Time Out Sydney

All the best booze action to be had in the heart of the city


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 thigh.

The Barber Shop

A hidden bar of forest green walls, glossy white tiles and smooth wood surfaces is the place to decompress after a long week. They've got all the gins behind the bar, plus big game drinkers can also busy themselves with the impressive single malt collection, or a few nips of calvados.

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.

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. Sure, the plastic glasses are a shame, but a stack of tinnies in the fridges makes up for it.

Grandma's Bar

Grandma's is to be found underneath a guitar shop, in a psace that might have once been a store room, or a bunker. Pass an enormous deer head mounted on the wall, take the AstroTurfed stairs down to the basement, and hit the bar for rum cocktails in nan-chic surrounds.

Lobo Plantation

A drink in this subterranean rum bar is as good as a holiday. All that’s ever needed to reset a shitty day, or keep a good one rolling is rum cocktails, some jangly tunes and good chat, and you can get it all at Lobo Plantation.

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 3am license. So while it’s totally respectable to head earlier in the evening this bar really hits its straps late.

Papa Gede's

Take a stumble down Kent Street and you'll find simple little room lit by candlelight and decorated with skulls, beads and a drinks list that errs on the bitter, brown-spirits and boozy end of the spectrum, and very often combines all the things in one glass.

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. 


Who won the Sydney bar awards?

Updated on 23 Oct 2015.

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