Sydney's Best Small Bars


Small Bars: Sydney CBD
Sydney has plenty of small bars hidden down alley ways and back streets. Some are cafes by day, bars by night. While others are wine bars or cocktail bars. Whatever your preference, here are the best small bars of Sydney's CBD, and how to find them.

Bar Reviews

  • Baxter Inn
    An intriguing, well-hidden basement bar in the centre of Sydney with hundreds of whiskies and fine cocktails: 9/10

  • Bulletin Place
    Indulge in some seasonally fresh cocktails including the much maligned daiquiri, just a minute's walk from Circular Quay: 8/10

  • Frankie's Pizza
    A venue desperately needed in this part of the city with an extensive selection of beer, pinball and pizza. A man cave that women enjoy too: 8/10

  • Grandma's
    If you want to show someone the embodiment of the small bar scene in Sydney, Grandma's Bar would have to be one of your first stops: 8/10

  • Grasshopper
    This laneway bar tries to balance urban/edgy and up-market. Generally, it manages to mix the themes with success, but not without a few issues: 6/10

  • Lobo Plantation
    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

  • Mojo Record Bar
    Both the bar and record shop feel like you are in good hands. The atmosphere is relaxed, a little nostalgic and fun: 7/10

  • York Trading & Co
    Just 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: 6/10

  • Palmer and Co
    This speakeasy embraces the 1920s theme of raucousness, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights. 8/10

  • 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

  • Ramblin' Rascal Tavern
    A small bar that has a comfortable vibe, without overdoing it. 8/10

  • Shirt Bar
    Good shirts, whisky and coffee. More a men's domain, rather then a bar with wider appeal: 6/10

  • Since I Left You
    A bar that borrows from many themes to create a bar that mixes city decay with a contemporary interior: 6/10

  • Small Bar
    The first small bar in Sydney has what it takes to survive mounting competition: 7/10

  • Spawn Point
    Long, narrow and drenched in blue and pink hues, this is where video arcades and small bars meet: 6/10

  • Spooning Goats
    Spooning Goats is one of those bars you want to love. Its quirky name and layout may appeal to some more than others: 6/10

  • Stitch
    A well styled city bar with an unusual take on hamburgers and hotdogs. Expect some twists on the cocktail menu too: 6/10

  • Tapavino
    Tapavino is here to change your mind about sherry, one glass at a time: 7/10

  • 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

  • The Bear
    A new location in Haymarket sees a larger space, new cocktails and even more oddities than before: 7/10

  • The Rook
    This find-me-if-you-can small bar, hidden on the rooftop of an office block, offers great food and a laidback atmosphere: 7/10

  • The Swinging Cat
    Clam, modern dark interior with plush couches, mesmerising shadowplay and a New Orleans inspired menu: 8/10

  • Uncle Ming's
    Themed around a 1920's opium den and featuring spicy cocktails, dumpling side dishes and drinks from all over Asia: 7/10

  • York Lane
    Probably one of the smallest bars in the CBD, it's both rustic and modern with friendly staff: 6/10

  • 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.

    Pub Crawl: Sydney Small bars

    What better way to explore CBD small bars than a pub crawl? This one visits 10 bars all close to each other, plus it's particularly easy as it is only 500 metres start to finish, well connected to transport and can be easily modified. Visit the Sydney CBD pub crawl

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