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Another 10 Awesome Small Bars in Sydney

Home > Sydney > Nightlife | Food and Wine | Bars | Lists
by Sarah Han (subscribe)
Lover of carbs, traveling, art & naps. Food & travel blog at
Published February 5th 2012
Another 10 Awesome Small Bars in Sydney

Ken30684 (Wikimedia Commons)

If you've read my Top Ten Small Bars in Sydney article, you'll notice that quite a few of them are now outshined by newer, trendier small bars popping up all over Sydney.

So here are another ten splendid small bars that I think are worth visiting. My criteria might be different from yours, but I'm always struck by the decor and overall vibe first. The cocktails are obviously also important, and a delicious food menu can sometimes even trump a good drinks menu.

Here we go - we'll start with my favourite small bar at this point in time, Stitch Bar.

Stitch Bar
I know, I know - I already have an article devoted to Stitch Bar (read it here), but it's definitely at the top of my list. Have an ice cream sandwich or a gourmet hot dog with your cocktail.

See the full menu on the Stitch website.

Baxter Inn
Baxter Inn is on everybody's lips - and I don't mean just their beverages. Blogs, online magazines and Twitter are aflutter with reviews of this trendy, new bar by the same guys who run Shady Pines Saloon (which, by the by, made my other Top Ten Small Bars list). This dungeon-like bar is underground and dark. There's a line outside and it's in an alleyway that's near to impossible to find. Those who have been to Shady Pines will notice quite a few similarities.

The whiskey menu is seriously ridiculous. And you get free pretzels. If this isn't a winner of a bar, I don't know what is.

Impressive range of whiskey


My trip to Freda's was completely spontaneous - a quick stop-over while walking over to Chinatown. And what a great find this is. Our tap water was served in a Cointreau bottle, there's Spanish cider (Sidra Escanciador) and a dungeon-like feel that I dig.

Time To Vino
I've visited Time To Vino twice. And I liked it so much that I had my birthday drinks here. Intimate and cosy, this wine bar has great bar food (the saffron mayonnaise that comes with the fries is so moreish and delicious, we had three serves of it). And of course it has to be mentioned that the wine list is naturally extensive. I love that you can order wine flights so you can get a taste of three different wines as opposed to having to knock back bottle after bottle to try an assortment of their range. Read more in my Time To Vino review here.

Since I Left You
Not only is the name super-awesome, but the place is pretty nifty too. When we arrive at Since I Left You the owner or manager was kind enough to set up an area at the back for us because they were starting to pack up the chairs and tables in the alleyway. We were suddenly seated amongst garbage bins, feeling very Melburnian and trendy.

They also offer Two Italian Boys wine on their menu. I may or may not have checked in on Facebook with the status "Having Two Italian Boys at Since I Left You". Love it.

Hanging out at the back

Another favourite of mine, Grandma's is an adorable bar in the Sydney CBD. It's one of the many cocktail bars that have sprung up in Sydney city, which are quite difficult to find. Located at an underground level, this bar is cosy and trendy at the same time. And they serve a mean Mai Tai. Let's just say it's lit on fire. Enough said.

If you want to find out more, you can read my Grandma's review here.

13B is a teeny tiny bar on Burton Street, which during the day is also a cafe. At 13B it's all about the great cocktails and the relaxed atmosphere without being pretentious. I came here for a quick cocktail, but I've also heard good things about the food menu.

13B cocktail - their signature drink

Hinky Dinks
For innovative cocktails and amazing service, visit Hinky Dinks. Another small bar in the Darlinghurst vicinity, you say? Yes, but it stands its own ground with free spiced popcorn on arrival, great food and top-notch cocktails that look like milkshakes or served in ice cream cups.

(There's more on Hinky Dinks in my review)

Hinky Fizz

Lil Darlin
Li'l Darlin is a cute, newish wine bar in Darlinghurst that I happened to stumble upon after dinner. There's a buzzy vibe about this bar that's charming and inviting. They also serve tapas, so I'm interested to find out how the food is.

Check out this Fairy Floss Martini. I'll be returning to try this one for sure.

Fairy Floss Martini

GoodGod Small Club
Okay, I'll be honest I've only been to Goodgod to eat at The Dip, but it should be on this list regardless. It's a mix of kitschy neon signs, Mexican grub and affordable cocktail jugs. But aside from having awesome comfort food and a decent list of beverages, this is also a 'danceteria'. So wear your dancing shoes and work off all the calories after you've gorged on delicious grilled corn and pulled pork nachos.

Cucumber salad
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Why? Super fun small bars
Your Comment
More places to bar-hop
by inero (score: 2|106) 2902 days ago
More and more little bars, getting to be more dificult to choose from
by areks (score: 1|17) 2902 days ago
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