When the sun's shining on a Sunday, it’s un-Australian not to make the most of it. We may be a bit biased, but when it comes to Sunday sessions, Sydney has it covered. A ritual that marks the end of the week in the best way possible: getting outside and soaking up the glorious weather, be it by the beach, in a beer garden, or on a rooftop.
So to help you round off the week in style, we bring you the best bars in Sydney for an all-out Sunday session, so there’s nothing standing in between you and a spritz. Apart from Monday morning, of course.
LOWER NORTH SHORE
With the help of charming live acoustic performances from 3pm-6pm, every Sunday at the Pier is a pleasure from start to finish. Located on the harbour foreshore, the pub has views stretching all the way to Cockatoo Island. To wind up the week, it puts on an excellent Sunday roast along with its usual menu of pub classics. The pork belly and crackling with pumpkin mash and apple purée is our pick.
2 Gale Street, Woolwich
A bowls club with a twist. This neighbourhood bowling club is perfect for brunching as well as Sunday drinking. A café-slash-bar-slash-bowling club, with a garden party like feel, why not lock in a sunset bowl sesh while grooving to the live tunes.
50 Ridge Street, North Sydney
Mosman’s The Fernery is a cool hangout with sweeping views of Sydney Harbour. Boasting a rooftop garden and a rosé bar, guests are spoilt for choice when entering the green oasis. Rosé (obviously) takes centre stage here and if you get there in time for sunset, you are in for a real treat!
719 Military Road, Mosman
The Botanist, as expected, goes all out on the botanical theme from the indoor plants and wallpaper, to artwork and gin selection. A hangout that’s famous for its creative cocktails and classic eats – think gourmet sliders, pizzas, tacos, and share plates – The Botanist's lush and quirky interiors attract a relaxed crowd. The best bit? From 2pm on the first and last Sundays of the month, you can kick back to the smooth acoustic sounds like sipping on generously discounted sangria jugs. Perfection.
17 Willoughby Street, Kirribilli
The Newport is a seaside spot that makes every Sunday a funday. Set on the shore of Pittwater, the Hamptons-style venue is huge, with a range of indoor and outdoor bars, a retro games area (ping pong, anyone?), and plenty of space to bask in the sun. As for food, there’s a rotisserie, wood-fired pizzeria, burger shack, and of course, a seafood restaurant serving up prawns by the bucket. Every second Sunday between 12pm-2pm, the Reptile Man is on hand to keep the kids entertained with lizards, snakes and cold-blooded creatures.
2 Kalinya Street, Newport
When you’re in the mood for a Sunday session, Manly Wharf Hotel has got you covered all year-round. But, it shines brightest in summer. Come straight from the beach and feast on salads, burgers, seafood or roasted chicken, while sipping on an Aperol spritz and taking in the beautiful harbour views.
East Esplanade, Manly Wharf
A lush rooftop bar and eatery, Manly Greenhouse is a three-storey beachside destination which boasts the best views going around. On the shores of Manly Beach, it has three distinct levels: all-day dining at the Greenhouse, elevated eats at the Grill, and a bar on the Rooftop. Every Sunday from 12pm, head straight to the rooftop bar for their Studio Sundays shindig. Decked out with a canopy of hanging ferns, glass paneling and artwork, you will spend the afternoon sipping on $10 Bombay Spritzes while dancing to the DJ beats.
36/38 South Steyne, Manly
Located within Manly stalwart The Steyne, Glasshouse, is a rooftop gin and tonic bar high above The Corso. Bright, airy and floral, the venue is fitted out with wood furnishings and oversized windows, allowing maximum afternoon light to stream in. For those who love their gin, the wide selection of spirits and tonics, and the complete freedom to customise your own G&T makes The Glasshouse the perfect Sunday arvo hangout.
75 The Corso, Manly
When Sunday rolls around, head up to one of the city’s best beachside bars, for Beach Club Sundays. This local Bondi hotspot is bright and airy, with sweeping views over the beach, great soundtracks, and a vibe that’s as chilled as the rosé. On Sundays a killer lineup of DJs take over The Bucket List, so make sure to get in early to avoid the queue.
Bondi Pavilion- Shop 1, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi Beach
Another Clovelly gem, the ‘Cloey’, as locals affectionately call it, is a sprawling seaside venue with a number of nooks and crannies to explore. Grab a drink from one of the many bars, and try to nab an outdoor table in the sun, so you can enjoy the live music sounds. While you’re there, order a feast from the menu, which features everything from pub grub classics to Middle Eastern delights.
381 Clovelly Road, Clovelly
As soon as the sun peeks out, the eastern suburbs set makes their way to Watsons Bay Hotel, a quintessential Sydney hangout that’s right on the harbour. The aptly-named ‘Beach Club’ is buzzing every Sunday with people sitting under the blue-and-white striped umbrellas, tucking into juicy prawns and sipping sangria and ciders. On Sundays, kids eat free from 5-7pm when dining with adults, and the frosé is $15 everyday.
1 Military Road, Watsons Bay
Bondi is brimming with Sunday sessions, and the gorgeously chic Ravesis is a local favourite. The space is decked out in flamingo pink, with indoor and outdoor spaces all overlooking Bondi Beach. The balcony is where it’s at, so settle in with a colourful cocktail, order some freshly shucked oysters and let the DJ provide the soundtrack. Come 7pm, head downstairs to watch the live band.
118 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
At the Imperial, they do Sundays rather spectacularly. And with an invite labelled "drink, dance, drag and dine.", it's pretty hard to resist temptation. Particularly when they swing open the doors to the fabulous 'Explore Yourself Sundays' – a celebration of diversity, bringing together everything The Imperial is loved for; killer music, live entertainment and damn good times. Entry is free and the party spans across all three levels, with drink specials running from 5pm-7pm.
35 Erskineville Road, Erskineville
A local’s pub, The Vic On Park has an enviable community feel and is synonymous with live music, street art and Sunday sessions. There’s an expansive outdoor courtyard, with a basketball court, which is put to use by patrons and their canine friends. Come Sunday the DJ starts spinning vinyl Carribean, soul, funk and reggae from 3pm, allowing you to groove into Monday.
2 Addison Road, Marrickville
When you want to impress out-of-towners or just remind yourself of just how beautiful this city is, go to Opera Bar. This iconic spot boasts stunning views of the Harbour and surrounds, and attracts just as many locals as it does visitors. And for good reason: views aside, it has live music, an excellent drinks list, plus a raw bar, charcuterie and café serving up food to accompany your alfresco drinks.
Lower Concourse, Sydney Opera House, Macquarie Street, Sydney
Sitting pretty in the middle of the harbour, The Island is a floating, open-air venue that opens for the summertime. Each weekend The Island hosts their Beach Club, transporting revellers to a chic European-style day club on the water. To secure passage to the Beach Club, tickets are $50pp and include return water taxi and welcome drink.
With a prime corner position, Darlo Bar is a retro pub and a much-loved local haunt. Downstairs is strewn with fairy lights and upstairs you’ll find an open-air courtyard with a rooftop garden. Sunday sessions at Darlo Bar are for record appreciated with their weekly Viva La Vinyl event. Expect disco, soul and funk LPs and records spun all afternoon from 3pm. Better still, pool is free and the Bloody Mary's are $16 all day!
306 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst