Until a fortnight ago, a majority of bar-side swiping was done left to right, instead of straight ahead, at magical monsters. And as much as people are mocking Pokemon GO, the virtual reality game with a dose of nostalgia, there’s no doubting it’s taken the world by storm, even though the reactions have been mixed. Helping people with depression and mental health? Good. Chasing Pikachu in the Holocaust Museum? Bad. Crashing into a cop car? Very, very bad.Running around in the park with half of Sydney might be an excellent way to fill up your Pokedex, but a safer, socially-acceptable alternative may be to do indulge in our favourite sedentary past-time: eating and drinking. And, as a bonus, you’ll also maintain some semblance of being an adult and your non-Pokemon playing pals will still have a reason to hang out with you.Note: any Pokemon GO pro worth their salt will know that the GPS function isn’t airtight, so consider the suggestions below as a guide. Add your favourite spots in the comments.Bourbon, beer and as many Zubats as you care to point a Pokeball at: The Keg and Brew has it all. This cosy little pub has a Pokestop, and crispy balls of mac and cheese on the menu, plus more than 30 beer taps and $9.90 daily specials, so you can save your coins for an extra lure.One of Sydney’s most iconic bars is also a famed Pikachu haunt, so you can sip your sancerre and wait for the little guy to show up. Is it a shame to go to one of the most beautiful bars in the country and stare at your phone? Of course it is, so set your phone to vibrate and enjoy the view until you get that tell-tale vibration. If you do need to stretch your legs, the Opera House is a gym, too.Oh bless the adorable parents with children old enough to play Pokemon with. If your rugrats aren’t quite old enough to swipe for themselves, head to the Grounds of Alexandria where they can play in the garden and you mercilessly defeat tiny cartoon animals at the virtual gym. And tuck into house-roasted coffee and a greens detox salad like the dignified adults you are. The Messenger CafeFor Pyrmont locals, this is a pit stop for healthy brown rice salads, strong coffee and fresh juices. For trainers, it’s a low-scale gym that constantly changes hands between red, blue and yellow teams, probably due to the high foot traffic in the area. So basically, you can become a gym leader and pocket some Pokecoins in less time than it takes to get your morning latte.Once upon a time, day drinking by yourself before noon was the most borderline unsocial thing to do in a pub. Then came Pokemon GO. Make a beeline for the rooftop, throw on a lure, and enjoy your poke-hunt in the open air, just as the game developers intended.Between the attractions of Darling Harbour, and the double whammy of a park and waterfront, Pyrmont Bay is chock full of interesting Pokemon, especially hard-to-find Dratini and water types. The suburb has a high concentration of Pokestops, but if you haven’t spent too much on Pokecoins, head to Flying Fish (happily between two lures), and you can feast on fresh sashimi while bagging (yet another) magikarp.With an excellent range of craft beers on tap (and plenty of nooks and crannies to sit in and hide your shame if you’re not an out-and-proud trainer), the Quarryman’s Hotel doubles as a gym, so you can battle and train up your monsters with a coldie in hand and a round of buffalo wings.As Fairfax Media reported, Frankie’s management wasn’t pleased to hear a 1000-strong contingency of players were planning to kick off a Pokemon GO bar crawl at the grungy rock and roll city bar. “I guess I was picturing a scene out ofRevenge of the Nerds,” manager Jordan McDonald said. So maybe swipe discreetly as you tear into that pepperoni pie.Head to this Irish pub for a $7 pint of Guiness or Kilkenny, typical pub grub and a few extra monsters for your Pokedex.nAnyone who says that a Dratini is a rare find needs to get over the Sydney Fish Market. Settle in for a burger from Vic’s Meat Market, or a half dozen fresh oysters, and watch the water Pokemon swarm. Seel, Tentacruel, Horsea and Squirtles are all common finds. Come bearing electric Pokemon if you plan to defeat any nearby gyms.
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