Balmain has turned over a new leaf of late. While still proud of its heritage as the suburb with the most pubs per square kilometre in Sydney, there are some new bars in town that are changing things up. With the opening of Cantina Bar this week, Balmain now hosts a small handful of inviting bars – joining The Cottage, The Lodge and Corner Bar in Rozelle – bringing a style of venue to the area that challengea the long-standing pub culture.

In line with Sydney’s current penchant for Mexican food and drink, Cantina hosts a Latin street food menu of nachos, pulled pork, quesadillas and spiced nuts, which create authentic flavourful options that are easy to share. The drinks list here is limited, but includes Mexican beers, tequila and sweet mulled wine to warm us on cool winter nights.

The group of brothers and friends behind Cantina also own the Corner Bar in Rozelle, and are welcoming hosts, livening up a narrow room that was previously a lacklustre wine bar on the Darling strip, adorning their bar with toy figurines and Mexican flags to add a dash of character to the surrounds.

Still only a few days into service, Cantina Bar has been packed to the brim each night, bringing a colourful change of pace to Balmain.

Cantina Bar
350 Darling Street, Balmain
(02) 9810 0086

Wed to Sun 5pm–midnight