Where to drink right now
The best beer gardens in Sydney
Sure, we're good at swimming and rugby, but what Australians excel at is kicking back in the leafy courtyard of our local, sinking some beers and chewing the fat with our mates. Beer garden sessions are basically our national pastime, and here's the best places to participate.
The best pick up bars in Sydney
In these days of app-based dating the idea of meeting someone in the real world can sound fanciful, but we swear, it happens. Of course there's an argument to be made that any bar with alcohol has the potential to be a pick-up bar, but that's not very helpful, so we asked every single person we knew, and a few we didn't, for their favourite fishing spots in Sydney and this is what they told us.
The best bar snacks in the business
The best places for cheese and wine in Sydney
The Sydney venues for days when all you want to do is graze on a luxurious cheeseboard and put a solid dent in a bottle of wine while you catch up on the last few years, days or minutes of someone's life and discuss the age old question: washed rind vs hard cheese.
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 cheap steaks in Sydney
There's no tastier way to replenish your iron stores than with a juicy steak, and no cheaper way than with these steaks that'll make sure you've got plenty of change from a $20. After more bargain meals? Check out our guide to the best cheap eats in Sydney. After fun for nothing? Here's our list of the best free things to do in Sydney.
The best schnitzels in Sydney
Crumbed chicken breast or veal hammered out flat might sound like an incredibly simple dish, but there is an art to getting schnitzel right. The shell needs to be well-seasoned and to stick to the meat instead of falling off like an ill-fitting jacket. The meat needs to be cooked through but remain tender and juicy. And the quality of your sauce is a linchpin to the whole enterprise - good gravy is everything. We ate a lot of schnitzel to bring you this list – may our stomachs and waistbands have mercy on us.
Sydney's newest bars and pubs
Best bars by area
The best bars in Newtown
A bar crawl in Newtown is the ultimate pick'n'mix for a parched Sydneysider. It's also great for anyone who would like the minimum travel time necessary between venues. Newtown's bars are all conveniently spaced along King Street and Enmore Road like some sort of boozy daisy chain, which means you can go from dog-friendly brewery bars to moody cocktail dens, neighbourhood wine bars, indie boltholes and rock-n-roll burger bars in no time at all. To make it even easier we've mapped out the best way to cram in all of Newtown's best bars in one hit.
In Darlinghurst you're spoiled for choice when it comes to excellent boozing options. Maybe you feel like nautical cocktails and a lobster burger? Or would a Boilermaker and a bowl of monkey nuts suit you better? The one thing we can all agree on, surely, is that when top notch cocktails are the order of the day, you want a five star bar with the best in the business mixing your drinks. You can find in all in this boozy pocket of the East.
There was a dark time, not so many years ago, when after work drinks were limited to huge booze barns with no soul and pubs. Those were your options. Fast forward less than a decade and the CBD now possesses an exceptional collection of bars, from underground tropical hideaways to booze attics with cocktail maestros at the helm. You can drink life-changing wines, the freshest ales and fruity elixirs made from seasonal harvests, and sometimes you can do it all in the same place. It's a big part of what makes Sydney awesome.
Not only is the Inner West home to many of the eccentric, creative and proudly rainbow tribes of Sydney, it's also where you'll find some of the best small bar action. Tiny little haunts slinging great drinks and keeping the vibes lively and local. If you don't have one already, your home-away-from-home is probably on this list.
The best pubs in the city
The best pubs in Sydney
A lot of beers were drunk, schnitzels eaten and trivia answered in the search for the best pubs Sydney has to offer. We honed our pool skills, got surprisingly accurate with darts, and busted some PBs at Big Buckhunter in the pursuit of the venue that ticked all the boxes; welcoming, great beers, good food, games, entertainment, inclusive and relaxed. There are a lot of rock-solid pubs in this city, and these are the pick of the bunch.
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Eat and drink your way through Parramatta
Naturally Sydney’s “second CBD” Parramatta has a thriving food and drink scene. Thanks to the delicious cuisines of the many diverse communities who call it home, Parramatta is bursting at the seams with hole-in-the-wall eateries, heaving family restaurants, and a new in-flux of uber cool cocktail bars. But where to start? Never fear, we’ve got some hot food tips under our (expanding) belts for you. Kickstart your Parramatta food trip with robust coffee and memorable brekkie. Circa Espresso has got the breakfast goods with their signature Ottoman Eggs – a Middle Eastern-inspired egg and eggplant dish given that extra zing from garlicky labneh and crispy fried sage and leek. Try a caffeinated brew with a view at the riverside Armory Wharf Café with their Sriracha eggs – a blue swimmer crab laden breakfast of champions. Top it off with a mid-morning sweet treat and ignite your Instagram likes with one of Bay Vista dessert bar and café’s towering desserts. Parramatta (and neighbouring Harris Park) is so rich with fantastic Indian restaurants we devoted an entire feature to it. Head to Billu’s Indian eatery for their signature tandoori chicken and classic thaalis, or hunt down our pick for the best biryani in Sydney from Hyderabad House. Finish your tasty trip into ‘Little India’ with a rainbow-hued treat from Chatkazz sweets or a delightfully sticky gulab jamun from Taj Indian Sweets and Restaurant. As the sun sets take your full belly to one of Parramatta’s fun bars and brew
Join the launch party for the kooky new bar above the Marly
The team at the Marly are finally ready to unveil their absurdist new creation, Cuckoo. Designed in collaboration with Monster Children and International World Wide (the Norfolk, the Old Fitz), Cuckoo will be more than a new bar. They’re not giving too many details away, so to properly investigate what wonders await, you’ll want to ascend the stairs on October 18 and jump down the rabbit hole at the launch party. What can you expect from this curious new venture? They’re promising an uninhibited and raucous attitude. Think wood panelling and retro style – with just the right amount of kitsch mountain décor. Insta moments will abound: visitors will be able to test their skills on an epic indoor climbing wall, for instance. Crusty giant pretzels will be your primary bar snack, designed to be dunked in delicious condiments from the vast array housed in the “Condiment Kingdom”. Schnitzels will be the star of the main menu, and you’ll have the chance to sample a rainbow of schnapps in between bouts on the dancefloor. Cuckoo will be creating this beloved European concoction in house, and since cocktails simply can’t be ignored at a party, you’ll likely spot a few fruity distillations in your more elaborate drinks. If all this heady aband
See the Australian thriller Splinter in Sydney
This thriller by Hillary Bell follows a couple whose missing five-year-old daughter returns after nine months missing – with no scratches and no explanation. They're forced to grapple with the uncertainties of their past and move forward under enormously difficult circumstances. “There was this play that I read before it went into production at Sydney Theatre Company, which I loved but didn’t get to direct, and it stayed with me always,” Griffin Theatre Company's artistic director Lee Lewis says of Bell’s work. The original production played in Sydney in 2012, would usually count a play out of a major revival for at least a few more years, however, Lewis wanted to challenge that expectation during her time at Griffin. “There’ve been extraordinary plays that have been written over the last 20 years which aren’t old enough to be considered classics so we can’t do a ‘classic revival’, but we could just do the damn play again because it’s good.” Starring Hilary Bell’s sister Lucy Bell and Les Miserables star Simon Gleeson, this claustrophobic chamber piece questions how well we know our families. Splinter runs until October 12 at the Griffin Theatre Company. Further details and tickets are available here.