There's something inherently satisfying about discovering a secret bar. Sure, Sydney's "secret" bars probably aren't that secret (sometimes the queues outside are a dead giveaway), but tracking down nondescript, sign-less doors makes those cocktails taste just a little bit better.

Related pages
Best Cocktail Bars in Sydney
Best Rooftop Bars in Sydney
Best Wine Bars in Sydney

Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern

The door is marked only by a black sign with three skulls.

199 Elizabeth Street, Sydney

Shady Pines Saloon

An old-world saloon, sans signage.

Shop 4 256 Crown Street, Darlinghurst

Earl's Juke Joint

A rollicking small bar disguised as a butcher.

407 King Street, Newtown

Saga Bar

There’s a water feature with a huge buddha head, an illuminated technicolor jungle motif and stone-stacked walls covered in vines. It’s straight out of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

49-51 Goold Street, Chippendale
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Old Mate's Place

You’ll need to locate the discrete ground-level entrance and then climb four levels of steep, narrow stairs to reach it. But you'll be rewarded by a killer rooftop bar – with an adjoined cocktail bar – where you'll be in amongst the CBD's highrises.

Level 4 199 Clarence Street, Sydney

Ron's Upstairs

Barbequed chooks, vino and fake grape vines from the Arcadia Liquors and Redfern Continental team.

133A Redfern Street, Redfern

Door Knock Bar

Walk down a long corridor and knock three times on the brass pineapple to enter for cocktails and homey bites.

B2 70 Pitt Street, Sydney
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Moya’s Juniper Lounge

One for the gin fans.

101 Regent Street, Redfern

Cantina Ok!

Word of warning: don't bother bringing a large group to this tiny mezcal-centric laneway bar – even if it were completely empty, you probably wouldn't fit. It's by the team behind Tio's Cerveceria. The friendly, knowledgeable staff here will help you navigate the cracking cocktail list with confidence (and you might even end up ordering Sydney's best Margarita).

Council Place, Sydney

Charlie Parker’s

A 100-seat cocktail bar beneath Fred’s.

380 Oxford Street, Paddington

Stitch

Look for the sewing machines at street level.

61 York Street, Sydney

The Rook

Cocktails and lobster on a hidden rooftop.

Level 7 56-58 York Street, Sydney
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The Cumberland

Look behind the old wood door at the back of the Cove deli and you'll find The Cumberland – one of Sydney's finest underground bars. The drinks list includes 250 whiskies, an impressive wine cellar and three distinct cocktail lists. Plus a hearty food offering that includes melty raclette.

17-19 Central Avenue, Manly

Grandma’s Bar

A delightful, candle-lit den in the CBD.

275 Clarence Street, Sydney

Taylor's Rooftop Bar

Slip down Tank Stream Way, then climb a substantial flight of stairs to find this greenery-filled rooftop.

69-73 Pitt Street, Sydney
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Alleyway

Seventy-five whiskies in 26 square metres.

Shop 3 200 George Street, Sydney

The Wild Rover

The good times will come easy – if you can find the door.

75 Campbell Street, Surry Hills

The Baxter Inn

Descend the hidden staircase to a wide world of whisky.

Rear Basement 152-156 Clarence St, Sydney

Papa Gede's

A New Orleans-style cocktail bar in an old garage.

346-348 Rear 348 Kent Street, via laneway, Sydney

Huxley’s

A secret sports bar serving US-style food hidden in a pizzeria fridge.

32 Banskia Rd, Caringbah

Uncle Kurt’s

Parramatta's first small bar is hidden in a carpark.

22B Hornwood Place, Parramatta

PS40

A secret cocktail and craft-soda bar.

40 Skittle Lane, Sydney

The Swinging Cat

A basement haunt for CBD dwelling jazz lovers.

44 King Street, Sydney

The Lobo

Find this bar, then drink all the rum.

Basement Lot 1 209 Clarence Street, Sydney
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The Barber Shop

Anyone for a trim, a shave and a cocktail?

89 York Street, Sydney