Late night bars and pubs without a lockout
Good for: Late night karaoke shenanigans, arcade games, dancefloor antics and whisky highballs. Also this is a popular spot, so be prepared to queue.
How late? You can saunter up to this Mary St joint until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights. Don't go in on a Sunday – it's closed.
Good for: Natural wines, darts, pool and schnitties. This Oxford St gem is one of our favourite pubs in Sydney, and the fact that it falls just outside the lockout zone makes it that much sweeter.
How late? Early in the week you'll find the Unicorn open until 1am. Wednesday through Saturday though, things kick on until 3am.
Good for: The Marly seems to have finally settled into its groove as the monster pub at the Newtown crossroads with a little something for everyone after hours. Upstairs Miss Peaches is still happily dishing up soul food and American beers to rock’n’roll tunes, downstairs the lock out-free club, Tokyo Sing Song is pulling punters like its free ice cream day at the fair, and in between beats the heart of an old school pub.
How late: The Marly parties until 4am Monday though Saturday.
Good for: Live music, burgers and pokie-free fun are all on the agenda at Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham's (the duo behind Mary's and the Unicorn) rock-chic boozer.
How late: Rock out until 3am every night, except for Sunday when things wrap up at midnight.
Good for: The Gladdy is a surefire good time, with a very eclectic mix of both party nights and punters. One night you may find local record label I Oh You hosting a Saturday evening boogie, the next may be a hip hop shindig with live graffiti.
How late: Thursday through to Saturday you can pop into this corner pub until 3am.
Good for: With a late, late licence and conveniently situated but a hop, step and a woozy stagger from Newtown train station, it's an integral part of the community, and a go-to for locals.
How late: The weekend kicks on here, and on Friday and Saturday nights you'll find the Townie open until 5am.
Good for: There are four main quadrants to this late-night hotel at the tipping point of King Street. The front bar is a quiet sports bar, but on weekends things get rowdier. Up the back is a sunken beer garden, on the first floor you’ll find Waywards, a bar and music venue open Thursdays through Saturdays and at the heart of this vast establishment is Uncle Hops, their cosy craft beer bar.
How late: You can sink craft beers until 4am on Friday and Saturday nights.
Good for: Like many ladies of a certain age, she’s had some work done, but still retains the bones of the original and the feel of a neighbourhood pub. It’s what you’d expect from Paddy Coughlan, the man behind the Lord Gladstone Hotel in Chippendale, home of good times and the deep-fried Golden Gaytime.
How late: Friday and Saturday nights at this Camperdown pub party on until 3am.
Good for: Anyone on the Northside will know that despite it's lack of curfew, the late-night hijinks over there are few and far between. The Crowie is an exception to this rule, with DJs and cover bands on the weekend.
How late: The real appeal here lies in its 6am closing time on Friday nights and 5am on Saturdays for when you have a lot of steam that needs blowing off.
Good for: This is a spot for party people – Wednesday you'll find queer parties, Thursdays are all about hip hop and on Friday and Saturday it's a mix-up of local crews and international DJs spinning house and techno.
How late: If you want to get some mid-week kicks you'll find the Slyfox open until 3am on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday and Saturdays the music stays pumping until 6am.
Want to go for a drink?
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.
Still wanna dance?
Sydney's nightlife scene – despite the lockouts – is still as colourful and diverse as ever. There's a strong set of local producers and DJs, complemented by plenty great venues where you can head for a boogie.