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 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 cocktail bars in Sydney
No one is pretending that cocktails 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-earned. RECOMMENDED: The 50 best bars in Sydney Hungry? Try one of Sydney's best cheap eats. Or head up to one of Sydney's best rooftop 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. Want more? Sydney is filled with ace rooftop bars, waterfront bars and beer gardens.
Where to drink right now
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
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
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.
The Sydney bartenders' guide to hooking up
Walking into a bar – in comedy, it’s a classic set-up for a joke; in life, it’s a popular way to find romance. There are plenty of reasons to hit a low-lit, boozy venue when love is on the cards. Sydney has many great venues that’ll (responsibly) serve you drinks to calm your nerves or spark conversations with strangers. Plus, any interest is well-catered for: you can play arcade games at 1989 Kitchen and Arcade; bust curfew and exchange numbers at Frankie’s Pizza By The Slice over pinball and rock; or enjoy spirits the grown-up way at Rosebery’s Archie Rose Distilling Co., where you can tour the namesake distillery and make your own booze. There’s another big advantage to looking for romance in a bar: the staff. “The bartender is often your friend. If you’re at a good bar, they’re often looking out for you,” says Luke Ashton from This Must Be The Place. “I always keep an eye out for people on dates and try to make their experience a fun and memorable one,” says Jemima McDonald from Earl’s Juke Joint in Newtown. “If that means making them do shots with me, then so be it.” “You can spot a Tinder date a mile away and usually the whole front of house team knows about it, exchanging updates of ‘how’s it going?’” says David Hobbs from Dead Ringer, Surry Hills, and Bulletin Place, Circular Quay. “You may have half the staff rooting for you… I remember one which started awfully, they pushed through it, stayed on the wine and four hours later, they left ‘in a hurry’.” “You
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 whisky bars in Sydney
Do you like your whiskies to taste like they've been filtered through a bushfire? Then the peaty drams from Islay are for you. Or maybe you like the cleaner, floral flavours of of highland Scotch, followed by something aged in sherry casks for that sweet, fruity flavour. American ryes are hard to resist; Japan makes a world class whisky and Ireland knows a thing or two about firewater. Whatever your poison, if you're drinking whisky, these are the Sydney bars in which to do it.
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
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 bar snacks in the business
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
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
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 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.
Sydney's newest bars and pubs
Best bars by area
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.
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.
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.
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
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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Leaf Supply is launching nationwide delivery
Sydney-based online plant boutique Leaf Supply has just launched nationwide shipping, along with a new range of botanical-themed pots, accessories and plant seeds. The small business, founded by florist Sophia Kaplan and plant and design store owner Lauren Camilleri, has made the green-gift giving game a little more interesting, with three pretty evergreen plants selected every month available to send your loved ones. The live plants are still only available for those in the Sydney metropolitan area, but they’ve stocked their website with a collection of goods available to be sent all over the country, like secateurs, watering cans, plant food, stands, and plant magazines. They’ve also curated a few special pieces that will certainly elevate your gardening interests like handmade ceramic pots, a bronze water mister, and candles. All products get a seasonal upgrade, so it’s definitely worth coming back to see what’s new. Want to start from the seed up? Co-founder Kaplan has put together special seed packs that are perfect to gift someone who’s just starting out in the gardening game. The packs are also beautifully illustrated, thanks to designs by Edith Rewa. With expertise and care guides provided for each plant they sell, even those with the blackest thumbs can’t get it wrong.
English Baroque with Circa
The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Brisbane-based performance company Circa are back to deliver a collaboration which mixes 16th and 17th-century music with acrobatics and contemporary circus. English Baroque with Circa is the third installment from the two companies, who previously teamed up to create the Helpmann award-winning performance French Baroque in 2015 and again in 2017 with Spanish Baroque to a sell-out crowd. The dazzling combination of contemporary movement with 500-year-old English masque and theatre music will premiere at the Canberra International Music Festival before heading on to Sydney's City Recital Hall, arguably one of the only concert spaces in the city with acoustics superb enough to match the tumbling commotion on stage. Artistic director Paul Dyer of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Yaron Lifschitz of Circa have created an inspired pasticcio with works from English composers Henry Purcell, John Playford and John Dowland woven together into one piece. Celebrated soprano Jane Sheldon, who starred in The Howling Girls with the Sydney Chamber Orchestra in 2018, will be sharing the stage with Circa acrobats and the Brandenburg musicians. Tickets start from $30, with $41 seats for under 30's. The Sydney season is only running for six shows before moving on around the country. If this performance is anything like the previous offerings from the duo, this daring collaboration will enchant from start to finish.
Hop down to Shangri-La Hotel for Easter high tea and garden cocktails
A fantastical Easter garden will pop-up in Shangri-La Sydney's Lobby Lounge throughout April with executive pastry chef Anna Polyviou. And what could be better than to fill said garden with delightful treats and heavenly cocktails? If you have always wanted to savour Polyviou’s signature desserts, Easter Garden High Tea will feature her cracked egg tart, indulgent chocolate pots, sticky hot cross buns and an elevated version of the old-school soft serve in a waffle cone. Accompanying these morsels, you’ll be able to drink a popcorn caramel Martini or a Spritz. Flutes of Chandon and Veuve Clicquot will also be on offer if you prefer bubbles. This special afternoon out costs from $75 per person or $55 for kids. If you’re looking for a more grown-up affair, experience the Cocktails in the Garden. Starting from $55 per person, you’ll be handed a picnic basket full of savoury bites, as well as a Belvedere Spritz, a flute of Chandon or a popcorn caramel Martini. Inside the basket, there will be cured meats, Australian cheeses, olives, fluffy quiches and fruit to accompany your refreshing cocktail. Want something a little fancier? For $85 per couple, there’s the option to drink a flute of Veuve Clicquot or Chandon. If you’re going all out, $115 shared between two will keep the cocktails or sparkling free-flowing for 90 minutes. Easter Garden High Tea is available in three sessions throughout the day starting at 11am, 1pm and 3.15 from April 1 to April 29, and cocktails in the gar
Mark Watson: The Infinite Show
Following a show which took last year’s Edinburgh Fringe by storm, British comedian Mark Watson returns to his adopted homeland and makes his long-awaited return to Sydney with a show about empathy. The Infinite Show is about the sorry state of the world and the comedian offers some suggestions for what we can do about it. The former Edinburgh Comedy Award Panel Prize winner brings his trademark twitchy charm and witticisms to answer the big question — if other people make up 99 per cent of the world, why can’t we understand them? He does this by asking audiences to write down something they find hard to empathise with on cards which come into play later in the show. If you’ve managed to catch Watson at one of a string of previous sold-out festival performances or spied him on telly in many UK panel appearances you’ll be familiar with his improv and high-joke rate. Watson's success in Australia goes way back to 2006 when he won a Barry Award for best show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, with his last Sydney Comedy Festival appearance in 2012 for the Information Show. He’s also published eight novels, so you can enjoy more Watson well after you’ve left the theatre laughing. Catch the show fresh from Melbourne on April 23-24 during this year's Sydney Comedy Festival.