The Best Rooftop Bars in Sydney

Updated 2 weeks ago


What is it about rooftop bars? They have their own unique atmosphere, distinct from the average beer garden or ground floor deck. Whether you're surrounded by twinkling skyscrapers or looking out over the ocean, you're guaranteed to feel the vibe. Here's where to find the best rooftop near you.

  • Vying for the best seats here is tantamount to a sport. But it's easy to see why the competition is so stiff – the views over Circular Quay are worth a million bucks.

  • This upmarket three-storey pub comes complete with its own rooftop oasis. It's a strong addition to Darlinghurst's stable of excellent outdoor drinking spots.

  • The new-look Light Brigade has classic pub vibes on the ground floor and a bistro upstairs. Keep heading skyward to the 1920s-inspired cocktail bar, or the cherry on top: a Miami-inspired rooftop with epic views of the city skyline.

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  • Merivale's beachside mega-pub is a lavish feast for the senses. But there's no denying the simple beauty of a warm Coogee sunset – best enjoyed from the Pavilion's eccentric rooftop.

  • The former Manly Shore Club now offers multiple experiences across three handsome levels. There’s upmarket bistro fare on the ground floor; basque-inspired tapas in the wine room upstairs; and signature cocktails and beachfront vistas on the rooftop.

  • The ground floor at the Taphouse has long been an essential craft beer destination. But upstairs at Elm – the pub’s leafy rooftop space – it's all about hard seltzer, lo-fi wines and fresh juice cocktails.

  • Philter’s public bar downstairs resembles a classic wood-panelled pub and serves pizza, burgers and wings. But upstairs at Marrickville Springs – the brewery's pink-and-neon rooftop bar – it’s all about retro snacks, beer slushies and cocktails.

  • This 26th-floor stunner from the team behind legendary cocktail bar Eau de Vie is a bold tribute to the roaring ’20s. Come for the caviar and champagne towers, stay for the knee-dropping views across Western Sydney from the open-air terrace.

  • This Surry Hills boozer spans four levels, but we'd pick the neat rooftop as the best place to pull up with a cold one. Those skyline views are hard to beat.

  • Slim's Rooftop is the pretty pink icing to Hyde Park House's extravagant layer cake. Head up to the fourth level for classic cocktails, a menu pushing Asian-Mexican fusion, and quality views over East Sydney.

  • Though it’s in the heart of Kings Cross, this colourful rooftop four levels above the Potts Point Hotel feels partway between a beach club and a Mexican diner – serving a tight list of tacos, quesadillas and frozen Margaritas.

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  • Ascend to this Barangaroo rooftop bar for share-ready small plates, Darling Harbour sunsets and candy-garnished frosé cocktails.

  • Rosé at the Royal – it’s a thing. An endless supply of the stuff pours on tap behind the bar, and fuels many a bottomless brunch at this swish all-weather rooftop. Cheers to those superlative harbour views.

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  • Arrive early – Darlo Bar's petite rooftop is reliably packed on weekends. Grab a cocktail jug and settle in beneath the festoon lights.

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  • From the team behind Salt Meats Cheese; a rooftop bar serving sunset-ready spritzes, antipasto and views out to Sydney Harbour.

  • A huge retractable roof makes Taylor's a prime all-weather perch. Neatly situated between the city centre and Circular Quay.

  • Find the discreet ground-level entrance, then climb four levels of steep, narrow stairs to reach this hidden rooftop. It’s completely worth it – you'll be rewarded with a killer cocktail bar set against a backdrop of towering CBD highrises.

  • Atop Barangaroo House, Matt Moran's stylish cocktail bar doesn’t skimp on substance. The drinks push the envelope, the service is sharp and, as the name suggests, the elegant snacks are kissed by the grill.

  • Seven storeys above York Street, this approachable cocktail spot was among the first Sydney bars to throw down on a rooftop. Purple, Prince-themed drinks, tasty burgers and good times up here.

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  • Designed by interior queen Sibella Court, the Ivanhoe's garden bar is thick with greenery and lavish details. It also gets plenty of fresh sea air.

  • It's not open to the elements, but this one is too spectacular to leave off.

  • While the kitchen is certainly the main draw, the outdoor terrace at this sprawling Middle Eastern eatery has a following all its own. Pull up a bench for the daily happy hour from 4pm.

  • Phil's Rooftop Bar is a little Eastern suburbs gem. It's a leafy escape from the thrum of the pub downstairs. Open from Wednesday to Sunday.

  • The Palm Springs energy of this cacti-studded rooftop is pure summertime gold. Open between Wednesday and Sunday.

  • It’s changed hands a few times over the years, but this cosy little neighbourhood bar has maintained a consistent tempo. Come for reliably good drinks and a rooftop space that still feels like a local secret.

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  • North Sydney's first rooftop bar and restaurant offers plenty of reasons to stick around after dark. There's an Asian-influenced menu, classic cocktails with a local twist, and the distinct feeling that you're revelling inside a lush, hidden garden high above the city.

  • To find this open-air oasis above the State Library's historic Mitchell Building, make your way through a grungy corridor and up a goods lift. You'll be met by a handsome bar serving cocktails and sublime views of the Domain and Sydney Harbour.

  • The overhaul of this once notorious late-night dive was a long time coming. And the chic public bar, elegant European bistro and sunny rooftop were all worth the wait. The best part? You’ll actually want to be there during daylight hours, too.

  • The crown jewel of Kimpton Margot is Harper, an open-air rooftop bar with a pastel pink mosaic bar, yellow booths and a pool open exclusively to hotel guests. Ascend to level seven for lobster rolls and prawn cocktails by top chef Luke Mangan.