Best Bars in Surry Hills

Updated 6 months ago


Sydney's CBD may have two of the world’s most acclaimed cocktail bars. But in terms of variety, it’s got nothing on Surry Hills. In a single square kilometre you can find cocktail dens on par with those you’d find in town, wine bars with better snacks than most restaurants, and even a working distillery. Then there are beer gardens and small bars that feel like a constant house party. So drink up – you’re in Surry Hills after all.

  • The Crix inspires devotion, and plenty of its hardcore followers would call it the very best pub in Sydney, no contest. The public bar and grungy little courtyard downstairs are classic, while Chez Crix upstairs dials in the French bistro vibe. Pool comps and jazz quartet jams by the fireplace are regular features here.

  • This moody double-decker spot has long been one of the best places to drink cocktails in Surry Hills. But it’s also one of the best places to dine – with a refined bistro menu spanning European classics and a cult Sydney burger.

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  • A good-times bar devoted to tequila, mezcal and the Margarita. Don’t let the laid-back energy fool you – some of Sydney’s best bartenders cut their teeth here. Otherwise, the popcorn is free, the music is loud and the Margies are strong and smooth.

  • Opened by a legendary publican and former cabaret star, this iconic corner pub is a Sydney institution. The dimly-lit front bar – with its swirling mirror ball, comfy booths and Hollywood memorabilia – is one of the best spots around to chew your friend's ear off on a Saturday night.

  • Bar Copains is one of the best places in Sydney to drink wine at. At this romantic corner bar, two of the country’s best chefs are sharing "unicorns" from their own personal cellars, and elegant snacks to try them with.

  • A sublime underground theatrette showing classic and new release films. Hit the bar for pre-cinema snacks, cocktails and live music by emerging Sydney acts on Friday and Saturday nights.

  • A world-class beer bar. Enough said.

  • This petite, 20-person wine bar embraces life’s simple pleasures: good company, sleek design and great wine. There’s a focus on lo-fi drops, Salt and Vinegar Martinis, charcuterie and excellent fried chicken.

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  • An ironbark-fuelled hearth works magic at this buzzing, subterranean wine bar and restaurant from the same crew behind Ester. Expect a long wine list of both classics and genre-busting naturals, plus an innovative, ever-changing snack menu focused on woodfire flavours and eating with your hands.

  • Good times are guaranteed at this fun izakaya. Studio Ghibli films are projected on the wall, the staff are cool, and the bites are booze-friendly. Sit at the bar with a whisky highball and some chicken-thigh skewers for the win.

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  • This Surry Hills pub got a shake-up in 2020 – but it’s still one of Sydney’s best all-in-one wine bars, restaurants and boozers.

  • Inside a former storage space used by St Mary’s Cathedral is Sydney’s best (and only) dedicated rum distillery. Settle in for a tasting flight, and South American-inspired eats like tacos and croquetas.

  • This Crown Street classic feels like a wine bar and a pub had a lovechild. It has all the energy of a good neighbourhood boozer, but with a menu that’s leagues ahead of the average bistro.

  • Craft beer is the focus at this Surry Hills pub.

  • The sister venue to Lennox Hastie’s Firedoor is a celebration of the vibrant pintxos bars of northern Spain. The menu offers Australian ingredients with Basque-inspired touches, a taste of Spain via imported jamon iberico, and a drinks list that’ll change the way you feel about sherry.

  • A sexy wine bar and restaurant from the team behind Nomad. Enter via the back lane, take a seat on a caramel leather banquette, and order some of the best gamay Beaujolais has to offer, with lobster thermidor on baked tomato-saffron rice to match.

  • Partway between a Tuscan wine bar and an American speakeasy, this Italian stallion is all about the Negroni. It serves around 30 versions of the classic drink, and Italian liqueurs so rare they're even hard to find in Italy. The menu spans classic aperitivo snacks and pastas.

  • A low-down, boozy affair with Southern barbeque.

  • A sharp restaurant and bar from the team at Bulletin Place. Naturally, it serves great cocktails.

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  • This huge two-storey pub – with a popular wraparound verandah and interior courtyard – is one of Surry Hill's original boozers. And after 150 years, you still can't do the Crown Street crawl without a trip to The Clock.

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  • This Crown Street gin hub has a still making small-batch spirits just for Sydney, and a shop selling gin and gin-related goods. To find Eileen’s Bar, look out for the discreet doorway and ascend the staircase.

  • A compact izakaya like you’d find down a Tokyo alleyway, with hot towels and all. Inside there are more than 20 sakes, plus sake-friendly snacks including yakitori, miso-marinated cream cheese, and scallops in the half shell.

  • Party like a salaryman with the aid of karaoke, yakitori and plenty of saké.

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