Lachlan Twose
31 Best Bars in Sydney | Man of Many
Starting off our list of the best bars in Sydney is Old Mate’s Place. Once you’ve ascended the four flights of stairs, you’ll see why it’s one of Sydney’s best-kept secrets. You’ll be greeted by friendly staff, who will offer a table inside or upstairs. Go upstairs, where you’ll find the coolest Sydney rooftop bar. Bask in the setting sun as you sink down spirits, beers, wines, or all of the above.
1. Old Mate’s Place
Little Felix is the 1920’s themed bar you didn’t know you needed in your life. Housed in a very small space, this is more of a date night spot than one for a pub crawl. At this Sydney bar, you’ll find your traditional cocktails, as well as offering a slew of their own creations. They also host a snack menu that you simply can’t miss.
2. Little Felix
At The Baxter Inn, if you order a top-shelf drink, your bartender may literally have to climb the shelf to prepare it. Behind this Sydney bar, you’ll find an array of wines and spirits that reflect like a stain glass window. The Baxter Inn is great if you want some high-quality spirits or a precision-made cocktail. Located on Clarence street, this also makes Baxters one of the best bars in Sydney CBD.
3. The Baxter Inn
The bartenders at PS40 are more like mad scientists. Together they’ve concocted a cocktail menu inspired by global festivals and holidays, from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day. They also have non-alcoholic cocktails for the designated drivers of the world. As winners of Timeout’s 2020 Bar of The Year Award, you’ll want to check this Sydney bar out for yourself.
4. PS40
If you don’t know what to drink but are open to anything, Bulletin Place Bar is the Sydney bar for you. They’ve got a huge variety of drinks, with cocktails that are consistent with a great mix and quality. This circular quay bar is also super close to the station, you know, just in case it all gets a bit much.
5. Bulletin Place Bar
The Wild Rover is so easy to miss with their unmarked doors, it’s almost like they don’t want to be found. Consider this a private invitation, once you find the door. The Wild Rover is one of the great cocktail bars Sydney has tucked away across the city, serving tap beers, wines, and of course, cocktails you’ll find hard to refuse. If you’re peckish, we recommend one of their lamb sausage rolls, made fresh to order.
6. The Wild Rover
A consistent feature on many top ten and best of lists, is Frankie’s Pizza. Loved for their live music and pizza by the slice, Frankie’s is a constitution of the Sydney city pub world. Start your night here, come back for kick-on, or never leave at all. Frankie’s has to be included on your next pub crawl, as it’s easily one of the best bars in Sydney.
7. Frankie’s Pizza
The Lobo is a rum bar, with over 250 local and internal rums hand picked for you to try. The Lobo is essentially a Caribbean holiday in the streets of Sydney, with banana palms and rattan chairs dominating the décor. The bartenders like to show off here, so be ready for a show. There are lots of snacks worth trying as well, making it one of the best Sydney bars for food.
8. The Lobo
How you get into The Cumberland alone makes it one of the best bars in Sydney. Taking their secrecy to the max, you must first walk through a fridge in a deli, down a spiral staircase before being shown to your table. The visually stunning cocktails will be just as Instagram worthy as the décor of the place itself. The antipasti is also great to snack on if you’re in the mood for it.
9. The Cumberland
Cantina OK! is a super small standing Sydney bar that will comfortably fit 20 people (uncomfortably, maybe more). Therefore, you’ll want to get in early. You can trust the bartenders here with your life, along with your drink orders for the night. Of course, you can always go for the classic margarita if you want something familiar.
10. Cantina OK!
With its walls covered in wrestling memorabilia, pin-ups and dildos, we can assure you that Ramblin Rascal Tavern is a unique cocktail bar. Behind this bar in Sydney, you’ll find everything from cocktails to cans, as well as great burgers and fried chicken. Live music plays every Thursday from 8pm, which always draws in a crowd.
11. Ramblin Rascal Tavern
Named after one of Australia’s foremost crime bosses, Love, Tilly Devine is one of the best Darlinghurst bars. More than just a hole in the wall, the food here is just as good, if not better than the selection of wines and spirits. We recommend trying the Japanese vegemite on parmesan toast, a combination of flavours we didn’t know we needed until now.
12. Love, Tilly Devine
Having been around for so long, the staff at Earl’s Juke Joint clearly know what they’re up to behind the bar. Look forward to a tasty cocktail, mixed to perfection every time. With a mix of blues, rock and 90’s hip hop, Earl’s Juke Joint is a popular spot because its one of the best bars in Sydney. There are no bookings here, so it’s first in best dressed.
13. Earl’s Juke Joint
Dear Sainte Éloise is a European inspired wine bar if you hadn’t already guessed by the name. With over 300 wines available on their drink menu, don’t be afraid to ask for your servers’ opinion. Your food and drink should go hand in hand, for an experience like no other. Therefore, their food menu is made of small meals for sharing, made of in-season ingredients for the freshest flavours.
14. Dear Sainte Éloise
Moving forward from the 1920’s bar already featured on our list, let’s jive to the roaring ’50s at Maybe Sammy. The whole bar is one big performance, with staff dressed in character and cocktails being the stars of the show. This is a place you’ll want to stay rather than a bar hop. Be sure to get in for a happy hour for half price mini cocktails.
15. Maybe Sammy
Another long-standing and well-respected Sydney bar, Shady Pines Saloon has character in bucket loads. More than enough to make it one of the best Darlinghurst bars. Entering through another unmarked door off the streets, you’ll first see the walls coated in talking fish and novelty beer trays. Sing-alongs and conga lines aren’t out of the usual here, as you sit and enjoy cocktails mixed with freshly squeezed fruit juice.
16. Shady Pines Saloon
Unlike the name suggests, Employees Only is welcoming to all. A global bar sensation, you’ll find an Employee’s Only in Miami, Singapore and even Hong Kong. All your favourite cocktails feature on this Sydney bar’s menu, as well as a great selection of food from the kitchen. If you make it until the 3am close, you’ll be rewarded with a complimentary chicken soup. We know, very unique.
17. Employees Only
Another themed bar on our list of the best bars in Sydney, Palmer & Co’s theme is the prohibition. For the non-history buffs, this means more jazz and oldie costumes. The live music is an easy draw to Palmer & Co, as well as their food menu. Melted cheese can be found across the menu (and your clothes if you’re a messy eater) from toasted sandwiches to cheese-dipped pretzels.
18. Palmer & Co
Bondi Liquor Co. is an artisan distillery and bar based in Bondi Beach. They’re the proud producers of the suburbs first locally made gin and offer events designed for trying the very best of the beach paradise. There’s everything from Yin & Gin on Saturdays, to private function rooms for events. Grab a gin and sip back and relax on a Friday arvo at Bondi Liquor Co, one of Sydney’s best new bars.
19. Bondi Liquor Co
Jacoby’s Tiki Bar is one of the most fun bars on our list of the best bars in Sydney. With this being a tiki bar, you’ll find banana palm and fish décor across the walls and drinks. The sweet, sugary cocktails are also named after Twin Peaks references, if you happen to be a fan.
20. Jacoby’s Tiki Bar
Poly is the Sydney bar for the wine obsessed. If this isn’t you, staff will happily guide you along the menu to a wine that best fits your taste. The woodfired snacks menu is great for a treat while drinking, and if you want something bigger look no further than their mains.
21. Poly
What was the mild-mannered Dolphin Hotel has done a full Superman, and transformed into a rocking Italian restaurant and bar. This means you can dig into a generous Italian feed as well as a great drop of wine or cocktail. The Wine Room is one of the best bars in Sydney, and a great place to spend your evening or to start off your night on the town.
22. The Wine Room at The Dolphin Hotel
Tokyo Bird is the Japanese bar with all the sake you dream of. Hidden away in Sydney’s Surry Hills, this low key bar lets the drinks do the wowing. The katsu chicken nuggets will have you asking ‘McWho?’. And for the brave, the yakitori grill awaits (yakitori is grilled chicken thigh, wing, liver, hearts, and giblets).
23. Tokyo Bird
Papa Gede’s Bar is named after the voodoo spirit of lust and laughter. This makes sense, as there is no shortage of spirits at this bar. Their friendly staff are eager to mix you a drink you won’t forget, and you can partake in monthly spirit tastings on a Monday night. We should probably mention that the venue is dog friendly too if you didn’t already want to go.
24. Papa Gede’s Bar
Another one that’s constantly talked about as being the cool bars in Sydney, Mary’s Newtown has more than earned its reputation. A staple in the nightlife of Newtown, this heavy metal rock venue is known in particular for its exceptional burgers. Mary’s Newtown should be your first stop if you’re new to Sydney.
25. Mary’s Newtown
We hope you like tequila because at Tio Cerveceria you’ll find over 100 different varieties behind the bar. A lot of these tequilas are hard to find in Australia, so don’t feel bad if you’re unfamiliar with the menu. As the friendly bar staff for their recommendation, as you scoff down the free popcorn offered to guests.
26. Tio Cerveceria
The Duke of Clarence is the 18th century, London tavern inspired pub that doubles as one of the best bars in Sydney CBD. In the colder months, you’ll want to get in early and poach the seats by the fireplace. They’ve got all the brews you’d expect on tap at a pub, as well as a fancy cocktail or two at the bar. Their food menu is just as British, with fish butty’s and Sunday roasts.
27. The Duke of Clarence
The Continental Deli Bar Bistro is exactly, as they say, a deli and a bar. Canned margarita, canned cosmopolitan, all made fresh and canned themselves. Their antipasti and snacks menu doesn’t involve too many canned foods (luckily, some would say) and pairs great with all drinks. Certainly a weirder trend on our list, but one you have to try.
28. Continental Deli Bar Bistro
Jangling Jack’s is a great place for kick-on after a night out. It helps that their kitchen stays open late, so you don’t need to go home on an empty stomach. Jangling Jack’s is a classy affair, so sit down, relax and enjoy your meal at one of the cool bars in Sydney.
29. Jangling Jack’s
The Barber Shop is a gin bar, found by walking through the back of (you guessed it) a barbershop. This Sydney bar has become an increasingly popular choice from the spirits menu, and no one understands this more than The Barber Shop. With a menu boasting 80+ bottles of gin, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Wash down one of their cheeseboards with a cool, refreshing G&T.
30. The Barber Shop
A great wine for all at an affordable price, that’s the goal of Where’s Nick. The shelves behind the bar are stacked to the ceiling with bottles of wines and spirits, along with a consistently changing menu of wine specials. Winner of Timeouts best wine bar of 2020 award, we can’t think of a better way close out our list of the 31 best bars in Sydney.
31. Where’s Nick
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