Where to Eat and Drink for Mardi Gras 2024

Updated 4 months ago


The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is back again, with more than 100 events taking place across the city from February 16 to March 3.

Hot on the heels of last year’s World Pride celebration (and the parade’s 45th anniversary), the glittery festivities are set to be bigger and better than ever. This year's theme, “Our Future”, calls for a brighter and bolder path forward for the queer community.

All that partying requires fuel, so we’ve rounded up the best bottomless brunches, drag dinners and cocktail specials to keep you going during the festival. And if you’re out and about on parade day, most of these picks are walking distance from Oxford Street.

  • From drag bingo to $12 rooftop cocktails, good things are happening happening at Darlo’s favourite pub during Mardi Gras. But the parade day party is the big one – featuring drag queens, big screens and DJs from 8pm.

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  • Queer collective Dólar Rosa is hosting a one-off dinner in Ace Hotel’s private dining room. There’ll be a five-course menu (pescetarian and gluten-free), drinks and some incredible live entertainment. Plus, $10 from every ticket sold will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.

  • Jane’s Icons Lunch is one of our favourites around town. Come for a set menu starring signature dishes, free-flowing drinks (including cocktails) and a special dessert collaboration for $130 a head. Plus, an iconic soundtrack featuring Cher, Kylie Minogue and more.

  • Pre- or post-parade fun is guaranteed at the Bero. The pub is also throwing up a huge screen in the courtyard if you want to park here for the night.

  • Fred’s Starlet Revue is the most elegant way to lunch on parade day. It involves a cocktail on arrival, a four-course menu and fabulous live entertainment. Plus, the $165 ticket includes donations to two great causes.

  • Not one, but two bottomless packages on the rooftop of Darlo’s new two-storey stunner. You can also spin the wheel downstairs for a chance to win free drinks and prizes.

  • Mardi Cha is back at Bob’s place. Come Saturday or Sunday on parade weekend for yum cha faves, Bloody Mary specials, a dessert trolley and a tinnie trolley from 11am–3pm. A vinyl DJ is spinning from 4pm both days.

  • Bring your pup to a backyard party at The Alex – there’ll be a dog parade with prizes for the best-dressed pooch, along with drag performances, a basketball competition, games and a live screening of the parade. Free entry from 2pm.

  • With its 24-hour licence, the Abercrombie is shaping up to be one of this year’s biggest Mardi Gras hubs. Across multiple floors there’s food and drink aplenty – including $10 pizzas on the rooftop every day.

  • The Vic is serving up ’90 tuckshop nostalgia on parade day, with hopscotch, handball, canteen-style snacks and a big screen in the courtyard. The pub is also hosting a family-friendly recovery option on Sunday – come for DJs, a dog show and craft activities for all ages.

  • The Four Pillars Fab Lab is hosting three weeks of pop-up collabs, drinks specials and more during Mardi Gras. There’ll be takeovers by Melbourne’s influential Bar Liberty and local favourites Raja, plus a parade day party with limited-edition cocktails, DJs and a drag show.

  • Led by pioneering plant-based chef Shannon Martinez], Alibi at the Ovolo Hotel is serving up snacks, cocktails and live entertainment for its parade-day brunch. Look sharp – there’ll be prizes for best-dressed.

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  • The Taphouse’s bottomless Sip and Slay brunch is on every day until March 2, featuring Chinese-tasting platters, a two-hour drinks package and a frozen cocktail on arrival. It’s also hosting a huge drag brunch on February 24 if you’re keen to get the party started early.

  • Start Mardi Gras weekend strong with drag cabaret at Sydney’s only dedicated rum distillery. Included in the ticket are bottomless Brix Spritzers for two hours and a grazing platter. Plus, limited-edition cocktails available to order throughout the night.

  • Whether you’re hitting the Bondi Beach party or the parade, the Forrey’s bottomless lunch is a solid option. You’ll be fuelled up for the festivities – plus there’ll be a roaming glitter gal before both events to help add a little extra glam to your look.

  • Disco, disco, disco. DJs will be spinning classic hits over three weekends at Chin Chin as part of the restaurant’s limited-edition lunch series. Bottomless drinks are included in the ticket price.

  • 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.

  • A lot of pubs get major revamps, only to lose their old-school charm. Not the Unicorn. The team here have given the spot a stylish but sill pubby fit-out. Drinks here are an inclusive mix of commercial brews and natural wines. Food, meanwhile, involves jazzed up pub classics, and probably the best schnitzel in Sydney.

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

  • 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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