Bars & Pubs

The best places to drink in Sydney

The 50 best bars in Sydney
Bars

The 50 best bars in Sydney

Every year we put our livers and sleep patterns on the line to bring you, dear reader, a comprehensive guide to the best bars in town to make sure your evenings never run dry.

The best bars in the CBD
Bars

The best bars in the CBD

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. 

The best coffee cocktails in Sydney
Bars

The best coffee cocktails in Sydney

When you need a drink that’ll perk you up and cool you down, order a coffee cocktail at these Sydney bars that are pretty keen on the bean. And no, they're not all your 21st birthday party's 'expresso martinis'.

Where to drink Frosé in Sydney
Bars

Where to drink Frosé in Sydney

Summer is coming and with it comes our city's unquenchable thirst for cold drinks. It used to be that when an icy Daiquiri couldn't hit the spot a frozen Margarita was your only option to beat the heat. But thanks to a particularly muggy summer in New York this year, we now have the Frosé to answer all our summertime prayers. Frosé is basically a sorbet made from rosé wine blended up with fruit, syrup and juice in a Slushie machine, and the result is straight-up party fuel.

Where to drink right now

Sydney bar and pub reviews
Bars

Sydney bar and pub reviews

Stay ahead of the pack with our guide to the hottest new venues that have opened in Sydney, reviewed by out team of bar experts.

The best rooftop bars in Sydney
Bars

The best rooftop bars in Sydney

We're all for a late night hootenanny, but sometimes there's nothing better than bending the elbow with the sun on your back and a cool drink to keep things chill. And we're not alone. Sydney's rooftop bars account for some of the most popular, and hard won, seats in the city, so get in quick for the glory spots with the best views.

The best waterfront bars in Sydney
Bars

The best waterfront bars in Sydney

We are a city blessed with a truly ludicrous amount of waterfront real estate. Between the harbour, the coastline and the rivers that snake back through Sydney we have ample spots to sit a while and watch the waves. But when those places also have a bar for cold drinks and seaside snacks, you know you've hit the jackpot. These are our favourite places for drinks with a water view.

The best underground bars in Sydney
Bars

The best underground bars in Sydney

There's a lot of good reasons to head down rather than up when you're feeling parched. Underground it's always party o'clock, because even if it's 2pm, it feels like after dark. Plus you have no external cues as to the lateness of the hour so a quick drink can turn into a big night very easily. Drinking below street level is also deliciously climate controlled so on a blazing hot summer's day, or a torrential downpour, your best bet is posting up in one of Sydney's best booze cellars.

Sydney's finest

The best beer gardens in Sydney
Bars

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 first date bars in Sydney
Bars

The best first date bars in Sydney

No one is saying first dates are easy – there’s the reasonable fear you might insult them, bore them or that they may turn out to be secret racists. And it’s worse still if you think you might like them – so many expectations to manage. Do yourself a favour and pick a location for that first meeting that matches your vibe, be it low key and local or a litmus test for how they feel about the things you love best – namely wine.

The best cocktail bars in Sydney
Bars

The best cocktail bars in Sydney

No one is pretending that cocktaisl are a cost-effective way to relax or party in Sydney. In a city where $20 a drink isn't an uncommon price tag, you really want to know that what's in your glass has been shaken and stirred by the best in the business. These are the places that you can always trust to give you a truly outstanding drink in exchange for your hard-eraned.

Late night venues without a lockout
Bars

Late night venues without a lockout

Sydney, the lock-out laws are now in place: no entering a venue in the designated CBD and Kings Cross areas after 1.30am and no booze after 3am. But outside those areas there are plenty of late-night options in town to keep your evening rolling along. Here are our picks.

The best pick up bars in Sydney
Bars

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 toasties in Sydney
Bars

The best toasties in Sydney

Two slices of bread, cheese and butter are the building blocks of the most comforting snack of all time, the toasted sandwich. From there you can stick to the classics – baked beans, tinned spaghetti, savoury mince, or the infallible combination of ham and tomato with cheese – or get crazy and wild with the fillings. There's basically nothing that doesn't taste good inside a hot pocket with cheese. If you're craving the simple pleasures of a jaffle, these are our favourite places to get them.

The best bar snacks in Sydney
Bars

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 places for cheese and wine in Sydney
Bars

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 schnitzels in Sydney
Bars

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.

The best pub pies in Sydney
Bars

The best pub pies in Sydney

A proper pub pie is a thing of beauty. It's the heart-warming pastry pocket that goes a treat with a freshly poured ale, and if you can eat it in front of an open fire, you've got yourself the ultimate winter hat-trick.

More ace bars for your hit-list

Best bars by area

Darlinghurst
Bars

Darlinghurst

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.

Surry Hills
Bars

Surry Hills

Some of the best drinking dens in the city are clustered inside the 2010 postcode, which means a sip trip around Surry Hills involves a whole lot more excellent cocktails, biodynamic wines and craft brews with a whole lot less trekking between venues.

The CBD
Bars

The CBD

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.

Bondi
Bars

Bondi

Based on Instagram posts alone, you'd be forgiven for thinking Bondi was only about sunrise yoga, surfing and high intensity cardio session. But this beachfront 'burb also possesses an ace collection of bars for when the old exercise you want to be doing is bending the elbow.

Newtown
Bars

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.

Inner West
Bars

Inner West

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
Bars

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.

The best happy hours in Surry Hills
Bars

The best happy hours in Surry Hills

It might be a famously desirable and expensive place to hang your hat, but drinking in Surry Hills doesn't have to cost the earth so long as you time it right.

The best beer gardens in Sydney
Bars

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.

Sydney craft beer guide
Bars

Sydney craft beer guide

Thanks to the boutique brewing boom, local watering holes are boasting seasonal brews on tap, craft breweries are opening up all over Sydney, and we have two annual festivals dedicated to all things craft beer. Here's where to get in on the sudsy fun.

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Taste of Sydney in partnership with Electrolux: for friends who feast
Restaurants

Taste of Sydney in partnership with Electrolux: for friends who feast

Taste of Sydney in partnership with Electrolux is four days of restaurants, chefs, artisan producers, demonstrations, talks and the best food in Sydney. Enjoy exquisitely crafted, Insta-perfect tasting dishes prepared by "generation now" chefs from Sydney’s hottest precincts. Imagine cramming Barangaroo, Paddington, Surry Hills and Potts Point into one pretty park, and you're beginning to get the idea. You've never seen so much delicious in one place. Restaurant newcomers to Taste include: Anason, Banksii Vermouth Bar & Bistro, Bouche on Bridge, the Four in Hand by Guillaume, Long Chim, Mercado, Saint Peter, Tequila Mockingbird and more. Kensington Street Social, Nel and Porteno are also in the mix.  From now until the event, you can get two Taste Passes for $35, saving up to $25 on the door price. Book now through Ticketek with the password: TIMEOUT.

Barbu

Barbu

Sydney’s first look at the work of the small, tight-knit Quebec troupe Cirque Alfonse was via its lumber camp-themed Timber! Brawny, inventive and drawing on the folk music and history of French Canada, it stood out in the 2015 Sydney Festival’s circus program. Barbu (“Bearded”), the company’s 2015 Edinburgh Fringe hit now touring Australia, is no less a crowd-pleaser, if more obvious in its methods. Performing on a small circular stage and catwalk, the five-guy, two-gal company introduces itself with a series of gentle routines harking back to the early days of circus in Canada. Rollerskates, scarf juggling, a bit of beard-play for laughs. Nothing spectacular. But as Cirque Alfonse warms to the task, the physicality of each act becomes increasingly intense. The three-piece electro-folk band led by singer-guitarist Andre Gagne kicks up a gear. Costumes (vintage circus-meets-Edwardian bondage) are discarded for tight black undies. Sweat begins to bead on the performers’ brows and bodies. Soon it’s running in rivulets. For the next hour the company is pretty much flat-out. Previous circus-burlesques seen in the Studio (La Clique, La Soiree, and more recently Club Swizzle) have been compilations shows, speciality acts knitted together with emcee patter. You do your “bath boy” routine, or whatever, and it’s back to the green room until curtain call. Barbu, by contrast, is Jack (and Jill) of all trades stuff with everybody working most of the time. The four men (Jean-Philippe

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Landmarks
Art

Landmarks

Blue Mountains City Art Gallery presents Landmarks, a major contemporary exhibition featuring works by some of the world's most prominent land and environmental artists. Landmarks features work by some of the most significant artists of the late 20th and early 21st century, including Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Simryn Gill, Andy Goldsworthy, Andreas Gursky, Richard Long, Perejaume, Imants Tillers, and internationally renowned Blue Mountains artists Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, who contributed a brand new commission titled 'The Ugly Stick Orchestra'. Drawing upon the John Kaldor Family Collection at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Landmarks is an important exhibition developed in partnership with the Art Gallery of New South Wales for the fifth anniversary of the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, an outstanding regional gallery and a visitor drawcard of increasing importance.

Head to this hidden rooftop bar
Bars

Head to this hidden rooftop bar

Some bars you stumble upon – others, like the Rook, require a bit more hunting. This rooftop bar is hidden away above the CBD, but once you find it you'll be rewarded with cracking cocktails and good times.  The cocktail menu takes a focus on botanical gin, fruit and freshness: exactly what you want for an after-work tipple. Plus, we all know that Sydney loves a burger, and the Rook's Uncle Sam burger has many fans. Alongside the burgers, you'll also find loads of lobster on the menu – you can enjoy it in a roll, or splash out on a whole lobster, cooked with either garlic cream, a four-cheese mornay or citrus vinaigrette, and comes severed with truffle fries and salad.  Make your Friday a Fri-yay: gather up your workmates and book in for a night out at the Rook.