13 Best Sydney Bars 2023

Fancy a drink? These Sydney bars are our best picks to knock a few back.

13 Best Sydney Bars 2023

Looking for the best bars in Sydney? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up the best Sydney bars to make your next night out in Australia’s unofficial capital that much more enjoyable.

Whether you’ve got a weekend date planned or you’ve got a squad together to go out on a bender, we’ve compiled a list of the coolest bars you need to try in Sydney.

From chilled Northern Beaches hang-outs to Sydney CBD holes-in-the-wall; inner-city hipster hotspots to fine dining rooftop bars, balconies, and bistros offering strong drinks and sweet views, we’ve got your weekend plans covered for the month, and the year ahead.

Cardea, Barangaroo

Shop 2, T3.01, 300 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo NSW 2000

Nestled discreetly in the heart of Barangaroo, Cardea beckons guests into an enchanting world where exquisite flavours, impeccable craftsmanship, and remarkable entertainment converge. The bar takes its name from the legendary Roman Goddess Cardea, who fearlessly guards doorways against evil spirits.

Within these hallowed walls, Cardea safeguards the art of cocktail creation and culinary excellence, elevating the gastronomic landscape of Sydney to unprecedented heights.

Prepare to be whisked away into an intimate haven adorned with elegant vintage furniture, luxurious velvet interiors, and private booths that exude the charm of a clandestine speakeasy. Cardea’s ambience sets the stage for unforgettable moments, where laughter fills the air, secrets are whispered, and memories are forged.

Button Bar, Surry Hills

65 Foveaux St, Surry Hills NSW 2010

Button Bar is a trendy pirate-themed bar in Sydney hidden behind a humble wooden door. Although it’s perfect for weekday date nights, Button Bar is at its prime on a Saturday, when you can truly experience this cocktail slinging station come to life, by getting into an all-bar sing-a-long of the rock ‘n roll classics at 10.30 pm.

Unfortunately, Button Bar is temporarily closed for renovations, but make sure you keep an eye out for when it reopens its doors. We can guarantee it’ll be better than ever.

Stowaway, Freshwater

18/1-3 Moore Rd, Freshwater NSW 2096

Stowaway is easily one of the best bars in Northern Sydney, just outside of the heart of Manly in the neighbouring suburb of Freshwater. Here you will find local Four Pines brew on tap, a wide variety of wine, and plenty of cocktails on offer.

Butter, Surry Hills

6 Hunt St, Surry Hills NSW 2010

Best bars in Sydney

What do you get when you combine fried chicken, Dom Pérignon & sleek sneakers? Butter, of course. This hybrid sneaker store, chicken shop & champagne bar in Surry Hills is a must-visit bar in Sydney, whether you’re a local or just visiting for the weekend.

Club 77, Darlinghurst

77 William St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Best bars in Sydney

If it’s a late-night boogie you’re after at the weekend then Club 77 is the place to be. This Sydney bar mainstay closed its doors in 2016 but has since reopened and be revitalised thanks to its new owners. The bar is almost unrecognisable now, as it has been completely revamped, and now gives drinkers and place to wine, dine and dance, with a red neon ceiling, a 40-seat bar, and a menu of over 30 different beer options & more spirits than you can poke a tequila bottle at.

KOI Dessert Bar, Chippendale

46 Kensington St, Chippendale NSW 2008

Best bars in Sydney

Masterchef 2015 contestant Reynold Poernomo opened his long-awaited dessert bar and called it… You guessed it: Koi. This two-story glass building is regularly viewed as one of the best bars in Sydney amongst the Chippendale drink & dining scene. Koi offers delicious savoury food options, but the heroes are the desserts. In fact, every cheat day we have it’s a struggle not to order everything on the menu.

Stillery, Double Bay

InterContinental Sydney, 33 Cross St, Double Bay NSW 2028

Stillery bar can be found inside the five-star InterContinental Hotel in Double Bay. A gorgeous, well-lit bar, Stillery is one of the hidden gems in one of Sydney’s most affluent suburbs. Whether you’re after a glass of champagne, a lunchtime beer or a cocktail, Stillery can cater to any request. Their forte is gin, with all manner of gins imported from around the world, all of which will be paired perfectly with tonic water or other mixer, resulting in one of the most refreshing drinks you’ll taste all year.

Employees Only, Sydney

9a Barrack St, Sydney NSW 2000

With inspiration taken from its New York-based cousin, Employees Only is regularly cited as one of Sydney’s best bars. Don’t worry, it isn’t permanently reserved for use by its staff, but rather, it is a cocktail bar with a restaurant that serves up delicious drinks and food. The bar is staffed by some of the best bartenders in the business, who will regularly come up with original cocktail ideas that you’ll be blown over by. The food menu, meanwhile, offers up a range of seafood alongside other New York favourites such as strip steak.

The Baxter Inn, Sydney

152-156 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000

Clarence St is becoming a hub for some of the best bars in Sydney, and the Baxter Inn is one of the best whisky bars around. A sophisticated bar, the Baxter Inn features an extensive selection of top-shelf whiskies, plus classic cocktails, with a funky, underground, old-school vibe.

The Unicorn, Paddington

106 Oxford St, Paddington NSW 2021

Best bars in Sydney

The old Unicorn pub in Paddington has now been resurrected into a new small hipster bar. With the help of Mary’s co-owner Kenny Graham, Young Henry’s Oscar McMahon and Porteño’s Elvis Abrahanowicz The Unicorn retains much of its Aussie pub appeal with dishes like steak, schnitty with mash and burgers and chips. As for drinks, The Unicorn keeps it down-to-earth with XXXX, VB, Resch’s and Coopers, living up to its reputation as a proud boiling billy of Aussie wine, beer, music, art, food and conversation.

Hotel Palisade, Millers Point

35 Bettington St, Millers Point NSW 2000

Best bars in Sydney

Located in Sydney’s historic Rocks precinct, the Palisade Hotel is a much-welcomed injection of luxury to an area often dedicated to pub crawls. The bar, hotel and cocktail lounge was refurbished in mid-2015 and now offers classy sangas, snacks, well-poured Guinness and champagne. It’s also a convenient pit stop for those checking out Barangaroo.

Ramblin Rascal, Sydney

Basement/60 Park St, Sydney NSW 2000

Ramblin Rascal isn’t the easiest bar to find in Sydney, but look closely on Elizabeth St, and you’ll soon find the entrance that takes you down to a space that has all the familiar trappings of a dive bar: pin-ups, wrestling championship belts, hats, a flamingo and a latex phallus. However, the rascals behind one of the best bars in Sydney are the friendliest blokes you’ll meet, and the saloon tunes will make it hard to leave. There are a lot of silly, colourful drinks on offer, but if you’re after something a little more subtle: order a Bare Bones, the house riff on a Vieux Carré.

Observatory Bar, Millers Point

89-113 Kent St, Millers Point NSW 2000

Industrial technology, modern gastronomy and a tinge of fantasy conspire to create something truly special in Sydney’s most exclusive harbourside location. Opening its doors in spring 2018, Sydney’s Observatory Bar at The Langham, Sydney is a sophisticated space where you will discover an inventive cocktail and inspiring food menu, with a focus on bringing the best of the world to Sydney. Designed for guests seeking an elevated cocktail or fine wine experience, Observatory Bar offers a truly delectable night.

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