With the city’s hospitality scene constantly evolving at break-neck pace, keeping up with the best new bars in Sydney is a tough gig. The reliable classics are almost too magnetic to break away from, and established venues like Maybe Sammy, Cantina OK!, and The Baxter Inn take care of the city just fine without newbies pushing through. But not paying attention to those fresh up-and-comers would be a mistake.
From what is now Australia’s smallest spritz bar to the world’s most sustainable drinking experience, these are the necessary evolutions of Sydney’s bar scene you’re going to need to be across for your next bar crawl.
We’ve already directed you to the best new restaurants in Sydney to dine at in 2021, and guided you through the city’s finest when it comes to Japanese, Mexican, Steak, and even Turkish. Now make sure you know where to go for a late-night tipple when you’re feeling like a change of scenery.
Our Favourite New Bars In Sydney
Driven by the former Head Sommelier for the (former) Rockpool Dining Group, Raphael Mulligan, Vini Divini is a Mediterranean-style paradise for wine lovers. Not that Sydney CBD has any shortage of European-inspired wine bars of course, but the density doesn’t at all diminish what Vini Divini has brought to the scene. That would be over 1,000 bottles from 10 different countries, including Turkey, Georgia, and Greece, complemented by small mezze like a signature baba ganoush, beetroot-marinated artichokes with toasted almonds, and slow-cooked lamb shoulder with fregola salad and caramelised apple. For wine lovers, it’s one of the best new bars in Sydney. Of that there is little doubt.
Address: 60 Carrington Street, Sydney
Contact: 0477 033 811
A highly-anticipated Maybe Sammy spin-off from the team behind what is now considered one of the best bars in the world. Not bad. The pedigree that sits behind new CBD cocktail bar (and café-by-morning) Sammy Junior obviously comes with some fairly high standards. And the team here smash through that raised bar with beautifully balanced signature cocktails, like an addictively sweet coffee negroni, a lemon myrtle martini, and an Irish coffee.
There are only six cocktails on offer here, four of which are on tap, and all of them are served exclusively as “junior” versions of classic tipples – 100ml and $13 each. The same approach spills over to the European-leaning wine list, which has a handful of Champagne, white, red and new-world wines served by the half bottle.
Address: 66 King St, Sydney NSW 2000
Right now, Re just might be the most unique cocktail bar in the world. Opened in the ongoing South Eveleigh precinct by Matt Whiley, best known as the brains behind London’s iconic Scout bar, as well as Iceberg’s Maurice Terzini, it’s best described as a “regenerative drinking experience”.
The bar is hinged on the idea of the circular economy, focusing on zero waste in every respect of the typical bar experience, from the materials and light fittings, to the wine coolers (made from mycelium) and, of course, the drinks, which have been designed around surplus produce.
Don’t think you’ll need to make compromises though – the menu hosts the likes of a martini with white truffle and olive leaf, a full spritz selection using rescued ingredients, a rockmelon margarita, and a peanut butter & burnt old fashioned, where the syrup has been made from the base of banana skins. Not only is it one of the best new bars in Sydney, it’s a redefinition of the modern bar.
Address: Shop 8/2 Locomotive Street, Eveleigh
Contact: (02) 8377 1877
Of course Crown Sydney is ambitious enough to hide a whisky bar in that immense Barangaroo building. They’ve already managed to nab the renowned Nobu brand, Ross Lusted for Woodcut, and a supreme Italian restaurant called a’Mare. Plus, they’ve managed to build one of Sydney’s most luxurious hotels to date.
But its the 26th floor Neat Peat that is the tower’s greatest space thus far, and most secluded. It’s a classic whisky and cigar bar, although good luck getting in. This members-only bar is as exclusive as they come, and you’ll have to be fairly well connected to get a spot. And while it’s definitely one of the best new bars in Sydney, it’s just unfortunately not everyone.
Address: 1 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo
With Neat Peat taking care of the more exclusive clientele, CIRQ is a public rooftop terrace bar that makes full use of the tower’s lofty views. By day, it’s a bright and buzzy spot for a long cocktail session, and by night its a dynamic lounge bar brimming with fine wine. The mix of indoor and outdoor spaces certainly adds to the bar’s cool factor, taking those views even further with prime vistas stretching out to the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Address: Crown Sydney, Level 26/1 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo
Contact: (02) 8871 7171
Sydney’s ambitious four-level conversion project, Hinchcliff House, is finally being revealed. The heritage-listed former wool store has been turned into a multi-faceted drinking and dining experience, and the first space to open is the basement-level Apollonia.
Located in the new Quay Quarter of Circular Quay, this subterranean cocktail den is packed full of history and takes on a fictionalised Sicilian gangster narrative, mainly driven by unique twists on classic Italian recipes. All the pineapple negronis and tiramisu milk punches should be more than enough to position Apollonia as one of the best new bars Sydney has to offer.
Address: 5-7 Young St Basement Level, Sydney
Contact: (02) 7228 1400
The team behind Bulletin Place have opened what is now Australia’s smallest spritz bar at the foot of their popular CBD venue. Teaming up with the bar’s namesake German vermouth brand, the fun-sized addition to the building, with space to just thirty patrons, is a much-needed visit to Berlin’s renowned small bar culture, where tiny hidden bars are as common as larger than life nightclubs.
For such a ridiculously small bar, the selection of drinks at Belsazar Place is surprisingly comprehensive. Think bold cocktails like seasonally changing spritzes, regional wines from Baden-Württemberg vineyards in Germany, and fruit brandies infused with native herbs. Pair that up with some German influenced snacks like pretzels with onion dip, and smoked curry almonds, and you’ve got yourself one of the most interesting bars Sydney has ever seen.
Address: 10-14 Bulletin Place, Sydney
Bar Suze is an intimate new bar primarily designed for those who like their fine wines, paired up with fresh Australian seafood and a heavy Scandinavian influence. That house-made apple wine is a definite go’er here, but it pays to take the time to explore the team’s menu. It was, after all, curated by three of the brightest and most dependable minds in the city’s hospitality scene – Gregory Bampton, Phil Stenvall and Brenton Hassan.
The trio have been responsible for some of the Sydney’s greatest hits, including Pinbone, ACME, and Johnny Fishbone. So when they tell you to pair this Italian wine or that French drop with some smoked prawns (served with saffron aioli) or anchovy rye toast, you would be wise to listen.
Address: Shop 1, 54 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills
Contact: 0431 180 389
The tea-infused Old Fashioned at Newtown’s Oppil should be stealing the show for this new bar, but it’s an interesting “high antioxidant wine” that’s been getting all the praise. Sydney scientist, and bar founder, Colin Dahl claims to have produced a wine that’s virtually hangover-free. The drop in question, infused with high concentrations of antioxidants extracted from grapes, is certainly going to be divisive. But it’s worth trying regardless. Those antioxidants help neutralise the usual acetaldehydes drinks usually promote in the body, theoretically reducing the effects of a hangover before they can even start to metabolise.
Address: 169 King St, Newtown
Contact: 0423 926 310
The Best New Bars In Sydney – Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best bars in Sydney?
Some of the best bars in Sydney include The Baxter Inn, Cantina OK!, Maybe Sammy, and Bulletin Place.
What is the best whisky bar in Sydney?
The Baxter Inn is widely considered the best whisky bar in Sydney, and has been for a long time. Others include The Wild Rover, J&M, and Tokyo Bird.
Where can I find the best new bar in Sydney?
A lot of buzz is surrounding Sammy Junior and Bar Suze, but the incredible effort that has gone into Re makes it the best Sydney bar to open in 2021.