Ahhh, bars of our dear Sydney, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. What’s that you say? The folks over at Good Food already did that? Gee, that was nice of them. In that case, we’ll just share their list of Sydney’s 50 best bars and highlight 10 of our favourites. Read on to discover the best places in our beloved city to get your drink on. Then go out, get wasted and read the list again because your dead brain cells forgot half of what was on it.
The Baxter Inn
What is it exactly that makes the Baxter Inn so special? Is it the perfected speak-easy vibe and hidden underground location? Or maybe the exceptional list of whiskies and spirits that goes back for decades and spans across the globe? How about the immense popularity and packed crowd? The killer music? The free pretzels?!
Okay, it’s clearly all of the above. The Baxter Inn is what every great bar aspires to be but usually falls short of becoming. The bartenders are tremendously knowledgeable and each cocktail is crafted with the utmost precision. The endless rows of liquor bottles must be seen to be believed.
Suffer the wait, sip on some rare whisky or a delicious cocktail, and thank us in the morning.
152-156 Clarence Street, Sydney CBD NSW 2000
The Lobo Plantation
If you think the whole whisky movement is a tad overplayed, head to the Lobo Plantation and get your rum fix on. This insanely popular, Cuban themed, hidden basement bar offers up some of the most exciting cocktails in town. And by “exciting” we’re of course referring to their signature drink, the Old Grogram, a spiced rum concoction that isn’t ready to serve until after it’s burst into a wondrous ball of alcohol-laced flames.
209 Clarence Street, Sydney CBD NSW 2000
10 William Street
Notable for a terrific wine list and delectable menu, 10 William Street is an absolute refuge for the modern day epicurean. Put simply, this is one of those places that will ignite your palate with such intensity that you won’t stop coming until you’ve tried every last item on the food and drink menu. Then you’ll take a few weeks off and start all over again. Yes, it’s that good. The service here is top rate as well.
10 William Street, Paddington NSW 2021
The bar at the Sydney Opera House is everything you want and expect it to be: elegant, beautiful and delicious. Given how close you are to the full spectrum of vocal ranges it’s only natural that Bennelong offers an eclectic variety of food and champagne served by professionals at the top of their game. Naturally, the views are spectacular inside and out. Just don’t come here if you’re drinking or eating on a budget.
Bennelong Point, Sydney CBD NSW 2000
Icebergs Dining Room & Bar
Chase your oysters with delicious handcrafted cocktails at Icebergs Dining Room & Bar stunning oceanside restaurant. Everything is fresh and memorable here but expect to pay for the privilege. Find the drink that best matches your mood, just sit back and enjoy the view of paradise.
1 Notts Avenue, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Archie Rose Distilling Co.
The craft distilling movement is in full swing across the globe and Archie Rose might be Australia’s contender for best in show. Their benchmark gin is bursting with zest and singularity. If the whole boutique alcohol thing isn’t your fancy, their stocked bar is more than willing to share the spotlight with plenty of other brands. Archie Rose is the ideal locale to spend hours at a time talking about alcohol while drinking it. We cannot wait to try their whisky currently aging in barrels.
85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery NSW 2018
Earl’s Juke Joint
Formerly a butcher shop, Earl’s Juke Joint is another entry that has executed the speakeasy vibe with rigor and even added an ample dose of New Orleans flavor. This hidden hot spot lures the young and thirsty away from standard, boringly visible street level offerings one triumphant cocktail at a time. Earl’s is the perfect place to bring your lady friends if you want to impress them with your deep knowledge of the Sydney bar scene and also show them a great time…and maybe sleep with one of them. We’re just sayin’.
407 King Street, Newtown NSW 2042
Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice
Sure, come for the pizza. But stay for the craft beer and cider, the wacky décor, the pinball machines and the live music. Finish off the evening with a cocktail in the bar hidden behind the stage. Frankie’s fires on all cylinders and satiates both your inner child and your outer adult at the same time.
58 Hunter Street, Sydney CBD NSW 2000
Tucked behind the reception desk at the Kirketon Hotel and flaunting the kind of décor that makes you think you wandered onto the set of a Kubrick film (until you spot the popcorn machine that is), Eau-de-Vie is all kinds of classy. Sip on a top shelf Islay malt or maybe go for one of the most unforgettable cocktails you’ll ever try, recline in your cushioned seat, and watch the short parade of gorgeous people saunter in. Who knows? Maybe one of those beautiful women will mistake your drunken confidence for genuine charm and you’ll get lucky.
229 Darlinghurst Road, Potts Point NSW 2010
This Must Be The Place
The newly anointed darling of Darlinghurst, This Must Be the Place combines a minimalist décor with killer 80s pop (hopefully including at least a few Talking Heads tunes) and colourful cocktails to harness a clean, convivial experience. Grab a chair, order a signature spritzer from the hipster bartender, drink up and see where the night takes you.
239 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Remaining 40 bars from GoodFood’s stellar list (in no particular order):
- Continental Deli – 210 Australia Street, Newtown – continentaldelicatessen.com.au
- Bar Brose – 231a Victoria St., Darlinghurst – barbrose.com/au
- Restaurant Hubert – 15 Bligh Street, Sydney – restauranthubert.com
- Monopole – 71a Macleay Street, Potts Point – monopolesydney.com.au
- Rockpool Bar and Grill – 66 Hunter Street, Sydney – rockpool.com
- The Gretz – 125 Enmore Road, Enmore – thegretz.com.au
- Gardel’s – 358 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills – gardelsbar.com
- GDR – 180 Redfern Street, Redfern – redferncontinental.com/au/gdr
- 121BC – Shop 4, 50 Holt Street, Surry Hills – 121bc.com.au
- Love Tilly Devine – 91 Crown Lane, Darlinghurst – lovetillydevine.com
- Bibo – 7 Bay Street, Double Bay – bibowinebar.com.au
- Bentley Restaurant & Bar – Corner Pitt and Hunter Streets, Sydney – thebentley.com.au
- Arcadia Liquors – 7 Cope Street, Redfern – arcadialiquors.com
- Titus Jones – 337 Illawarra Road, Marrickville
- Dead Ringer – 413 Bourke Street, Surry Hills – deadring.wtf
- Jangling Jack’s Bar and Grill – 175 Victoria St, Potts Point
- Waterman’s Lobster Co. – 5/29 Orwell Street, Potts Point – watermanlobsterco.com
- Maybe Frank – 417-421 Bourke Street, Surry Hills – maybefrank.com
- Mary’s – 6 Mary Street, Newtown
- Young Henrys – 76 Wilford Street, Newtown – younghenrys.com
- The Anchor – 8 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach – anchorbarbondi.com
- Grandma’s Bar – Basement 275 Clarence Street, Sydney – grandmasbarsydney.com.au
- Shady Pines Saloon – Shop 4, 256 Crown Street, Darlinhurst – shadypinessaloon.com
- Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern – Basement, 60 Park Street, Sydney – ramblinrascaltavern.com
- The Bearded Tit – 183 Regent Street, Redfern – thebeardedtit.com
- 77 – Yurong Lane, Darlinghurst
- Rockpool – 11 Bridge Street, Sydney – rockpool.com
- Momofuku Seiobo – The Star, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont – seiobo.momofuku.com
- The Henson – 91 Illawarra Road, Marrickville – thehenson.com.au
- The Unicorn – 106 Oxford Street, Paddington
- The Newport – 2 Kalinya Street, Newport – merivale.com.com/thenewport
- The Old Fitzroy Hotel – 129 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo – oldfitzroy.com.au
- Hotel Palisade – 35 Bettington Street, Millers Point – hotelpalisade.com
- The Paddington – 380 Oxford Street, Paddington – merivale.com.au/thepaddington
- Hotel Harry – 40-44 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills – hotelharry.com.au
- The CTA Business Club – MLC Centre, Martin Place, Sydney – ctabusinessclub.com.au
- The Local Taphouse – 122 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst – thelocal.com.au
- Petersham Bowling Club – 77 Brighton Street, Petersham – thepbc.org.au
- The Grifter Brewing Company – 1/391 Enmore Road, Marrickville – thegrifter.com.au
- Bulletin Place – Level 1, 10-14 Bulletin Place, Circular Quay – bulletinplace.com