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Bloody mary cocktail at Marrickville Hotel
Photograph: Katje Ford

The best Bloody Marys in Sydney

Because nothing sorts you right out like a hearty meal of a cocktail before noon

By Cameron Stephens, Jane Ryan and Time Out editors

A good Bloody Mary should be the turning point of any miserable day (or night). Surely, no other drink on earth can support, challenge, uplift and relax the soul quite like hard liquor wearing a bizarre cloak of dramatic, colourful, kinda-food items. Whether you prefer yours in the form of a thick Clamato-based Bloody Caesar, as refined and elegant as a Martini or just a no-nonsense classic, be sure to spring back up on the right foot with the help of these standouts.

On the hunt for more cocktails? Check out our picks for the 50 best bars in Sydney right now, or if you're more of a beer fan, head straight to the source and knock a few back at one of Sydney's top craft brewery bars

Sydney's finest Bloody Marys

Continental Deli Bloody Mary
Photograph: Supplied/Continental Deli

1. Continental Deli Bar Bistro Newtown

Restaurants Newtown

Always ones to take the high road, the Continental Deli crew offer a refined, zippy Bloody Mary made extra mineral-forward thanks to the use of fino sherry. Garnished with one of their signature Gildas (the original tapa – a skewer of olive, lemon and anchovy) and available from midday, this Bloody Mary will make you purse your lips together in pleasure and makes for quite the sunny afternoon on Australia Street.


Bills Bloody Mary
Photograph: Supplied/Nikki To

2. Bills

Restaurants Bondi Beach

If you haven’t had your recommended clam juice intake this week, all three Bills outposts can sort you out with their mighty fine take on a Caesar – intensely flavoured with lime, coriander and Korean chilli. This bad boy pretty much begs to be partnered up with a plate of those impossibly fluffy scrambled eggs and a side of avocado salsa. 

A Bloody Mary on a table at Dead Ringer
Photograph: Supplied/Nikki To

3. Dead Ringer

Bars Restaurants Surry Hills

More Bloody Marys should have sherry – especially amontillado, which brings a gentle, nutty sweetness to the saline savouriness of a dry white wine. Of course, the cocktail experts at Dead Ringer know their way around a flavour wheel, and all it takes is a couple of sips to appreciate how the sherry ties the clean taste of gin, sharp citrus, rich tomato and their umami-rich spice mix all together. No wonder their boozy brunches are perpetually packed.

4. Bloody Mary's

Restaurants Darlinghurst

Offering their titular drink in nine versions, Blood Mary’s surprisingly doesn’t often stray too far from the classic recipe. Things gets twisted up with gin, tequila and even bacon-infused Bourbon, but they all feature the bar’s fresh housemade tomato juice, their own spice mix (don’t bother asking, it’s a secret), lemon and Tabasco. You will encounter some garnishes that could frankly sub in for dinner (a bagel, boiled egg, bacon and lettuce, for example), but stick with old faithful to experience the best of Bloody Mary’s.

The Hive Bar bloody mary
Photograph: Supplied/The Hive Bar

5. Hive Bar

Bars Erskineville

This beloved Erko locals’ haunt takes matters of the Mary into its own hands with a housemade super-secret spice blend, housemade celery salt, vegan Worcestershire sauce made from scratch and a garnish of olive, basil and cherry tomato – kinda like a bruschetta got tipsy and fell into a blender. It’s clearly a highly considered (and guarded) recipe and it works a charm every time. The $13 a pop price tag makes it awfully hard to stop at one, too.

Henry Deane Bloody Mary
Photograph: Supplied/Henry Deane

6. Henry Deane

Bars Millers Point

Leave all your worries at ground level as you ascend to the top of Hotel Palisade and settle into a welcoming wicker chair in front of one of Sydney’s finest harbour vistas. A pasta straw is a clever and thoughtful reminder that you’re living in this sustainably-minded era, but this classic Bloody Mary is a pretty timeless take on the old standby, with a hot sniff of horseradish and a distinctly briny finish. Now get back to enjoying that view.

A Bloody Mary on the bar at Mary's
Photograph: Anna Kucera

7. Mary's CQ

Bars Circular Quay

Trust the hangover helpers at Mary's to push the Bloody Mary to within an inch of its life, pimping it up with bacon and blowtorched cheese. Stripped of those rockstar toppings, it's actually a vegan mix, so the wow factor isn't exclusive to carnivores. These guys most definitely understand the complexities of the morning after, and they are here to get you through it. So, too, are the famous burgers, fried chicken and the Batcave-like lighting. Amen.

Porch and Parlour bloody mary
Photograph: Supplied/Porch and Parlour

8. Porch and Parlour

Restaurants Bondi Beach

Securing a perch in the window at this Bondi staple and letting the sea breeze sweep right over you will be sure to bring you back to life in no time. P&P's Bloody also does the trick, taking a simple approach with a generous whack of citrus, which keeps things on the lighter side. There's no outrageous spice or OTT garnish competing for attention, so just sit back, relax and savour it, but save plenty of room for one of the beloved brekky bowls.

Bloody Mary at Opera Bar
Photograph: Supplied

9. Opera Bar

Bars Sydney

Is it a coveted spot by the water, those intoxicating views or the citrus-forward Mary mix at Opera Bar that makes you want to get up and queue for another the split second you finish your first? We're willing to bet it's equal parts all three, but that Mary mix really is something, brightened by coriander, ginger, birdseye chilli and garlic for serious punch. All that's missing is a dozen oysters. So order 'em.

Two tins of Bloody Marys cheering
Photograph: Supplied/Baby Coffee Co.

10. Baby Coffee Co.

Restaurants Cafés Waterloo

Despite the Insta-worthiness at play at this Waterloo café, there's gumption and talent behind all the millenial pink. The Mary here is a wild and inspired ride that toys with traditional Japanese ingredients – ponzu, wasabi, sesame oil – and takes it to a whole new level with curveballs like salmon-fat-washed vodka and MSG. It earns serious bonus points for presentiation, as well as the nori and ginger garnish, and the smashed avo speckled with black sesame seeds makes the perfect dance partner. 

A Bloody Mary on a white table
Photograph: Supplied

11. Three Williams

Restaurants Redfern

Some mornings, you wake up feeling like a change of pace. On others, you know you just need to stick to the tried and true.  The long-reigning Redfern brunch masters at Three Williams know what the people need and they offer up a $15 Smokin' Willy that's equal parts spicy and smoky with a stick of barbecue biltong thrown in for good measure. Just add coffee and one of the signature narnies. Good morning.

The Bearded Tit Bloody Mary
Photograph: Supplied/The Bearded Tit

12. The Bearded Tit

Bars Redfern

Note: The Bearded Tit has not yet reopened. Check its social media for the latest.

The Tit is proud of the Hail Mary. Heck, they even describe it as a "religious experience". It lives up to the hype, fiendishly spicy due to what must be a metric tonne of hot sauces, but the addition of coriander and cracked pepper add botanical, earthy layers of flavour and heat. There's no scientific proof that it tastes even better in a cosy spot in the caravan parked out back, but we're willing to say it very much does.

Bloody mary cocktail at Marrickville Hotel
Photograph: Katje Ford

13. The Marrickville Hotel

Bars Marrickville

Don't let the name fool you. The Marrickville Hotel is more like a proper bar in pub's clothing, so it shouldn't surprise you that their Bloody Mary is a cut above the rest. Nice and thick, it's pretty much built for catching the hair of the dog that bit you, and if it doesn't quite get the job done, at least you can bring your very own dog along for the company. 

Eau de vie Bloody Mary
Photograph: Supplied / Kim Jane

14. Eau de Vie

Bars Cocktail bars Darlinghurst

You should never head to Darlinghurst institution Eau de Vie expecting anything run-of-the-mill. Their Angry Maria (inspired by a Schubert opera) is devoid of some of the high-wire theatrics at play across the rest of the cocktail list, but it's still quite the tricked-up affair. Your choice of vodka, gin or bacon Bourbon gets spiced up with beetroot and a Chianti-based arrabiata purée on top of the tomato juice. They finish it with parmesan and olives because – why not?

Two ladies clinking Bloody Marys at the Norfolk
Photograph: Supplied/Aus Venue Co

15. The Norfolk

Bars Redfern

A good pub Bloody Mary is worth its weight in vodka, the kind of dense and pulpy drink that works wonders on a lazy Sunday afternoon – and that’s exactly what the Norfolk offers. They're no longer served in the tins, but thankfully the cult-favourite secret spice mix hasn’t perceptibly altered in the last decade. Come the weekend, the leafy beer garden is the place to be and you'll be hard-pressed to find someone out there without one of these reviving refreshers in hand.

A cocktail on the bar at Spice Temple
Photograph: Supplied/Spice Temple

16. Spice Temple

Restaurants Sydney

This CBD bunker might be famous for its yum cha and a multi-regional Chinese menu that delves deep into chilli, pepper and spice, but it also boasts a pretty snappy cocktail list. Each drink is named for animals of the Chinese zodiac, and if you're after a Mary, the Ox has your name on it. Carrot, aged soy, Angostura bark and Wagyu-washed mezcal are responsible for big, beefy flavours here. Bloody delicious.

Bills Bloody Mary
Photograph: Supplied/Nikki To

17. Rocker

Restaurants Cafés Bondi North

When a whopping bottle of a bootleg concoction gets pulled out from behind the bar, you know your Bloody Mary is being stirred up by people who get it. In this case, it’s the Three Blue Ducks gang, who value fresh ingredients a whole heck of a lot more than most. This one comes in heavy-cut glass and gets dolled up with an elaborate corsage of veggies and a salted rim – because, let’s face it, half the fun of ordering one is that envious glare from the couple across from you.

Bloody Mary at Lord Wolsely
Photograph: Supplied

18. The Lord Wolseley

Bars Ultimo

Much like the no-frills Ultimo local itself, the Wolseley's Bloody Mary is a classic pub iteration – served in a schooner, no less. Head in on a Saturday, when they cost a mere ten bucks, and there's the added bonus of $1 Sydney rock oysters to boot. Whether you tackle the skewer crowded with a cherry tomato, cocktail onion, lemon wedge, gherkin and tiny Thai chilli all at once or one at a time is up to you.

Got a hangover that needs help?

A close up shot of a bacon and egg roll at Antidote Coffee
A close up shot of a bacon and egg roll at Antidote Coffee
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The best bacon and egg rolls in Sydney

Restaurants Cafés

Whoever first put cured, fried pork and soft, melty eggs together deserves a seriously prestigious award, in our opinion. Stuff them between two layers of soft white bread, spread on a heap of butter and you’ve pretty much got food nirvana right there. So we took it upon ourselves to traipse the streets of Sydney to find you the best bacon and egg rolls to fix any hangover, heartbreak or hard-earned snack. Man, it’s a tough job.


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