Eau de Vie is an absolute must for any serious cocktail connoisseur. This tiny speak-easy style bar boasts an impressive collection of antique cocktail accessories which the animated staff will use to whip up your tipple of choice. Or check out the Canadian hunting cabin vibe of Shady Pines Saloon which has some of Sydney's coolest bar tenders.
Discover Sydney's small bar scene
Sydney's bar scene is electrifying. Quirky, classy and full of personality, basement bars and pop-ups are happening all over the city, serving sassy cocktails, wines by the glass from far-flung parts and small-plate foods with the âmade in heaven' brand name.
The blossoming nightlife corridor along Sussex Lane is home to the Shirt Bar, a clubby, leather-padded whisky bar with a fine range of single malts, bourbons and exotic rums and – true to name – handsome shirts. Another work of fine tailoring, Stitch delivers cool cocktails and a dash of skinny-jeans style to the heart of the city centre, from the team responsible for another small-bar success in Darlinghurst's Pocket.
Newcomers to the Sydney bar scene include The Rook, a late night rooftop eatery in York Street that features lobster, burgers and liquor; Vasco on Cleveland Street, named after Italian rock'n'roll legend, Vasco Rossi with banging rock anthems belting out and pile of records filling the space. A small bar in the city centre making big waves is Bulletin Place where the emphasis is on fresh produce for their five featured cocktails on any given night, all based on fruit seasonality. Frankie's Pizza has all the tacky traits of your local Italian with checkerboard floors, fake ivy and cheesy travel shots but, keep walking through the front parlour into the back den, and you'll find a serious bar offering up a speciality of local brews. Hidden behind a hotdog stand in Surry Hills, Soda Factory is a bar and boutique music venue.