10 best bars; Sydney’s top offerings!

Happy couple having a drink together

When it comes to top notch hostelries, nobody can quibble with Sydney’s fine selection. In fact, trying to whittle down a top 10 “Best Bars Sydney” list is no mean feat. Nevertheless, we’ve given it a good crack! Whether you’re a stickler for an easygoing pint or prefer the conviviality of vino, we’re certain there’s something for everyone to enjoy! Bottoms-up!

Romantic Bars Sydney – EliteSingles faves

So you’ve spent a bit of time messaging and are ready to venture out on a first date. Exciting times! And if you’ve settled on a drink, even better! Sydney singles will know how well stocked the city is when it comes to bars, but how can you separate the wheat from the chaff? Easy; check out our favourite Sydney bars! To make things easier, we’ve included a handy map below so you can navigate your merry meander through Sydney’s fair streets.

  • Timbah

    Best bars Sydney #1: Timbah

    Perched at the top of Glebe’s Forsyth Street is where you’ll find this glorious little wine bar. Pause before crossing the threshold and admire both Harbour and Anzac bridges in all their glory, then slip inside for an utterly unique experience. Owners Tim and Louise Smith have instated a revolutionary idea; the first punters through the door decide the four reds and four whites to be opened for the evening, a concept coined “democracy in a bottle”. So, rather than faffing over what to quaff (it will be good), you can enjoy each other’s company instead!


    Photo Credit: TImbah

  • Bitter Phew

    Best bars Sydney #2: Bitter Phew

    Those partial to all-things-beery can’t afford to pass up a sojourn to this Darlinghurst establishment. Venture up unassuming stairway off Oxford Street’s hustle and bustle and you’ll find this cosy little drinking den. There are a handful of reasons as to why Bitter Phew is regularly lauded as one of Sydney’s best boozers for crafty libations, not least for the encyclopaedic selection brews on sale. And with more than 300 names stocked, having a drink here is more of an education than anything else. Muted lighting and dark wood make for a great date spot too.


    Photo Credit: Australian Bartender

  • The Noble Hops

    Best bars Sydney #3: The Noble Hops

    Another inclusion on our “Best Bars Sydney” rosters that’s perfect for beer aficionados. With an emphasis on low-key, neighbourhood drinking, this Redfern Street hostelry is ideal for laidback date nights.  Mirroring the ambience, owner Jeff Wee focuses on showcasing the best of local talent and champions beers brewed within the city limits. There’s a respectable selection of both Aussie and international brews on offer too. If the pints weren’t enough of a pull, patrons are more than welcome to chow down on takeaway Sicilian slices from the nearby La Coppola pizzeria. 


    Photo Credit: Concrete Playground

  • This Must Be The Place

    Best bars Sydney #4: This Must Be The Place

    Musicophiles and fans of the Talking Heads will likely have clocked that this Darlinghurst spot shares its name with one of David Byrne & Co’s (innumerable) top tunes. Like that track, this place is pure perfection. The interior is all sleek lines and reclaimed timber, something that evokes and almost Scandinavian texture. This peeled-back aesthetic means that attention never strays from the alchemy occurring behind the bar. A tiny but considered cocktail list ensures you don’t get bogged down by choice, meaning you can savour the moment… and a brilliant beverage too!


    Photo Credit: Broadsheet

  • Tokyo Bird

    Best bars Sydney #5: Tokyo Bird

    Combining intimate ambience, personable service and an authentic experience is something Tokyo Bird owners Jason Ang and Yoshi Onishi have done with aplomb. Tucked down a Surry Hill side-street, this dimly-lit den brings a slice of Tokyo bar culture to the heart of Sydney. To drink take your pick from an impressive selection of premium Japanese whiskies or a refined list of classic cocktails. If you’re feeling peckish the joint also specialises in yakitori, delicious little skewers of grilled treats including pork belly, chicken and shitake mushroom. Kanpai! 


    Photo Credit: Simon Shasha

  • Shady Pines Saloon

    Best bars Sydney #6: Shady Pines Saloon

    If you like Rhinestone Cowboys, driving your Chevy to the levy, or just enjoy a proper drink in a spot with excellent atmosphere, get yourself down to Shady Pines. Taking the Wild West vibe to the nth degree is the name of the game at this Darlinghurst dive bar. Yes, the whip-cracking frontier flavour might not be to everyone’s taste, but you really can’t fault the quality of the booze on offer. Whisky, especially bourbon, gets full attention, as does the extensive beer selection. The barkeeps are also well versed in the art of cocktails, particularly of the grainy ilk. Yee-haw!


    Phot Credit: Broadsheet

  • Burrow Bar

    Best bars Sydney #7: Burrow Bar

    If you so happen to be in the CBD of an evening and feel a little parched, make this basement joint your first port of call. Situated in what was once an open office, Burrow Bar now occupies the narrow subterranean space with a well-stocked long bar. Exposed sandstone walls and comfy French-style sofas provide the perfect setting to sample one of the bar’s barrel-aged cocktails. If making their own infused rum wasn’t enough, the crew also put together one of the meanest Reuben sandwiches going; made from entirely home-prepped produce. 


    Photo Credit: Small Bar Fly

  • Wyno

    Best bars Sydney #8: Wyno

    If you’ve ever had the pleasure of spending an evening at Argentine staple Porteno, or merely appreciate the finer things in life, get yourself down here pronto. Fronted by the same crew behind Porteno, you’ll find Wyno literally just round the corner from its older sister. As you’ve probably figured, plonk’s the priority here. And good plonk at that. Wines from both Australia and abroad take centre stage, a few of which are fairly hard to come by. As well as vino, a small, uncomplicated menu of delicious dishes is also available, and it changes on a daily basis.


    Photo Credit; Concrete Playground/Katje Ford

  • The Baxter Inn

    Best bars Sydney #9: The Baxter Inn

    Of course The Baxter Inn gets a mention in our “Best Bars Sydney” list. There are plenty of ways to describe this legendary institution. We like to think of it as a proper panoply and purveyor of fine whiskies. And it’s hard to disagree given the Clarence Street boozer stocks close to 800 bottles of the good stuff on its shelves. After you’ve stumbled into its grotto-like basement, take a seat and soak up the atmosphere, either with a dram, or a beer/wine if you’re not a fan… a top date night destination for connoisseurs and good-timers alike. 


    Photo Credit: Zomato

  • Stillery

    Best bars Sydney #10: Stillery

    Situated inside the Intercontinental Sydney Double Bay is where you’ll find this gleaming gin palace. Walking in to the Stillery is almost like diving into a giant bottle of Bombay Saphire; crystalline blues, pristine glassware and watery lighting work to the effect. Once seated at the bar or in an almost too-comfy arm chair, get set to sample an extensive array of some of the most deliciously botanical gins going. As you’d expect, the bartenders here know a thing or two about G&Ts, and are happy and willing to tailor one to your preferred taste. 


    Phot Credit: Concrete Playground

About the author: Alex Rennie

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