Top ChoiceBar in Newtown & the Inner West

Archie Rose Distilling Co.

This distillery has made quite an impact with its excellent gins – where better to try them than the place itself? The bar is appropriately industrial chic; the mezzanine is a great spot to sit and observe the...

Top ChoiceBar in Circular Quay & The Rocks

Opera Bar

Right on the harbour with the Opera House on one side and the bridge on the other, this perfectly positioned terrace manages a very Sydney marriage of the laid-back and the sophisticated. It's an iconic spot for...

Top ChoiceWine Bar in Surry Hills & Darlinghurst

Love, Tilly Devine

Tilly Devine was a notorious Sydney madam and crime boss in the '30s, and her namesake bar is hidden down a back alley, in true furtive style. The dark, good-looking, split-level bar is compact, but the wine list...

Top ChoicePub in Northern Beaches

The Newport

This legendary northern beaches pub actually overlooks not the ocean but the Pittwater side, with bobbing boats and quiet strands the outlook. It's an absolutely enormous complex, with acres of appealing outdoor...

Top ChoicePub in Kings Cross & Potts Point

Old Fitzroy Hotel

Hidden in the backstreets, this totally unpretentious theatre pub is also a decent old-fashioned boozer in its own right, with a great variety of beers on tap and a convivial welcome. Prop up the bar, grab a seat...

Top ChoiceWine Bar in Newtown & the Inner West

Timbah

Quite a way down Glebe Point Rd is an excellent independent bottle shop; turn right to find the convivial wine bar it runs downstairs. Staff will happily talk you through the select wine list, and operate a...

Top ChoiceBar in City Centre & Haymarket

Frankie's Pizza

Descend the stairs and you'll think you're in a 1970s pizzeria, complete with plastic grapevines, snapshots covering the walls and tasty pizza slices ($6). But open the nondescript door in the corner and an indie...

Top ChoicePub in Circular Quay & The Rocks

Harts Pub

Pouring an excellent range of Sydney craft beers in a quiet corner near the beginning of the Rocks, this historical building has real character. The dishes are quality pub food, with generous salads, fish and...

Top ChoicePub in Circular Quay & The Rocks

Glenmore Hotel

Downstairs it's a predictably nice old Rocks pub with great outdoor seating, but head to the rooftop and the views are beyond fabulous: the Opera House (after the cruise ship leaves), harbour and city skyline are...

Top ChoicePub in Manly

Manly Wharf Hotel

Just along the wharf from the ferry, this remodelled pub is all glass and water vistas, with loads of seating so you've a good chance of grabbing a share of the views. It's a perfect spot for sunny afternoon...

Top ChoicePub in Surry Hills & Darlinghurst

Shakespeare Hotel

The 'Shakey' is a classic Sydney pub (1879) with art nouveau tiled walls, scuzzy carpet, the horses on the TV and cheap bar meals. There are plenty of cosy hidey holes upstairs and a cast of local characters....

Top ChoicePub in Sydney Harbourside

Golden Sheaf

A cracking pub, especially at weekends when it thrums with life all day, this is a real eastern suburbs favourite. The beer garden is among Sydney's best: large, with good wines by the glass, heaters, fairy...

Top ChoicePub in Circular Quay & The Rocks

Hero of Waterloo

Enter this rough-hewn 1843 sandstone pub to meet some locals, chat to the Irish bar staff and grab an earful of the swing, folk and Celtic bands (Friday to Sunday). Downstairs is a dungeon where, in days gone by,...

Top ChoiceCocktail Bar in City Centre & Haymarket

Uncle Ming's

We love the dark romantic opium-den atmosphere of this small bar secreted away in a basement by a shirt shop. It's an atmospheric spot for anything from a quick beer before jumping on a train to a leisurely...

Top ChoiceBar in Surry Hills & Darlinghurst

Wild Rover

Look for the unsigned wide door and enter this supremely cool brick-lined speakeasy. Ask the bar staff to recommend a whisky from the huge range on offer, or pick a craft beer from the menu written on a vintage...

Top ChoicePub in Sydney Harbourside

Watsons Bay Beach Club

One of the great pleasures in life is languoring in the pumping beer garden of the Watsons Bay Hotel, mere metres from the ferry wharf, after a day at the beach. It goes off here at weekends, with a rowdy good...

Top ChoiceBar in Newtown & the Inner West

Earl's Juke Joint

Earl's Juke Joint

Swinging Earl's serves craft beers and killer cocktails to the Newtown hip-erati. It's hidden behind the down-at-heel facade of the Betta Meats butcher's shop it used to be, but once in, you're in downtown New...

Club in City Centre & Haymarket

Ivy

Down a lane off George St, Ivy is the HQ of the all-pervading Merivale Group. It's a fashionable complex of bars, restaurants – and even a swimming pool. It's also Sydney's most hyped venue; expect lengthy queues...

Cafe in Newtown & the Inner West

Parliament on King

Somehow or other this teeny bohemian cafe squeezes in live music, spoken word, life drawing (7pm Thursday, $25) and eclectic events – witchcraft salon anyone? But the big news here is that refugees and asylum...

Pub in City Centre & Haymarket

Duke of Clarence

Duke of Clarence

A fully formed 18th-century English pub, complete with overstuffed armchairs, roaring fireplace and portraits of blue blooded noblemen. The chatty bar staff know a ridiculous amount about whisky and gin, and pull...