Photography by diffordsguide.com
Words by Samantha Teague on 05-May-2021
4-14 Foster St, Surry Hills, Sydney, New South Wales, 2010, Australia
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sat 4pm to Midnight; Sun 2pm-10pm
Door: Open door
Style: Cocktail bar
Recommended for: Cocktails, Fun/atmosphere
Price guide: Middling
Food: Bar nibbles
Owned by: Jeremy Blackmore and Alex Dowd
Whatever your drinking dilemma, it's likely Surry Hills' Tio's Cerveceria has the remedy. Cheap cocktails in the sun? Grab a seat at a new outdoor table and order a $10 frozen margarita special (mandarin and apricot, perhaps). Something strong and smoky? A mezcal Tommy's and a tequila con verdita will sort you right out. A touch dusty? A spicy red pepper-heavy Michelada is just what the doctor ordered.
Over its almost ten years of life, Tio's Cerveceria has continued to refine its look and menu - and its latest iteration may just be the best yet. Gone is the mammoth collection of bras behind the bar, which has been replaced by colourful rows of honeycomb tissue paper fruit. The Virgin Mary statues are out (but the dogs remain). And snacks no longer feature tacos or Latin fried pizza, but three variations of nachos (chorizo, roast pork and frijoles).
What has stayed the same, however, is the green and red neon sign lighting your way from Foster Street; the complimentary popcorn, doused in Old El Paso taco seasoning; and the friendly and knowledgeable service, now led by always-charming Venue Manager Geoff Spruce. Oh, and the margaritas? After shaking over 110,000 (according to the website), Tio's Cerveceria has perfected the art. They're still some of the best in Sydney, second only to those over at sibling Cantina OK. But, Cantina OK doesn't have 'buy 10, get one free' margarita cards.
And it's worth getting a card. Because Tio's Cerveceria is somewhere you want to go back to, again and again. Whether that's for a quick salt-rimmed Tecate before dinner, a bowl of nachos after a flick at Golden Age or an evening of many top-shelf tequilas that'll require a return visit for a soul-restoring Michelada the next day.