The Sydney Layover: Places To Drink

I recently went to Sydney for a weekend and, in the 36 hours that I had there I was determined to tick some boxes on my list of Sydney places to drink and eat that had been accumulating since my last visit. I managed to visit a few of the places that I wanted to, went to a few that weren’t on the list and, as is the case with these things, ended up with a few additions to my list for next time.

If you’ve only got a day or 2 up your sleeve and are looking for some Sydney places to drink, this list contains a selection of some of my favourites from the past few trips and won’t lead you astray. If you’re in Sydney and looking for something to eat, check out my post “The Sydney Layover: Where To Eat“.

Frankie’s Pizza

sydney places to drink review

Every time I’m in Sydney I end up finding myself at Frankie’s at some stage. The fact that it’s open until 3am every day of the week and is located smack bang in the middle of the CBD explains a lot – it quite simply becomes an easy default option.

The proposition at Frankie’s is simple. A decent selection of drinks, a very extensive craft beer bottle list, decent pizzas whole or by the slice and some great (sometimes live) rock music. It’s crowded, it’s loud, it’s open late and it’s a whole lot of fun.

Frankie’s Pizza

50 Hunter Street
Sydney
New South Wales 2000
Australia

Telephone:   n/a
Email:            [email protected]
Website:        http://frankiespizzabytheslice.com/

Open
Mon – Fri:   12:00pm to 3:00am
Sat – Sun :   4:00pm to 3:00am

Frankie's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Stitch Bar

sydney places to drink review

Stitch Bar is another bar that I’ve visited several times in Sydney. Head down the stairs, past the unassuming doorway and you won’t be disappointed with what you find.

Why is it one of my favourites? The extensive whisky selection is a big draw card, as is the fact that the staff really know their stuff and can help guide you towards something that hits just the right spot. There is a good selection of other drinks available too and the food pretty decent as well.

Stitch Bar

Basement
61 York Street
Sydney
New South Wales 2000
Australia

Telephone:  (02) 9279 0380
Email:            n/a
Website:        http://www.stitchbar.com/bar/

Open
Mon – Tue:   4:00pm to 12:00am
Wed – Sat :   4:00pm to 2:00am

Stitch on Urbanspoon

Mojo Record Bar

sydney places to drink review

Located just a few doors down from Stitch, Mojo Record Bar impresses with its well priced drinks, fun staff and great music from the heyday of vinyl – there’s always a lot of blues and rock & roll playing when I’m there. This one’s hidden out the back of an actual record store and everything about the place really gels together nicely in a way that feels genuine. “Selling great records out the front and great drinks out the back”? I can deal with that.

Mojo Record Bar

Basement
73 York Street
Sydney
New South Wales 2000
Australia

Telephone:  (02) 9262 4999
Email:            [email protected]
Website:        http://mojorecordbar.com/

Open
Mon – Wed:   4:00pm to 12:00am
Thu – Sat:   4:00pm to 1:00am

Mojo Record Bar on Urbanspoon

The Baxter Inn

If you can be bothered to wait in the constant line to get into the Baxter Inn you’ll be rewarded with a bar that serves great drinks and offers great service. The whiskey selection is the star at Baxter Inn – at last count it numbered over 360! Pair that with some jazz and blues in a 1920s speak-easy meets Irish bar kind of atmosphere and you can’t really go wrong.

The Baxter Inn

152-156 Clarence Street
Sydney
New South Wales 2000
Australia

Telephone:   n/a
Email:            [email protected]
Website:        http://thebaxterinn.com/

Open
Mon – Sat:   4:00pm to 1:00am

The Baxter Inn on Urbanspoon

Shady Pines Saloon

Aaron Forte and Jason Scott sure know how to make a good bar – they are not only the brains behind Shady Pines Saloon, but also The Baxter Inn and Frankie’s Pizza. I wouldn’t normally want to include 3 bars owned by the same people on a list like this but the fact of the matter is that I’ve been to them all and they’re all great.

Shady Pines was the first of the 3 and is southern themed, taxidermy filled, discarded peanut shell riddled affair. The country music adds to the atmosphere and, most importantly of all the drinks, especially the cocktails, are brilliant.

Shady Pines Saloon

4/256 Crown Street
Darlinghust
New South Wales 2010
Australia

Telephone:  n/a
Email:            [email protected]
Website:        http://shadypinessaloon.com/

Open
Mon – Sun:   4:00pm to 12:00am

Shady Pines Saloon on Urbanspoon

4 Pines Brewing Company

sydney places to drink review

4 Pines Brewing Company is the only place in this list that isn’t central but it’s well worth the short ferry ride out to Manly. I’ve been a fan of 4 Pines beers ever since I first tried their Hefeweizen back in Perth in 2008. The brewery itself has a really great atmosphere about it, and an outdoor area that looks across the road to the water. It’s not a big spot however the selection of beers on tap is big.

Along with the core range of beers, there are a few one-offs and seasonal “Keller Door” beers as well. Most of the brewing might occur at a bigger site further out these days, however there’s still some brewing equipment at the Manly brewery which is used by the various brewers to make up their own concoctions which are only available at the brewery. Tasting paddles are offered which means you can sample a few different ones quite easily and the food is really good too. Add to that some great, really genuine service and you’ve got yourself a good reason to check it out.

4 Pines Brewing Company

29/43-45 East Esplanade
Manly
New South Wales 2095
Australia

Telephone:  (02) 9976 2300
Email:            [email protected]
Website:        http://4pinesbeer.com.au/

Open
Mon – Sun:   11:00am to 12:00am

4 Pines Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

The Wild Rover

sydney places to drink review

I stumbled across The Wild Rover while waiting for some friends before my dinner at Nomad in Surry Hills. There’s no signage, however walking past it’s not hard to discern that there’s something going on inside.

Exposed brick and a big bar await inside, with a combination of seats, tables and couches dotted across both levels. There’s a decent choice of drinks here – I couldn’t pick a particular focus as wine, cider, beer, spirits and cocktails were all represented quite evenly. I tried a rum that I hadn’t had before, the Chairman’s Reserve Spiced that I quite enjoyed – strong vanilla notes and not too sweet.

The Wild Rover

75 Campbell Street
Surry Hills
New South Wales 2010
Australia

Telephone:  (02) 9280 2235
Email:            [email protected]
Website:        http://thewildrover.com.au/

Open
Mon – Sat:   4:00pm to 12:00am
Sun:   4:00pm to 10:00pm

The Wild Rover on Urbanspoon

Royal Albert Hotel

I’d heard good things about the Royal Albert Hotel but never had the opportunity to visit until my most recent visit to Sydney. The place has been around since 1927, and today is home to some of the best craft beer in Sydney across its 14 taps. It’s a no-nonsense pub with a simple interior and good service. Well worth checking out if you’re into craft beer – keep your eye out to see if they have any tap takeovers too as they do these several times across the year.

Royal Albert Hotel

140 Commonwealth Street
Surry Hills
New South Wales 2010
Australia

Telephone:  (02) 9281 2522
Email:            [email protected]
Website:        http://royalalberthotel.com.au/

Open
Mon – Sat:   12:00pm to 12:00am
Sun:   12:00pm to 10:00pm

Royal Albert Hotel on Urbanspoon

Harts Pub

Harts Pub is the original home of the Rocks Brewing Company and generally half of its 12 taps are dedicated to Rocks brews. There’s nothing fancy about the quite spacious multi-level interior but it’s location in The Rocks, good range of craft beers and decent pub food means that it’s one worth visiting.

Harts Pub

Corner of Essex & Gloucester Streets
Sydney
New South Wales 2000
Australia

Telephone:  (02) 9251 6030
Email:            [email protected]
Website:        http://hartspub.com/

Open
Sun – Wed:   12:00pm to 12:00am
Thu – Sat:   12:00pm to 1:00am

Harts Pub on Urbanspoon

Quarrymans Hotel

sydney places to drink review

I like to think of the Quarrymans Hotel as a bit of a hidden gem. The only reason I know about it is because a good friend of mine lives in Pyrmont and this is his local. It’s located very close to the CBD, but out enough that most visitors wouldn’t stumble across it if they weren’t looking.

There’s a great outside courtyard and rooftop area, decent food and, most importantly a great craft beer selection. 24 taps plus one hand pump offering all Australian beers means that there’s guaranteed to be something that tickles your fancy on offer. Tasting paddles make things a lot easier for those who like to try a lot of different beers. Quarrymans Hotel feels like the kind of place that only locals know about and that gives it a really good vibe – just don’t go telling everyone else about it!

Quarrymans Hotel

214 Harris Street
Pyrmont
New South Wales 2009
Australia

Telephone:  (02) 8710 3551
Email:            [email protected]
Website:        http://www.quarrymanshotel.com.au/

Open
Mon – Sat:   11:00am to 12:00am
Sun:   12:00pm to 10:00pm

Quarrymans Hotel on Urbanspoon

What are your favourite spots to get a drink at in Sydney? If you could recommend only one bar or pub for visitors to Sydney to check out, what would it be?

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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