Time Out Sydney

Ten of the most exciting bars across Sydney's CBD

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.


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.

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 the pub awards?

Updated on 31 Jul 2015.

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