Time Out Sydney

Ten of the most exciting bars across Sydney's CBD


When Assembly first opened in Regent Place there wasn’t much else in the complex, but now it’s a real city hotspot where Thai restaurants and izakayas sit side by side. Below decks there’s a Vietnamese canteen, and this secret city bar. To tell you the truth, we’re kind of tempted to keep it on the DL – the drinks are bloody good and they fry the hell out of a chicken wing.

Baxter Inn

That queue of people rolling out of a dark, nondescript laneway on Clarence Street is for Baxter Inn. This basement-level hooch sanctuary is brought to you by Anton Forte and Jason Scott – the two bartenders best known for opening Shady Pines Saloon.

Bulletin Place

There are two things, straight off the bat, that make this pocket-sized CBD bar the standard setter it is. That’s the drinks and the service. No mateer who is shaking up their short, sharp and perfectly executed menu, scrawled on brown paper with a sharpie at the beginning of each service, you're in for a win.


In the event you're lucky enough to get a table (it's very popular with inner-city suitcase carriers), order a cheese plate to go with something from sommelier Andreas Puhar's Austrian-leaning list.

Frankie's Pizza

The newest member of the Swillhouse family, Frankie’s Pizza is a cross between a sleazy ’70s pizza parlour and the late, legendary New York music dive, CBGB.

Grandma's Bar

Grandma's is to be found underneath a guitar shop. Pass an enormous deer head mounted on the wall, take the AstroTurfed stairs down to the basement, and hit the bar.

Mojo Record Bar

Music, if you haven’t guessed it, is the name of the game here. They have a 700-record-strong back catalogue of juicy tunes and fine sounds to do your drinking to.

The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room

The old Brooklyn Hotel has been transformed from non-descript pub to classically styled oyster and ale house where time, on a Friday, stands still.


Palmer and Co

Palmer and Co, the speakeasy-style bar hidden behind Establishment, sports a 5am license. So while it’s totally respectable to head earlier in the evening this bar really hits its straps late.

Ramblin' Rascal Tavern

A CBD basement bar where the beers are ordered from light (Marilyn) to dark (Bettie) and the cocktails are primarily dark, bitter and boozy. Want a shit tinnie? They have a case of those too for $6 a pop, and snacks are Mary's burgers orderd from their new city outlet.

Rockpool Bar & Grill

The bar at Rockpool is like something out of another time altogether, with beautiful Art Deco architecture, plush leather seats, dark corners and a bar filled with housemade tonics, syrups and sodas.

Since I Left You

Where the 106-year-old carriageway would have once admitted horse-drawn carriages bringing goods up from Darling Harbour, now you’ll find the old stone tunnel dotted with well-heeled couples sharing a carafe of the house wine over flickering candlelight. The back courtyard now hosts after-work drink instead of hoists and cranes, and the slick, narrow bar is a far cry from its former life as a cloakroom.

Stitch Bar

This dark, little bar, hidden in a Wynyard basement behind a rack of shirts and other sartorial paraphernalia, is a hooch-lover's paradise, where plush booths line one wall and seats at the bar are hotly contested.


Who won Bar of the Year 2015?

Updated on 22 Sep 2015.

NYE Above the Harbour

NYE Above the Harbour

Front-row seats to harbour fireworks, five-star dining, unlimited drinks, a dessert garden and an open-air dancefloor... this is how you do New Year's Eve in Sydney

Melbourne Cup Cruise

Melbourne Cup Cruise

Slow and steady wins the race... Cruise your way into Melbourne Cup and celebrate race day on the boat that rocks

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus

Get the Time Out weekend planner. Straight to your inbox, every Thursday.
Read more