Ally Burnie
26 Best Rooftop Bars in Sydney | Man of Many
Our list of best rooftop bars in Sydney goes like this.
The Best Rooftop Bars in Sydney
With a fairytale and woodsy vibe complete with leather booths and a gorgeous terrace, Old Mate’s Place delivers creative cocktails and tasty light fare. It’s truly one of the best rooftop bars in the Sydney CBD. They don’t take bookings, however, so all that’s left for you to do is gather the crew and rock on in. Must-trys include the Spicy Portuguese Philly and a classic Gator Juice cocktail (spiced reposado, amontillado, guava, red wine, citrus & ginger beer).
1. Old Mate’s Place
A heady mix of Parisian elegance and boho spirit, newly opened The Strand Hotel in Darlinghurst is a must-visit. You’ll find a colourful vibrancy mixed with lush landscape and warm timber in a lovely and intimate space, all experienced under the beautiful Sydney sun. This new Sydney rooftop bar was part of a major full-venue transformation, with stage one being the lavish French bistro on the ground floor of the building. Now the outdoor bar is open for business, and the first drink of order? The house special dirty martini.
2. The Strand Hotel
If you’re looking for one of the best places to view the stunning Sydney sunset, the rooftop bar at the Royal Paddo is where it’s at. An Eastern Suburbs favourite, this watering hole has a sublime selection of cocktails, and a beautiful terrace to enjoy them on. Head to the Elephant Bar, pick your poison and head up to the top level for an insane sunset session. But be quick as there is limited space, and don’t leave without trying the Paddington’s Prince cocktail (Belvedere, Aperol, passionfruit, lime, jasmine tea syrup, mint).
3. The Royal Paddington
Another Darlo classic, the East Village Hotel has to be one of the best outdoor bars in Sydney. Undergoing a recent facelift with interesting tap beers, a good selection of spirits and fancy pub grub, you can’t go wrong with drinking the night away here. Just come prepared to be slightly out of breath as you reach the rooftop – it’s three floors up. Pro tip: head there on Wednesday night for $10 Negronis and $12 burgers.
4. East Village Sydney
Opened in mid-2022, Sydney’s Ace Hotel is the first boutique hotel from the US group. The good news is you don’t have to be a guest to experience the recently opened Kiln rooftop bar and restaurant. Led by Chef Mitch Orr, Kiln is the crown jewel of Ace Hotel Sydney, situated 18 stories above Surry Hills. Rooted in contemporary Australian and Italian-ish cuisine, with nods to Japan and Southeast Asia, must-try dishes include the heiwa nigori yuzushu (wakayama) cocktail (Zesty yuzu, fresh citrus, clean finish) and to eat, beef carpaccio, fried garlic mayo, mustard leaves.
5. Kiln Rooftop Bar & Restaurant
If you have a fear of heights, CIRQ might not be the best Sydney rooftop bar for you. Towering a dizzying 26 floors above Crown Sydney’s waterfront location, CIRQ certainly makes the most of its location – giving diners and drinkers an unprecedented view of the city paired with a unique mix of multi-dimensional indoor and outdoor spaces. With an extensive wine menu and cocktails infused with native Australian botanicals, definitely put this Barangaroo beauty on your list (we recommend the White Rabbit cocktail (Herradura Plata Flange, Coconut Liqueur, Citrus, Kaffir Lime Leaf, Coco Lopez, Mezcal Mist) and a share plate of cured meats and cheeses).
Sitting pretty on the 32nd floor of the famed InterContinental Sydney hotel, Aster is an outstandingly glamorous Sydney rooftop bar with 270-degree views over the city and Sydney Harbour. It was developed as part of a $110 million refurb of the hotel in 2022 and is the first time the space has been open to the general public. With an immersive drinking experience that sees your mixologists finish off your beverages tableside, get over to the Aster quick-stat (especially if you enjoy the odd Martini or two, with Aster serving up an extensive Martini menu). Our only knock is the rather pushy time limits of 90 minutes, however, with a view like this and limited seating it makes sense.
7. Aster
As one of the best rooftop bars in Sydney, the award-winning Smoke Bar hands-down serves up some of Sydney’s best views. Grab a cheeky cocktail, claim a dim-lit spot for unparalleled romance and lose yourself in the breathtaking Sydney skyline as the sun goes down in a blaze of glory. With trendy tipples galore, get your hands on a  seasonal G&T or a Japanese Spritz; with premium spirits. If you love a boogie, get yourself to Smoke Bar on Thursdays to Sundays for some of Sydney’s coolest DJs and sounds.
8. Smoke Bar
For the fancy-hearted among us, one of the best and grandest Sydney rooftop bars is Zephyr, perched on Level 12 of Hyatt Regency Sydney hotel. Winning Hotel Bar of the Year in 2020, 2021 and 2022, Zephyr will dazzle you with its nautical-inspired setting with unrivalled waterfront views across Sydney’s Darling Harbour. With a high-tech cocktail menu featuring ‘hypersonic infusions’ and seasonal share plates like a charcuterie selection, Wagyu beef sliders, and lobster popcorn, there’s everything to like about this CBD rooftop bar.
9. Zephyr
For a truly unique Sydney rooftop bar experience, Shell House’s Sky Bar is the new home for golden hours, long drinks, tall stories and excellent food. Centring around the 400-tonne heritage Shell House Clocktower, this stunning outdoor Sydney bar provides you with insane panoramic views of the city skyline. A bar menu by Culinary Director Joel Bickford & Head Chef Aaron Ward, you’ve gotta try spiced calamari with yoghurt aioli and Clooney Tunes cocktail (Casamigos Reposado, Mezcal, Pineapple, Fino, Jasmine, Honey, Fresh Lemon).
10. Sky Bar at Shell House
Over the bridge and not too far away, Henry Deane is a contemporary cocktail lounge offering uninterrupted Sydney views no matter which way your head turns. The cocktail lounge is spread over levels 4 and 5 of Hotel Palisade, and serves up eclectic boozy mixes, as well as some cocktail classics. We’d recommend trying the Below The Belt (spiced woodford bourbon, apricot brandy, pineapple, whey) – it’s bloody delightful. For your stomach, grab the Whole Smoked Spatchy – a delicious and inventive jasmine tea smoked spatchcock.
11. Henry Deane
If you’ve never visited Slim’s Rooftop before, chances are you’ve at least heard of it. Located in Hyde Park House, Slim’s overlooks the iconic Hyde Park with equally beautiful views of the CBD and the western sun. Vibrant frilly pink umbrellas dot the venue alongside an extensive range of cacti and other shrubberies. If that’s not a vibe, we don’t know what is. The pork belly bao buns are a must-try, as well as Slim’s range of poke bowls and sushi rolls. Washed down with Henry Fonda (Four Pillars Yuzu Gin, Grapefruit, Yuzu), you’re in for a damn good time.
12. Slim’s Rooftop
On the rooftop of the Republic Hotel, you’ll find Taylor’s (how about that?) A vertical jungle-like garden coupled with the city skyline, Taylor’s brings the topless good times in the Sydney CBD (plus features a retractable roof for when Sydney weather is being uncooperative, which is most of the time). On the weekend, Taylor’s transforms into a dance floor and a stage for live music plus the cream of internationally acclaimed DJs. With a chicken parmi on the menu that’s literally to-die for, and an inspired list of cocktails, get yourself to Taylor’s quick sticks.
13. Taylor’s Rooftop
Iconic Darlinghurst venue The Taphouse is home to one of Sydney’s best rooftop bars, ELM. With fresh-juiced cocktails, seltzers, wine and over 20 craft beers on tap, all you have to do is kick back and relax in this secluded urban oasis. With delicious burgers and schnitties galore (even a vegan schnitzel), check out this beloved gem sooner rather than later. Pro tip: if you head to trivia on a Monday and bring your doggo, you get one free beer!
14. ELM Rooftop Bar
For some Middle Eastern madness, check out Babylon, easily one of the best CBD rooftop bars. With the capacity to seat 300 people and an easily accessible inner-city location, Babylon is the perfect location for a post-work beverage. Don’t forget to order a traditional meze platter while you enjoy a Coast of Izmir cocktail (Pampero Anejo, white chocolate, blood orange, agave).
15. Babylon Rooftop & Garden Bar
It’d be remiss of us to make a list of the best rooftop bars in Sydney and not include Merivale’s truly iconic Ivy Pool Club. It’s held its status as one of the best outdoor bars in Sydney for quite some time, and for good reason. Beautiful drinks and beautiful people? You’ll find it all at the Ivy Pool Club. An oasis inspired by the Italian coastline, you can book a private cabana, order a pizza and cocktail, and let your inhibitions run wild.
16. Pool Club at Ivy
A quick 20-minute car journey outside the Sydney CBD and you’ll find a sun-drenched spot with a beautiful backdrop for sunset drinks and afternoon knock-offs. Situated in Macquarie Park, The Governor Hotel is a vibrant four-level venue – but the real standout is its spacious top-floor bar. One of the biggest rooftop bars in Sydney, this leafy spot features graffitied walls and 360° views over the surroundings. With an expansive list of signature cocktails and jugs to share (try The Governess – Gin, raspberry, marshmallow), as well as contemporary pub meals and a large selection of pizzas, this Sydney rooftop bar is not one to miss.
17. The Governor Hotel
For a Palm-Springs-inspired escape, check out The Rooftop, Pyrmont. Situated on top of The Quarryman’s Hotel (one of Sydney’s best-known craft beer establishments) this hotel has a keener focus on cocktails and a selection of modern pub grub like steak, burgers and schnitties. We’d recommend giving the tantalising Spiced Apple Old Fashioned a go (Bourbon, spiced apple syrup, orange peel, bitters).
18. The Rooftop, Pyrmont
For the Eastern Suburbs locals, no Summer is complete without a session or two at Coogee Pavilion (AKA The Pav). A stunning ocean-side outdoor bar, it’s an easy hop, skip and a jump from the surf and straight up to the rooftop bar (with a quick change of clothes, of course). A much-loved Merivale stalwart, the food, drinks and ambience is all killer, no filler. With a great seafood offering, as well as classic pub fare, and an inspired cocktail menu, there’s no place to be on a sunny Sunday arvo than The Pav.
19. Coogee Pavilion
For an alfresco fine-dining experience in Woolloomooloo, nothing beats The Tilbury Hotel. This wildly popular local bar and restaurant have been lauded since it first opened, with its rooftop bar the perfect city escape in the clouds (almost). You’ve gotta try the 12-hour slow-cooked Whole Lamb Shoulder, and while it’ll set you back a pretty penny, it’s absolutely worth it. The Tilbury also makes an incredible Negroni, if that’s your tipple of choice.
20. The Tilbury Hotel
Already one of Woollahra’s all-time best beer venues, The Light Brigade just joined the ranks of becoming the subject of the elite conversationalist phrase ‘Oi should we check out that place with the outdoor area? I’ve heard it’s a bloody ripper’. Sun, views, revelry and comfortable furniture. What more can you ask for? Probably a jug of V-Bangers and the arvo off work, it’s certainly one of Sydney’s best rooftop bars.
21. The Light Brigade
Philter Brewery offers some of our favourite beers in Sydney so it makes sense they’d land on our list of the best rooftop bars with their ‘Marrickville Springs’ offering. A great spot to chillax on a Friday afternoon after a long week at work, this bar is open for walk-ins, with bookings available for groups of 10 or more. Climb the retro stairs on the left as you enter, open the door, and be met with sunshine. Must-try’s on the list include the frozen beer cocktails which are simply to die for and there’s a solid wine list. Not the best spot for food, there are only a few snacks on offer such as dips, olives, and chips.
22. Marrickville Springs at Philter Brewery
Flinging its doors open from October 2021, Lady Banks isn’t just the largest rooftop bar in Sydney, it’s also the newest. Located in the newly developed commercial building, Flinders Centre, in the heart of Bankstown, the 10th-floor hotspot is seriously luxe. Here, you can sip cocktails while you take in panoramic views of the Sydney skyline right through to the Blue Mountains.
23. Lady Banks
After a busy week, head over to York Street and take a look at The Rook, yet one more killer rooftop bar in the Sydney CBD. The unique combination of an industrial atmosphere with graffiti walls and the lobster banquet will help you ease into the weekend. Or, if you’ve had a super busy week and need something substantial – Uncle Sam or the Bandito have got you covered. And if, after all that, your stomach STILL hasn’t been satisfied, top it off with a deep-fried Mars Bar, served with a side of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. That should do it! After your banquet fit for a king, you may be in dire need of a drink or two. A Kentucky Cooler or a Peg Leg cocktail should quench that thirst.
24. The Rook
After giving your heart a good pumping from a fair few flights of stairs, reward yourself with some sweet-ass succulent skewers from the menu at Sweethearts, while sitting underneath strings of fairy lights. Imagine you’re at a friend’s barbeque, but with a view of the city. But don’t forget to book, or you’ll be left disappointed after a workout on the stairs. In saying that, it is guaranteed that your taste buds will keep asking for more after each skewer, so maybe a few trips up and down the stairs will keep your summer body in shape.
25. Sweethearts Rooftop
Feeling all fancy-schmancy? With Zeta Bar you get award-winning cocktails that start from classics to innovative surprises, you can experience the tastes of Milan, London, Puerto Rico, and New York, to name a few. Couple that with a majestic view of the Queen Victoria Building, and you’re looking at one of Sydney’s best rooftop bars. Also, be sure to visit at dusk to view the lighting up of Sydney’s most historical and iconic monuments.
26. Zeta Bar
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