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  • Best New Bars in Sydney for Cocktails & Good Times

Best New Bars in Sydney for Cocktails & Good Times

Looking for a cool new drinking spot? The chic, best new bars in Sydney have got you covered!

Bar La Salut (Image Credit: Nikki To)
Bar La Salut (Image Credit: Nikki To)

There's no denying that after the last two years, we all deserve a drink - and quite a large drink at that! As Sydney starts to re-open we're all looking forward to getting out on the town and raising a glass with our mates.

From intimate wine bars to cosy underground hangouts, we welcome all kind of wondrous new watering holes to Sydney this year. So, whether you’re after cocktail and a bite or a vino with a view, we've found the best new bars in Sydney. These are the drinking spots your 2021 calendar is crying out for.

Bar La Salut

With rare Spanish wines, vermouth and Barcelona-inspired late night snacks, Bar La Salut is set to become the newest Sydney hot spot. From the group behind some of our favourite Sydney wine bars, Love Tilly Devine, Dear Sainte Éloise, Ragazzi and Fabrica. The 40-seat wine bar is a high-octane bar decked out with earthy tones, crazy tiling and heroing a curved central bar from which bartenders pour cocktails and an extensive list of Spanish wines. On the food front expect inventive tapas style share plates from Chef McComas-Williams whose credits include Els Tres Porquets and the Michelin-starred Barcelona restaurant Els Casals. From Bar La Salut, you can expect jamon Iberico cut right in front of you, pincho with pork neck and whipped cod roe and a bougie patatas bravas with crema fresca and caviar.

305 Cleveland Street, Redfern

Ni Hao Bar

Inspired by 1980s Hong Kong, Ni Hao Bar is the newest hot bar in Sydney, paying tribute to Hong Kong’s golden years and the bustling Cantonese nightlife. Hidden above the Civic Hotel, Ni Hao Bar boasts a dancefloor, indoor dining room and rooftop bar with retro flashing neon lights, murals of Bruce Lee and IP Man with lucky cats, ticket booths, umbrellas and projector screens playing Brue Lee movies. The brainchild of founder Howin Chui and was inspired by his background in nightclubs and the lively party atmosphere. The food is beyond delicious with Peking duck toasties, glistening buttery corn ribs pot stickers and flavoursome kung pao eggplant.

Level 1, 388 Pitt Street, Sydney

The Redfern

A neighbourhood pub that first opened over 100 years ago, The Redfern has been lovingly restored and is ready to welcome back locals. With the Public Bar downstairs and the eclectic Misfits cocktail bar and lounge upstairs, The Redfern is the perfect spot for your next pub visit. Upstairs at Misfits you can expect cocktails, DJs and dancing, while at the public bar you can expect 26 tap beers, an approachable wine selection and elevated pub feeds. Expect share snacks, pastas, burgers, classics like steaks and parmis and a guessing-game style ‘chef’s secret’ pasta. You can finish off your meal with a slice of pie, the perfect end to a perfect evening.

106 George Street, Redfern

Frank Mac’s

Frank Mac’s, a new gin-obsessed cocktail, has set up shop in The Rocks. With a bar stocked with well over one hundred juniper blends from all corners of the globe, and a cosy intimate atmosphere, the bar itself is a nod to co-owner Ciara’s great uncle Frank Mac, a cheeky colourful chap who was a staple at his village bar in Ireland. Our favourite cocktail would have to be ‘Tip of the Hat’, a summer-time twist on the Irish coffee with Slane Irish whiskey, ST. Ali Orthodox coffee and smoked cascara syrup.

83 George Street, The Rocks

The Park Darlinghurst

Billed as Sydney’s newest indoor beer garden, The Park is a truly unique venue. Something of an urban sanctuary this spacious Darlinghurst venue is the perfect spot for your next night out. On the food front you can expect baked eggplant with tahini, saltbush and macadamia and hearty faves like roast chicken and pot pie. However they really shine on the beverage front with their strong wine list and inventive signature cocktail list which includes everything from rich soul warming classics to light and fun tipples. To fill the void that Darlinghurst finds itself in every Sunday, The Park will host a brunch with RuPaul's Drag Race’s Maxi Shield and Coco Jumbo. From 11am there will be free flowing French champagne, cocktails and breakfast. Perfect for a Sunday session!

Level 1, 235 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst

Best New Bars in Sydney: October

Piccolo Bar

Guess who’s back, baby! Welcome back to Piccolo Bar, the oldest café in Kings Cross which first opened all the way back to 1952. In 2020, when Dave Spanton heard that Piccolo was about to be lost forever, he took the plunge to save this iconic venue. A pint-sized spot with just 12 seats inside and eight outside, Spanton set about revitalising the space. If you’re not familiar with the local lore, The Piccolo Bar was a cosy, non-licenced café open from 6pm-6am every night run by legendary former operator Vittorio Bianchi, who started working in the café back in 1964.

The newly renovated spot has been brought back to life, re-imagined as an aperitivo bar and diner. A stepped up interior, courtesy of Spanton’s friend artist and designer Michael Delany (Prince of Wales, The Forrester’s and more), brings flair back to the venue. The jewel of the interior was the photo wall (a feature of the original bar), Dave has kept some of these iconic photos but added to the line-up, including a little photo of his parents getting married at the Wayside Chapel back in the 70s. 

The opening team includes faves such as Alex Zanarini from Dean & Nancy’s and Michael Drescher, from Big Poppa’s and Bartolo. Capable of drawing a crowd even in lockdown, this venue is a sure-fire winner!

6 Rosyln Street, Kings Cross

Lady Banks Rooftop

This new venue in Sydney’s west is Sydney’s largest rooftop bar! From the legends behind Bankstown Sports, Lady Banks is the sophisticated jewel in the crown of the newly developed Flinders Centre. Step out onto the rooftop and enjoy panoramic views of the Sydney skyline with a vista that stretches from the CBD to the Blue Mountains. The bar itself is named for the wife of botanist and Bankstown namesake, Sir Joseph Banks, and paying tribute to the duo the space has been decked out with lavish greenery and cascading flowers.

They’ll be a selection of wine, beer and classic cocktails but their signature drinks and spirits selection is where they really shine. Try ‘The Usual Suspects’ served in a three-litre crystal dispenser and their signature cocktail aptly-named the Lady Banks with ink gin from Kingscliff Husk Distillery. Or check out the house-blended rum and house-aged spirits. On the food front, expect a fresh, contemporary menu with heavy Middle Eastern influences. Think mezze, massive Tomahawks, woodfired pizzas and local seafood

Flinders Centre, Level 10, 25 Restwell Street, Bankstown

Sydney's Best New Bars: June

Apollonia
Apollonia
Apollonia

The newest underground drinking den to grace the Sydney bar scene is Hinchcliff House's Apollonia. Mysterious and seductive, this is the perfect spot for a post-dinner nightcap. The bar takes its name and inspiration from a character from the movie The Godfather and bills itself as a fictional Sicilian bandit drinking den. With their hitlist of specialty cocktails, cool vibes and extensive drinks list, you will be sure to find your new signature libation.

5-7 Young Street, Sydney

Dean & Nancy on 22 

Cocktails have reached new heights with Dean & Nancy on 22, the new hotel bar at A by Adina brought to you by the all-star team behind Maybe Sammy. With a mid-century minimalist design and glossy, gold-veined marble tables painting the entire bar with a uniquely halcyon haze and furnish the bar with a distinctly Manhattan-esque charm. With immersive and interactive cocktails like the QR-code topped Rip It Up, the Coffee Champagne which comes with a side of hand-cream or the rolling a double drink which comes with a pair of dice, roll a double and you'll score a champagne upgrade! This is an unmissable new spot 

Level 22, A by Adina Hotel, 2 Hunter Street, Sydney 

Sydney's Best New Bars: May

Re-
Re-
Re-

Introducing Re-, a pioneering bar in Eveleigh from hospitality heavyweights Matt Whiley (Scout) and Maurice Terzini (Icebergs Dining Room; CicciaBella), that’s made waves the world over. Housed in a beautifully restored former locomotive workshop, Re- is the world’s first permanent no-waste bar. And they're practicing what they preach! Their central bar and terrazzo table are made from Re-Plas recycled bottles and Tupperware and their stairs and structural features are all made from recycled plastic bags and milk bottles.

On the drink front things start with a twist on the classics like a martini with white truffle and an olive leave. Their inventive signature cocktail list uses salvaged produce from local markets. The Wimbledon Gimlet – riffing on strawberries and cream – rejected strawberries are pickled with vodka and serves with a milk wine cordial, a banana-skin-based syrup forms the base of the BP+B Old Fashioned with peanut butter and burnt butter, salvaged mushrooms make an umami-base for Play That Funghi Music – a twist on the Manhattan featuring blackcurrant-leaf vermouth, honey dashi and ant tamari. The crew joining Whiley behind the bar including Evan Stroeve (Bulletin Place), Jake Downe (This Must Be The Place; Scout London) and Ho Song (Cantina OK; PS40), will have license to work creatively on the ‘Re-search’ menu which features rotating drinks specials that each play on a set theme.

The food menu - overseen by Icebergs head chef, Alex Pritchard – is focused on sustainable snacks. Think puffed beef tendons, bug tamales and eggplant ceviche with salvaged padron peppers or air-fried corn ribs with miso butter. The hero of the menu however is set to be ‘Egg & Chips’ a decadent mix of ‘nduja and salt-and-vinegar chips with a delectably runny 63-degree egg. 

Shop 8, 2 Locomotive Street, Eveleigh

Ikaria

As you’d expect for a place that’s located in Bondi beach and named after a Greek Island, Ikaria is absolutely beautiful. With Mediterranean Mezze and delicious drinks Ikaria is the perfect spot for your next dinner with friends. A neutral toned wonderland with arches and stunning views, this place is our favourite alternative to a Grecian holiday. With share mezze plates and a $69 per person set menu that features dips, saganaki, calamari and keftedes. Their signature cocktails are downright mouth-watering. Make sure you try their baklava ramos with gin, baklava syrup, yoghurt, aquafaba and lemon or Ikaria martini made with olive gin, rosemary & thyme vermouth and garnished with a fetta stuffed olive.

70B Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach

Lorraine's
Lorraine's
Lorraine’s

A brand new European bistro, Lorraine’s has opened above the iconic Robin Hood Hotel in Waverly. Having just received a serious upgrade courtesy of a multi-million-dollar renovation and a new menu from Michelin trained chef, Clement Marchais (previously Executive Chef at Peppe’s Bondi) – Lorraine’s is set to be the new go-to spot. Sit below the stunning glass-atrium roof and check out the new menu designed for casual grazing and showcasing local ingredients. Making use of an on-site custom-built charcoal grill standout dishes include charred octopus with harissa and potato aioli, and chargrill chicken vadouvan with creamy smoked labneh. To wash it all down, diners will have access to the luxury 200 bottle strong wine room and an extensive cocktail list. For a truly showstopping tipple, you can't look past Lorraine's Blaze, two fingers of whiskey, grand mariner, cinnamon, chocolate bitters, it's served blazing with a twist! Plus it’s licensed until 2am so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy everything Lorraine's has to offer.

203 Bronte Road, Waverley

Diana
Diana
Diana

A karaoke joint that refuses to play Horses? Colour us intrigued! Potts Point is known for its bustling foodie scene but with the addition of Diana, a Korean-Chinese food spot and karaoke joint. From the team behind Mr Lim – which is the heart and soul of Orange’s nightlife – Diana, their new sister venue, has taken up residence on Macleay Street. Far from being a small backroom affair, at Diana, karaoke takes centre stage. Singers take to the stage to one-by-one, group-by-group bring the house down with their unique musical stylings (just as long as they’re not singing Horses. We’re serious, that’s the one song, owner Sammy Jeon refuses to play!)

 It’s not just the singing at Diana that’s show stopping, the menu from fresh sashimi, honey-braised pork buns, Korean fried chicken and steak salad is simply delicious. And, as you'd expect from a restaurant with root in Orange, their wine list is pretty legendary and packed with drops from the region's best wineries.

1/28 Macleay Street, Potts Point

Sinaloa (Image Credit: Jude Cohen)
Sinaloa (Image Credit: Jude Cohen)
Sinaloa

In the heart of Double Bay, in the former Mrs Sippy site, is a brand new venue bringing coastal Mexican vibes to the eastern suburbs. Sinaloa, named after the Mexican state known for their exotic cooking and coastal charm, has brought a welcome flair to Double Bay. Walking through the doors of Sinaloa, you’re met with a stucco pink paradise with a rounded roof covered in traditional art. There’s a Hacienda style courtyard bar covered in Talavera ceramic tyles with a water feature and organic flowers. The courtyard kicks off on Friday and Saturday nights with a resident DJ spinning proper hits from disco to house music. For some quiet you can head into the lounge area with soft lighting, linen and a striking mural. 

On the food front, Executive Chef Axell Torres Villa is serving up a Mexican street food inspired menu with native ingredients. Think punchy scallop aguachile, a spicy ceviche with cucumber, karkalla, Davidson plum and kelp as well as a rich and saucy Wagyu Birra, slow-cooked Sinaloa style. Aiming to educate Australians on the depth and diversity of Mexican spirits, Sinaloa is fully stocked with over 100 tequilas and mezcals. On the cocktail front our favourite would have to be the ‘Hermano Loco’, a smooth and smoky twist on the Negroni sprinkled with subtle notes of Mezcal paired with agave, rosemary and dehydrated orange. 

37 Bay Street, Double Bay

Best New Bars: April

Sammy Junior
Sammy Junior
Sammy Junior

Get ready for something new! Sammy Junior, the little sibling to the iconic cocktail bar Maybe Sammy, have recently opened their gold-gilded doors in the CBD. Dedicated to the two liquids that make life worth living, Sammy Junior is an espresso and cocktail bar. The only venue in Sydney to exclusively serve mini – junior-sized – cocktails, Sammy Junior is sure to make waves and for all the right reasons.

In the AM, they offer coffee made with a bespoke Spiritual Coffee blend created by Spiritual Coffee founder, Sammy Junior co-owner and all-round coffee connoisseur Martin Hudak. You can also expect a breakfast and lunch menu curated by Blackwood Pantry’s Rob Lechowicz and Sonoma pastries. You can enjoy your treats inside the 50-seat pistachio-hued eatery or on-the-go.

 Come afternoon, you can score $2 Sydney rock oysters from 3pm every Thursday and Friday plus their standard aperitivo plates which are the perfect accompaniment for Sammy Junior's tiny tipples. With six junior-sized 100mL cocktails available you can sip on everything from coffee negronis to cascara fizz, Irish coffee, spritzes and martinis. Or grab yourself a half bottle of wine – the world’s your oyster!

66 King Street, Sydney CBD

P&V Merchants Paddington Wine + Liquor
P&V Merchants Paddington Wine + Liquor
P&V Merchants Paddington Wine + Liquor Merchants

Popular wine and liquor merchants P&V have opened a second store in Paddington. Expect all the good stuff from the OG Newtown locale you have come to love, along with a big events schedule. Shop their drops to take home, or pull up a chair and pair your newest buy with their delicious snacks. We'll see you at the bar!

268 Oxford Street, Paddington

Oppil
Oppil
OPPIL

This innovative new bar is all about a newly developed grape-infused spirit, and we're here for it! Colin Dahl, founder, chief product scientist of OPPIL and Director of research at Australian Sciences, was researching a cure for rosacea. Dahl researched antioxidants, thinking that their many different health benefits could potentially hold an answer. While his antioxidant research did not help with rosacea, it did bring the idea of a way to develop a healthy wine. 

Through research and development, Australian Sciences produced a healthier wine that was higher in antioxidants and produced less negative hangover symptoms - and thus, OPPIL was born. By the end of 2020, they had started infusing hard spirits with the highest quality red grape antioxidants. To taste the difference yourself, you can now head down to their first flagship bar in Newtown. 

169 King Street, Newtown

Burdekin Rooftop (Photo credit: Billy Zammit)
Burdekin Rooftop (Photo credit: Billy Zammit)
Burdekin Rooftop

The latest rooftop to join the Sydney skyline sits pretty high above Oxford Street. The Burdekin Rooftop provides the coolest spot to sip a spritz on a Sunday, or take a dance break on a Saturday night. Make the most of the fresh air by heading over for post-brunch drinks, or kick start your night at sunset on the rooftop.

2-4 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

Best New Bars in Sydney: March

Pistou
Pistou
Pistou

An exciting new eat-in deli and wine bar has landed in Newtown’s South. Just a short stroll from St. Peter’s station, Pistou is an intimate French/Mediterranean deli-wine bar hybrid. Former Glorietta Head Chef Katie Morris has curated a regularly changing selection of quaint cheeses, delectable charcuterie, freshly made dips, and assortments of sandwiches that are available from the takeaway bar throughout the day. The weekly changing dine-in menu focusses on seasonality and sustainability and also includes a concise selection of small plates made to enjoy right there and then with more hot dishes being added to the menu in the coming weeks.

601 King Street, Newtown

Elm Rooftop Bar
Elm Rooftop Bar
Elm Rooftop Bar

Whisked through a series of old-world staircases overlooking Darlinghurst’s bustling core, Elm Rooftop Bar has finally opened its doors with a refreshed industrial look for city dwellers near and far.

In this highly sought-after part of town, perched above The Taphouse, Elm Rooftop Bar offers an intimate alfresco escape with an outlook of Centennial Parklands, Flinders Street and Darlo’s lush green treetops. Flowing drinks, climbing ivy wall vines, festoon lighting and leafy palms will set the mood for laid back afternoon drinks. Rain, hail or shine, a retractable awning promises that the rooftop is ready for all seasons.

Level 2, 122 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst

Best New Bars in Sydney: February

The Mill Bondi
The Mill Bondi
The Mill Bondi

Opening late last year, this is one place to put on your radar for 2021. The Mill Bondi is an upscale pub that does the classics well, and provides a stylish hangout spot for locals. We suggest grabbing your friends and booking in a catch up at The Mill on a Sunday to make the most of their delicious Sunday roast.

59B Oxford Street, Bondi Junction

The Big Bake
The Big Bake
The Big Bake

This month, The Big Bake will open its doors to Sydneysiders, launching boozy baking classes; a city first. Get your aprons and piping bags ready and your mates together for the ultimate bake-off. If you love Cake Wars, Masterchef and Sugar Rush, now is your chance to feature in your own baking competition. With a complimentary glass of bubbles on arrival and a bar shaking up some tasty cocktails, creativity will be flowing, along with the drinks.

Shop MG23, 60 Margaret Street, Sydney

Best New Bars in Sydney: January

Cartel

For South American fare and tequila-infused drinks, look no further than Chippendale's Cartel. Vibrant in look and feel, this bar and eatery is wowing patrons with its fun and inventive food and drink offerings. From margarita tasting paddles, towers and trees, to moreish empanadas and churros, your average dinner will transform into a fiesta.

2 Kensington Street, Chippendale

Harbord Hotel

This Freshwater icon has unveiled its highly-anticipated refurbishment, and the locals are loving it! Located just moments away from the beach, the iconic Harbord Hotel encapsulates Freshwater’s rich history and young spirit, offering a laidback haven for Freshie locals. 

29 Moore Road, Freshwater

Arms Length
Arms Length
Arms Length

Opening on the bustling corner of Bourke and Cleveland Streets in Redfern, this appropriately named local neighbourhood bar and restaurant serves up modern Aus fare. With plates of delicious produce done simply with maximum flavour, and killer wines, spirits and brews to match, Arms Length provides the perfect locale for sundowners. 

648 Bourke Street, Redfern

Sopra
Sopra
Sopra

Located in charming Potts Point, Sopra provides a cosy space for patrons to come for cocktails, wine and small eats. A great place to relax with a drink and snacks without having to order full meals, the delicious menu is built around Spanish influences and small tapas-style share plates. Combine this with their extensive wine list and you have got yourself the ultimate aperitivo hour hangout.

Shop 4, 65 Macleay Street, Potts Point

If knowing all about the best new bars in Sydney is your thing, we have just the articles for you to read! From bars with beautiful interiors and rooftop oases, to underground hangouts and romantic  date spots, we've got you covered.