Bars & Pubs

The best places to drink in Sydney

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.

Time Out Pub Awards

Time Out Pub Awards

The annual Time Out Pub Awards are coming. Join us at the Bank Hotel on Monday May 22 as we raise a schooner to the city’s best local haunts, best counter meals and more, and be part of the fun as we crown our 2017 Pub of the Year. Expect delicious drinks, sweet tunes and great food, all while we celebrate those pubs and publicans who provide us with much needed mid-week ales and a second lounge room. Limited tickets are available at $45 + BF and include food, drink and good times and an advance copy of the Time Out Pub Awards issue (RRP$4.95). See you there – and in the meantime, vote for your favourites in the People’s Choice Awards now. These awards are made possible thanks to Yenda Beer. Is your favourite pub in the running? The full list of nominees for this year's Pub Awards is coming soon. in association with

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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 pubs with fireplaces in Sydney
Bars

The best pubs with fireplaces in Sydney

When the mercury drops and the weather turns foul the best place to be is curled up by an open fire - preferably wood, but we'll take gas if that's what's on offer - with a pint of beer, a counter meal and maybe a deck of cards. This way you can lose whole evenings in the comfort of your local and stay warm and dry all winter long.

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 spot at our exclusive reggae barbecue for you and three mates
Restaurants

Win a spot at our exclusive reggae barbecue for you and three mates

It’s hard to think of two things that bring people together more than food and music. They share a sensibility – one that puts experiences and memory at the forefront – and when you bring them together, it’s pretty magical. Sonos know the concept all too well, that’s why they’re encouraging the sharing of music and meals through their global Playlist Potluck series. We know the tradition of the potluck pretty well: guests bring a dish to a group dinner party, then afterwards you stick around for chats and tunes. Now, Sonos have decided to take potlucks into the 21st century. Instead of asking guests to bring a dish to their dinner party, they’re inviting them to contribute tunes to a collaborative playlist. Sonos discovered that only five per cent of guests admit to taking on the role of DJ at a friends gathering. Everyone knows creating a suitable playlist for a meal can be challenging, so why not share the load? Sixty per cent of people believe it’s important that everyone gets the chance to add to the playlist, and you can do so by adding to the playlist queue via the Sonos app once the party is in full swing. The menu, venue and seating will be arranged, so now it’s up to you and your friends to set the ambiance. We liked the idea so much we decided to get in on the action. This April, in partnership with Sonos, we’re throwing a reggae barbecue at Darlinghurst’s This Must Be The Place (our Bar of the Year, no less) on Sunday April 9. Kicking off at lunchtime, the ev

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue

Maybe you saw him on HBO's Treme, or one of his appearances on Conan, Leno, Kimmel or Fallon. Now, hot off the back of touring with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Trombone Shorty is coming down under to play Bluesfest and some special sideshows. Joined by his swinging band Orleans Avenue, Trombone Shorty brings brass and big band sounds to life on the stage with serious flair. The jazz and soul maestro isn't a stranger to big stages – he's played at the White House, alongside Madonna and helped out pop producer Mark Ronson on his albums – so you can expect some big vibes from him when he plays the Metro Theatre.

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Barangaroo Ngangamay
Things to do

Barangaroo Ngangamay

Barangaroo Ngangamay is an innovative, interactive artwork that gives you the chance to go on an journey of learning and discovery throughout Barangaroo Reserve. Using an app to place you within the context and history of the site, Barangaroo Ngangamay uses geo-locating to reveal intricate stories, songs and rock engravings scattered throughout the Barangaroo Reserve. The Barangaroo Ngangamay app includes five short films, which are unlocked by visiting sandstone artworks handcarved by Aboriginal elders Vic Simms, Steven Russell and Laurie Bimson. Each film shows the resilience and diversity of Barangaroo and the Aboriginal women who used to call the Reserve home. Created by renowned Indigenous multi-media artists Amanda Jane Reynolds and Genevieve Grieves, the work is the result of a collaboration between the pair and local Aboriginal communities and elders, developed to tell ancient and treasured stories of the world’s oldest living culture. The Barangaroo Ngangamay app is available to download for iOS and Android devices.

Help the homeless by eating kingfish poké
Restaurants

Help the homeless by eating kingfish poké

Hawaiian poké is a dish currently sweeping the world and Salmon & Bear seafood eateries in Zetland and Newtown are among the best places in town to eat it.   Poké – basically a delicious raw fish salad – has been a highlight of Salmon & Bear since they opened, with tuna, salmon and sweet prawn varieties designed by chef Mark Jensen (who taught at the Sydney Seafood School for 15 years). Now Salmon & Bear have created a new kingfish poké: diced Hiramasa kingfish in a miso and sesame dressing served on a salad of kale, quinoa, fennel, tomato, sweet potato, carrot, Spanish onion and pepita seeds. To launch this new dish, Salmon & Bear wanted to support the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre’s First Response Program. The program ensures that anybody who is homeless leaves the centre with a pathway towards getting a roof over their heads. The kingfish poké costs $21, and $2 from every one sold will be donated to the First Response Program, until they’ve raised enough money to get 20 people off the streets. You get a tasty meal, plus the warm feeling of having helped someone in need. Nicely played, Salmon & Bear.