Sydney's best pub trivia nights

Time Out Sydney locates the best top weekly trivia nights and what you stand to win

1. The Golden Barley Hotel


Host: Gavin
Prize: Cash tabs, bonus jugs, huge jackpot
Difficulty: Hard
The ultimate suburban quiz night: the crowd is always huge, as it's badge draw night, and the teams are I-know-my-shit trivia tough. The questions are tough too: over two rounds of 20 questions, Gavin will put you through your paces on everything from wheat exports to cricket. Especially good are his list questions (who's won best director and actor, for instance). And stick around for the jackpot. It's $2 to enter, but, for merely guessing the right year in the 20th Cenutry, your team could go home sometimes $1,000 richer. All this and some damn good Roti Canai! Mondays 7.15pm. 

2. The London Hotel


Host: Michael
Prize: Bar tab, chocolates, wine, jackpot
Difficulty: Easy-moderate
Host Michael has a good arm – when Time Out won a chocky in his pre-game bonus quiz, he pegged a fun-sized Snickers at us so hard that he shattered a full beer glass. Props! He also plays a good game – two pop-culture heavy rounds of 20 questions that skew to a younger crowd. The room here is relaxed, the crowd friendly and those pizzas go down a treat. Careful though: the three-question jackpot round often has a trick question that will crush you and good luck beating a little team called the Shattered Glasses. Ahem. Mondays 7pm. 

3. Town Hall Hotel


Host: Robert
Prize: Bragging rights and a bar tab
Difficulty: Hard
It’s not a sophisticated night out (the Townie kitchen’s perfectly solid, but it’s not going to dazzle), but your host Robert F Cranney freakin’ knows his music (as would befit a man of his considerable musical credentials). Competition is stiff, and if your team name is not some obscure music-related pun you may as well abandon hope right away. Great, but for music tragics only. Thursdays 7pm. 

4. Goodgod Small Club


Hosts: Zoe Coombs Marr and Tyson Koh
Cocktail jugs, meals and a veggie tray
Difficulty: Easy-moderate
Which Beatle was in a Pizza Hut ad? How many cats does it take to make a fur coat? What revamped weekly trivia night is cooler and wackier than ever? The answers are, respectively: Ringo, approximately 24 and Quizzle Shizzle. Question categories range from 'Food or Dude?' to 'Cat Facts!' and prizes include Pat Cash Coolers and glory. Plus: a Physical Challenge! Exercise your mind and your body. Wednesdays 8pm. 

5. The Longueville Hotel


Host: Noel
Prize: Bar vouchers and bistro vouchers
Difficulty: Moderate
The combination of the Longy’s recent refurb, new pub menu (go for the beef brisket sandwich) and lively crowd makes this a top option for northside trivia. A busy one too. If you want a good seat – backless bar stools do not provide ample support for the strenuous brain activity – get down early. The quiz runs for a solid two hours with eight ten-question rounds. With double points up for grabs in the category of your choice, you're in with a chance. Tuesdays 7.30pm. 

6. Ashfield Hotel


Host: Jason Dean
Prize: Bar tab, bonus cocktails and small jackpot
Difficulty: Easy
The prizes may be modest, and food from the bistro uneven – the schnitzel is solid, the ribs not so much – but this low-key night is a bit of a suburban hidden gem. Jason’s got the right balance of cheese and smarts and we dig his video trivia questions – song-name pictionary will give you a bunch of those joyful trivia “aha!” moments. Over two rounds, questions are easy enough to keep the game tight at the top of the pack, but just tough enough to keep it interesting. Wednesdays 7.30pm. 

7. The Rose Hotel


Host: Michael (same bloke as the London!)
Prize: Bar tabs (including encouragement award!)
Difficulty: Easy-moderate
Great atmosphere! The beer garden here is popular at the best of times and they take reservations so we say book ahead if you have a large party. There are warm-up questions with chocolate prizes, a ‘whatever biscuit is on special at Coles’ bonus question, and musical puzzlers that gradually get older and more obscure. It's a long one: order a wood-fired pizza (they're all $15 on trivia nights) and settle in. Tuesdays 7pm. 

8. The Great Northern Hotel


Host: Richie
Prize: Meal vouchers, bar tab and jackpot
Difficulty: Moderate-difficult
If you want a steak pop down early – it’s a DIY-barbecue-do and you don’t want to miss out on any of the questions! Mini-challenges throughout involve coasters and gold coin donations and there's also no limit to team numbers and if you’re super keen you can hop on their Facebook page for clues on the day. Watch out for the ‘Sale of the Century' team – a collection of ex-quiz show contestants who are like T-birds around these parts. Wednesdays 7.30pm. 

9. Churchills Sports Bar


Host: Angela
Prize: Bar tab, drinks vouchers, KENO vouchers 
Difficulty: Hard
Once you get over the mini-casino feel of this joint on the Kingsford roundabout, we reckon you'll dig the trivia: tough, mult-faceted questions (know your rivers! know your capitals!); solid competition from the local student set; and an affable host in Angela. Maybe too affable – she's happy to steer you away from a wrong answer after a quick glance at your sheet. Oh yeah, and it's south of Moore Park, so: affordable beer! Thursdays 8pm. 

10. North Bondi RSL


Host: Jason
Prize: Bar tab, hair salon vouchers (!), dessert at the bistro
Difficulty: Easy
Good view, good prices: our pick for a family trivia night. The pop-culture heavy questions are a good mix for different ages and there's plenty of chances to score bonus points and prizes with dance-offs and a paper plane flying competition. Host Jason manages to keep the crowd enthused, though we'd prefer if he marked our sheets and not the shady team next to us. Tuesdays 7.30pm. 

Now, now – we know it's all subjective and there are going to be a number of you out there with different opinions. So: have at us. Reckon your trivia night is the best? Let us know why in the comments section below. Meanwhile...

For other trivia venues around Sydney check these out

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First published on 1 Sep 2010. Updated on 2 Jun 2014.

By Emily Lloyd-Tait   |  

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