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 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.
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 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.
Sydney's best new bars and pubs
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.
The best underground bars in Sydney
The best pick up bars in Sydney
The best beer gardens in Sydney
The best pubs with fireplaces in Sydney
Bar crawls in Sydney by area
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The best bar snacks in the business
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
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 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.
$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.
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.
You might also like...
Writer and director Benedict Andrews (The Maids; The War of the Roses) is premiering his new play at Sydney's home of new writing, Griffin Theatre Company. Reuniting Andrews with stage and screen actress Marta Dusseldorp (Janet King), Gloria follows a famous actress as she prepares for her latest role: playing the survivor of a sadistic crime. Dusseldorp will lead an ensemble of eight that includes Meyne Wyatt, Chloe Bayliss and Huw Higginson, wrangled by Griffin's artistic director, Lee Lewis.
In collaboration with Bell Shakespeare and commemorating Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, FODI (Festival of Dangerous Ideas) presents Mercy – a panel and performance inspired by the iconic playwright’s The Merchant of Venice. In a reimagination of the 16th century courtroom scene, Mercy brings together both performers and academics to discuss the contemporary relevance and timelessness of human dilemmas such as mercy, justice and the law. By exploring these universal concepts, the panel will question whether our obsession with ‘justice’ blinds us from realising the potential for something better. The esteemed panel includes philosopher and author A.C. Grayling; South Sudanese child soldier-turned-lawyer Deng Adut; Shakespeare scholar and renowned feminist Germaine Greer and former High Court judge and human rights activist Michael Kirby. Performers include John Bell, James Evans, Andrea Demetriades, Brian Lipson, Damien Strouthos and Jacob Warner.
Corbett & Claude opens at Rhodes Waterside
Brisbane pizza and cocktail legends Corbett & Claude have opened their first Sydney restaurant at Rhodes Waterside shopping centre. The newly opened restaurant joins the ever-growing list of cuisine retailers in the centre’s emerging food precinct. Focused on shared food in a relaxed atmosphere, Corbett & Claude serve delicious small plates (think grilled haloumi with peach-muscatel chutney and crisp chicken with chipotle aioli), gourmet pizza (all the classics and many more), pan-fried linguine and gnocchi, salad and of course, dessert. They’re also the first on-site bar at Rhodes Waterside, so you now have a place to drink away your buyer’s remorse and put your feet up after shopping til you drop. Choose from 12 on-tap craft beers (including C&C’s very own house lager) and an impressive selection of cocktails including C&C’s Winter Elixir (pampero blanco rum, peach and pear liqueur, ginger, mint and fresh lemon) and Mr Claude Espresso Martini (allpress espresso, liqueur 43, Kahlua and Ketel One vodka). Corbett & Claude join Lilly’s Espresso and Cucina, Mama’s Wok, Rhodes Phoenix Chinese Restaurant, Ribs & Burgers, Smokkim Korean BBQ, and many more.
Guess who's back
Everyone from Steve Manfredi to Paul Merrony and even (in his youth) Matt Moran has been through the kitchen of The Paddington Inn. But its history is deeper than that – in 1860, the beloved hotel played host to the first ever meeting of the Paddington Council. For the last 30 years, the Paddington institution has been under the watchful eye of the family-owned nightlife empire Solotel. In the last six months, the pub, like Paddington itself, has been undergoing some major changes, and will reopen on September 8. It's been fully renovated by George Livissianis, the man behind the gorgeous décor at Cho Cho San, and the revived Dolphin Hotel, and now houses a new bar and dining room. And to go with the new look there's a whole new menu. Seasonal, produce-drive, simple and gorgeous, it's been created by head chef Justin Schott, a man who's arrived at the Paddington Inn via Rockpool and Kitchen by Mike. "We’re making as much in-house as possible – we are dry ageing the duck, and we’ll make our own cotechino as well as focaccia and gingerbread daily," Schott says. An à la carte restaurant at the back of the venue will be accompanied by more casual fare at the front bar. That menu is inspired by classic pub grub, with an elegant update. “The new kitchen will be open plan so diners will see it all going on. I can’t wait to get moving and add to the innovative food history of The Paddington Inn.” As well as a significant and interesting wine list, cocktails also play a starring r