With summer just about to rear its tanned head, thoughts are turning to carefree sunny afternoons and sticky nights – times made for drinking in the open air. Earlier this year, I presented you with the Top 5 Sydney Rooftop Bars. Since then, a few notable additions have emerged on the rooftop drinking scene, and there are a few good ones that didn't quite make the cut last time round. And so here's another five rooftop bars in Sydney.
Darlo Bar is a fantastic local in a suburb not starved for great drinking spots. The public bar has comfy couches to sink into, a great range of ales, and some highly sought-after tables and chairs out on the pavement. And if all that wasn't enough, Darlo Bar also has a terrific first floor terrace. It ain't huge, but the rooftop features lovely tiled green walls, ornate garden furniture and even a smattering of greenery. Act quick to snare a prime position – this place ain't a secret and becomes thick with bodies soon after knock-off time.
This narrow little bar mightn't seem like much, but at Corridor, they're doing the basics right. At street level, there's a narrow room housing the bar and a scattering of bar stools and tables. Climb the stairs though, and you'll reach Corridor's best asset, its rooftop. The wood panelling and fresh flowers make it an awfully pleasant spot to pull up and shoot the breeze. Grab a pint of White Rabbit or Little Creatures, scan the list of predominantly Australian wines, or plough into the cocktail menu which features classics like Mai Tais, Bloody Marys and Dark and Stormys.
Kings Cross Hotel 244-288 William St, Kings Cross
Image courtesy of Kings Cross Hotel Facebook profile
Spread over several levels, the gargantuan Kings Cross Hotel has a small bar in the basement, a public bar at street level, a live music venue on another floor, and at the top, a spectacular rooftop bar. Looking straight down at the flashing red neon of the Coke sign, the roof offers plenty of perches (many of them undercover) as well as pole position spots looking down to the street below. There are plenty of beers on tap and a workable cocktail list. Whether it's a sunny afternoon or sweaty night, be sure to hit the roof button when you get in the lift. Good times await.
Finding the entrance to Ching-a-Lings is a feat unto itself. But successfully find this Oxford Street small bar, and you'll be rewarded with a good time. Ching-a-Lings was one of the first small bars to appear on the map and it hasn't changed much in a couple of years. There's one long skinny room which is all exposed brick walls, plump sofas and dim lighting. The bar's towards the back and dispenses longnecks of Coopers and Singha beer, a couple of wines served in tumblers and basic mixes. Beyond the main room, the cool deck area is the main reason to visit Ching-a-Lings. Wooden benches ring the space and fairy lights sparkle against the night sky.
The White Horse Hotel 381 Crown St, Surry Hills
Image courtesy of White Horse Hotel Facebook profile
Often passed over in favour of nearby boozers like the Clock or the Forresters, the White Horse quietly goes about its business regardless. Downstairs there's a pretty non-descript public bar, but climb the stairs and you'll find the White Horse's trump card – a great big sunny deck. There's plenty of room, from the perches overlooking Crown Street, to the hidden nooks along the side and at the back. Two bars service the roof, although they are sometimes not staffed, necessitating trips downstairs. Either way, this is one of the most pleasant spots in Surry Hills.