sections to pique your interest. Upstairs is a bit of fun, with its own closed-off section of half a dozen tables. There’s also a section higher than this for groups between 6 and 12 called The Captain’s Attic.
I personally like the bar area, part of which makes it the best pub in Brisbane. Here you’ll find the regulars, like the guy who comes in with his pomeranian, which sits very obediently on the stool next to him. The bar is often packed so get here early if you want a seat.
Another area which I usually sit in is the outdoor courtyard. Not only because it’s dog-friendly, but because there’s typically space here, a fire (a new edition, I think), plants and it’s just damn good banter and drinking atmosphere.
Dog-friendly – The best Pub in Brisbane
As I’ve mentioned, the Hope and Anchor is dog-friendly and with its other fine attributes, this certainly propels it into the best pub in Brisbane in my books. I took my dog here on my last day of work drinks and we left ten hours later. My dog actually had a great time playing with other dogs, eating and socialising. He was okay I promise!
All the doggies I’ve seen frequent the Hope and Anchor are very chilled and well-behaved. Being dog-friendly just makes popping in that much easier if you happen to be walking past with your furry friend.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the best pub in Brisbane if the food wasn’t up to scratch. The food is fairly simple, but I would say it’s above the standard pub grub fare you find around Brisbane. Having dinner here just the other night reminded me of this.
My partner had the quarter-pounder wagyu cheeseburger with fries, while I had the pan-fried barramundi with purple potato gnocchi, wilted greens and lemon tarragon beurre blanc. The skin was crispy, the flesh was tender and the portion size wasn’t too small or too big. To me, that’s thoughtfulness and I certainly had a good time with it.
The fries are the shoe-string kind, and while this is not always a good thing, these are nice, crispy chips. Chips at a pub are important!
This is without a doubt the most important category in the selection of the best pub in Brisbane. It goes without saying I think. I’m a beer lover and I like a varied beer selection of strong, tasty and often craft-brewed beers. None of these commercial beers like XXXX only rubbish (which I think is gradually fading away).
Here there’s an excellent and varied beer selection on tap and I started our night with a pint of Jungle Juice Hazy IPA. This certainly put a quick grin on my face, which is what I want when I go to a pub. They’ve also got a decent wine and spirits selection here, although I’ve typically just drunk wine and beer. They’ve also got mulled wine and as it’s a great winter beverage, we ordered one just the other night and it was superb.
Here’s a thing with me – I don’t like drinking beer with food as it spoils my food and the beer. When my fish came out I had a glass of Freddy Nerks Pinot Noir and it was smooth and light – great as a house red. I know, red wine with fish? While I’ll often have a sauvignon blanc with my fish – it depends and on this occasion, it didn’t spoil my experience.
I might be a little biased with this one, as the Hope and Anchor is about a 20-minute walk from my house. However, I would have awarded it the best pub in Brisbane regardless, but this is a bonus. It’s also located in the lively, trendy district of Paddington – one of Brisbane’s best suburbs. This just makes things easier and more fun, particularly if you’re coming from/going to other places, of which there are many in the area.
There are also a few tables out the front of the pub and as they’re situated on lively Given Terrace, this makes for superb people-watching.
Music and Events
This is another category which the Hope and Anchor scores highly in, as the place is home to a variety of activities. As the guy with the Pomeranian at the bar was excitedly telling me, there’s the Joker Draw every Monday and Thursday night. With the Joker Draw you simply get a raffle ticket with every food or drink purchase to have a chance at winning the $2000 jackpot, which often happens!
There’s also the chef’s tasting plate every Friday, H&A Fridays, Sunday Sessions which feature live music, and the whiskey degustation dinners – all which you can find out more about here. This best pub in Brisbane also caters for functions – group bookings larger than 10 – where you’ll experience a set menu.
Whether you’re walking past with your dog, out for a drink with friends, lining up a function or just investigating Paddington, the Hope and Anchor is a must-stop in Brisbane on your way to anywhere.
Check it out.