For a city with such a temperate climate and an abundance of pretty views, Sydney doesn’t have as many rooftop bars as you’d think (although we are lucky to have had a couple recent additions, including Old Mate’s Place, Quarrymans Hotel, Nick & Nora).

So when the opportunity to open a rooftop bar in the CBD came up, Salt Meats Cheese co-owner Edoardo Perlo and cousin Stefano De Biasi jumped at the chance.

Bar Ombré is on level three of the Gateway Building, one floor above Salt Meats Cheese’s Circular Quay location. While the tops of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House are visible from the rooftop, the view is obscured by the train station and the Cahill Expressway.

“The bar is a hidden gem. We played a lot with the urban and natural – it’s full of plants and colourful furniture. It has a very European riviera vibe,” Perlo says. “When you walk in straight away you can forget your bad day at work because it’s so insulated from the city.”

Salt Meats Cheese launched in 2012 and came about because the pair couldn’t find affordable Italian deli goods. The group now has nine spots across Sydney and Brisbane, but Ombré is its first bar. The Bar Ombré menu is true to the pair’s Ligurian heritage and Perlo says the food is similar to what you’d get if you went to a bar in Italy: calamari, prosciutto, olives, grilled vegetables. The antipasto platter does the best job of showcasing the menu’s simplicity. “It’s a really laid-back bar. We didn’t want to go crazy; we wanted to keep it really simple and accessible.”

(For more substantial fare you can order from Salt Meats Cheese downstairs and it will be delivered to the bar.)

Drinks involve classic spritzes and sours as well as vanilla and grapefruit barrel-aged Negroni, and an Averna Amaro with mezcal, bitters, cream and cinnamon. “The wines are a bit more premium. We have good champagne and tried to focus on biodynamic and organic wines.”

There’s a daily happy hour, from 4pm to 6pm, with $5 beers and wines, and $10 spritzes (such as the Ombré spritz: St Germain, mint, fresh lime, prosecco and soda). If there are a couple of you there is also $20 cocktail carafes (of Aperol spritz, sangria, Margarita, and homemade soda of the day with your choice of spirit.) And then from 6pm to 8pm you can get free bar snacks: truffled popcorn, woodfired crackers and pesto, smoked olives, cured pancetta with chilli and pepper, truffle pecorino, and roasted peppers with salsa verde.

Bar Ombré
Level 3, Gateway
1 Macquarie Place, Circular Quay

Mon to Sat 11.30am–late