With COVID-19 putting a dampener on our foodie plans in 2020, there has still been a slew of venues that have opened amidst lockdown. From intimate wine bars to cosy underground hangouts, we welcome all kind of wondrous new watering holes to Sydney. So, whether you’re after cocktail and a bite or wine with a beautiful view, we've found the best new bars in Sydney. These are the drinking spots your 2021 calendar is crying out for.
For one Saturday in November, Bondi Beach Public Bar will turn into Motel Mexicola for the day, with a celebration of everything that has made Mexicola the most famous bar and restaurant in Bali. The tastes, sights and sounds of Mexicola - the margaritas, tacos, tostadas and even the famous soundtrack are making the trip to Bondi Beach
Join in on the fun of Mexicola and be transported to Bali for the day with endless food, drinks, music and entertainment program across two free-flowing sessions. We'll see you at the bar!
Saturday 14th November, 12pm & 2pm
$75 per person (Bookings essential)
180 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
Bringing some much-needed life back into the once bright lights of Kings Cross, Kings Cross Distillery has opened its doors to the public, as Sydney’s weather heats up and more and more Sydneysiders embrace nights out on the town, once again. Sydney’s highly anticipated cocktail bar is a new hidden gem of Potts Point, located between the trendy Macleay Street and the chic laneway of Llankelly Place.
Guests can enjoy small plates with a Mediterranean vibe and their cocktail menu boasts an array of fabulous refreshing beverages. From the Impeachment with smokey peach flavours that burst out of the bubble on top of the cocktail as you take the first sip, to the Sin and Tonique, a deliciously sinful floral gin and tonic, there are many delicious libations to sample.
Shop 8, Ground Floor/127-133 MacLeay Street, Potts Point
Forrester's (Photo credit: Yasmin Mund)
The iconic Sydney pub Forrester’s has reopened! Forrester’s, which has been proudly serving the Surry Hills neighbourhood for almost 100 years, was acquired by leading Sydney hospitality group Applejack and underwent an extensive $1.5 million dollar renovation. Reopening with a fresh ‘new look’ and introducing three new drinking and dining spaces – Phylli’s restaurant, a public bar and an upstairs entertainment and dining space, there is much to explore at the new Forrester's.
336 Riley Street, Surry Hills
Best New Bars in Sydney: October
Four Pillars Laboratory (Photo credit: Anson Smart)
Melbourne-based gin distillery Four Pillars has now opened a Surry Hills outpost. Whether you're after a unique, one-of-a-kind hib experience like their gin masterclass or a quiet drink in Eileen's Bar paired with some Made From Gin snacks, gin-lovers now have a juniper sanctuary to call their own.
410 Crown Street, Surry Hills
The first Cognac-focussed small bar in Sydney’s North Shore, Hendriks Cognac & Wine boasts more than 30 of the best Cognacs in the world, 24 cocktails including 14 Cognac-based and an international wine list of just over 100 bottles. This cosy drinking den will be a welcome addition for wine-loving locals, Cognac quaffers and cocktail enthusiasts.
5/29 Holtermann Street, Crows Nest
Sitting pretty on Level 83 of the iconic Sydney Tower, this retro-futuristic watering hole takes its style cues from The Jetsons.Modern, sleek and chic, Bar 83 is all about the sky-high views, beautiful interiors and bold cocktails. We can't wait to take a sip when they open their doors on Friday 25th September.
Westfield Sydney (Located between Pitt & Castlereagh Streets, entry via Level 4 Westfield Sydney)
Western Australian-based Gage Roads Brewing Co have opened their doors in Redfern, incorporating a microbrewery, co-working space and Thai-inspired restaurant. Atomic Beer Project is a brewpub at heart. All beers are brewed fresh on-site, with the brewery’s core range sitting alongside a rotation of limited release, seasonal and experimental brews. Beer is front and centre of this Redfern venue, with brewing taking place in full view of the bar and restaurant.
Housed in a renovated mid-century warehouse in the heart of Redfern, Atomic Beer Project draws on the creativity and progression of the area. Careful consideration has been taken to ensure Redfern and its history is reflected throughout the brewery. Inspired by the local community, Atomic Beer Project’s renovation has retained the stories and scars of the building’s previous custodians.
158 Regent Street, Redfern
The new neighbourhood hangout made for good drinks and good times, The Sailor is fast-becoming a favourite amongst locals. This Northbridge bar is the perfect place to stop in for a mid-week bite or long Sunday lunch, with its menu of upscale pub classics. And gin lovers will be in uniper heaven with their range of local and international spirits.
128 Sailors Bay Road, Northbridge
Best New Bars in Sydney: March
Newly opened bar, The Big Easy, is bringing a generous serve of New Orleans-inspired charm to Darlinghurst’s buzzing food and drink scene. The bar, with its pared-back, chilled-out atmosphere, boasts an impressive cocktail, beer and wine list, not to mention a Cajun- and Creole-inspired food menu that adds a touch of spice to Sydney’s Inner-City nightlife. Be sure to sip on the gin-infused Hand Grenade #2 and snack on the seared Riverina angus skirt steak.
77 Stanley Street, Darlinghurst
One of the best new bars in Sydney and the latest venture from internationally acclaimed mixologist Grant Collins, transports revellers to the back streets of Shinjuku, Japan. Uber cool and teeny tiny, Blossom Bar is equal parts stylish and intimate. Serving up micro Japanese cocktails, Grant has looked to Japanese botanicals, shochu, sake and whiskey to create his impressive drinks menu. Plus, for anyone feeling peckish, there’s sushi, sashimi and Japanese bites to nibble on while you sip.
24 Kensington Street, Chippendale
Affectionately known as ‘The Longy’, the iconic Lane Cove gastro pub has had a slick new makeover. The locals’ watering hole is delivering serious Palm Springs vibes; from the pastel hues and wooden furnishings, to the lively art adorned walls and greenery laden courtyard. This has Sunday session written all over it. There’s also a delicious new menu to try, but rest assured, you’ll still find all the same pub faves, together with a dedicated ‘schnitty’ menu, offering six different variations. Yum.
80 Longueville Road, Lane Cove
To encourage Sydneysiders to engage in kindness (to themselves and to others), The Botanist will host a month-long ‘CEDER’S POP-UP’ bar in support #MindfulMarch. Transforming the neighbourhood restaurant and bar into a retreat for rest and reflection, expect an Insta-worthy floral installation designed by Sydney's Lower North Shore, The Ivy League, healthy cocktail specials, free massages and mindful tips.
1st – 31st March
17 Willoughby Street, Kirribilli
Best New Bars in Sydney: February
Bar Totti’s, the spirited younger brother to the much-loved Bondi local, has opened at Sydney’s ivy. Simple and stripped-back in design, with white-washed walls and natural timbers. The venue is split into two spaces, each with their own pace. The first centres around an expansive horseshoe bar, with high-top tables and a DJ playing Wednesday-Sunday, while the second opens onto George Street, with big windows that drench the space in natural light.
Like Bondi, the menu is built around the famed wood-fired bread, but this time the focus is entirely on house-made antipasti and snacks to match the vivacity of the bar. Drinks are simple, retro-Italian-inspired favourites, building on the classic and seasonal drinks of Bondi with a greater focus on spritzes and after-dinner cocktails for the city. Negroni, anyone?
ivy, Shop 4/330 George Street, Sydney
Glitz, glamour, extravagance, oh my! Roaring into Darlinghurst bar scene, The Cat’s Meow is helping Sydney rediscover its flamboyance and elegance. Not just your average bar, this cocktail and Champagne haven is adorned in Art Deco furnishings, opulent artwork and moody blues, it's just like stepping into the pages of The Great Gatsby.
52 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
Coogee Pavilion’s middle floor, that has been five years in the making, has opened with three new venues, making it one of the best new bars in Sydney. Will’s, the Euro-style cocktail bar, transports revellers to another world; a space that exudes charm with lively energy and a bon vivant attitude to drinking. There is a distinctly European feel to the menu, bringing together classic flavours from the Italian coast, with refreshing influences from Coogee.
Level 1, 169 Dolphin Street, Coogee
Kogarah Clubhouse, formerly known as Kogarah RSL Club, has unveiled a new look following a long-anticipated redevelopment, and has solidified itself as a new drinking, dining and social hub. Comprised of three, contemporary venues – The Pearl Asian Eating House, Blake Street Kitchen and a revived Clubhouse Bar – Kogarah Clubhouse now serves as a destination venue offering entertainment and dining options for locals and visitors alike.
252 Railway Parade, Kogarah
Best New Bars in Sydney: January
Sydney hotspot Cruise Bar has had a massive makeover and now includes a stunning event space – The Rooftop at Cruise; set to become one of the best new bars in Sydney. Matching the iconic backdrop with old school Hollywood opulence and an air of exclusivity to this already beautiful venue. With panoramic views of the city skyline, Sydney Harbour and Opera House, the 400-person space boasts a beautiful setting for your events, a multipurpose layout and endless possibilities.
Level 3, Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay W, The Rocks
The other bar opening on Coogee Pavilion’s middle floor, Una Más, is a local wine and tapas bar with a Mediterranean soul. A place where locals can walk off the beach and stop by for a quick bite or get lost for a few hours. The menu is uncomplicated and recognisable, with influences from both Spain and Australia –freshly shucked oysters and eating plancha style.
Level 1, 169 Dolphin Street, Coogee
In the backstreets of Woolloomooloo, The Old Fitzroy is steeped in history. Affectionately known as ‘The Fitz,’ the pub has been around for over 100 years and has changed hands. Australia’s only pub theatre, which seats 60 people, not much has changed to this beloved pub (minus the carpeting and dining room). Expect all the things you love about a classic pub, good brews on tap and gourmet pub meals by an open fire.
129 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo