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The best offbeat bars in Sydney

Our pick of Sydney's left-of-centre bar experiences

A close up shot of a bunch of crocheted penises at The Bearded T
Photograph: Anna Kucera
By Myffy Rigby |

Strip a bar right back to basics and you've got a collection of alcoholic beverages, four walls, a roof (probably), a bartender and a bathroom - seats can be optional. But it's the little details that set bars apart, like revolving floors, weirdly specific booze lists and out there themes. These are favourite Sydney bars that are doing things their own way.


Absinthe Salon

icon-location-pin Surry Hills
Book ahead for an aperitif before dinner, or drop in later at night to start your big evening with a powerful kick of the green fairy. 

The Bearded Tit

icon-location-pin Redfern
A densely populated creative space on Regent Street celebrates art and beer in no particular order.
Bars, Craft beer

Golden Age Bar

icon-location-pin Surry Hills
You hear a lot about the golden age of cinema. The glamour, the style, the class, the jazz - and this bar room has it all. 
Restaurants, Modern Australian

O Bar and Dining

icon-location-pin Sydney

O Bar is a place of a thousand different angles. The outer ring of the 47th floor of Australia Square revolves very slowly, so that over the course of a round of drinks your view constantly changes by degrees, making sure you see Sydney from all sides.


Soda Factory

icon-location-pin Surry Hills
You'll find secret hot dogs and a sweet dose of old-school soda fountain charm at this Surry Hills bar. 

The Standard Bowl

icon-location-pin Darlinghurst
The Darlinghurst gig venue has transformed from a ticketed live music spot to a bowling alley and live music hybrid. 
Bars, Wine bars


icon-location-pin Circular Quay
It’s been a mainstay in Sydney bars and restaurants for some time now, and now we have an entire bar and restaurant dedicated to sherry. 

More to explore