Get us in your inbox


The Baxter Inn

  • Bars
  • Sydney
  • price 2 of 4
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Photograph: Anna Kucera
    Photograph: Anna Kucera
  2. Photograph: Anna Kucera
    Photograph: Anna Kucera
  3. Photograph: Anna Kucera
    Photograph: Anna Kucera
  4. Photograph: Anna Kucera
    Photograph: Anna Kucera
  5. Photograph: Anna Kucera
    Photograph: Anna Kucera
  6. Photograph: Anna Kucera
    Photograph: Anna Kucera
  7. Photograph: Anna Kucera
    Photograph: Anna Kucera
  8. Photograph: Anna Kucera
    Photograph: Anna Kucera
  9. Photograph: Anna Kucera
    Photograph: Anna Kucera

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

Sydney loves this underground whisky cellar as fiercely now as the day it opened

When Shady Pines Saloon opened in 2010, we thought we’d met the bar we wanted to spend the rest of our lives in. Then we met its little brother, the Baxter Inn, and there was a serious challenger for our eternal affections. Of course, we weren’t the only ones enamoured with the backlit wall of whisky, accessible only by scrolling library ladders or by having your well-coiffed bartender climb along the counters like some sort of arborial gentleman. The lines of admirers stretched from outside the tatty door in an old loading dock in the city and almost back out onto Clarence Street.

This is the kind of whisky collection that would make a strong man weak at the knees. The menu board starts at the ceiling and the three-column list eventually sneaks down under the counter and out of sight. Every Islay, Speyside, Highlands, Lowlands and Campbelltown distillery you can’t pronounce – and the small collection you’re confident with – is there, including rare bottlings and unusual releases. What room is left goes to Japanese and Australian spirits, and blends. The liquid assets in this bar could probably buy you property in Sydney.

It’s easy to go amber blind in here and forget that you are sitting in front of some of the best bartenders in the city – but not ordering a cocktail is a squandered opportunity. They have confidence and swagger behind the bar, but it’s been hard earned. They’ve mastered the classics for people who know what they like (Old Pals and Trinidad Sours all round!), but they also have a knack for finding the right match for an indecisive palate. And it doesn’t have to be whisky – a Tommy’s Margarita is always a good idea.

Just because it’s the classy upstart to the hard-wearing Shady Pines and heavy-rock loving Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice, doesn’t mean the Baxter Inn has ideas above its station. It holds true to the ‘no bookings, no functions, no door list – everyone welcome’ policy in place across all Swillhouse venues. The Baxter Inn is for great booze, mad skills and big nights, and Sydney is for Baxter Inn. Always.

Read the Untold story of the Baxter Inn.

 Time Out Awards

2018Bartender of the Year

2016Hot Talent Award

2016Best Bartender

2015Best Bar Team

2013Bar of the Year

View this year's Time Out Bar Award winners

Written by Emily Lloyd-Tait


156 Clarence St
View Website
Opening hours:
Daily 4pm-3am
You may also like
You may also like

The best things in life are free.

Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

Loading animation
Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!