We know that this town has a million nights out to choose from, and any reader of Time Out knows we have no shortage of amazing bars and pubs – but what are the areas where one can best tiptoe through a top-notch selection of them (with increasingly unsteady gait, naturally)? We've done our research, and paid for it the following morning, to bring you a collection of Sydney's best drinking dens helpfully clumped by suburb so that you can plan your perfect bar crawl.
Do you like to kick back on a balcony and watch the worl go buy with a glass of riesling in hand? Or are you more of a beer garden and chill kind of booze hound? Whatever your personal preference is, there's a pub in Newtown that'll tick all the boxes, and finding it will be half the fun.
The best spots for boozing in the Rocks are all located just a hop, skip and jump from each other, so make a day of it and try to collect them all.
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.
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.
Out in the blue ribbon suburbs of Paddington and Woollahra there are pubs aplenty and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. But there is also a select collection of excellent bars which are serving up some of the best wine in the city, high-end cocktails and next level bar snacks between them.
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.
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.
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.
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.