Small bars

Highlights

Discover a world of flavours in sassy small bars in Sydney, from the Baxter Inn’s myriad whiskies to the Power Keg’s smoking gin delight. Sit in the comfortable surrounds of ageing whisky barrels at Archie Rose, or enjoy the delights of 121BC's fine wines in an intimate communal table setting. 

  • Archie Rose Distillery, Sydney - Image Anna Kucera
  • 121 BC Enoteca, Image James Horan

Discover Sydney's small bar scene

In laneways, basements, backstreets and even beneath a carpark is an electrifying bar scene. These small bars tailor to every taste. Enjoy whisky, bourbon and gin joints and nooks specialising in mixology, fine wines and handcrafted beers. You can savour small plates of delicious food, too.

You’ll discover 360 premium whiskies at The Baxter Inn, in a laneway off the Clarence Street in the city centre. Tucked away on Sussex Lane is the Shirt Bar, where you can buy handsome shirts and enjoy moreish single malts. Stich Bar is in a basement behind a tailor shop on bustling York Street.

Archie Rose Distilling Co - Rosebery

Near the Sydney Opera House is Bulletin Place, a cocktail bar on the first floor of a heritage building. A short train ride from the city centre are neighbouring Kings Cross, Potts Point and Darlinghurst and hip bars such as Powder Keg, the Roosevelt, Eau de Vie and Shady Pines Saloon, to name just a few.

A great way to explore the boltholes, hidden laneways and unmarked doors is with Ketel One Bar Tours. You’ll find more intimate bars in Surry Hills, such as 121 BC, Vasco and Button Bar. In a Paddington basement on Oxford Street is Charlie Parker’s, where local botanicals are in the mix.

In Alexandria you will find Archie Rose, a small comfortable bar housed within the distillery. Relax with a drink by a wall of ageing whisky barrels. If you would like an in-depth guided tour of the distilling process, you can join one of the detailed tours held many times a week. 

  1. Bulletin Place

    Located one block up from Circular Quay, Bulletin Place is causing a cocktail storm with famed bartender Tim Philips from Hemmesphere Cocktail Bar at the helm. Together with industry veterans and business partners...

  2. Button Bar

    After the success of Pocket Bar and Stitch, the owners brand new venture has an underground feeling about it with leather booths and dark nooks and crannies shaped a bit like the galley of a pirate ship...

  3. Eau de Vie

    Voted Australia’s Best Cocktail bar on numerous occasions and continuously ranked amongst the top 50 bars in the world, Eau De Vie is the perfect place to host a sophisticated cocktail party for your friends or...

  4. Love, Tilly Devine

    The darling of Darlinghurst, Love, Tilly Devine is named after one of the most diabolical female criminals in Sydney's history. Boasting the witty spirit of its madam, this hip wine bar offers a stellar wine...

  5. Old Growler

    Enter from busy William Street and descend into a world of soft warm lights, local craft beers, seasonal food and cool beats.The Old Growler Alehouse and Eatery will impress you its inventive menu and craft beers as...

  6. Pocket Bar

    Pocket Bar is one of the original small bars in Sydney. It's a cosy underground hole-in-the-wall kind of bar in downtown Darlinghurst, serving signature cocktails and crepes seven days a week until midnight. They...

  7. Red Lily Cocktail Bar

    Red Lily is an exclusive little bar tucked away in a quiet Darlinghurst backstreet, on Crown Lane. Positioned behind Luke Nguyen's Red Lantern on Riley, Red Lily is a trendy nook to either have a drink whilst waiting...

  8. The Roosevelt

    Tucked away on a side street in Potts Point is The Roosevelt, a glamorous dining destination for Sydney's beautiful people. Owned by Sydney bar baron Sven Almenning, who also owns cocktail bar Eau de Vie, and...

  9. The Soda Factory

    Set within the stripped back plaster and stunning industrial brickwork of a beautifully preserved building, The Soda Factory delivers a flavour-focused cocktail list with an adventurous streak, including nostalgic...

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