Bars & Pubs

The best places to drink in Sydney

Time Out Sydney Bar Awards

Time Out Sydney Bar Awards

Update: here are the nominees for the 2017 Bar Awards Sydney, it's time to mark Sunday January 29 in your calendars and double underline that sucker, because the annual Time Out Bar Awards are upon us. Join us as we toast the city’s best wine bars, cocktail haunts, boogie joints, late-night perches and bartenders at the party of all parties, coming soon. It's a night of ace drinks, sweet tunes by the hot-as-fire Flex Mami, great food and colour as we kickstart the New Year by giving back to those venues and drinks makers who make our downtime worth every minute of the nine-to-five. This year, our awards will be hosted by the inimitable, award-winning Rhys Nicholson, so any hecklers can expect to be brutally shut down with incredible style.  Get in quickly because we've got limited tickets available for $55 + BF and include food, drink, and vibes up on the Sky Terrace for the ultimate Sunday session, plus you'll go home with a copy of the annual Time Out Bar Guide 2017 ($4.95) hot off the presses. Plus, voting has now opened for the People's Choice Award, so sling your favourite barkeep or watering hole a cheeky nomination. These awards are made possible thanks to Southern Comfort, Yenda beer and Hydrodol – your liquid fun times sorted and next day hangovers cured. in association with Venue Partner

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.

Where to drink Frosé in Sydney
Bars

Where to drink Frosé in Sydney

Summer is coming and with it comes our city's unquenchable thirst for cold drinks. It used to be that when an icy Daiquiri couldn't hit the spot a frozen Margarita was your only option to beat the heat. But thanks to a particularly muggy summer in New York this year, we now have the Frosé to answer all our summertime prayers. Frosé is basically a sorbet made from rosé wine blended up with fruit, syrup and juice in a Slushie machine, and the result is straight-up party fuel.

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.

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
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 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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Win a double pass to the Karaoke Climb
Things to do

Win a double pass to the Karaoke Climb

Imagine performing your favourite song in an open-air karaoke booth on the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and having it captured on film. This summer, BridgeClimb is offering a special Karaoke Climb, and you could win a double pass to experience it, valued at $606. Each climber also receives a complimentary group photo and a baseball cap. To enter, tell us before February 16 what song would you like to sing at the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Name: Email: Gender: Female Male Other Year of Birth: Postcode: Your karaoke song: Do you have a lot of opinions? We're keen to know what our readers think, so we've created an insider's club to find out. Join, and we'll email you surveys and questions from time to time. It's a great chance to have your thoughts heard, and we'll reward you with treats too. Tick this box if you'd like to join our insider's club. Enter now!   Terms and conditions in full. By entering this competition you agree to receive relevant communications from Time Out including news, events, offers and competitions. Note: the prize is valid Monday to Sunday for day or night climbs (excluding twilight and dawn) and must be redeemed before March 6, 2017 on the Karaoke Climb.

Sydney Chinese New Year Festival is coming
Things to do

Sydney Chinese New Year Festival is coming

Bring the family into the city to see Sydney in a whole new light when the Chinese New Year Festival celebrations begin on Friday January 27.To welcome the Year of the Rooster, Westpac presents Painting the Town Red – wherein famous Sydney landmarks are lit up in red lights for three nights, January 27-29.   The Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House and several other icons will be lit up by red projections from 8pm to midnight, symbolising good fortune and happiness, plus a featured projection of the Festival Rooster on the Australian National Maritime Museum.  From Friday January 27 through to Sunday February 12, Lunar Lanterns will be installed around Circular Quay. Towering up to ten metres in height, the 12 lanterns represent the signs of the Lunar Zodiac and have been designed by Asian-Australian artists with festival curator Claudia Chan Shaw. The lanterns will be illuminated each day from dusk – you can learn more about them and see photos here.  

Introducing the Big Oz Schnitzelmeister challenge
Restaurants

Introducing the Big Oz Schnitzelmeister challenge

Love schnitzel? Up for a crumbed, golden and tasty Australia Day challenge? Then you'll want to head to the Munich Brauhaus or Bavarian Bier Cafés across Sydney on Thursday January 26. The Big Oz Schnitzelmeister challenge sees one kilo of golden veal schnitzel topped with beetroot and everyone's favourite breakfast combo – crisp bacon and sunny side up eggs. The task – if you choose to accept it – is to finish the Big Oz Schnitzelmeister in less than one hour. If successful, you will receive your mega-meal on the house (usual price: $100), a Schnitzelmeister champion T-shirt, your very own spot in the Schnitzelmeister Hall of Fame and of course, bragging rights. You can take on the Big Oz Schnitzelmeister challenge at the Munich Brauhaus in the Rocks and at Bavarian Bier Cafés at Bondi Beach, Chatswood, Entertainment Quarter, Parramatta, Miranda and York Street.

Hong Kong 101
Travel

Hong Kong 101

You could spend a week, a year or a decade in Hong Kong and never be bored once. Pulsing with energy and always evolving, it’s the perfect place to explore if you’re into people-watching, eating, shopping, hiking, partying, relaxing, art, history… or perhaps all of the above. Thanks to its compact size and zippy public transport system, Hong Kong is also remarkably easy to navigate, meaning you can cram a lot of action into a fairly short trip. The most unexpected part? A multitude of beaches and green hillsides are within easy reach of the city, providing the perfect respite when you seek it. Here are the must-see districts to explore in the days you have free either side of the Sevens.