Best Bars in Darlinghurst

Updated 7 months ago


It's been just 10 years since state parliament passed the small bar legislation, but what a revolution it's sparked. Tour Darlinghurst on a Friday or Saturday and the streets are alive with happy punters hopping from bar to bar. There are several dozen good places for a drink, each with their own atmosphere and personality. Here are our favourites, from immaculately maintained cocktail bars to grungy pubs.

  • A taxidermy-filled den that's equally about well-made cocktails and straight spirits, bourbon particularly.

  • Italian food, drinks and hip-hop served until 3am. Big Poppa's is low-key one of Sydney's best places to eat cheese – whether you like it on a platter or inventively deployed across a range of handmade pastas.

  • An intimate vibe and 300-strong wine list make this one a date-night home run.

  • A world-class beer bar. Enough said.

  • It’s all about “taps, tunes and Chinese” at this legendary 130-year-old pub. Head in for 17 local beers matched with Shandong-style chicken and prawn wontons from a Hong Kong chef. Don't miss the breezy open-air terrace on top.

  • A terrific corner pub.

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  • A refurbished live-music favourite, with pizzas and pool tables.

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  • After a makeover inspired by New York’s dive bars, this late-night icon is open till 4am seven nights a week. Head in for after-work drinks and topnotch hot dogs, or party till the wee hours to five-hour sets by local and international DJs.

  • A pumping, Tiki-themed bar and nightclub from the team behind Cantina OK, Tio's and Bar Planet. A weekly line-up of DJs spin R&B, techno and deep house till super late. This place also has a killer cocktail game, with signature creations going for a steal before 9pm.

  • Inventive cocktails served fast.

  • An alfresco bar from the owner of Tuxedo and Kansas City Shuffle.

  • An upmarket, three-storey pub from the Goodtimes Hospitality Group.

  • No sign, no fancy cocktails, but lots of locals at this Oxford Street hideaway.

  • The gin flows freely at this Darlinghurst venue that tips its hat to Old Havana.

  • A cocktail-only establishment offering a three-course drink experience.

  • A bar and bottle shop styled after the enotecas of Italy. And a colourful upstairs restaurant with pasta and panache. Paski is a three-part stunner by wine importers Giorgio de Maria and Mattia Dicati, and chef Enrico Tomelleri.

  • 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.

  • This polished sake room is inspired by a popular Japanese manga – hear the story behind each sake as you sip, and don’t hold back on the nostalgic snacks. We can't get over the Kewpie mayo-shaped chopstick rests.