Best New Bars in Sydney for Cocktails & Good Times
Looking for a cool new drinking spot? These are the best new bars in Sydney to sip and be seen...
As we're nearing the end of the year and sometimes, we just need an exciting new venue to keep the good vibes flowing! What better way than sipping on a tropicool seltzer in a Palm Springs-style pop-up on Bondi beach, or perhaps a glass of bubbles with a side of panoramic Sydney Harbour views?
The Sydney bar scene is well and truly buzzing. Consider this article your one-stop-shop for all the hottest new openings and best bars in Sydney to know right now. The only question that you'll have to ask yourself is: where are you going to go first?
Best New Bars: November
Harper Rooftop Bar
Just in time for summer, Harper Rooftop Bar has arrived in the city and it's giving beach-club vibes on tap. Located on Level 7 of Kimpton Margot, you can expect yellow booths, a pastel pink mosaic bar, lush greenery in abundance and a glittering pool. Luke Mangan is behind the menu which focuses on easily shareable bites including Sydney rock oysters with finger lime, chilled prawns and soba salad bowls. As for drinks, it's all about fun with playful signature cocktails including the Barbie Girl Slushie. But the best bit? Pooches are welcome to enjoy the immaculate rooftop vibes.
Level 7 Kimpton Margot, 339 Pitt Street, Sydney
Busby's (Image Credits: top - Jonny Valiant, bottom left and right - Parker Blaine)
Busby's Wine & Record Bar
Combining two of life's greatest pleasures - natural wine and records - Busby is a welcome addition to Sydney's bar scene. Mike Bennie of P&V Merchants is the genius behind the wine list whilst Maybe Sammy expert Paolo Maffietti has worked magic to craft the minimalist cocktail list.
It will come as no surprise that the bar menu, curated by Clayton Wells (ex-automata) is killer and packed with fun, vibrant and Aussie-inspired share plates. As for the tunes - impeccable. Swing by on a Thursday evening for residencies by some of the spinners in Syd or pop by on a Saturday to tune into the world's greatest albums on vinyl from start to finish.
21 Oxford St, Paddington
The Good Bar
For those serious about their spirits, The Good Bar is a must-visit. In an Australian first, the talented people at Goodradigbee Distillers have been maturing their spirits in native hardwood cubes, crafting an innovative new category in drinks - Australian hardwood malt spirits. Swing by the bar to taste the likes of wood-infused gins, Grey Gum vodka and a selection of malts.
Their spirits are also infused with unique Australian botanical sourced by 100% Aboriginal-owned social enterprises and span Davidson plums, quandong, native currents and finger limes.
41 Orchard Road, Brookvale
Best New Bars: October
The rooftop of the newly renovated Strand Hotel is now home to an idyllic rooftop bar, Kasbah. Showcasing the incredible skyline, a night in the Mediterranean is the designated vibe and it is pulled off with aplomb. Balearic music sets the scene whilst you feast on French Moroccan-inspired plates. Natural wines, sparkling and rose make up the bulk of the wine list whilst incredibly exotic cocktails will reel you in with an ingredients list to excite. We're calling it! Summer sunsets at Kasbah are where it's at.
99 William Street, Darlinghurst
Martinez Restaurant, Bar & Terrace
If you're craving a sojourn in the South of France but aren't able to nip over, head over to newly opened Martinez Restaurant, Bar & Terrace for the next best thing. Heavily influenced by the seafood and fresh produce found scattering the menus of this part of France, Martinez Restaurant's menu is ready to transport you there.
The Plateau de Fruits de Mer, a platter of seasonal seafood, is perfect for a celebration whilst the Classic Provencal Bouillabaisse is a must order whatever the occasion. Guests can even enjoy Martinez for breaky with French scrambled eggs, ris au lait pudding and more.
A signature cocktail menu and a wine list packed with organic and biodynamic drops rounds out the offering. With popping pink and red interiors, Martinez is a delight for all the senses. Bonus points for the Harbour Bridge views!
Quay Quarter Tower, 50 Bridge Street, Sydney
Best New Bars: September
A bar within a bar? We love to see it. Popular Sydney Mexican cocktail bar El Primo Sanchez has welcomed a secret speakeasy concealed by a hidden door. La Prima will transport you straight to Oaxaca with an intimate and exclusive 10-seater bar. You can expect a candlelit space, old-school Mexican tunes and a rotating menu of cocktails by the Maybe Sammy team. Picture yourself sipping on the Perfume de Gardenias (Patrón Reposado, peach & citrus cordial and jasmine soda) whilst ordering a selection of share plates. Perfection.
Oxford House, 27-33 Oxford St, Paddington
Teddy's (Image Credit: KW Photography)
Located above the Warren View Hotel, Teddy's has hit Enmore's bar scene and its a very welcome addition. An unpretentious space with killer views, this cosy bar is already making a name for itself as a gathering place. Old-fashioned charm mixed with modern hospitality is the name of the game. The drinks list has been curated with independent and locally distilled drinks in mind, so you'll need a few visits to make a good dent in it.
2 Stanmore Road, Enmore
A brand-new tapas wine bar is always welcome in our lives. Iberica has well and truly surpassed our wildest dreams with its immaculate Mediterranean vibes. Drawing inspo from Spain's Balearic Coast, you can expect charm, warmth, a Spanish-oriented wine list and fresh ingredients.
Look forward to dishes including fried Spanish chilli peppers, Grilled Octopus and Jamon Iberica. The drinks list is equally delish with seasonal cocktails perfect for sipping beachside.
251 Bondi Road, Bondi
Best New Bars: August
Sydney has plenty of excellent bars but none are quite as luxurious as Cardea. As soon as you enter, you're greeted with decadent fabrics, a glitzy bar, red velvet booths, moody low lighting and striking chandeliers. Reminiscent of a 1920s cocktail bar, white baby grand included, the space is inviting and intimate - perfect for a date night.
Award-winning mixologist George Bekarian is behind the cocktail menu and it's both innovative and thrilling. Secrets of Aleja - Bombay Sapphire, Rhubarb Liqueur, Lime Juice, Cherry Jam and Whites - is an absolute delight.
As for bites, there's a bit of everything from all corners of the globe. A curated menu of smaller bites and larger dishes make for the perfect accompaniment to the enchanting drinks list.
Sitchu Tip: Check out the live entertainment schedule and time your visit to coincide. The lineup, like everything else at Cardea, is impeccable.
Shop 2, T3.01, 300 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo
SPON (Image Credit: Yusuke Oba)
In wildly exciting news for wine lovers, SPON has just opened its doors in Newtown with a rather revolutionary new bar. The bar/bottle shop will be making their entire range of eclectic wines, ales and other bottles accessible to try by the glass, as takeaway or as an online order. Guests are encouraged to take a moment out to enjoy a drop at the bar or the seating that spills out onto bustling King Street. Should you find yourself peckish, there will be snacks from the Odd Culture kitchen on rotation including Spanish Yellowfin Tuna with Capers and Potato Chips, Beer Bread and a range of cheeses.
The well-informed staff will be available for all the wine chats you desire. 12 bottles (of mainly wine) will be on rotation each day - two to be chosen by the house (a white and red) and the remaining to be nominated by guests as they day goes on, available by the glass until it runs out. We told you it was revolutionary!
256 King Street, Newtown
Best New Bars in Sydney: June
What's better than an Italian-inspired coffee and breaky spot? One that turns into a cosy little bar come the evening! Makaveli is Bondi's newest little nook serving elevated versions of the classics. For breaky, think fresh juices, focaccia, pastries and granola. By night, you'll be treated to seasonal and sharable plates like burrata and fresh broad beans, Kingfish crudo, Bresaola and marinated cherry tomatoes. A curated wine list and perfectly muddled cocktails are available of an evening also.
Shop 2, 177 - 179 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi
The brand-new Bar Morris is serving us art-deco chic AND a slice of Italian-Australian fusion and we love to see it. The intimate space seats 40 and is focused on seasonal produce, soulful tunes and Australian, Italian and natural wines. Head Chef Rosy Scatigna has reinvented Italian classics and will be serving the likes of Panfocaccia, flank steak served with Café de Morris butter and Nduja madeleine ( a cheesy savoury sponge, enriched with silky guanciale and ‘nduja emulsion).
As for the interiors, expect to be delighted. Rich red tones meet brass and peach marble. Splashes of velvet, leather-clad walls and natural wood flooring create a rich, luxurious and warm ambience. The whole experience is a real treat.
412 Pitt Street, Haymarket
A high-end cocktail bar has just landed in Southwest Sydney and we, for one, are mighty pleased to hear it. Serving a sophisticated yet warm ambience, you'll find classic and innovative menu items at Bartega. A canape-style menu offers tantalising snacks (think baked brie) whilst the interiors contribute to an overall sense of relaxed decadence. On our agenda? A taste of the Jin Cha - a blend of Roku Gin, matcha, chartreuse, yuzu, and honey, served in a traditional matcha bowl.
26 Bridge Road, Belmore
We love a venue that can do both and Caffe Q's is one of them. Transforming from an espresso bar to an aperitivo bar of an evening, this petite space aims to serve those not keen to commit to a whole meal and prefer to pick instead. Enjoy 80s Euro music al fresco whilst sipping on a Malaga Old-Fashioned - what could be better?!
50 Bridge Street, Circular Quay
Best New Bars in Sydney: May
Eau De Vie
Eau De Vie takes the cake for the moodiest addition to the Sydney bar scene this year. It's the perfect night out for whiskey lovers of all predilections. Channelling 1920s America, the bar gives off speakeasy vibes with a jazzy spin. On top of their wide selection of classic and inventive cocktails, Eau De Vie serves up an array of snacks, charcuterie and larger plates.
Here you'll also find The Whisky Room, home to an extensive collection of rare and exclusive whiskies. You can even opt to make use of the bar's 'Bottle Lockers' where you can purchase your favourite spirit and they'll store it for your next visit.
If you fancy a splash of education with your next tipple, try one of Eau De Vie's Whisky & Cheese tasting nights that take place every Tuesday or organise one of their whiskey tastings that range from $80 - $200, depending on the rarity of the spirits.
Enter via Wynyard Lane, 285 George Street, Sydney
Located within the old 'The Bulletin' newspaper office, Bar 1880 is the place to go if you like your cocktails with a side of history. Swing by the ground floor The Headline Bar for a quick after-work drink or settle into The Press Room if you fancy making an evening of it. You'll find an array of signature cocktails, a couple of hot options and a handful of 'forgotten' concoctions alongside classic bar snacks.
26 Bridge Road, Belmore
Bar Soul is a very welcome addition to Sydney's wine bar scene. Why? Bennelong Alumni Chef Sunny Ryu is serving a Korean tapas menu to die for. Plus, the wine list, curated by Illa Kim, is killer. Highlights include Scallop crudo with Korean ajo blanco, Slow Cooked Pork Jowl with witlof, confit garlic puree, black rice and jalapeno and chestnut tiramisu. The petite 30-seater bar, decked out with timber and mustard accents, is warm and inviting during the cooler months whilst the al fresco area offers sunshine and people watching throughout summer.
Shop 1 & 2, 185 Campbell Street, Surry Hills
This brand-new addition to Sydney's wine bar scene has arrived just in time for winter and it's cosy as all that. Tucked away below Transport House, entrance is granted to those who can locate the Sculpture of Mercury and follow along. A moody atmosphere is paramount at Bar Messenger with low lamps providing ambience in spades.
The incredible Australian wine list is the star of the show with a curation of drops available by the glass and even the magnum! As for eats, expect luxurious toasties, cheeses and tasting plates.
10 Phillip Street, Sydney
Best New Bars in Sydney: February
This ultra-pared back sake bar is a treat for the senses. Minimalism, attention to detail and impeccable quality are core to the ethos of Amuro so you can expect soothing interiors and incredible accents (like the expertly crafted blackwood bar). There are only 20 seats available at any one time which allows for a tailored experience and a relaxed atmosphere. There's no official drink list as guests are encouraged to hone their palates through tasting and the rotating snack menu is based off what is available at the market and paired based on your drink of choice.
2/255 Crown Street, Surry Hills
El Primo Sanchez
El Primo Sanchez takes primo position on Oxford Street in the pub formerly known as The Rose in Paddington. In a partnership between The Maybe Group (Maybe Sammy, Dean & Nancy, Sammy Junior and Maybe Frank), and Public Hospitality Group (Oxford House, The Strand Hotel), El Primo Sanchez is as sleek as it is fun with 1940s Mexican bar vibes and a colour palette inspired by the vibrant backstreets of old Mexico City.
At the bar you can expect highballs including the signature Sanchez Paloma which uses mandarin instead of grapefruit or their twist on a classic Batanga of tequila, cola and lime. Cocktails come served in jarritos or traditional clay jugs, because why not! As for the food, Mexican-born and bred consultant chef Alejandro Huerta has developed a menu that fuses traditional Mexican flavours and ingredients with a playful edge. Opt for the 12-hour achiote marinated pork belly cooked over coals or the Brussels Sprout Taco comes roasted and tossed in a chilli vinegar made from five dried Mexican chilli varietals and served with a smear of hazelnut requesón - a vegan version of the traditional Mexican cheese.
27–33 Oxford Street, Paddington
Inspired by the elegant architecture from the streets of Madrid, Bar Lucia brings a laid-back air of Spain into Potts Point. The sultry wine bar offers a range of classic Spanish-style tapas including Jamon Iberico Bellota Puro, roast sea scallops on the half shell with saffron butter, Ox tongue with salsa pintxo and salsa verde, anchovies with salsa Spinader all curated by Head Chef Alberto Palacios. Head Sommelier Kasia Sobiesiak takes charge of Bar Lucia's wine list, centred on supporting local Australian producers with an emphasis on female winemakers.
5 Kellett St, Potts Point
Best New Bars In Sydney: January
Warm vibes, craft brews and a community feel are exactly what you want from a neighbourhood bar and OTiS is delivering just that to the good people of Leichardt. Formerly The Golden Gully, OTiS is continuing to prioritise friendly service with the help of some of Sydney's best bartenders. You can expect plenty of natural wine, craft beer, share plates and arguably Sydney's best cheese toastie (complete with seven different cheeses). If you're keen to end your day on a high we recommend popping by for happy hour between the hours of 5pm and 7pm, Tuesday to Saturday, for $12 Tommy's Margaritas and Negronis.
153 Norton Street, Leichardt
55 North at Manly Pacific
Manly's newest beachside bar within the newly refurbed Manly Pacific hotel, 55 North aptly named after its iconic location is sure to be the newest place to sip and be seen in Manly. With interiors designed by the award-winning Sydney-based, architecture and interiors firm Luchetti Krelle, think warm tones and cosy nooks - the perfect spot to gaze out upon one of Sydney's most iconic beaches whilst working your way through their cocktail menu.
55 North Steyne, Manly