As summer rolls in we Sydneysiders gravitate outdoors to soak up the rays, revel in the warmth and catch up with friends. The only thing better, is being able to do all of that with a happy hour cocktail jug loitering nearby. We’ve narrowed down our favourite Sydney rooftop bars so you can live out your summer fantasies in style.
Sydney Rooftop Bars: Lower North Shore
For those on the northside, Mosman’s The Fernery is the coolest hangout with sweeping views of Sydney Harbour. Sitting atop the Mosman Club, this hidden gem boasts a rooftop garden, rosé bar and gin room. Guests are spoilt for choice when entering the green oasis but rose (obviously) takes centre stage here, in both the drinks list and food menu. Yes, some food items have been infused with rose – sounds pretty hard to pass up.
719 Military Road, Mosman
Relaxed and family friendly, the Bridgeview Hotel is a North Shore staple. Make your way to their astro-turfed rooftop and enjoy a cold drink from the intimate bar. Their classic pub menu is deliciously simple and very family friendly so the whole brood can enjoy a feed while the sports fans can watch a game on the big TVs in the main bar below.
580 Willoughby Road, Willoughby
The Crows Nest Hotel, or The Crowie, as it's affectionately nicknamed has earnt institution status throughout the years and for good reason. The sun-drenched terrace atop this Lower North Shore multi-level pub provides the perfect setting for Sunday sundowners. Order some posh pub grub, catch the latest match on the big screen and make sure sustain your energy for a big night of dancing (hello, no lockout!)
1 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest
Sydney Rooftop Bars: Northern Beaches
A lush rooftop bar and eatery, Manly Greenhouse is a three-story beachside destination that boasts the best views around. Your eyes, however, will be more drawn to the beautiful fit out, which doesn’t hold back on the whole greenhouse vibe. The alfresco rooftop bar is decked out with a canopy of hanging ferns, glass paneling and illustrations of native plants. The perfect setting for sipping on cocktails whilst watching the crashing ocean waves.
36-38 South Steyne, Manly
Located within Manly stalwart The Steyne is a rooftop bar that soars high above The Corso. Bright, airy and floral, inside you'll find wood furnishings and oversized windows that open onto the long open-air terrace. The drinks menu is big on cocktails and botanicals, and the food comes tapas-style.
75 The Corso, Manly
This Manly Corso pub is the place to be, come summertime. Set over four levels, this party destination provides spectacular views across The Corso and Manly Beach from its gorgeous rooftop garden bar. From mid-afternoon, you can relax on the terrace with rosé in hand, and take in the sights from your lush deck lounge.
71 The Corso, Manly
Sydney Rooftop Bars: Inner West
From colourful beginnings, The Imperial has been a fixture on the Erskineville nightlife scene since 1983. On the top floor, you will find an open-air courtyard that brings a touch of the Riviera (with a dash of camp) to the Erskineville streets. Cocktails and Italian-inspired delights reign supreme, and you better wear your best as you will be sure to run into royalty.
35 Erskineville Rd, Erskineville
Websters Bar has had a brand spanking new refurbishment. This 1950s backyard bar now adorns the rooftop level. Astro turf and pink flamingos meet under umbrellas, strung lights and long wooden tables. Watch the hustle and bustle of King Street as you sip on a cocktail or tuck into delicious share plates and pizzas, which are available at the bar on the floor below.
323 King Street, Newtown
This Newtown institution is revered not only for its excellent hospitality, cocktails, nibbles and all-round good vibes, the tidy little rooftop deck will have you staking out your place early for weekend libations. With a handsome offering of craft beers and wine you’ll be kept well hydrated, and be sure to peruse the cocktail and bites menus for a well-rounded visit.
153A King Street, Newtown
Sydney Rooftop Bars: Eastern Suburbs
On Level 3 of The Light Brigade in Woollahra, you’ll find yourself an open rooftop refuge from which you can bask in a spectacular across Sydney’s city skyline. With woodfired pizzas, share plates and pub classics, you can soak up the atmosphere with an alfresco meal, or keep things simple with a glass of prosecco or a summertime favourite… Frosé.
2A Oxford Street, Woollahra
A beloved local haunt, ‘the pav’ features a wraparound balcony with sensational ocean views. Overflowing with lush greenery, Merivale spared no cost as greenhouse structures, tropical sketches and striped awnings feature throughout. Buzzing on weekends and throughout summer, visitors can expect a full bar and a Mediterranean inspired menu.
169 Dolphin Street, Coogee
Get the best of both worlds at this Double Bay pub, boasting both the innate glam of rooftop real estate and the laidback charm of a former hotel, you’ll likely find yourself here every second weekend. Live DJ sessions will keep the crowds coming throughout the weekend, while the Sunday afternoon vibe is distinctly more ~chill~ and ideally suited to ordering a cheese plate and bottle of rosé to wind down at the end of the weekend.
28 Bay Street, Double Bay
A heritage pub with a beautiful open-air rooftop that has views over the city, the Royal Hotel has broad appeal among Paddington’s stylish locals. The menu focuses on shared plates, pub classics and contemporary seasonal dishes. Get in early to secure a highly sought-after spot on the rooftop at sunset.
237 Glenmore Road, Paddington
As glamorous as the suburb it’s located in, Woollahra Hotel not only has a rooftop bar with a retractable roof, but it also boasts the sophisticated Bistro Moncur, a French-style restaurant. The restaurant is a destination within itself (and for good reason), but the rooftop bar’s resident DJ gets the summer vibe going.
116 Queen Street, Woollahra
Sydney Rooftop Bars: Inner City
Bar Ombré is a breath of fresh air designed for Sydney sunset bliss. Offering a laid-back, intimate bar experience for city dwellers, the sensational rooftop setting, delicious shared-style eats and European inspired cocktails celebrate the best of Italian Aperitivo dining. The greenery adorned space and brightly coloured furniture sets the scene for a perfect golden hour catch up, that rolls into the long night ahead.
Level 3, Gateway Building, Alfred Street, Sydney
Situated atop The Rocks institution The Orient, Mrs Jones is an open-air oasis. Mrs Jones delivers a new-side to this historic venue through its botanic inspired murals, greenery and sundrenched terrace setting.
1 Kendall Lane, The Rocks
Another slick rooftop hangout, at Old Mate’s Place you'll find the best of both worlds: inside – a well-hidden, stately drinking den, and outside –a bright, sun-drenched open-air bar. This two-floor juxtaposed venue serves up a broad range of signature and classics cocktails, along with a rotating menu of unique bar morsels.
Level 4/199 Clarence Street, Sydney
Perched on the third floor of the Republic Hotel is a much-welcomed rooftop bar - Taylors Rooftop Bar. It’s an open-air space with a lush vertical garden. Visit rain, hail or shine with their retractable roof and if you’re feeling peckish they have playful bar menu of pub classics. The cocktail menu is a knockout, so be sure to peruse the options and try something different.
69-73 Pitt Street, Sydney
Pyrmont’s Quarryman’s Hotel caught out attention with its refresh last year and now with their Californian-inspired rooftop bar, we have another reason to visit. The Rooftop is open for business, and it’s a beauty. Inspired by Palm Springs, it’s all pastels, timber floors, plush furnishings and lush greenery, plus a cacti garden on each table (naturally). The cocktail list is excellent too, with lots of tequila – just how we like it.
214-216 Harris Street, Pyrmont
For contemporary Japanese eats and creative cocktails, Slims Rooftop is where it's at. Sitting atop Hyde Park House overlooking the CBD, Slims' is a gastronomic oasis providing Sydneysiders refuge high above the city streets. Open for lunch and dinner throughout the week, make sure to book to avoid missing out.
47-49 William Street, Darlinghurst
Having undergone a complete refurb, East Village has been transformed from a notorious pub in Darlinghurst into a Wine Pub. Yes, you heard us, a pub that specialises in wine – talk about paradise. While the menu had us at hello, it’s the Rooftop Terrace that we are loving. With stunning city skyline views, the Rooftop Terrace offers patrons seasonal cocktails and light bites.
234 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst
Barangaroo House's swanky rooftop watering hole, Smoke, is this foodie precinct's latest sky-high bar. The cocktails are equal parts delicious and creative, from their seasonal G&T to their Japanese spritz. With uninterrupted views of the harbour, this is the only place to come for sunset tipples.
35 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo
This rooftop bar is nestled among the gleaming buildings of Barangaroo, offering a new oasis for you to settle in to come Friday afternoon. Taking a cue from the vibrancy of Australian Tropicana, you’ll be treated to a smart smattering of cocktails – we’re looking at you ‘Flamin Galah’ as you tuck in to share plates, including marinated hanger steak tacos or the buttermilk popcorn chicken.
Level 4, Exchange Place, 400 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo
Surreptitiously situated on the top floor of a nondescript York Street building, The Rook’s rooftop location makes it an instant hideaway from the bustle of the city below. With a strong focus on inventive cocktails and craft beers you’ll always be tempted to try something new. The menu offers snacks, burgers, and whole lobsters to those looking for sustenance before the evening’s shenanigans are through.
Level 7, 56-58 York Street, Sydney
Located on fourth and fifth floors of Hotel Palisade, Henry Deane takes in sweeping views of Sydney Harbour. The plush interiors and equally appealing cocktails make for perfect Instagram fodder.
35 Bettington Street, Millers Point
With a slightly inconspicuous exterior the Local Taphouse is a beer lover’s heaven. With over 20 beers on tap in addition to a wide range of bottled brews, this is the place to bring your mates for a Sunday arvo beverage. The intimate rooftop features long wooden tables, umbrellas and hanging lights. Enjoy the grazing plates and try out some of their beer-paired food options.
122 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst
This Rocks oldie now appeals to a wider demographic with their spruced-up rooftop bar adding a fresh element to the traditional pub interiors on the ground floor. With some of the best harbour views around and a retractable roof, The Glenmore is popular all year round. Their gourmet pub grub will satisfy all cravings and the kids menu, though limited, provides some smaller options.
96 Cumberland Street, The Rocks
Bringing specialty cocktails and an unparalleled panorama view together, the Hyatt Regency Sydney's Zephyr Bar is a must when you’re looking for indulgence. The elegant space is perfectly placed to soak up Sydney’s spectacular summertime sunsets. When you add a glass of Perrier-Jouet, we’ve little doubt you’ll find an excuse to return time and time again.
Hyatt Regency Sydney, Level 12, 161 Sussex Street, Sydney