Sydney’s Summer Bar Guide

7 January 2016

People flock from every corner of the globe to visit Sydney in Summer, so it would be criminal not to do it justice by visiting the best Sydney bars in summer. Here’s our official Sydney summer bucket list that will appeal to locals and tourists alike.

1. Fort Denison Restaurant, Sydney Harbour

Fort Denison, Sydney

Fort Denison, Sydney


Every Sunday guests jump on a ferry or water taxi and head to Fort Denison Restaurant to spend the afternoon lounging on the outdoor couches sipping cocktails and tucking into lamb sliders, fish tacos, Sydney Rock Oysters, fine cheeses or a charcuterie board. Known as “Sunday Sunsets”, just make sure you stay to watch Sydney’s idyllic cityscape at sunset and soak up resident DJ and saxophonist Zak perform acid jazz and old school R&B in the background.

2. Opera BarCircular Quay


Opera Bar, Sydney


Touted as “the best beer garden in the world”, Opera Bar is a must-visit for tourists and out-of-towners. With its enviable location overlooking Sydney’s sparkling harbour, the city skyline and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, coupled with a menu that features Australia’s best, Opera Bar epitomises world-class destination-dining. Its coveted concourse position takes advantage of the iconic view and provides an atmospheric setting for any occasion.

3. Icebergs Bar, Bondi

A couple enjoying the views from Icebergs Dining Rooms and Bar, Bondi

Icebergs Dining Room and Bar


Icebergs Bar possesses one of the most coveted locations in Sydney, with its second storey site hovering above the ocean pool, with a view out over south Bondi’s crashing waves. Unsurprisingly, seafood is the star of the menu that showcases seasonal produce, cooked with a regional Italian bent.

4. Watsons Bay Beach Club, Watsons Bay

Watsons Bay Hotel, Sydney

Watsons Bay Beach Hotel, Sydney


On the edge of Sydney Harbour, with 360 degree views of the city skyline, the Watsons Bay Beach Club is an iconic Eastern Suburbs venue. Complete with palm trees, beach umbrellas and staff wearing sailor uniforms, the seafood-focussed menu features buckets of prawns, beer-battered fish and chips and their famous ‘Watto Beef Burger’, perfect to soak up an afternoon of drinks and sunshine.

5. Catalina, Rose Bay

Catalina, Sydney

Catalina, Sydney


Perched by the waters of Sydney’s Rose Bay, the Catalina bar offers unobstructed harbour views coupled with exceptional food. Join a well-heeled Eastern Suburbs crowd watching sea planes take off and land on the water while snacking on tempura prawns with ponzu or a seafood antipasto plate.

6. Mojo Wine Bar, Waterloo

Mojo. Image credit: Nikki To



It may not have water views – but who needs them when you’ve got a New York inspired venue home to Mojo, a tapas and wine bar? Located on Danks Street in Waterloo, celebrity chef Luke Mangan has created a relaxed vibe to sip a vino and snack small plates of kingfish sashimi and nam jim or a soft shell crab po’boy.

7. Coogee Pavilion, Coogee

Friends dining at Coogee Pavilion, Coogee

Coogee Pavilion


The top floor of Merivale’s three-level Coogee Pavilion is a Mediterranean-themed oasis laid-back enough for a snack after a surf but classy enough for a cocktail night with friends. Coogee Pavilion Rooftop offers four indoor and outdoor bars but wherever you choose to sit, the view of the beach is always the star.

8. Taylor’s, Sydney CBD

Taylor's, Sydney

Taylor’s, Sydney


The Republic Hotel, a drinking and dining venue set in a heritage-listed building in the middle of the CBD, has opened its rooftop to all who appreciate sky-high views of Sydney. The bar space, Taylors, features live bands and a laid-back vibe with graffiti adorning the walls. Trendy botanical cocktails are the star of the drinks menu, but beer connoisseurs will flock here for “the freshest beer you’ll ever taste” – and if you wonder how long ago it was brewed, just check the dates on the Carlton Draught keg instruments.

9. Continental Deli Bar Bistro, Newtown

Continental Deli, Newtown

Continental Deli, Newtown


From Joe Valore and Elvis Abrahanowicz, the fathers of Bodega and Porteño, comes the bistro side of Continental Deli Bar Bistro. The Australia Street restaurant delivers a level of cool only Newtown can achieve, with its nostalgic pink walls and dark timber antiques. On the menu is classic European bistro food, the kind you’d find in a regional French diner.

10. This Must Be The Place, Darlinghurst

This Must Be The Place, Sydney

This Must Be The Place, Sydney


Exuding a cool, calm and collected vibe on Oxford Street with a top quality food and drink menu and an environmental and social conscience, this, really Must Be The Place. Set up by two of Australia’s best bartenders, you know you’re going to be staring down the barrel of an awesome cocktail list and top shelf spirits.

For a complete guide of Sydney bars to enjoy this summer, visit

More by Anna Lisle