Strawberry Hills Hotel and Gelato Messina

With only a week to go until uni starts again, my uni friends thought it only reasonable to catch up once last time before we get swamped.

Jokes, we do journalism – we don’t do any work for at least the first four weeks.

Regardless, we love any excuse for a bit of food and alcohol so we headed to the Strawberry Hills Hotel in Surry Hills for a pub lunch.

I’d never been there before but I will definitely be going back.

Like half the pubs in that area, the outside was nothing special. A little dingy but with a new lick of paint, it didn’t exactly sell itself. However, the inside is a pleasant surprise. Whilst the lower level continues the trend of gawdy carpet and the flashing lights of the pokies, the upstairs is lovely.

There is a beer garden-type rooftop, which is where we chose to sit. We thought it was a good choice until the sun came busting through and we started to melt. Despite asking for the umbrellas to be put up, they stayed bunched up in the corner so we slowly manoeuvred ourselves into the beckoning shade.

The reason we were there was the food. The menu is impressive and best of all, cheap as! It’s typical pub food – schnitzel, steak, fish and chips – as well as a few extras for the healthier amongst us – stuffed field mushrooms and three or four different types of salad, including chorizo and haloumi salad.

I was spoilt for choice but the cajun chicken burger eventually pulled my attention. Boy, was it worth it!

Cajun Chicken Burger

It was massive! And all for $12.50.

With pineapple, bacon and a delicious sauce, it was incredibly tasty! I’d go as far to say it was one of the best pub burgers I’d had.

The only problem? It was too big – I couldn’t finish the whole thing.


My friends’ meals looked just as appetizing – according to them, the prawn and chilli pizza was delicious and the chorizo and haloumi salad was a winner.

Not content with just lunch, our next stop was Gelato Messina, otherwise known as THE BEST GELATO IN SYDNEY.

I’ll repeat that just in case you missed it – it’s the BEST GELATO IN SYDNEY.

If you don’t believe me, keep reading. This branch of Messina is in Surry Hills but there are two more in Darlinghurst and The Star in Pyrmont.

The gelato and sorbet on offer is like nowhere else. The flavours are original and oh so good. The best part is every week they have 5 new flavours to try. Previous ones have been pavlova, white peach bellini sorbet and lime cheesecake.


This week, they include hummingbird cake, green tea and ouzo and baklava. Who’d have thought?!

I am horrible at making decisions and so it took a good 20 mins for me to choose my flavours. I’d already tried a myriad on past trips (my favourites being salted coconut and mango and lime cheesecake) so went for something new.


Coconut and Lychee and Poached Figs in Marsala.

Needless to say, they were incredible! The lychee flavour sang in the coconut and lychee but definitely wasn’t overpowering. While they haven’t surpassed my favs, they are close behind.

Stomachs full to brim, we let the food settle before going our separate ways – promising to do it all over again soon.


2 thoughts on “Strawberry Hills Hotel and Gelato Messina

  1. Italian Nougat is my Messina staple. Oh my goodness did you see the one they brought out today ? Wattle seed and lemon? Seriously WHO thinks up these! Amazing. The best I’ve ever had there was kulfi – cardamom and saffron gelato with something delicious that I can’t quite remember. Another good one was ricotta and orange blossom with crushed pistachio praline. AMAZING! x

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