Bars & Pubs

The best places to drink in Sydney

Time Out Bar Awards 2018: Winners
Bars

Time Out Bar Awards 2018: Winners

We have been propping up bars in this town for as long as it takes to age a medium range whisky, and it has been a wild ride. In our tenth annual Time Out Sydney Bar Awards, we once again take stock of our city's incredible scene and the professional tastemakers who keep the party in your glass. Sydney's bars are a force to be reckoned with, with fortitude to spare, but these are the veenues that are at the top of their game in 2018. Without their hard work, palates, creativity, diversity and dedication to our nightlife every night would be Netflix and chill.  Emily Lloyd-TaitNational Food and Drink Editor in association with Venue Partner

The best bars in Newtown
Bars

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 some of Sydney's best cocktail dens, neighbourhood wine bars, indie boltholes and rock-n-roll burger bars in no time at all. What's more you'll find a bunch of great bars in Enmore, which is (technically) past Newtown, but is only a hop-skip-and-jump-away and very much worth checking out. Want more late night drinks? Check out our guide to bars and pubs without a lockout.  RECOMMENDED: Our guide to the best Newtown restaurants

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. For more al fresco drinking try one of Sydney's best beer gardens, or waterfront bars. RECOMMENDED: The 50 best bars in Sydney.

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 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.

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.

Late night bars and pubs without a lockout
Bars

Late night bars and pubs without a lockout

Lockouts may rule much of the CBD, Cross and Darlinghurst, but just outside of the Sydney lockout map you'll find a handful of bars and pubs ready and waiting to let you in after 2am. We've rounded up a bunch of them, from swanky cocktail haunts to local pubs. What time is lockout in Sydney? These laws mean that all venues within Kings Cross, Darlinghurst and the CBD 'Entertainment Precinct' cannot take new customers after 2am, and must call last drinks at 3.30am. State-wide, you cannot buy takeaway alcohol after 11pm. There are a few exceptions to these rules for specific venues, but on the whole it's what you'll find at most licensed venues within the lockout zone.  RECOMMENDED: The 50 best bars in Sydney.

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 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. RECOMMENDED: The 50 best bars in Sydney.

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.

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 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 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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Campari Red Nights
Bars

Campari Red Nights

Invented by Gaspare Campari in Novara, Italy in 1860, Campari is the Italian red aperitivo that is the cornerstone of many of mixology’s favourite drinks. The timeless Campari Soda – Campari, soda water, ice and an orange wedge garnish – is the starting point on the journey of discovering the versatility of Campari, a journey that has inspired cocktails such as the Americano and the iconic Negroni. Campari Red Nights will launch on Monday, September 17 with a week-long takeover of the Ivy precinct. Campari and Merivale invite consumers to discover the intriguing world of Campari and enjoy an aperitivo from a range of signature drinks like Campari Soda, Pineapple Americano, Milano Sbagliato and the classic Negroni. Campari Red Nights will take consumers on a creative journey throughout the Ivy precinct via sensory experiences (through beverages, entertainment and displays) as well as artwork installations that recount the story of the brand through modern and contemporary expressions of artistic works created by some of the most innovative creators of advertising art.  Photograph: Jiwon Kim The official Campari Red Nights launch party will be a journey of discovery throughout the precinct on Friday September 21, culminating in Ivy’s Pool Club. Each subsequent Friday will host parties in Pool Club and closing with a party on October 12. Enter the world of Campari and enjoy live art, music and unexpected performances. Choose from the suite of signature cocktails. Other parti

Visit the Rocks for a month-long celebration of native Australian ingredients
Things to do

Visit the Rocks for a month-long celebration of native Australian ingredients

From bush botanicals to national dishes incorporating native flora and fauna, our country’s natural environment provides an abundance of flavours that inspire great culinary works. For the whole month of September, these ingredients will be showcased at restaurants and bars throughout the Rocks, while also featuring in special editions of the Rocks Markets and cooking demonstrations and masterclasses. You’ll want to start your tasting journey with a drink. Head to the Cut Bar and Grill, where they will be twisting pink peppercorn and finger lime into a classic Gin and Tonic that’ll put some zing into your botanical adventure. Or, visit Mode Kitchen and Bar at the Four Seasons who will be blending Sydney’s Archie Rose gin with native lemon myrtle, hibiscus tea and egg whites for a fresh gin sour. Secure a spot on the leafy terrace at Mrs Jones and order a variation on their classic Martini and Espresso Martini. Photograph: Anna Kucera. The Doss House You'll feel like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday at Appetito, the classic Italian restaurant in the Rocks. They’re serving up an exciting white rum and rosella jam concoction during September, and their friendly neighbour the Rawson will use Australian finger lime and mango to create a golden Margarita. There’s more classic twists at the Push and Eric’s Bar, but if you’re after a beer, head to the Endeavour Tap Rooms for the newest edition to their line of local brews, incorporating lemon myrtle, finger lime and Davidson plum

Craft Beer and Cider Festival
Things to do

Craft Beer and Cider Festival

The weather is warming up and the days are getting longer – beer and cider season is nearly upon us. Over in our Eastern Suburbs the Coogee Bay Hotel is taking advantage of the increasingly cheerful weather by hosting their third annual Craft Beer and Cider Festival. Over two days the hotel will welcome more than 80 craft beer and cider varieties to their venue to encourage you to get outside your comfort zone and try a new brew. Only the best booze make the cut so even if you select at random you’re going to get a winning tipple. The festival line-up currently includes Gage Road Brewing Co, Yak Ales, Pirate Life, 4 Pines Beer, Bentspoke Brewing Co, The Apple Thief, Hillbilly, Green Beacon Brewing Co, Young Henrys, Endeavour Brewing Co, Akasha Brewing Co, The Lord Nelson Brewery, Feral Brewing Company, Kona Brewing Company and Batch Brewing Company. As well as hosting dozens of delicious beers and cider varieties, Coogee Bay Hotel will also be bringing in jazz to keep you entertained and food pop-ups to keep you full. The beachfront venue combines relaxed, stylish drinking and dining with boutique seaside accommodation – so out-of-towners can even enjoy the festival without the hassle of travelling home. The festival is free to enter, with each variety of beer or cider available to sample and purchase using festival tokens – which you can buy at the festival or online at a discount. The Craft Beer and Cider Festival is taking place at Coogee Bay Hotel on Saturday, 6 Octobe

Central Park Mall Outdoor Cinema

Central Park Mall Outdoor Cinema

For the month of September, Chippendale Green will have an outdoor silent cinema showing cult 1990s movies. First up it's Alicia Silverstone in high school classic Clueless; then Heath Ledger's Hollywood breakthrough comedy, 10 Things I Hate About You; Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in high-octane action thriller Speed; and finally Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in the Los Angeles fairy tale Pretty Woman. Each Thursday-night screening will cost ten bucks, and you’ll be given blankets and headphones, so you can quote along “Big mistake. Big. Huge” without disturbing your neighbours. Not only is the ticket price cheaper than most cinema screenings, but you’ll get a $10 voucher to spend on dining at Central Park Mall, which includes Din Tai Fung, La La Malaysian, Mai Viet and Gami Chicken. They’re somehow making it a fundraiser too, with all proceeds from the event going to Rural Aid’s Buy a Bale to help local Australian farmers. We can't think of a better way to indulge our '90s nostalgia, get dinner and help out a good cause all at the same time. Photograph: Supplied

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