best bars in Sydney

10 Best Bars In Sydney

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    There is no shortage of lively and entertaining watering holes in Sydney. Every corner is brimming with different kinds of bars, from cocktail bars to sports bars.

    Our town? There are many interesting bars to choose from. We offer everything, from quiet hideaways on the beach to romantic rooftops with city views to unexpected treasures in the unlikeliest of places. To make your next group drink, solo adventure, or romantic night in Sydney a little more special, we've compiled a list of the city's coolest and quirkiest pubs.

    However, Sydney's most popular watering holes aren't usually the best. While there's no objective way to determine the best bar, there are some essentials that can make or break a watering establishment.

    Is there a large selection of beverages available? Food for the main course, or energy-boosting snacks? Excellent ambience and tunes, right? So, get ready to check off all 3 of those categories.

    In a metropolis the size of Sydney, one can pick from a wide variety of excellent watering holes. Whether you're in the mood to party and mingle with the locals or seek peace and quiet, Sydney has plenty to offer you. However, if you're having trouble choosing between all of your possibilities, you might want to look into the following.

    1. Old Mate’s Place

    Here at the top of our list of Sydney's best bars is Old Mate's Place. You won't know why it's a secret until you climb the four stories to the top.

    Old Mate's Place is among the best cocktail bars in the Sydney Central Business District. When the weather is nice, patrons can enjoy the rooftop terrace while sipping on creative cocktails.

    Totaling 102 steps. These rooftop watering holes are not suitable for the weak of heart. But all that leg-searing effort is worth it because when you open the top door, you'll find yourself in a verdant paradise in the middle of Sydney's bustling city.

    The staff is very welcoming and will offer you a seat either downstairs or above. If you're looking for Sydney's most chill rooftop bar, look no further than the upper floors. While the sun is setting, relax and enjoy a cocktail, beer, wine, or all three.

    The bartender smiles and serves him a VB throwdown as you peruse the menu. Similar to the Rat Pack, they wear their bowtie hung around their neck without a knot. No matter what hour it is on the ground, up here it is always appropriate to relax.

    Atop a building on Clarence Street, this spectacular drinking den serves up handcrafted drinks that are both visually stunning and delicious.

    Getting low on gas? The menu is small but well-executed, with prosciutto boards and several types of cheese-steaks (including the classic Philly, the fiery Portuguese, and the jamón).

    Check out the profiles; you can trust the friendly faces concealing brains capable of handling any of the standards on your list. In contrast to the sun-bleached containers of Bombora and lychee liqueur that might come to mind when you think of rooftop bars in other parts of the world, Old Mate's back bar is quite a different matter, with an agreement of malts, Caribbean rums, and fine tequilas that is almost as opulent as what's served in the planter boxes.

    The VB palate-cleanser may lead you to believe otherwise, but Old Mate is cocktail central, despite the fact that beer and wine are welcome here.

    Former Kittyhawk and Lobo Plantation pilot Dre Walters and Ramblin' Rascal regular Daniel "Noble" Noble have compiled a list that goes its own way, with unusual ingredients like toast poppyseed (the Predecessor), pistachios (the Pistacia), and dehydrated basil (the Retox).

    To add some zest to the gin, peaches are roasted. And when they're really grumpy, they call Corky's Lady Killer #2 and mix up a Strawberry Black Maria (tasting note: "tastes exactly as it sounds").

    What would happen if we simply poured everything that is super-refreshing over ice? The Melody, a long high glass of sake, gin, melon, fino sherry, and lemon. The Fog Tai, meanwhile, combines the previously separate spheres of the Mai Tai as well as the Fog Cutter into one entire tumbler with rum, Cognac, Laphroaig, and whoa-nelly.

    The booths are relaxing, and the restrooms are clean and well-kept (check out the framed picture of Hogarth's engravings of The Rake's Progress by the mirror and the botanical bath wash by the sink).

    The menu is posted above the bar, and it is brief, but it does list a smattering of Philly cheese-steaks (try the classic, a soft roll stuffed to thin slices of beef, onions, and a whole lot of melted cheese), as well as a sets of meats and cheeses (Jamon Iberico, thinly chopped hot cantimpalo pancetta, oozy Délice de Bourgogne).

    Sydney, Old Mate's Place could be your 102-step ascent to heaven. You may always use the elevator, after all.

    sydney ps40 bar

    2. PS40

    Midway through 2019, PS40 co-owners scrapped their old cocktail list in favour of an all-new menu influenced by the events they enjoy most across the world. Festivus is the official name of that feast they prepared.

    That may sound ridiculous, but keep in mind that PS40 is one of the few bars that truly embraces the concept of constant reinvention, and that any theme or concept is merely an occasion to unleash these talented artists' creativity.

    PS40's bartenders are more akin to crazed chemists. They collaborated to create a drink menu that pays homage to cultural celebrations around the world, from Thanksgiving to Valentine's Day.

    For the sober partygoers among us, they also serve non-alcoholic beverages. If you're in Sydney, you should definitely stop by the Bars of the Month Award winners' establishment.

    Thanksgiving is not a celebration; it is a national holiday. It's also the name of their tasty take on the a Rye Whisky Sour, which includes sweet potato plus sage because, why not? The Hanami cocktail, inspired by the Japanese cherry blossom festival of the same name, takes a more serious interpretation by using clarified beetroot juice to extract its dark red colour and ripe perfume before adding layers of dark rum, vermouth, and orange bitters. It's a surefire hit.

    The rest of the journey is even more exciting than the first. Those who choose the Harvest will receive a cloudy sake with the unique dairy-sweet taste of pearls, delivered in a metal pan with such a honeycomb piece and scented with peaches & Manzanilla sherry.

    At the Lunar New Year celebration, scarlet beans and pandan leaf guide whisky and Cognac along a path of nuts twists and turns, creating a same dizzying degree of complexity.

    Since 2016 when the lights came on, originality has been encouraged, albeit that has always had as a lot to do with the nonalcoholic beverages as the alcoholic ones.

    We're also talking about a soda plant here. Keep in mind that PS40 has been ahead of the curve since the beginning of the shift towards alcohol-free options. One of the most thrilling ways to train your palate in town is with the $15 soda flight that allows you to experience each house-made creation.

    You don't have to be sitting just at bar to appreciate the fact that these folks start each day by thinking of new ways to expand our conception about what a drink could be. Check out P&V Merchants in Newtown; they stock aquavit distilled in collaboration with South Australia's Not Never Distilling Co.

    To accompany your sanga for lunch for Single O in Surry Hills, request a bottle with Smoked Lemonade, which is created using the massive smoker at LP's Quality Meats. Those interested in seeing what the skilled cocktail gurus at Old Mate's Place can accomplish with the sodas are welcome to pull it up a pew and do so.

    In just three years, PS40 has permanently altered the nightlife of this metropolis. So much so they had to start making soda somewhere else because demand exceeded supply. That frees up a great deal of room for innovation on Skittle Lane.

    3. The Baxter Inn

    We thought we'd found the bar we'd spend every rest of the time in when Shady Pines Inn first opened in 2010. It was then that we met the Baxter Inn, its younger sibling and a formidable rival for our undying love.

    Naturally, we wouldn't be the only ones taken by the whisky displayed behind a swooping library ladder or reached by having the well-coiffed bar scale the walls like a gentlemen of the trees.

    People lined up outside the shabby door of the city's old loading dock and almost back onto Clarence Street.

    If you ask for a speciality drink there At Baxter Inn, the bartender may go above your head to get the ingredients. This Sydney bar's liquor and wine shelves are as mirrored as a stained glass panel.

    If you're looking for premium liquors or expertly shaken cocktails, look no farther than The Baxter Inn. As a result of its prime location on Clarence Street, Baxters is widely regarded as one of Sydney Central Business District's finest watering holes.

    One look at this whisky collection is enough to make even the strongest man weak in the knees. The three-column menu begins high on the wall and disappears under the counter.

    There are whiskies from every distillery in Scotland, including those in Islay, Speyside, the Highlands, the Lowlands, and Campbelltown, as well as the few you know well. Japanese and Australian liquors and mixes take up the remaining space. You could easily buy a house in Sydney with the money you find at this pub.

    It's easy to develop a case of amber vision and forget that you're sitting across from some of the city's top bartenders, but that would be a shame.

    They've earned their swagger and self-assurance behind the bar. Old Pals or Trinidad Sours for everyone! is a classic that they've perfected, they also have a flair for matching drinks to customers' indecisive tastes. And if whisky isn't your thing, a Tommy's Margarita never fails to hit the spot.

    The Baxter Inn may be the upstart establishment compared to the more established Shady Pines and Dan's Pizza by the Slice, but that doesn't mean it thinks too highly of itself.

    All Swillhouse locations adhere to the same "no bookings, no events, no door list - everyone welcome" policy. If you're looking for good drinks, impressive displays of ability, and exciting nights out in Sydney, look no farther than the Baxter Inn. Always.

    sydney the lobo bar

    4. The Lobo

    Located in the heart of downtown, The Lobo is just a rum bar with a curated selection of over 250 different rums from across the world. Banana trees and rattan seats dominate the decor at The Lobo, making it feel like you've stepped into a Caribbean resort in the middle of Sydney.

    In other words, the bartenders here are all about the performance. One of the top bars in Sydney to sample some delicious bar bites.

    Rum bar named for Cuban sugar tycoon Julio Lobo, located below Clarence Street. Weathered Cuban appeal is provided by a mishmash of flamingo tiles, bamboo furniture, banana trees, and patinaed surfaces.

    The rattan furniture, brightly patterned wallpaper, and aged shutters in this cosy watering hole transfer customers from the bustle of Sydney's Central Business District to the cobblestone alleys of Havana.

    An expert staff of bartenders ensures that the extensive cocktail menu is just as varied as it is delicious. To get the whole Lobo treatment, though? If you're looking for something to drink, we suggest exploring the enormous rum collection, which features bottles imported from as far afield as Bermuda, Barbados, Panama, and beyond.

    And if you're getting peckish from all that imbibing, try some of the gourmet bar foods like flaky pastry empanadas or a pulled pork Cuban sandwich.

    The bartenders, though, steal the show. They are quite precise in their work. And flames if you ask for the Old Grogram.

    Cozy up in the Chesterfield booths and get ready for a tasty tropical interlude (the kitsch cocktail illustrations on the menu will help you decide on a destination).

    Made using white rum, Lillet White, Suze (a French herbal, bitter spirit that is gaining favour in Sydney bars), lime juice, simple syrup, and bitters, the White Vermouth Daiquiri is a puckering, sour masterpiece.

    Rum lovers with a sweet tooth will like Coco's Old Fashioned or the Rum & Rye Old Fashioned, particularly if the Fiji-spiced rum is selected as the lead spirit. The Bajan Julep, a cross between a Bramble and a Mojito that features a whopping half a mint tree squeezed into the glass, is also a welcome refreshment.

    The bar food is also excellent. Smoky and tender, the papas rellena with three cheeses are a great complement to the spicy tiny pillows of goodness that are the empanadas. If you're hungry and in need of something substantial, have the house's version of a Cuban sandwich. It comes piled high with ham, pulled pork, cheese, mustard, and pickles.

    There are a variety of tasting packages available, with prices ranging from $60 to $250 per person, perfect for those who are curious about but have never had sugar cane liquor before.

    The people working behind bar here have a lot of skill and they take great delight in their work. In conclusion? Get the hell over to this plantation right now.

    5. Shady Pines Saloon

    Shady Pines Saloon, another venerable Sydney watering hole, is brimming with colourful history and personality. Plenty for it to be considered among the finest watering holes in Darlinghurst.

    In Darlinghurst, you'll find the one-of-a-kind Shady Pines Saloon, easily recognisable by the massive moose head just on wall and stuffed with oddball knickknacks that pay homage to the bar's American theme. When you arrive, the party will already be in full flow, with whiskey-infused cocktails serving as the main attraction.

    As you enter through one of the many unmarked doors off the streets, you'll be greeted by a wall full of talking fish & novelty beer trays. At this bar, it's not uncommon to participate in a sing-along or a conga line while sipping on a cocktail made from freshly pressed fruit juice.

    At Shady Pines, the celebration never ends. Unlock the door to a Darlinghurst alleyway that isn't well-lit. The second door leads to a saloon where, on any given Wednesday, you may find yourself with in thick of a shaky sing-along with American Pie turned all the way up (soundproofing was a necessity after it became evident exactly how popular this pub was going to remain).

    Sydney's love of liquor and unpasteurized apple juice originated in this neighbourhood. New, foamy drinks never make you feel like you're really hitting the sauce. You're probably fixing any harm you're doing when you go along, right?

    In a more Western setting than Darlinghurst, the Shady Pines Saloon is a completely American time capsule with a hidden entrance. A wide variety of alcoholic beverages, from draught beer to whisky cocktails to top-shelf mixed drinks, are available at the bar, where the fun never stops.

    They won't ask any questions if you squeeze up to the crowded bar and order a beer and a shot; instead, they'll just line up a bite of George Dickel Old No. 8 Tennessee whisky and a tinnie of Coopers lager as well as send you on your method of joining the impromptu choreography circle that has formed in front of the door to the restrooms.

    The original Swillhouse, you may recognise some of the bartenders from the Pine's whisky-soaked smaller brother, the Baxter Inn. That's right, now you can trade in your cash for a drink worthy of a five-star hotel. Appears reasonable.

    They haven't altered their approach much in the past five years, nor have they needed to. The taxidermy, fish heads on mounts, and novelty beer platters (they invented those) are all just where your left them the last time you were here, but your money and pride might be all over the place.

    Every night is a good night to drink at Shady Pines. They like a well-crafted cocktail and appreciate the simple pleasure of a tinnie. Amidst the loud vintage rock and plentiful alcohol, the two coexist together inside this American saloon.

    sydney jacoby's tiki bar

    6. Jacoby's Tiki Bar

    If you're looking for a good time, you should definitely stop by Jacoby's Tiki Bar, which is on the list of top Sydney watering holes. Tiki bars are known for their exotic decor, which typically includes elements like banana palms and fish. For Twin Peaks enthusiasts, the cocktails are named after characters, locations, and themes from the show.

    Back in the day, people were content chugging subpar beers and sweet shots with suggestive names.

    However, the arrival of small pubs completely altered Sydney's culinary landscape. We now confidently order three rounds of a barrel-aged cocktail and peruse wine lists seeking skin-contact whites and nasty pet nats; we seek for digestives so bitter you think like we've turned inside out; and we seek out digestives that bitter you think like you've turned inside out.

    Although we improved in many ways and refined our palates, we also lost some of our youthful exuberance along the way.

    Then, in the Inner West, came Jacoby's, a Tiki bar adorned with lighted fishing floats, dried cuttle fish, and glossy banana tree wallpaper that served as a fast cure to every serious cocktail lounge and tonic water menu.

    The venue's vaulted ceilings, weird light fixtures, sumptuous velvets, and retro artwork give it a feel that's equal parts Polynesian retreat and Twin Peaks homage. The cocktails, though, are the real draw at this Enmore Lane watering spot.

    Tiki mugs, communal bowls, and even whole fruits can be used to hold a cocktail. The drinks are creative takes on classics, such as the Mighty Fine Coffee, which is a martini made with coconut water instead of vodka. Meanwhile, Creme de Mamie, Falernum, camphor liqueur, and apricot liqueur are stirred into a five-rum blend to make the Bogan Zombie.

    They have some of the city's finest outlandish cocktails and plenty of memorabilia for Twin Peaks completists.

    Those beverages are the real deal, honest to god. You'll be surfing sugar waves all night long if you drink a Shark Bait, which comes in a large white plastic shell filled with crushed ice at sea and a mixture of liquors, Yellow Emerald green, absinthe, and bitters. And it's burning, by the way.

    The catch is that all that lychee froth, bright blue liqueurs, fiery lime cheeks, and one-of-a-kind Tiki mugs is simply a facade. The success of this pub is due in large part to its formidable staff. Pasan Wijesena recruited a fresh era of bartenders to into the party fray, including bringing over Adrian Sanchez & James Rage from Earl's Juke Joint.

    It's a diverse group of individuals who are all ready for a good time, who are eager to strike up a conversation, and who will not forget your name while they shake you up the best Daiquiri possible. If you've had too many limes (it can happen even to the most ardent Tiki fan), you can always order a variation on the Negroni made with rum, red vermouth, and Campari that is steeped with cocoa to soften the drink's harsh bitterness and round out the mouthfeel.

    Jacoby's has enlisted the services of local slice shop Epic Pizza to provide the bread necessary for sopping up these potentially fatal combinations. Place your order just at bar, and watch as the kitchen transforms your vegan specials & buttery garlic knots into a delicious meal.

    With a wine list which leans towards the natural, juicy, and adventurous, it's practically impossible to have just one glass of wine and leave the establishment with any of your money.

    The entire pub will join in on George Michael's "Faith" or make way for a hair metal rendition of "Killing in the Name of," because nobody else can either.

    After entering through the crimson velvet drapes, you may not realised you were actually attending a party, but after you've settled into this tropical cabana, certainly won't want to leave.

    7. Papa Gede’s Bar 

    Papa Gede, the voodoo spirit of desire and humour, inspired the name of the bar. It stands to reason, given the abundance of romantic patrons, that this would be the case.

    The bartenders are always happy to make you something special, and on the first Monday of the month, they host spirit tastings. Last but not least, if you were on the fence about going, we'd point out that dogs are welcome there.

    Sydney's secret voodoo bar proudly serves the Bitter Truth because, unlike your pal, they know it's a great cocktail and not your shameful behaviour from the night before. The sloe gin provides a nice counterpoint to the sour lime juice, Averna, and tiki bitters in this cocktail, which is perfect for calming frayed nerves and halting a downward spiral of humiliation.

    Need something to strengthen your resolve more dramatically? Even while Old Fashioneds and barrel-aged drinks are common in Sydney, the fig and walnut version at Papa Gede's is the one we crave. It has a flavour similar to squashed fly biscuits, which is both rich and intriguing and which may cause you to experience a jolt of reminiscence from your youth.

    You won't find a kinder or more welcoming group of bar patrons anywhere else. They have great conversation skills, provide sound advice, and their pro-dog agenda earns major brownie points. When co-owner Josh Ng comes in on Thursdays and Fridays with his rescue Staffie, Bella, to hang out, he's not the only one who brings their loyal dogs.

    They are dog-friendly since they do not sell hot meals, but they do have a selection of salty nibbles, including cured meats, cheeses, and crunchy foods like pork crackling and pretzels, which they spice up with a dash of Tabasco and fresh lime juice.

    Try the Summer Saint instead of clean eating; it's a refreshing blend of cucumber and pear juice, mint and thyme syrup, and vodka. It's like having a bowl of fresh food from your town's farmers market, only better, since you made it yourself.

    They offer some kickass comedy action every month that packs the laneway bar to capacity, and they also do monthly spirit tastings that are a terrific value at $25 for six tastes, so there's no excuse not to go out on a Monday.

    Papa Gede's is a neighbourhood bar in the middle of the city, and it pulls it off brilliantly. It's possible the nice vibes at this bar are the result of some dark arts, but we're willing to wager that the bartenders are simply skilled mixologists.

    sydney earl’s juke joint

    8. Earl’s Juke Joint

    One of the top cocktails in Sydney is Earls Juke Joint, which brings a taste of Orleans to Newtown. This bustling local is full of old-school Southern charm with its saloon-style décor, foot-tapping soundtrack, and lip-smacking beverages.

    Mixing drinks that energise, refresh, and soothe the soul can be compared to the science of party alchemy.

    While the rest of you may have to stay put and pay the bills, the well Singapore Sling may take your taste buds on a trip to faraway lands; a Daiquiri can convince your hips that you've got that rhythm in you; and an Old Pal could be your greatest friend after a hard day at the salt mines.

    And in the Inner West, there's no better place to pull up a seat and bend an elbow than at Earl's Juke Joint, with its long, solid, timber bar.

    The folks working the bar at Earl's Juke Joint have seen it all in their time there. Every time, we anticipate a delicious cocktail that has been expertly prepared. One of the top bars in Sydney, Earl's Juke Joint features a diverse musical lineup that includes blues, rock, and hip-hop from the 1990s. There are no reservations, so first come, first served.

    We should probably warn you there were no jukeboxes in this building before your fantasies of playlist, dominance get too far. There is no need for one, though, because proprietor Pasan Wijesena has prerecorded a custom mix of '90s rap music, swamp rock, and blues.

    The staff behind the bar is top-notch. You've got seasoned bartenders teaching a group of young, eager bartenders the ropes after they've put in their time and effort in one of Newtown's most popular watering holes for mixed drinks. Your beverages will be handled with care on any given Tuesday or Friday because there isn't a rockstar shift.

    If you're looking for a pub to become a regular at, look no further; they have everything you need, right down to merchandise proclaiming your commitment to the world. Since you probably won't want to leave that comfortable booth by the window or the spacious table in the rear, your cocktail hour may very well extend into dinner. Having said that, it's fine with us. In the case of our livers, perhaps not.

    Iconic drinks, what are your preferences? Hobo Juleps are made with bourbon, sugar syrup, and mint bitters, all of which mix for a powerful beverage. Along with rich pia coladas and Fernet Branca from the tap, Phife Dawg also offers a blend of rum, lime, cane sugar juice, and Angostura bitters.

    If you are looking for something different, there is a good selection of healthy wine and artisan beer.

    Someone spent some time in drinking establishments in order to construct this bar's layout, and it shows: the tall, dark bar has plenty of room for patrons to sit and order, and there is room to manoeuvre around the tables. We'd like some breathing room for the liquor.

    Earl's still has that irreplaceable, well-loved ambience typical of an Orleans soul saloon, despite its many years in business. Perhaps it's because the building it occupies, a former butcher store on South King Street, still has its original lace curtains with metal grille over the door.

    Earl's Juke Joint is a hidden treasure of Newtown, with its saloon-style furnishings, exposed brickwork, and corrugated iron ceiling, bringing a touch of New Orleans to the suburb.

    Southern bars are known for their lively environments, and this one does not disappoint. A variety of partygoers looking for bloody good cocktails add to the bar's upbeat vibe.

    Perhaps it's the rusty corrugated iron ceiling with the portraits of jazz legends painted on it. Or maybe there's just something special going on when a talented and hospitable staff is combined with a hip environment, making you want to stay until the very last drink is served. We keep falling for it.

    9. Cantina OK

    A good time in the cantina is a tiny Sydney bar with standing room for about 20 customers (uncomfortably, maybe more).

    That's why it's best to arrive early. You can put your life in the hands of the bartenders here, together with your drink orders. However, if you're craving a tried-and-true drink, a margarita is always a safe bet.

    At the end of the a service alley, slightly far from the CBD's hustle, gold light flows out onto the asphalt. There's the smell of lime, the clatter of Boston shaker, and a faint undercurrent of danger.

    Cantina OK has been serving up good, clean, sort of illegal fun in Sydney, fueled by mezcal, and supported by one of the city's most skilled bartending crews since it opened in February of this year.

    The Cantina is always buzzing, with a minimum of 20 patrons jammed in from the time the roller door is opened at noon until it shuts at 2 in the morning.

    Cantina carves out a special place for itself in an era when numerous bars are able to stock their backroom bars of rare and secret spirits thanks to mezcal, a heart that the phrase "rare and obscure" may have been born.

    Alex "Happy" Gilmour, group operations manager, and proprietors Alex Dowd & Jeremy Blackmore opened Cantina OK as a follow-up for Tio's Cerveceria. Here, the focus and scale are fine-tuned, and Gilmour is free to indulge his voracious cravings for tequila made from agave by making frequent purchasing journeys to the remote corners of Mexico.

    Everything in this bar transports you to the heart of the action, from the customised travel-book style menu to the employees who were first taught by Gilmour and then solidified their understanding by visiting the actual mills and ovens.

    There is no preaching, but the staff will gladly explain the different types of agave used in the production of their tequila, such as papalome and vicuishe, and how they are aged in crystal or cowhide, before telling you stories about the Oaxacan mezcaleros who harvest under the full moon, the bulls who carry the tahonas, and the suitcases full of bottles that are smuggled through customs.

    Mango and dragonfruit, possibly, chopped to order, sprinkled with chilli salt, and served with the a lime cheek to balance out the shot glasses (for sipping) of the wicked, wild, and gorgeous stuff (some grassy, some flowery, some scorching, most smoky).

    The staff has some serious depth perception and can also mix a killer Margarita. It is made with tequila and mezcal in a 50/50 ratio, poured over ice shaved by a finger Nepalese ice machine, then sprinkled with flaked salt in a coupe. The drink is tart, invigorating, and dangerously drinkable due to its unparalleled texture. And therefore, they also attend to the fundamentals.

    The other two cocktails are the Fizz OK, which is similar to horchata and is created with aejo tequila and rice syrup, and the Margarita OK. Meanwhile, the daily special provides a moderate boost to the proceedings.

    Include a variety of natural wines and craft beers, and you have a bar that caters to a specific audience while yet welcoming others. A space to hang out and learn about mezcal, or to drop by at the beginning and end of the night to create some noise, have fun with bartenders, and feel like you're helping to the return of a little danger to a city that could need it.

    OK? That's just the beginning of it all.

    sydney the barber shop bar

    10. The Barber Shop

    During the day, the Barber Shop may be known for its expertise in providing haircuts, but when night strikes, it transforms into a bustling watering hole. Therefore, if you're looking for a hip bar in Sydney, you shouldn't look much farther than this hidden watering hole behind a stack of books.

    The Barber Shop is sure to surprise and excite, harkening to the era of hidden speakeasy bars down winding stairs and behind false bookcases.

    The image of gin hasn't always been positive. As for the juniper-flavored spirit's reputation for making women cry, one Irish comedian likened it to mascara thinner, and gin mills itself were considered dens of iniquity.

    However, gin wasn't bad—it was simply misunderstood. This misunderstanding led to its meteoric rise in popularity in Sydney bars in 2015. The Barber was an early supporter of this movement.

    There was already a bar in the city disguised behind a seamstress called Stitch, but we're big fans of keeping a secret, so the idea of a gin palace concealed behind a fully operational barbershop appealed to us.

    This York Street establishment, which is known for its haircuts by day and its cocktails by night, deserves a spot on your weekend itinerary. From the street, this place looks like any other barbershop, but upstairs is a speakeasy replete with a swanky cocktail bar, a beautiful outdoor terrace, and some interesting artwork.

    The bartenders here are true mixology masters, and they will gladly craft drinks from scratch to fit your specific likes and preferences.

    And gin is very popular among locals. This dimly lit bar has a menu with more than 80 wines, including a historic selection for the ultra-wealthy. Furthermore, they carry Genever, the Dutch alcohol from which Gin is derived.

    Either there are now more gins in Sydney for people to try and discover that they like, or we've grown to appreciate gin and its many kinds.

    Result! Poor Toms & Archie Rose and other distilleries have grown to meet the public's refined taste for locally made whisky.

    What if you have no idea where to begin? We recommend that you try one of the eighty different kinds of gin that have been imported from all around the world.

    Gin flights are also available for those who can't make up their minds and want to try four different kinds of gin at once. If you're not into G&Ts, you can choose from a wide variety of Australian beers and wines to pair with the charcuterie and gourmet bar snacks featured on the restaurant's compact menu (which spans only one page).

    Even if there is no better method of cooling down on a hot night in town than a high-end G & T, you are under no need to partake in our gin rants. You could try a Maxwell House if that's more your style.

    The combination of dark rum, chestnuts liqueur, cold brew coffee, and salted caramel results in a short and boozy drink that manages to be sweet, toasty, and fresh all at once. A cheese platter, some charcuterie, or a sausage bun created from scratch is exactly what you need to maintain your equilibrium at this very moment.

    If you need us, we'll be propping up the counter to see how much fresh ruination we can take, because any location where you can have a cut and shave followed by the a gin and cheese platter is somewhere we need to get to know better.


    Cocktail and sports bars abound in Sydney. We've included Sydney's coolest and quirkiest pubs to enhance your next group drink, solitary excursion, or romantic night. Old Mate's Place in Sydney's CBD is a renowned cocktail bar with 102 steps. While savouring innovative cocktails on the rooftop patio, the friendly staff will seat guests downstairs or upstairs. As you scan the menu, the bartender smiles and serves him a VB throwdown.

    Old Mate, a Clarence Street rooftop bar, makes beautiful and tasty cocktails. Dre Walters, former Kittyhawk and Lobo Plantation pilot, and Daniel "Noble" Noble, Ramblin' Rascal regular, created a unique list featuring toast poppyseed, pistachios, and dry basil. Old Mate is cocktail central, notwithstanding the VB palate-cleanser. The Melody is a tall glass of sake, gin, melon, fino sherry, and lemon, while the Fog Tai mixes the Mai Tai and Fog Cutter into one tumbler with rum, Cognac, Laphroaig, and whoa-nelly. Clean restrooms and comfortable booths.

    PS40, one of the few bars that embraces ongoing reinvention, has designed a new menu inspired by global celebrations. A $15 soda flight lets diners try each house-made drink. PS40 has been ahead of the alcohol-free trend since 2016, encouraging inventiveness. The most essential facts are that PS40 changed Sydney's nightlife, The Baxter Inn is one of the CBD's best bars, and P&V Merchants in Newtown sell aquavit distilled with South Australia's Not Never Distilling Co. Pull up a pew and watch Old Mate's Place's soda masters at work.

    The three-column menu features whiskies from every Scottish distillery, Japanese and Australian liquors, and mixes. Top bartenders work at Sydney's Baxter Inn. The rum bar has approximately 250 international rums. The eclectic design includes flamingo tiles, bamboo furniture, banana palms, and patinaed surfaces, and the vast drink menu is fantastic. If whisky isn't your thing, a Tommy's Margarita is always good.

    No bookings, events, or door lists at any Swillhouse location. Darlinghurst's Chesterfield booths offer a delightful tropical break. The White Vermouth Daiquiri is a puckering, sour masterpiece, and the Bajan Julep is a Bramble-Mojito hybrid. Papas rellena with three cheeses and empanadas with ham, pulled pork, cheese, mustard, and pickles are great pub fare. Tasting packages cost $60–250 per person.

    Bartenders are skilled and like their work. American time capsule Shady Pines Saloon has a concealed entrance. It serves draught beer, whisky cocktails, and premium mixed drinks. Taxidermy, fish heads on mounts, and novelty beer platters haven't changed in five years, nor have the bartenders. Shady Pine guests enjoy a well-made cocktail and a tinnie every night.

    Jacoby's Tiki Bar is a popular Sydney bar with exotic design and Twin Peaks-inspired beverages. The venue's towering ceilings, strange light fixtures, velvets, and retro artwork give it a Polynesian getaway and Twin Peaks vibe. Mighty Fine Coffee, Creme de Mamie, Falernum, camphor liqueur, and apricot liqueur are classic drinks reimagined. They have Twin Peaks memorabilia and some of the city's most bizarre beverages. Shark Bait is a huge white plastic shell filled with crushed sea ice and liquors such absinthe, bitters, and Yellow Emerald green.

    Content Summary

    1. Sydney has many of fun bars.
    2. Cocktail and sports bars are everywhere.
    3. Interesting bars abound.
    4. We've included Sydney's coolest and quirkiest pubs to enhance your next group drink, solitary excursion, or romantic night.
    5. Sydney's most popular pubs aren't always the greatest.
    6. Sydney has many great bars.
    7. Old Mate's Place is Sydney's best bar.
    8. Sydney's CBD's best cocktail bar is Old Mate's Place.
    9. Rooftop watering holes are for the brave.
    10. Up here, you can relax at any time.
    11. This gorgeous Clarence Street bar serves tasty, handcrafted beverages.
    12. The menu has prosciutto boards and many cheesesteaks, including the Philly, Portuguese, and jamón.
    13. Old Mate's back bar has an almost as luxurious selection of malts, Caribbean rums, and excellent tequilas as the planter boxes.
    14. Notwithstanding serving beer and wine, Old Mate is cocktail central, despite the VB palate-cleanser.
    15. Former Kittyhawk and Lobo Plantation pilot Dre Walters and Ramblin' Rascal regular Daniel "Noble" Noble have created a unique list with odd ingredients like toast poppyseed (the Predecessor), pistachios (the Pistacia), and dehydrated basil (the Basil) (the Retox).
    16. The Fog Tai mixes the Mai Tai and Fog Cutter spheres into one tumbler with rum, Cognac, Laphroaig, and whoa-nelly.
    17. The booths are comfortable, and the restrooms are immaculate (look out the framed image of Hogarth's engravings of The Rake's Progress by the mirror and the herbal bath wash by the sink).
    18. PS40 Midway through 2019, PS40 co-owners replaced their cocktail lineup with one inspired by their favourite global events.
    19. It's called Festivus.
    20. PS40 bartenders are mad chemists.
    21. They created a drink menu that honours global holidays from Thanksgiving to Valentine's Day.
    22. They also serve non-alcoholic drinks.
    23. Visit Sydney's Bars of the Month Award winners.
    24. Thanksgiving is a holiday.
    25. Also, a soda plant.
    26. PS40 has led the alcohol-free movement from its inception.
    27. Newtown's P&V Merchants sells aquavit made with South Australia's Not Never Distilling Co. Request LP's Quality Meats' Smoked Lemonade with your sanga at Single O in Surry Hills.
    28. PS40 changed this city's nightlife in three years.
    29. Skittle Lane has plenty of space for experimentation.
    30. When Shady Pines Inn debuted in 2010, we thought we'd discovered our forever bar.
    31. At Baxter Inn, the bartender may go above your head for unique drinks.
    32. Sydney bar's booze and wine racks are mirrored like stained glass.
    33. The Baxter Inn has premium liquors and well-shaken cocktails.
    34. Baxters is one of Sydney's best bars due to its Clarence Street location.
    35. Islay, Speyside, the Highlands, the Lowlands, Campbelltown, and the handful you know have whiskies.
    36. This pub's money might purchase a Sydney mansion.
    37. The Baxter Inn may be newer than Shady Pines and Dan's Pizza by the Slice, but that doesn't mean it's arrogant.
    38. The Baxter Inn in Sydney has great beverages, amazing performances, and fun nights out.
    39. The Lobo, a downtown rum bar, features 250 international rums.
    40. The Lobo's design resembles a Caribbean resort in Sydney, with banana trees and rattan seating.
    41. Best Sydney pub for bar snacks.
    42. Julio Lobo rum bar underneath Clarence Street.
    43. Enjoy a wonderful tropical interlude in the Chesterfield booths (the kitsch cocktail illustrations on the menu will help you decide on a destination).
    44. Excellent bar cuisine.
    45. If you're starving, get the house's Cuban sandwich.
    46. Sugar cane liquor novices can choose from $60 to $250 tasting packages.
    47. Hurry to this plantation.
    48. Shady Pines Saloon, another Sydney institution, has a colourful past.
    49. It's one of Darlinghurst's best watering holes.
    50. The quirky Shady Pines Saloon in Darlinghurst is known for its huge moose head and American-themed memorabilia.
    51. When you arrive, whiskey-infused cocktails will be the major attraction.
    52. This neighbourhood started Sydney's booze and unpasteurized apple juice obsession.
    53. The Shady Pines Saloon, a secret American time capsule in Darlinghurst, is Western.
    54. The bar, where the excitement never stops, serves draught beer, whisky cocktails, and top-shelf mixed drinks.
    55. You can now exchange cash for a five-star hotel drink.
    56. Your money and pride may be scattered, but the taxidermy, fish heads on mounts, and novelty beer platters (they invented those) are still where you left them.
    57. Shady Pines has great drinks every night.
    58. This American tavern mixes loud vintage rock and drink.
    59. Jacoby's Tiki Bar is one of Sydney's most popular bars.
    60. Banana palms and fish decorate tiki bars.
    61. The Twin Peaks-themed cocktails are for fans.
    62. Jacoby's, a Tiki bar in the Inner West with illuminated fishing floats, dried cuttlefish, and glossy banana tree wallpaper, was a quick fix for any serious cocktail lounge and tonic water menu.
    63. The venue's towering ceilings, strange light fixtures, velvets, and retro artwork give it a Polynesian getaway and Twin Peaks vibe.
    64. However, this Enmore Lane bar is known for its cocktails.
    65. Tiki glasses, communal bowls, and whole fruits can hold cocktails.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Bars

    If you want to party the night away, there's a crop of glamorous nightclubs and darkened dance floors waiting for you. Head to Kings Cross, Oxford Street, Surry Hills or Darling Harbour and prepare for a seriously good time.

    Sydney is a city that's both classy and funky at the same time. It moves slyly into rock nights in glitzy nightclubs overflowing with good music and amazing cocktails.

    Many places have at least a basic dress code, enforced all hours in the city, and usually after 7 pm in the suburbs. For most generic pubs, men should wear closed-toe shoes (not running sneakers), full-length pants, and a shirt with sleeves (not a singlet). For clubs, men should don neat business-style shoes.

    You can buy alcoholic drinks as usual until 3 am when the last drinks will be called. There will be no alcohol sold after 3 am.

    Alcohol-free zones apply to public roads and footpaths, while alcohol-prohibited areas apply to parks and civic spaces. Timed restrictions are also used. Where restrictions exist, alcohol consumption is not permitted in these areas, and police can confiscate alcohol.

    Scroll to Top