Bars & Pubs

The best places to drink in Sydney

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.

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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.

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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.

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The best bars in Sydney
Bars

The best bars in Sydney

We scoured the city to find the best drinks, greatest chat, most perfectly crafted playlists, tastiest snacks and top vibes to be had in Sydney. We put our livers and our sleep patterns on the line to bring you, dear reader, a comprehensive guide to the best bars in town.

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Sydney's finest

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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The best underground bars in Sydney
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The best underground bars in Sydney

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The best pick up bars in Sydney
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The best pick up bars in Sydney

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The best beer gardens in Sydney
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The best beer gardens in Sydney

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The best pubs with fireplaces in Sydney
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The best pubs with fireplaces in Sydney

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Bar crawls in Sydney by area

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.

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Pubs in Balmain
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Pubs in Balmain

Balmain is one of the most pub-dense suburbs in Sydney, thanks to its proud working class history as a working wharf and the place where the Australian Labor Party got their start. But times have changed and Balmain is now a well-heeled neck of the woods and many corner boozers have become homes and boutiques. However there are plenty of watering holes left for when you have a thirst that only a well-poured beer can quench, and these are our top picks.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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More neighbourhood bar guides this way

The best bar snacks in the business

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.

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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.

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The best places for cheese and wine in Sydney
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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.

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$10 steaks in Sydney
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$10 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 for ten bucks or less.

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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.

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More ace bars for your hit-list

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Van Morrison’s Masterpieces Featuring Vince Jones And The Astral Orchestra

Van Morrison’s Masterpieces Featuring Vince Jones And The Astral Orchestra

Beloved Australian singer, trumpeter, songwriter and performer Vince Jones has assembled a crack squad of Australian jazz musicians, with musical direction and piano by Matt McMahon, to form the Astral Orchestra.  This super-group of local legends will, for one night only, take on Van Morrison's seminal late '60s and early '70s albums Astral Weeks and Moondance. These are the records that turned Morrison into Van the Man, and gave us 'Madame George' and 'Into the Mystic'. Not only were both albums critically acclaimed (although, for Astral Weeks, the road to recognition was a slow one) they were also hugely influenential for a young Vince Jones. This show at Angel Place's City Recital Hall follows two sold out performances at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, so act fast. Astral Orchestra full lineup: Matt McMahon – piano and music directorBen Hauptman – guitarBrett Hirst – bassJames Hauptman – drumsPhil Slater – trumpetPaul Cutlan - saxaphone and fluteMichelle O'Young – violinStephanie Zarka – violinJustine Clarke – vocals

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Father’s Day Lunch at Glass Brasserie
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Father’s Day Lunch at Glass Brasserie

Your dad likes meat, right? And we’re guessing he likes beer, wine and barbecues too. Thought so. Then this Father’s Day Lunch offer at Glass Brasserie in the Hilton Sydney is one you should get on board with. On Sunday September 4, acclaimed restaurateur/chef Luke Mangan is putting together a lunch with three delicious courses matched with brews from Young Henrys and fine wines. The set menu includes confit pork belly, Moroccan spiced lamb and the famous dark chocolate cream Milo mousse. Luke will be also be on hand for an interactive presentation with top butchers (and father-son duo) Anthony and Victor Puharich of Victor Churchill, Woollahra and Vic’s Meat Market, Pyrmont. Dad can brush up on his barbecuing and meat seasoning skills, and learn the tricks behind selecting the perfect cut of meat. Guests also have the chance to win a selection of premium meats from Vic’s Meat Market valued at $300. Think of it as the ultimate meat tray, and then some. Glass Brasserie’s Father’s Day Lunch is $125 per person. Spaces are limited, so be quick to make your reservations via eat@glassbrasserie.com.au.  

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The Festival of Dangerous Ideas is just around the corner
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The Festival of Dangerous Ideas is just around the corner

Sydney’s annual festival of controversial ideas and thought-provoking discussions is back for its eighth year, September 3-4. Sydney Opera House will host 24 individual speaker sessions and 12 panel talks over the weekend with this year’s festival covering four major themes: Disappearing Countries, Dealing in Death, Disruptive Behaviour and Dirty Politics. Headline speakers include author Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin), Black Lives Matter activist Alicia Garza, artist and journalist Molly Crabapple, philosopher and columnist AC Grayling, UK science correspondent Alok Jha and English stand-up comedian Alexei Sayle (author of Thatcher Stole My Trousers).  The biggest talking points of the festival will be the US election, the results of the recent Australian election, Millennials vs Baby Boomers, human rights violations from racism to the effects of climate change, the global refugee crisis, religious and political extremism and the horrifying number of Indigenous people dying in an international suicide epidemic. “We don’t need to talk about business-as-usual, particularly when you live in Sydney and the sun is shining and the coffee is good…” says FODI co-curator and head of talks and ideas at Sydney Opera House, Ann Mossop. She's laughing at our sense of impending doom. “We look at the more dangerous end of the equation, but also the less-dramatic but equally-interesting topics like the ‘Bamboo Ceiling’, which is about discrimination against people from Asia

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