The best bottle shops in Sydney
When we talk about Sydney's best bottle shops, we don't mean massive liquor barns. Rather, these are the places you go when you're after something special or specific; the purveyors of booze where you'll find boutique spirits, hard-to-find vintages, natural wines or just some locally-brewed longies at a good price. These are the places you should visit before a fancy homemade dinner, or when you want to send a little something special to someone you care about. Thankfully, these lot also offer delivery which, depending on if you're a 'glass-half-full' type or not, can be a great thing, especially under current circumstances. That's drinks sorted. Now, what's for dinner? Here are Sydney's best take aways eats.
Time Out Sydney Bar Awards: Past winners
We've spent a lot of years propping up the bars in Sydney's finest drinking establishments, keeping seats warm in the old faithful haunts and expanding our horizons in the kooky booze parlours opening in any available nook and cranny across the city. We've seen the city change from one dominated by big booze barns and super slick cocktail bars to a place rich with small bars making world class drinks and breweries pumping out ace local beers. In that time we've given out a lot of awards to the bars that have set the standards for Sydney's after-hours scene and made out city such a wonderful place to call home.
The best hot dogs in Sydney
Sydney’s gone hot dog mad, but not all dogs are created equal. First thre's the sausage to consider. Is it a cheese-stuffed kransky? A gourmet sausage? a classic frank? And the bread should never be overlooked – you want soft and yielding to absorb the sauces and pin the cheese and onions in place. Condiments are the final piece of the puzzle. Perhaps you want a classic ketchup and mustard combo, or do you prefer to go off piste with relishes, aiolis and hot sauces. There are so many elements that make a great hot dog, and these ones are our favourites.
A guide to the Hunter Valley
The Hunter Valley is one of New South Wales’ major wine-growing regions. It’s also a beautiful place to spend a few days driving about, eating and tasting the drops at winery cellar doors Do This is the Hunter, so you’re going to need a car to get about. Cellar doors are what it’s all about, so get on board and check out David Hook Wines, Thomas Wines, Meerea Park, Mistletoe, De Iuliis and Margan. Incidentally, these wineries also make up a collective of forward-thinking wine makers called Hunter Valley New Generation. Shop Because this is wine land and everything is quite spread out, it’s not really a design or fashion destination, unless by ‘fashion’ and ‘design’ you mean ‘wine’. There are, however, some great pockets for vintage shopping. You’ll want to head to Maitland where you’ll find a street filled with junktiques. Flawed and Fabulous is a good place to start for accessories and jewellery.307 High St, Maitland 2320. (0414 41 2473). There’s also Generations Apart for larger pieces such as dressers, sideboards and everything in between. (0412 363 527). Eat There are a couple of good options this side of the vine. Margan features its own kitchen garden and an outdoor seat for sunny days. It’s the best place to be eating in the Hunter. 1238 Milbrodale Rd, Broke 2330. (02 6579 1372). Lunch Fri–Sun 12 noon–2.30pm; dinner Fri–Sat 6–8.30pm. For pure atmosphere alone, you can’t look past Bistro Molines – about the most charming outdoor dining set-up around. 749 Mount View Rd,
The best fixed price meals in Sydney
Eating out can get exxy, especially if you like your fancy food. But there are ways to cheat the system – by eating restaurants’ fixed menus.
The best bar snacks in Sydney
As the line between restaurant and bar becomes increasingly blurry, it's now possible to make a whole meal out of the excellent bar snacks flying over the counter at our favourite haunts. These are the places we head when we're not sure if drinks is going to turn into dinner, but we want to keep our options open.
The best offbeat bars in Sydney
Strip a bar right back to basics and you've got a collection of alcoholic beverages, four walls, a roof (probably), a bartender and a bathroom - seats can be optional. But it's the little details that set bars apart, like revolving floors, weirdly specific booze lists and out there themes. These are favourite Sydney bars that are doing things their own way.
Listings and reviews (4)
Any bar that’s playing 50 Cent’s 'P.I.M.P.' and serving a drink called the Walking Dead (aged rum, Fernet Branca, pineapple, lime, ginger beer served tall over ice) is more than alright in our books. Super Whatnot is one of Brisbane’s hottest bars offering up a short, sharp list of tasty cocktails (there’s a Tequila Sour in the mix, along with a Bobbie Burns and a Red Hook), great tunes and good vibes. There’s no bouncer out the front, just a girl in knee-high socks watching the numbers (there are only 60 seats at 'Whatnot) through the door. The bar, though it’s smack bang in the city, hosts a mix of indie kids, guys in suits and off-duty bartenders. On Time Out’s visit, it’s Nas and nachos night – pulled pork nachos and a Pisco Sour plus a ‘delicious beer’ for $10 along with $3 gin’n’juice for the Snoop and Dre fans. Super Whatnot is a multi-tiered wonderland of laidback fun with a team of bartenders hell-bent on serving up good times. We’ll buy that for a dollar.
View bars, up until very recently, have traditionally been the sort of tourist traps where your Mai Tai comes pre-mixed, and the lime in your Margarita comes out of one of those green squeezy bottles. Or worse, out of a bucket. But that's a world away from Cove - the shining star on the new strip of the South Brisbane parklands. Everything is displayed on backlit shelves resembling Art Deco filing cabinets. That everything we're talking about involves a great selection of rums and bourbons and a cocktail list ranging from fun'n'fruity to more serious offerings like their Mai Tai and their riff on the Treacle - that next-day-head-banger, here with grapefruit juice and tequila. Tasty. And if you're after a snack while you're here, you could do worse than try the chilli jam doughnuts - a savoury take on their sweet cousins. Cute. The great thing about this bar is it's basically a cocktail strip, with some outdoor seating, spilling out onto the promenade. That means you can choose to either sit up at the bar with a view of the hooch or at one of the tables spilling out on to the promenade and look out over Brisbane River. Either way, you win.
Two of the city’s most talented bartenders in one place? Yup, you’ve hit the Laneway, where Callum More and Perryn Collier are making drinks and breaking hearts. The bar is hidden behind inner-city brasserie the Euro. Walk straight through the restaurant to the dark bar out the back, which confusingly can’t actually be reached by a laneway. Get 'em to make you something with their house-blended whiskey or go straight off the list. There are two of Time Out’s favourite drinks on the list – the Tipperary (whiskey, green Chartreuse, sweet vermouth) and the Boulevardier (bourbon, Campari, sweet vermouth) – and one of the most impressive beer selections we’ve seen in a good long while. Sure, there are flat screens throughout the bar but rather than footy they’re playing cuts from Charlie Chaplin movies. And OK, something needs to be done about that teenagers-losing-their-virginity music – but when they place a Toronto made with their own house-blended whiskey down in front of you, everything’s just peachy.
This is about as close as you get to a Steampunk bar in Australia, we reckon. Sure, there's a cocktail list and guys behind the bar who are very happy and more than capable to make you a three-gin Martini or whatever, but what the Press Club is really about is getting in and getting out with beers and simple mixed drinks. Check out the gigantic metal fan in its metal cage, slowly rotating, or the big propeller hung over the bar with a giant eye right in the middle that winks every now and then. It's been a fixture here since 1998. Live'n'local bands often play here and later in the evening you'll find a tantalisingly rumptacular mix of old school hip hop and break beats. So you can see why this isn't really the place to be requesting Trinidad Sours. Because at the heart of it, this is a big, busy bar that is as much about good times as it is quality drinkin'.