The Top 10 Small Bars in Sydney
When it comes to small bars, people are now spoilt for choice - but that doesn't make it any easier to pick a venue for the evening. This top 10 will guide you through the best small bar experiences Sydney has on offer. There are no restrictions: the small bars can be cocktails bars, wine bars or just a friendly place to grab a drink. See for yourself: The top 10 small bars in Sydney.
New Small Bars in Sydney
Last updated December 2013
Trying to stay ahead of the crowds? Why not drop into one of the latest small bars to open their doors:
The elegance and sophistication of Tatler is not immediately obvious when entering the bar's battered grilled door. Descend the stairs, admire the fitout, then the cocktails: 9/10
Opened: November 2013
Papa Gede's Bar
This Kent Street hideaway is likely to attract people who are more interested in taking their time rather than downing beer after beer. . 6/10
Opened: November 2013
York Trading & Co
Opening up opposite Mojo Record bar on York Street, this narrow property takes in name from both its address and New York inspired theme. Expect more than just cocktails.
Opened: October 2013
The Golden Age
Of the new small bars in Sydney, few can match the pedigree of this small bar which features a working cinema dating back to the 1940s: 6/10
Opened: September 2013
The Barber Shop
There aren't many places in the world where you can get a haircut and enjoy a cocktail while you wait (don't worry, haircuts are optional): 6/10
Opened: July 2013
If your rum experiences are limited to Bacardi or Bundy and coke, now is the time to explore the spirit that has been overlooked for so long: 7/10
Opened: June 2013
It may be billed as a nautical-themed bar, but it definitely needs the word cheesy thrown in: 6/10
Opened: June 2013
This is Bat Country
The lone and legendary Randi Wick's was the sole small bar offering in Randwick for decades. This will change in late 2013 when 'This is Bat Country' opens up at The Spot.
Bondi Beach has a new resident and it may just make its planned opening date at the end of Movember where Mezcal will start from the bright and early time of 7am.
Frog Hollow Bar
In Sydney's shadier past, a part of Surry Hills known as 'Frog Hollow' was the go-to place for vice: it's the perfect setting to open a small bar.
Gone in 2013
After a few years, and plenty of new bars opening across Sydney, it's no surprise that there has been some turnover in small bar ownership. On top of that, building and licence requirements can mean a new site now takes up two years to open, so it's easier to buy an exisiting small bar rather start from scratch. Here are some of the changes in 2013:
- Legendary Madame Fligh Flong in Newtown closed its doors in early 2013
- Cremone's Vinobravo has a new look and name: The Cotton Thief.
- Probably the most short-lived bar in Sydney, Selby Road opened in Redfern in April before closing 'for rennovations' shortly afterwards. In August, a new owner was annouced and this great little bar should see some new life.
- Local Redfern favourite Dry Land closed permanently in February 2013.
- Park Street Social Club has closed and now reborn as Edison's Bar in Mona Vale.
- One of the best small bars in Newtown, Jester Seeds has permanently closed its doors.
- Bondi FM has re-opened as Neighbourhood.
- Still in Bondi, the Flying Squirrels site has become Fat Rupert's.
Sydney now has a florishing small bar scene, and here's how to find the best ones. Each review will show you the best Sydney small bars for dates, drinks with friends, after-work catch-ups or even a quiet spot to read a book. Finding a particular small bar can add to its mystique and unlike the large beer barns that once dominated the drinking landscape, each of Sydney's small bars has a distinct personality of its own. You can settle at one of the bars for the night or happliy stroll for a few minutes between your favourites. If you''d like to see a review of your favourite or latest on the small bar scene, drop us an email via the contact page.