Sydney’s Best Bars and Night Clubs
If you are living in or visiting Sydney, you may be interested in learning more about the best night clubs and bars.
You may be looking for a night out with your friends or partners, or you might want to meet new people, find someone for the night or even check out the latest and greatest dance remixes.
Before heading out into Sydney, however, you will want to know where good bars in Sydney CBD are located. The following will be some of your top choices:
Bars Sydney City and CBD
There are a number of wonderful Sydney CBD bars for you to look into.
It doesn’t matter what type of bar you like, from a classy wine bar or casual pub, you will find them all in Sydney CBD. Here are some that you will not want to miss:
Baxter Inn – 152-156 Clarence Street
Located in the basement level of the building, Baxter Inn is well known for the whiskey they have available to their patrons and the simple, laid back attitude of the patrons.
This is one of the Sydney bars in the CBD that offers whiskey, bourbon and cocktails of all kinds, but they don’t serve food, so keep that in mind. A visit to the Baxter Inn is perfect for a night out with friends or for a meet up after work.
Stitch Bar – 61 York Street
Though tiny, and sometimes quite crowded, Stitch Bar is a perfect choice when seeking out one of the bars in Sydney CBD for wine, beer or a cocktail.
This is a stylish bar, one that has a few tricks up their sleeve when it comes to cocktails with a twist. They also have a very nice selection of bourbon, whiskey, rye and scotch.
Don’t forget to try one of their signature hamburgers or hot dogs whilst visiting!
Uncle Ming’s – 55 York Street
Uncle Ming’s is an Asian themed bar in the Sydney CBD and featuring Japanese and Asian inspired fare.
From top-notch cocktails like the Mao Tai, a twist on the Mai Tai to beer, cider and wine, everyone will find something they like at Uncle Ming’s.
You will also find some of the finest Japanese whiskey, sake and soju. They also offer food like dim sum, chicken wings and dumplings.
York Lane – York Lane (In the Alley)
Possibly one of the smallest bars in Sydney city, York Lane offers a smaller drink menu, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have a great time at this bar.
Perfect for those seeking out a place for drinks after work, York Lane offers a small food menu and a number of drink options.
Sparkling wine, champagne, whites and reds are available, as are a handful of craft beers and cocktails. If you are looking for a delicious option, the bar is known for their top of the line Dark and Stormy cocktail.
Palmer and Co. – Abercrombie Lane
When most people walk into Palmer and Co., they will be transported back to a 1920’s speakeasy. Palmer and Co. is fairly quiet and comfortable during the week, but can get quite crowded on the weekends, so keep that in mind.
You can get simple bar food at this Sydney CBD bar, but most people come to this bar for the ambience and whiskey, which flows easily.
Mojo Record Bar – 73 York Street
Like retro Sydney city bars? If you are someone who likes the thought of 1990’s rock and the grunge of 1990’s New York City, you will love Mojo Record Bar.
Just past the record store, patrons will find vinyl covered walls, vintage records in cases and posters of 1990’s rock icons like Tom Waits and Sonic Youth.
The main option when it comes to drinks at Mojo Record Bar is Australian craft beers and ciders, but you will also find a small, unique cocktail list, many of which are made with gin.
Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern – 199 Elizabeth Street
Unlike other bars in Sydney city, when stepping into the Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern, the bright red coloured carpet will catch your eyes, as will the contrasting dark walnut coloured bar.
The bartenders are welcoming and always up for a chat and the drink list has a little something for everyone. You will find specials each day as well as a list of wines ranging from sweet and bubbly to smooth and dry.
Cocktails are also available, many of which are signature, like the Tombstone or the Snap, Crackle and Pop.
The SG – 32 York Street
The SG, formally, Spooning Goats, is a Sydney city bar below street level with windows, which gives it a unique charm not found in other bars.
Many people use The SG as a starting point for a longer night out, but you can easily spend several hours here if you choose.
The drink menu features rotating Australian and American craft beers and unique cocktails, sometimes using those same beers. Beers in a cocktail? Yes, and it was voted one of the best in Sydney.
The Bear – Thomas Lane
Located in Chinatown, this European-style bar in Sydney city is small and intimate, easily allowing you to make new friends.
The theme of the bar is heavily focused on a northern European vibe and you will find fruit fondue and Swedish meatballs on the menu.
Drink-wise, you will find a number of cocktails on the menu, priced as you would expect in the city. You will also find a nice wine list.
Cool New Bars in Sydney
These bars are new to the city and offer some new ideas and venues to look into. Though new bars in Sydney are opening all the time, you definitely will want to check these out:
Papa Gede’s – Rear 348 Kent Street
Though Papa Gede’s is not one of the newest new bars in Sydney, it has been around for less than a year and is highly recommended if you are looking to get your voodoo on.
The bar is simple, lit by candlelight with a number of skulls and other symbols of voodoo dotting the walls.
The drinks are boozy, offering unique combinations. One of their signature drinks is the Endgame Boss, a mix of rum, Cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice served with a red wine float.
They also serve beer, wine and a small food menu to soak it all up.
The Bearded Tit – 183 Regent Street
In Redfern, you will find another of the top new bars in Sydney, The Bearded Tit. Part art space, part bar, this is a bar that greatly reflects the hipster-scene, and the offerings at this bar will not disappoint if you like this type of place.
The bar serves Reschs beer, along with two other choices along with a small wine list and cocktails. The bar also has food available, but they are ordered in from restaurants in the area.
Knox Street Bar – 21 Shepherd Street
One of the new Sydney bars that is a bit outside of the city limits is Knox Street Bar.
Though it is a bit off the beaten bar path, Knox Street Bar is certainly worth a mention. Here, you will find a modern feel mixed with a European twist, something that you don’t find at other bars in the area.
Since it is located in the suburb of Chippendale, this Sydney area bar is more affordable than others in the CBD, for instance.
However, you will still find cocktails that you would expect from some of the top bars in the city.
Fifty-Fifty – 7 Stanley Lane
Many of the Sydney new bars are much of the same as the old ones, but Fifty-Fifty definitely stands out thanks to their experimental cocktail list.
The art-deco theme makes you think like this is just another speakeasy in Sydney, but in reality, it is much more modern.
The bar serves cocktails that you will recognise, like Bloody Marys and Pina Coladas, but they are fresh and exciting mixtures that bring them a twist not found in other area bars.
What Are the Best Bars in Sydney?
Though the new bars that have popped up in Sydney are wonderful, it is also always fun to revisit some of the Sydney area’s favourite spots.
So where are some of the best bars in Sydney? Read on to find out:
Apothecary – 229 Darlinghurst Road
In addition to being a bar, Apothecary is an experience. It is small, bookings are recommended and flights are the way to go at this place.
As one of the best bars in Sydney, Apothecary works hard to keep up their reputation with flights, but also have some outstanding spirits like their bacon bourbon.
If dessert is your thing, the Prosciutto e Melone cannot be missed, not only for the taste, but for the show you will get as the bartender prepares it.
Grain Bar – 199 George Street
Sometimes the best Sydney bars are well-hidden and Grain Bar is no exception to this rule. Located within the Four Seasons Hotel, this is a bar that doesn’t need to be trendy in order to be good.
Here, you will find a style and sophistication that both visitors and Sydneysiders love, along with a great drink menu that will please any palate.
Wine and beer are available, as are drinks such as the Charlie Chaplin and the bourbon-based, Walnut Derby.
Grandma’s Bar – 275 Clarence Street
Grandma’s Bar has been around for years, but many still choose this location as the best bar in Sydney.
One of the reasons Grandma’s is such a crowd pleaser is the ambiance of the place, with crocheted blankets and lorikeet wallpaper, not far off from what you may find in your own grandmother’s home.
In addition, you will find amazing cocktails like the Peanut Butter Colada. You don’t have to like spirits to come here, however, as Grandma’s also has wine and beer available.
Lobo Plantation – 209 Clarence Street
Though Lobo Plantation just opened last year, it has definitely found its place as one of the best in Sydney.
The bar certainly has a Caribbean feel to it, complete with the tropical drinks it serves.
Rum is the spirit of choice for many of the drinks served at Lobo, including the New Cuban, a cocktail made with rum, the bar’s own vanilla and banana vermouth, passionfruit, basil and lime all topped with a caramel soda.
Finding a Wine Bar in Sydney
When it comes to finding a great wine bar in Sydney, you will certainly have your choice of great ones.
Australia is well known for some of the finest wines in the world and you can sample most of them at one of the fantastic wine bars, below:
Love Tilly Devine – 91 Crown Lane
Located a bit outside of Sydney proper in Darlinghurst, Love Tilly Devine is one of those wine bars in Sydney that is well worth the travel time.
Though you might think you are in the wrong place when walking through the alley to get to this bar, once you are inside, you will see why people come here.
There is a huge wine menu, so don’t be afraid to ask for help and the food, like their oysters and cheese plates, pair well with their wine offerings.
Timbah – 375 Glebe Point Rd
Timbah is one of those Sydney wine bars that you won’t be sure of until you get there, but when you do, you will always come back for more.
Timbah is the type of place you want to bring your friends to and even if you don’t, you will probably not leave without making a few.
The wine menu is outstanding, as is the tapas that is served for those who need a bit of nourishment whilst sipping on their vino.
The Shop Bar & Wine Bar – 78 Curlewis Street
Located near Bondi Beach, The Shop offers wine in Sydney that is sure to please any wine drinker. They have a rotating wine menu, a daily happy hour and have food available.
Since they rotate their wines, many people come back to The Shop time and time again, as you never know what you might find when you step through the doors.
Lodge Wine Bar – 3/415 Darling Street
The Sydney wine bar known as Lodge, is intimate and cosy, exactly what most people expect when stepping into a wine bar.
They serve full meals at this bar, but people typically come to the bar for the great wine selection. You will find a number of sparkling wines and champagnes, whites, reds and roses along with sweet and fortified wines.
Cittavino – 55 Enmore Road
For those who are new to wine bars in Sydney, or someone who wants to learn more about wine, Cittavino is a perfect place to start.
They have a lot of wine to taste and sip on, but they also have a bottle shop, so you can take your favourites home when you leave.
The staff is extremely knowledgeable and welcoming and they are a wealth of information for those who have questions.
What Are The Best Cocktail Bars In Sydney?
Sydney has many options for wine, of course, but sometimes you just want to indulge in a good cocktail, too.
There are several great cocktail bars in Sydney where you can find everything from your traditional favourites to combinations you may have never considered before.
Here are some of the best Sydney cocktail bars:
The Roosevelt – 32 Orwell Street
Glam and retro are two good words that can be used to describe The Roosevelt, a top cocktail bar in Sydney.
The sounds of swing music are played from the speakers and antique cocktail making equipment are displayed around the bar.
Speaking of cocktails, ordering them is much like taking in a show thanks to the art that goes into them. If you aren’t seeing nitrogen smoke and theatrics when ordering, you are ordering the wrong type of drink!
Bulletin Place – 10 – 14 Bulletin Place
Located on the first floor, Bulletin Place bar is one of the best cocktail bars in Sydney for a number of reasons. First, it is home to one of the top bartenders in the whole of Sydney, which is certainly something special.
On top of that, the daily list of cocktails changes based on the produce the bar is able to source. Finally, the bar has won numerous awards, including the 26th best bar in the world, back in 2013.
Grasshopper – 389-391 George St
Ordering your first cocktail at Grasshopper is always confusing, but this is part of the charm of this Sydney cocktail bar.
Though they have a lot of signature cocktails, all of them are numbers, so a number 5 is going to be a lot different from a number 13.
If you don’t know what to order, try the 19, a cocktail that features orange liqueur, passionfruit, vanilla vodka and cranberry juice.
Gilt Lounge – 49 Market Street
Tucked away near the State Theatre is another top choice for cocktails in Sydney, Gilt Lounge.
This is another cocktail lounge where you can expect a performance as shakers are tossed about and extra dramatics are used to bring flair to their one-of-a-kind cocktails.
You will find twists on your old favourites along with new creations such as their Applewood Bacon Old Fashioned…yes, THAT bacon.
Button Bar – 49 Foveaux Street
The main draw to Button Bar, in addition to the highly skilled staff, is the long list of cocktails. When you want a cocktail in Sydney, you will have a very large menu to choose from.
Some of the most popular and delicious options to choose from include the Lucky Charm, a cocktail made with vodka, honey, strawberries and prosseco or the Pleasure Vessel, a combo of dark rum, Grand Marnier, orange blossom water, orange marmalade and grapefruit juice.
Night Clubs In Sydney
Though bars are good most of the time, when it comes to a weekend, sometimes it is advisable to go out and have a bit of fun at a club.
This is where you will want to take a look at some of the best clubs in Sydney. It doesn’t matter if you want something trendy and sophisticated or fun and relaxing, you will find them all in Sydney:
Goodgod Front Bar – 53-55 Liverpool St
If you like a small, unpretentious dance club where you can have fun, get some food and drink, Goodgod Front Bar is ideal.
This is one of the best clubs in Sydney for R&B, though they also play other types of music as well.
You can get cocktails by the jug, the DJs keep the music going til 5am and since there is food available, you can set up shop for the night.
Marquee Sydney – Pirrama Road
If you want to feel like a celebrity and live the celeb lifestyle for the night, Marquee is one of the Sydney city nightclubs for you.
Huge LED screens cover the walls, go-go dancers are featured throughout the club and celebrity DJs are often in house.
Having the celebrity VIP treatment isn’t cheap, but for an experience you won’t soon forget, Marquee is an excellent choice.
Civic Underground – 388 Pitt Street
One of the reasons that Civic Underground is one of the top nightclubs in Sydney city is due to its brand new sound system.
This state-of-the-art system rivals any system that European clubs have to offer. International DJ stars often take centre stage at Civic, offering deep house, techno and electro parties til dawn.
Oxford Art Factory – 38-46 Oxford Street
Some people like clubs, but they don’t love the heavy techno tunes that are often found at them. Oxford Art Factory is a bit different, however.
They have a bar, of course, as well as a dance floor, live music and even comedy…what makes this one of the best Sydney nightclubs, however, is that you can often experience all of these things in one night.
One hour you might be laughing at an up and coming comedian and the next, dancing to the hottest remixes.
Chinese Laundry – 111 Sussex Street
No list of night clubs in Sydney would be complete without mentioning Chinese Laundry.
This club offers three different rooms with different types of music, drinks flowing throughout the night and hundreds of new friends to meet on any given day.
Though you can certainly dance through the night, the club also offers their ‘Garden Party’ series in the summer, where dancing and clubbing occurs in the afternoon.
Most Sydneysiders don’t usually think of their city as an internationally renowned night life spot, but in trust, there is a lot to do here when the sun sets.
From settling down with your mates in a casual bar or pub to spending your Saturday night dancing and sweating to techno, all of it can be found when you take in some of the best bars and nightclubs in Sydney.