Time Out Sydney

Hunker down in one - or all - of these great Inner West small bars

The Little Guy

This small bar, just a few steps from Bar 99 and Mr Falcon, is a pretty, light space filled with ferns and big comfortable bar stools. There's a short cocktail list including their take on a Tommy's Margarita (they're calling it Don's Agave Margarita) and a Jamaican Me Crazy with rum, vanilla and apple juice. Nice.


Glebe's frst small bar is still going strong, serving locals all through the week and into the night. Timbah's not exactly cheap (around $12 a glass for the non-house gear), but if you dig through the list you'll find a few $25 quaffers by the bottle. 

Hive Bar

The walls are covered in event posters, stencils and murals by local artists and record-sleeve menus boast a long list of bottled ales and lagers, including the St Peters Cinnamon Girl Spiced Ale, Doss Blockos Pale Lager, Coopers, White Rabbit and Mountian Goat, as well as Boston's Mill Pale Ale and the citrusy 4 Pines Kolsch.

The Lodge Wine Bar

Ed Cutcliffe, the moustachioed gentleman behind the Little Marionette cafes, has added another title to his mantle: publican. He has converted the funny little space beneath the Balmain Lodge into a pocket-sized watering hole where the decor is part bordello and part terrarium. 

The Cottage

Balmain is shrugging off the Buggaboo image as more small bars open around the blue chip inner west suburb. The latest is the Cottage - a restaurant and bar offering a casual place to drink and dine in the heart of Darling Street.

The Midnight Special

Look, we don't want to make too much of a thing about the Midnight Special, mainly because it's only got a 50 person capacity and, frankly, we don't want any more competition to get in. So let's emphasise that it's only open until midnight. Awesome drinks, delicious snacks, comfy booths up the back, friendly staff and excellent music provide absolutely no reason for you to go. Seriously. Back the hell off.


What we like about the folks at Corridor is that they're friendly and down to earth. They're just doing what they do and they're doing it well: long necks of Coopers pale for $12, simple mixers (get 'em to do you a ginger beer with rum and limes), local wines by the glass (in red and white!)... you get the picture. That's what this new crop of small bars are about: neighbourhood joints offering a community atmosphere.

Jester Seeds

It's all about the sangria at Jester Seeds. You'll find it nestled between to the cheapo restaurants at the north end of Newtown, doling out some classy drinks in faux grungy surrounds - it's the sort of place that looks a bit rock, but you won't stick to the floor. 


The cocktail list is short, sweet and simple (Bloody Marys, Manhattans, Martinis) but the wine list needs depth. Still, it's reasonably priced and it's not that much of a mission digging up something you'll be happy drinking. Did we mention they serve longies of Coopers?

Who won the Sydney bar awards?

Updated on 18 Jun 2015.

Collaboration Brew launch

Collaboration Brew launch

Bottled Lightning Co are back in the Inner West, and getting ready to tap their latest collaboration brew at Public House Petersham

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