October 2021: You’ve got to hand it to Sydney’s bars for digging deep and weathering one hell of a proverbial storm. Lockdown after lockdown has led to some brilliantly creative solutions from Sydney's resourceful hospos. Some venues launched home-delivery services, some opened pop-up bottle shops, others hosted masterclasses via Zoom and some, sadly have closed their doors for good. The resilience that the hospitality industry has shown deserves a standing ovation and with reopenings (and grand openings) on the horizon, there's never been a better time to get out and support the bars, pubs and clubs that are the heartbeat of our town.
Things have certainly been tough, there's no getting around that, so whether it's your local or a special somewhere worth travelling for: get out there – and when you do, be sure not only to treat the staff with kindness and respect, but also to accept whatever regulations and restrictions with patience and understanding. Things continue to evolve at a rapid pace, and while we make every effort to ensure the details below are correct, we encourage you to contact venues directly or check social media accounts before popping in for the most up-to-date info.
We’ve whittled this update down to focus on what really matters most to us in a bar – what it is, why we love it and whatever hot tips we think will make your visit even better. The bottom line, however, is still the same: if it's on this list, we think it's a winner – and we hope that you do, too.
This is the Time Out DRINK list, our picks for the best bars in Sydney right now, from fresh faces to tried-and-tested temples of great booze, ranked by our local editors. We’re looking for quality above all, with fun, flavour, atmosphere, creativity and value for money at every price point. That’s why you’ll find car space in a CBD laneway packed with mezcal alongside a Euro-style deli serving cocktails in cans, distilleries, a brewery and just about everything in between. Cheers to you, Sydney.
Drank somewhere on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDrinkList.
Want to show your favourite venues even more love? Make sure you vote in our Time Out Bar and Restaurant Revive Awards!