Sydney plays second fiddle to Melbourne when it comes to nightlife, comedy, laneways and livability.
But it has just claimed a shock victory over Melbourne, with two Sydney bars featuring in the recently released world’s best bars for 2021 rankings, and zero Melbourne bars making the cut.
The Rocks cocktail bar Maybe Sammy slid in at number 22 in the world, while CBD watering hole Cantina Ok! was named the 23rd best bar in the world.
So: what makes these two drink spots so special?
Maybe Sammy is Art Deco, decadent; damn well put together. The three owners (Andrea Gualdi, Martin Hudak, Stefano Catino and Vince Lombardo) hail from a variety of places. This is evident in Maybe Sammy’s style.
According to The World’s 50 Best Bars, Maybe Sammy is reminiscent of: “the great hotel bars of Europe; the swinging sounds of 1960s Las Vegas; bartenders with backgrounds from all over the world; and a very Italian way of hospitality that is nourishing and bold, loud and – most importantly – a lot of fun.”
“Maybe Sammy does all that a grand hotel cocktail bar does, but with more vibrance and whimsy (and without the hotel).”
Cantina Ok! is a little more specialised. It’s a 20-seat cocktail bar (in a garage, in a laneway), which specialises in rare spirits from Mexico. It’s staffed by, as Broadsheet puts it, “three jovial and variously bearded barmen in white aprons” and its “earthy-pink and pine-lined room [is] adorned on almost all sides with bottles of clear spirits, an ornate Nepalese ice-carving machine, a few tubs of homebrew liqueurs and not a single stool or chair.”
Melbourne eat your heart out.
Check out the top 25 ‘best bars in the world for 2021’ below (and head to the official World’s Best Bars website for the full 50).
1. Connaught Bar (London)
2. Tayēr + Elementary (London)
3. Paradiso (Barcelona)
4. The Clumsies (Athens)
5. Florería Atlántico (Buenos Aires)
6. Licorería Limantour (Mexico City)
7. Coa (Hong Kong)
8. El Copitas (St. Petersburg)
9. Jigger & Pony (Singapore)
10. Katana Kitten (New York City)
11. Two Schmucks (Barcelona)
12. Hanky Panky (Mexico City)
13. Insider Bar (Moscow)
14. Baba au Rum (Athens)
15. Manhattan (Singapore)
16. Atlas (Singapore)
17. Zuma (Dubai)
18. The SG Club (Tokyo)
19. Drink Kong (Rome)
20. 1930 (Milan)
21. Presidente (Buenos Aires)
22. Maybe Sammy (Sydney)
23. Cantina OK! (Sydney)
24. Salmon Guru (Madrid)
25. Handshake Speakeasy (Mexico City)