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 wine bars in Sydney
Bars

The best wine bars in Sydney

Sydney loves wine and luckily we've got a bunch of beautiful bars pouring some of the best drops from around the country and the world. Whether you're after natural vino, some cheese with your wine or you want to hit an urban cellar door, these are the best wine bars in Sydney.

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 pubs with fireplaces in Sydney
Bars

The best pubs with fireplaces in Sydney

When the mercury drops and the weather turns foul the best place to be is curled up by an open fire - preferably wood, but we'll take gas if that's what's on offer - with a pint of beer, a counter meal and maybe a deck of cards. This way you can lose whole evenings in the comfort of your local and stay warm and dry all winter long.

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
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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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Little Creatures Live
Things to do

Little Creatures Live

You might already enjoy their beer – including Pale Ale, Rogers' and Dog Days – but did you know there's a way to take your Little Creatures love a little deeper? This year the brewery is taking their show on the road with a series of parties that feature live performance art, food and beer at various on-premise locations and festivals across Australia. They're calling it Little Creatures Live – inspired by the original moniker of their very first Pale Ale, brewed their own way with fresh hops flowers and live yeast.  Little Creatures Live will be back in Sydney very soon. Curious as to what to expect? Check out our recaps below. Or if you can't wait, why not pay a visit to Little Creatures' Fremantle or Geelong breweries? 

Vote for the bar making your favourite Patrón XO Café Espresso Martini and win a $200 bar tab
Bars

Vote for the bar making your favourite Patrón XO Café Espresso Martini and win a $200 bar tab

If the mere thought of an Espresso Martini makes your heart beat a little faster, then it’s a great time to live in Sydney right now. For a limited time, a selection of top Sydney bars curated by Patrón are creating special twists on the classic Espresso Martini, using Patrón XO Café. Each of these bars is putting their own expression on the cocktail, and together, they make up the Expresso Society (get it?). They’re shaking up the classic cocktail in all sorts of delicious ways – Rosie Campbell’s ‘Patroco’ blends Patrón XO Café, chocolate liqueur and homemade toasted coconut syrup and coconut cream to create a tropical holiday in a glass. For a nutty kick, try Café del Mar’s ‘Espresso del Mar’, which adds Frangelico, hazelnut syrup and butterscotch to Patrón XO Café and espresso. The creativity doesn’t stop there. Bars like Paddington Inn are adding sweetness by throwing burnt marshmallows into the mix, while the clever bartenders at Pitt Street’s Mexican diner Mejico are staying true to their roots by using Peloton Mezcal and agave in their ‘MeXo Espresso’. The question is: which of these Espresso Martinis do you most want to drink? To win a $200 tab at one of these Sydney bars, tell us which cocktail recipe takes your fancy (the full list is here). Enter by telling us which of these Patrón XO Café Espresso Martinis you'd most like to drink, and why by Monday July 31. Name: Email: I'd like to drink: (25 words or less)  Tick this box to hear more from Patrón XO

Flappy Hour
Things to do

Flappy Hour

Guys, we've found it. The cheapest early bird special in town and it's on for one night only. The Munich Brauhaus and participating Bavarian Bier Cafés around Sydney are trying to serve a record breaking 100,000 wings in an hour of power they're calling flappy hour (geddit). The best part is it's going to be from 5pm-6pm on Fri Jul 28 so all you need to do is duck out of work the tiniest bit early and order a king's ransom in wings for pocket change. Seriously, they're 10c a pop, but the minimum order is 20. That makes it dinner for two dollars. It's bargain city over here.  They're also holding wing eating competitions on the Saturday, but the best value all round is flappy hour so avoid the afternoon snacks and treat yourself to a weekend warm-up that'll cost you less than a coffee.

Win a Sunset Sessions Bridge Climb
Things to do

Win a Sunset Sessions Bridge Climb

What’s better than ascending to the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge? Ascending to the top bathed in the golden light of sunset, while a musician plays soft guitar beside you. Time Out and BridgeClimb are giving you the chance to win one of two double passes to Sunset Sessions; a series of Climbs over July and August on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Normally, tickets to this bucket list experience will set you back upwards of $350; but this time, you could be zipping up that grey jumpsuit and heading up for free. They’ll even equip you with everything you need based on the weather, including beanies, gloves and fleeces. So if you’re keen to watch the sun dip over the horizon and see the city turn to pink and red (hello, ultimate date night!) then enter our competition below by Tuesday 18 July. Each double pass is valid for 12 months from the issue date*. However, in order to enjoy a Sunset Sessions Climb, the climb will have to be booked on a weekend in July or August 2017. *Not valid during peak period (25/12/17 to 03/01/18). COMPETITION CLOSED   Terms and conditions in full. By entering this competition you agree to receive relevant communications from Time Out including news, events, offers and competitions.