Although it is hidden away in a basement on Clarence Street, by no means is The Baxter Inn a quiet bar. Owned by the same pair responsible for the Shady Pines Saloon, this whiskey bar takes its inspiration from the Prohibition Era speakeasies. In keeping with the theme, you get a change from the usual bar music, being treated instead to tunes from the 1920s, enhanced by fantastic acoustics. That's just the beginning, though; the real winner is the wall of whiskey, which boasts over 300 varieties. The bartenders are more than willing to make suggestions, and will even hand you some complimentary pretzels while you wait for your order.
Established by an independent wine merchant in Sydney is The Wine Library. The place is basically a wine bar with exquisite wines from across the globe all culminated at one place. Its collection of wine is impeccable and one of the greatest in Australia. They also offer an extensive food menu of everything that goes well with wine. So if you are a wine connoisseur, this is the place you must visit when you are in Sydney.
The ultra-modern, uber trendy luxe Ivy is the newest and hippest way to party in style. This upmarket CBD nightclub is a regular to the fashionistas and style-conscious crowds of Sydney and is anything but lame. Built on three massive levels and housing over eight bars in all, the chic and modern interiors, warm friendly staff and extravagant services that the place offers would make even the most hard-core party animal salivate at the mouth. Once inside get lost within the different areas, the lounge, courtyard, under the Japanese maple tree and any cozy spot that you can call your own. With places like these, who needs to look elsewhere for the entire month's schedule?
Dine with a fabulous view of Bondi Beach at Icebergs. This trendy restaurant and bar is the place to see and be seen! With main courses like Spaghetti with Clams and Zauchini Flowers, its tasty Mediterranean cuisine is a definite draw. You can hang out with a chilled cocktail at the trendy 1970s inspired bar, or sip on some wine as you enjoy the scenic surroundings. Icebergs can also be hired for exclusive events and private dining. Despite the name, this is one venue that is definitely hot!
Chinese Laundry is an underground party hot-spot that is an extension of the Slip Inn club. With a strong Eastern influence and rustic touches to the interiors, the oriental theme is welcoming with bright colors around. With a great atmosphere, increasing crowd every night and a booming sound system, Chinese Laundry is very popular. It is highly regarded for its electro, techno and house night with a number of international and fine DJs featured nightly to rock the house.
When people talk about a hidden gem, they usually mean it's in an out of the way street or that it lacks the expected signage. Eau de Vie truly is hidden, found only by heading past the street-front bar of the Kirketon Hotel and down a dimly lit corridor. However, finding it is more than worth the effort. What awaits you is a speakeasy-style bar decked out in dark wood and leather and an expert cocktail team. These mixologists and their attention to detail have made Eau De Vie one of Sydney's best cocktail bars. The martinis, which are served on liquid nitrogen, are a special treat.
Located above the Coronation Hotel, the Smoking Panda is what looks like a fun marriage between retro Americana and glitzy Shanghai. If you can adjust your eyes enough to see through the neon-pink haze that envelops this bar, you will also see red Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling. That apart, the amazing cocktails are accentuated by their large spirit collection featuring 65 bourbons, 50 rums and a smattering of tequila and whiskey. The kitchen menu is not just an after-thought to accompany the booze, rather it stands on its own with exotic Chinese elements, with dishes such as Salt & Pepper Squid, Dim Sums and Pot Stickers.
The Mezz Bar is several genres all rolled into one. It is a bar and a restaurant, and once the dining is done, it turns into a dance party with a revolving selection of late-night DJs. Popular with city workers, it is cosy and comfortable and quite large, with bar and restaurant seating that can be moved back when the dance floor is pumping. Pasta dishes include popular favorites such as Lasagne and Spaghetti Napoli and tempting alternatives such as Fettuccine with Tiger Prawns. Call to check the timings.
Housed within Regent Place, Izakaya Yebisu is a slice of Tokyo in Haymarket Area of Sydney. Located just a few minutes from the Central Business District, this izakaya-style of establishment offers an eclectic Japanese menu, with a nod towards Japanese libations such as soju, shochu and other Asian-flavored cocktails. While the food menu is dominated by authentic Asian small-plates such as karaage, gyoza and lots more, the bar program explores a wide variety of Japanese drinking habits, they even have a range of mocktails for those who aren't into drinking. The service is good, the food and drinks are exceptional and the prices are just right, head here for a Tokyo-style, fun night.
What once used to be The School of Arts building has become one of the most favored party hangouts in Sydney. The art tradition however, stays intact not only in name but in spirit as well. Art is usually the dominant theme for most of the events that happen here. Culturally rich and aesthetically stimulating, one can understand why this place is so loved and celebrated. The Dome restaurant offering Modern Australian cuisine and Verge, a sociable and cheerful bar score some big extra points for Arthouse.