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cruise bar

13 Best Bars in Circular Quay

Perhaps Sydney’s best asset, Circular Quay never fails to deliver in terms of timeless beauty and all-around good vibes. What makes it even better is its endless plethora of drink options, making it the ideal setting for a night out in Sydney town. Whether you’re in the mood for a beverage or two with a side of harbour views, something fun, or something a little bit fancy, our list of the best bars in Circular Quay will serve you well.

Best Bars in Circular Quay at a Glance

Our list of the best bars in Circular Quay goes like this.

Now we’ve had a look at our favourites, let’s check out the complete list.

RELATED: In the area? Check out our favourite restaurants in Circular Quay while you’re here. 

Cruise bar
Cruise Bar | Image: Supplied

1. Cruise Bar

If you’re looking for a Circular Quay bar with a view, there’s no doubt Cruise Bar boasts one of the best vantage points in Sydney. Perched right on the wharf at Circular Quay, this is just one of the reasons why we love it. Always there for a good time, it’s open late into the night most days of the week, with a drinks menu that serves cold beers and classic cocktails. It’s far from your classic speakeasy, we’d recommend Apollonia for that, Junk Lounge (located inside Cruise Bar) is also a great alternative for upmarket drinks.

Address: Level 1, 2 and 3, Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay W, The Rocks NSW 2000
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11.30am-12am, Fri 11.30am-1am, Sat 11.30am-2am, Sun 11.30am-10pm
Phone: (02) 9251 1188

Visit Cruise Bar Cruise Bar Menu

Best bars in circular quay opera bar
Opera Bar | Image: Supplied

2. Opera Bar

When it comes to Circular Quay bars, you’ll struggle to find one as widely recognised as Opera Bar. Walk five minutes along the sparkling harbour from the ferry wharf and you’ll find Sydney’s shining jewel, most likely packed with hordes of people soaking up the views and enjoying a bottle. Try their prawn pizza and pacific oysters, or if you’re feeling something sweet, the iconic passionfruit pavlova also hits the spot. The only thing to be wary of at Opera Bar is the birds – they will try to eat your chips (we warned you!). In terms of drinks, grab yourself a beer or wine and enjoy the scenes.

Address: Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11.30am-12.30am, Sun 11am-10pm
Phone: (02) 8587 5900

Visit Opera Bar Opera Bar Menu

Best bars in circular quay double deuce lounge
Double Deuce Lounge | Image: Supplied

3. Double Deuce Lounge

If you’re looking for an intimate cocktail bar near Circular Quay, look no further than Double Deuce Lounge. Definitely an idea for your next date night, this intimate spot is a ’70s-esque fever dream. When all the focus is on the cocktails, you know they’re going to be good. We can’t go past the ‘Full Bush’ with Maker’s Mark, Yuzu, Grapefruit, Rooibos, and Maple. In terms of food, snacks are the order of the day. French Onion Dip is always a great shout with Furikake, Crispy Shallots, and a bowl of Jatz.

Address: 6 Bridge St, Sydney NSW 2000
Hours: Tues-Thurs 5am-12am, Fri-Sat 5pm-2am

Visit Double Deuce Lounge Double Deuce Lounge Menu

Best bars in circular quay apollonia
Apollonia | Image: Supplied

4. Apollonia

By far one of the best bars in Circular Quay for speakeasy vibes, Apollonia dubs itself ‘a fictional Sicilian bandit drinking den’ and we can see why. After emerging into the romantic underground space, dive into the extensive list of speciality cocktails and drinks. Our recommendation? The Apollonia Negroni with dry gin, Apollonia vermouth and Italian bitter is giving us all the bandit vibes we need. Your only trouble with Apollonia is finding a seat, and now we’ve included this spot on our list, expect lines to be a little longer still.

Address: 5-7 Young St Basement Level, Sydney NSW 2000
Hours: Mon-Weds 4pm-12am, Thurs 4pm-1am, Fri-Sat 4pm-2am
Phone: (02) 7228 1400

Visit Apollonia Apollonia Menu

Best bars in circular quay junk lounge
Junk Lounge | Image: Supplied

5. Junk Lounge

If you find yourself at Cruise Bar and want to turn things up a notch, head upstairs to Junk Lounge. One of the only bars around Circular Quay donning an Orient-inspired cocktail list and delicious Asian-inspired menu to match, the panoramic views of the Opera House make the perfect backdrop for an indulgent night out. We can’t go past the miso eggplant sticks and Japanese Octopus salad paired with a matcha-infused Don Julio Blanco, coconut cream, lime, and desiccated coconut. Oh, and there’s live jazz every Wednesday!

Address: Level 2, Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay W, The Rocks NSW 2000
Hours: Sun, Weds-Thurs 5pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-1am
Phone: (02) 9251 1188

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Best bars in circular quay highlander whisky bar
Highlander Whisky Bar | Image: Supplied

6. Highlander Whisky Bar

A cruisy stroll down Macquarie Street and you’ll find yourself at one of the best bars in Circular Quay for a whisky or two. Located within the Stamford Plaza Hotel, Highlander Whisky Bar prides itself on its epic whisky selection and effortless old-world charm. Almost like something out of a Victorian novel, it’s the ideal spot for a tipple before heading to the opera. Pair your whisky with the dukkah spiced lamb rump or the kingfish ceviche, if you want something a bit lighter.

Address: 93 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000
Hours: Mon-Fri 5pm-10pm, Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-4pm
Phone: (02) 9252 4600

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Best bars in circular quay the push
The Push | Image: Supplied

7. The Push

Nestled next door to the MCA, The Push is one of the Circular quay bars you might not expect, delivering a (very fun) unexpected twist. Every Saturday night at The Push, you can find eclectic Piano from 7.30 pm, taking requests and playing covers on their baby grand piano. Seamlessly balancing old-school charm with a modern twist, there’s also a live DJ on Friday nights and a curated selection of classic cocktails and local wines with craft beers and all your favourite Aussie eats. If we had to drink any cocktail for the rest of our lives, it’s their Mango Weis Bar with Pampero Blanco, mango puree, lime juice, and macadamia syrup.

Address: 143 George St, The Rocks NSW 2000
Hours: Thurs-Fri 4pm-11pm, Sat 3pm-11.30pm
Phone: (02) 9241 2999

Visit The Push The Push Menu

Best bars in circular quay establishment bar
Establishment Bar | Image: Supplied

8. Establishment Bar

One of Merivale’s finest, Establishment Bar is just a short walk from Circular Quay, promising elegance, class and of course, good times. A sophisticated marble bar and garden-style patio are accompanied by a menu with a mix of traditional Thai cuisine with classic Aussie pub food (trust us, it works!) Seasonal cocktails are also up for grabs, and we can’t think of anything better than enjoying a cocktail while lapping up some sunshine on the patio. If you’re looking fro a late-night snack, head in after 10 pm and grab yourself a grilled cheese, Cubano sub, or black truffle mac and cheese.

Address: Ground Floor, 252 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
Hours: Mon-Sat 1am-3pm
Phone: (02) 9114 7310

Visit Establishment Bar Establishment Bar Menu

Best bars in circular quay kittyhawk
KittyHawk | Image: Supplied

9. KittyHawk

French fare and old-school vibes make Kittyhawk one of the best bars in Circular Quay. A short walk up Phillip Street will soon feel like you’ve walked into a bar in post-war Europe. From the menu, expect plenty of meat and seafood dishes and international wines. Pair the Steak Tartare or Duck Liver Pate with a delicious cocktail and your night will be sorted. And just to top it off, live blues, funk and soul music can also be found at this dreamy little spot.

Address: 16 Phillip Ln, Sydney NSW 2000
Hours: Sat, Tues-Thurs 4pm-12am, Fri 12pm-12am
Phone: 0484 916 067

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Bar patron in text
Bar Patron | Image: Supplied

10. Bar Patron

For views and Mexican food, Bar Patron is one of the best bars around Circular Quay for you. Adorned with refined retro accents, this chic bar knows how to put on a good time, with the help of tequila, of course. No visit here is complete without ordering a margarita and sharing some tacos or even scallop ceviche or their brisket birria quesadilla.

Address: 2 Phillip St, Sydney NSW 2000
Hours: Mon-Sun 12pm-11pm
Phone: (02) 9189 1957

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Best bars in circular quay palmer and co
Palmer and Co. | Image: Supplied

11. Palmer and Co.

Taking you back in time to an era when booze was all but banned, Palmer and Co is one of the best bars in Circular Quay for all those underground prohibition-style vibes. Once you manage to find the (very secretive, nondescript door) down an unassuming alleyway, prepare yourself for live music, dim lights and simply delicious cocktails, spirits and champagne. Our favourite? ‘Friday I’m In Love’ with Beefeater Gin, Black Raspberry, Cherry Brandy, Lemon, Cream, Rose, Vanilla, and Soda, hands down.

Address: Abercrombie Ln, Sydney NSW 2000
Hours: Tues 5pm-12am, Weds-Thurs 5pm-2am, Fri-Sat 4pm-3pm, Sun 5pm-3am
Phone: (02) 9114 7315

Visit Palmer and Co. Palmer and Co. Menu

Best bars in circular quay garden bar at paragon hotel
Garden Bar at Paragon Hotel | Image: Supplied

12. Garden Bar at Paragon Hotel

The ultimate rooftop bar in Circular Quay, Garden Bar at Paragon Hotel is the go-to post-work hangout for all those thirsty workers come 5 pm. The vibe is always fun and the views are always good – peer down at Jessie Street Gardens in one direction and the city skyline on the other. The lush surroundings also pair perfectly with the signature cocktail list – the ‘Rose in the Garden’ with Ketel One Vodka, dry vermouth, cranberry, rose syrup, lime, rhubarb, bitters, and egg white is our go-to. And, the pizzas here are also to die for.

Address: 1 Loftus St, Sydney NSW 2000
Hours: Mon-Weds 10am-10m, Thurs-Sat 10am-12am, Sun 10am-9pm
Phone: (02) 9241 3522

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Hyde hacienda sydney bar lounge
Hyde Hacienda Sydney Bar + Lounge | Image: Supplied

13. Hyde Hacienda Sydney Bar + Lounge

The uninterrupted view of the Harbour Bridge makes Hyde Hacienda Sydney Bar + Lounge one of the best bars in Circular Quay. Located in the heart of it, this boujee harbourside spot is designed to make you feel like a King. Indulge in a Caribbean-inspired food menu and an a-class cocktail list and plenty of rum and whisky. There are also DJs and bottomless high tea!

Address: Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour Hotel, Level 3/61 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000
Hours: Mon-Thurs 3pm-11pm, Fri 3pm-12am, Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12pm-10pm
Phone: (02) 9256 4083

Visit Hyde Hacienda Sydney Bar Hyde Hacienda Sydney Bar Menu

How We Chose the Best Circular Quay Bars

Having covered the best in food and drinks across Man of Many for the last few years, author Aimee O’Keefe and the Editorial Team have selected a list of the best bars in Circular Quay. In a collaborative effort, the team have spent time at each of these bars, sampling the cocktails, wines, and of course, whisky. After also testing the various food options, they’ve chosen this list based on merit. Ranking the bars in terms of ambience, drinks, price, and then value for money, while also taking into account their location and how central they are to Circular Quay.

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You’ll also like:

Circular Quay Bars FAQs

What is the best bar in Circular Quay, Sydney?

Opera Bar is the best bar in Circular Quay, Sydney.

Where is the best speakeasy bar near Circular Quay?

Apollonia is the best speakeasy bar near Circular Quay.

Where is the best place to go for a drink during VIVID Sydney?

Hyde Hacienda Sydney Bar + Lounge and Bar Patron are the best places to go for a drink during VIVID Sydney.