It used to be that a killer line-up of wines – by the glass and bottle – was enough to make a wine bar noteworthy. Now, it’s the bare minimum. The wine bars in this guide have the food, decor and ambience to match their wines. Above all, though, they’re fun.

Unlike in restaurants, wines don’t play second fiddle here – they’re the star. Sure, you’re likely to find your favourite classic varietals, but these venues will also push you to try (and enjoy) the latest in biodynamic, organic and natural wines.

Related pages:
Best Cocktail Bars in Sydney
Best Wine and Cheese in Sydney
Best Hidden Bars in Sydney

Poly

Drinks and snacks reach new heights at this not-restaurant from the team at Ester.

74-76 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills

10 William St

This hole-in-the-wall is fun and intimate. It also dishes out some of the best pasta in the city.

10 William Street, Paddington

Love, Tilly Devine

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

91 Crown Lane, Darlinghurst

Coogee Wine Room

There are 25 wines by the glass and chocolate boards for dessert.

222 Coogee Bay Road, Coogee

Dear Sainte Eloise

Love, Tilly Devine's sister venue is also perfect date-night material.

Shop 5 29 Orwell Street, Potts Point

Ode

Both food and wine have equal billing at this European-style venue that blurs the lines.

251 Bondi Road, Bondi

Where's Nick

This one has a small wine list by most standards – but that's a good thing. They've done all the thinking so that you can focus on the drinking.

236 Marrickville Road, Marrickville

She Loves You

The list here favours Australian labels producing minimal intervention wines.

530 King Street, Newtown

Ragazzi

There’s 250 bottles of mainly low-intervention wine from Italy and Australia, and a rotating menu of pasta that changes daily.

Shop 3 2-12 Angel Place, Sydney

The Dolphin Hotel Dining Room and Wine Room

Pizza and all the natural wine you can drink.

412 Crown Street, Surry Hills

Ash St. Cellar

International wines in a sophisticated laneway nook.

1 Ash Street, Sydney

Black Bottle

Wines by the glass start at $8.

Shop 2 116-118 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst

Bart Jr.

This compact all-rounder constantly changes its menus, but its cocktails and Euro-inflected share plates are reliably excellent.

92 Pitt Street, Redfern

Bar Clementine

Vino with integrity – and food that’s a little bit French, a little bit Korean.

52 Harris Street, Pyrmont

Johnny Goes Italian

The tapas-style food options here go perfectly with the wines on offer.

185 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst

Tapavino

Come for the hand-picked Spanish wines, stay for the sherry.

6-8 Bulletin Place, Sydney

Bibo Wine Bar

“He gave us access to his private wine collection; he’s been collecting for 60 years.”

7 Bay Street, Double Bay

Continental Bistro

The bistro half of Newtown’s Continental Deli is doing a classic European menu.

Upstairs 210 Australia Street, Newtown

Bentley Restaurant & Bar

Enjoy a wine list compiled by award-winning sommelier Nick Hildebrandt.

27 O'Connell Street, Sydney

Monopole

Five hundred boutique and obscure bottles and house-made charcuterie from the Bentley team.

71a Macleay street, Potts Point

Annata

Seasonal share plates and a stellar drinks list from an ex-Rockpool bartender.

69 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest

Fix Wine Bar and Restaurant

Best visited at night, when the suits have gone home. There's over 100 wines by the glass here.

111 Elizabeth Street, Sydney

Timbah

When a by-the-glass bottle is finished, the next customer gets to choose what's opened next.

Unit 1 375 Glebe Point Road, Glebe

The Lodge

Dark, timber hideaway on the inside, intimate summer courtyard on the outside.

3/415 Darling Street, Balmain

Small Bar - Crows Nest

Representing Australia and New Zealand's best.

85 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest