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Bars & Pubs

The best places to drink in Sydney

The best waterfront bars in Sydney
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The best waterfront bars in Sydney

Our favourite places to while away the hours and watch the tides roll away over a few drinks. 

The best bars in the CBD
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The best bars in the CBD

Underground tropical hideaways to booze attics with cocktail maestros at the helm. 

The best rooftop bars in Sydney
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The best rooftop bars in Sydney

Where to head up to get down.

Late night venues without a lockout
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Late night venues without a lockout

There are still plenty of late-night options in town to keep your evening rolling along. 

Time Out Bar Awards 2019: Winners
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Time Out Bar Awards 2019: Winners

Meet our picks for the best of the best in 2019.

Where to drink right now

The best hidden bars in Sydney
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The best hidden bars in Sydney

Not always easy to find, but they're definitely worth the hunt.

The best Sunday sessions in Sydney
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The best Sunday sessions in Sydney

Make the most of that last weekend day.

The best wine bars in Sydney
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The best wine bars in Sydney

Bubbles, red, white, orange or rosé? Decisions, decisions...

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

There's a lot of good reasons to head down rather than up.

Sydney's finest

The best whisky bars in Sydney
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The best whisky bars in Sydney

Whether you like it floral, fruity or peated to an inch of its life, you'll find exactly what you're looking for at these exceptional establishments.

The best pubs in Sydney
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The best pubs in Sydney

The recipe for success here doesn't seem all that hard, but getting the basics of a good pub down pat is a fine art – and these are the places that do exactly that.

The best beer gardens in Sydney
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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
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The best first date bars in Sydney

Breaking the ice is never a good time, but when good lighting, quality booze, chilled out bar staff, comfy seats and an easy-going vibe are thrown into the equation, it becomes a whole lot easier.

The best pick up bars in Sydney
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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
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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.

The best bar snacks in Sydney
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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
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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 pub pies in Sydney
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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.

The best schnitzels in Sydney
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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.

More ace bars for your hit-list

Best bars by area

The best bars in Newtown
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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.

Surry Hills
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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.

Bondi
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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.

Darlinghurst
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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.

The CBD
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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.

Inner West
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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
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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
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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.

A guide to Newtown's happiest happy hours
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A guide to Newtown's happiest happy hours

Newtown's changing quickly, but in the golden hours of the early evening, it could still almost be the 1990s. At least, when you look at the prices.

Sydney craft beer guide
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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.