By region
Sydney CBD
Surry Hills-Darlinghurst
Kings Cross-Potts Point
Northern Sydney

Pub Crawls
Sydney CBD


Time for wine
Best wine bars
best wine bars
Looking for a small bar to enjoy a glass or two of wine? [More]

Where to go after midnight
Late night small bars in Sydney

It's getting close to the witching hour and your favourite venue is about to call last drinks, what are your late night options for small bars? [More]

The best
Top 10 small bars
top 10 small bars
Your guide to the best 10 experiences Sydney small bars have to offer. [More]


The Top 10 Small Bars in Sydney
When it comes to small bars, people are now spoilt for choice - but that doesn't make it any easier to pick a venue for the evening. This top 10 will guide you through the best small bar experiences Sydney has on offer. There are no restrictions: the small bars can be cocktails bars, wine bars or just a friendly place to grab a drink. See for yourself: The top 10 small bars in Sydney.

Sydney Pub Crawls
What better way to explore small bars than a pub crawl. These two routes are particularly easy as they are flat, well connected to transport and can be easily modified. The pub crawls include closing times, reviews, and interactive Google maps showing the routes and bars.
  • Redfern pub crawl
  • Sydney pub crawl (CBD)

    New Small Bars in Sydney
    Last updated April 2015

    Trying to stay ahead of the crowds? Why not drop into one of the latest small bars to open their doors:

  • Bearded Tit
    Following a common theme of part bar, part art space, this venue presents itself in a casual manner while finding the right balance between engaging and fun: 6/10
    Opened: August 2014

  • The Bear
    This hidden yet wonderful European-style small bar is the first in Sydney's Chinatown: 7/10
    Opened: July 2014

  • Knox Street Bar
    Despite its unlikely location a block or so down a suburban backstreet in Chippendale, this bar is worth the detour.
    Opened: July 2014

  • The Chip Off The Old Block
    There is no gimmickry, no zany theme here: just a well decorated small bar in Chippendale that does a lot of things right: 7/10
    Opened: June 2014

  • Fifty-Fifty
    The art décor exterior gives way to a modern small bar inside, while delivering some great variations on classic cocktails: 6/10
    Opened: May 2014

  • Ramblin Rascal Tavern
    A small bar that has a comfortable vibe, without overdoing it. 8/10
    Opened: March 2014

    Gone in 2014
    Small bars may be demand, but that doesn't mean they'll all survive. While a number of new bars opened, some closed their doors in 2014. The surprising aspect of the closures is that they are mostly centred around the hub of Darlinghurst and Surry Hills.

  • Gay Bar: a short lived and high concept bar that would have stood a better chance on Oxford Street back in the 1990s.
  • Foley Lane: a great Spanish bar/restaurant that after two years has been reborn as an Italian eatery.
  • Name This Bar: the writing was on the wall well before this bar closed. Ear-splitting music and a stop-off for The Party Bus are not ways to endear the love of locals.

    Recent additions

  • Brooklyn Social
    Disappointing to see a venue with such promise turn out to be like any number of pubs in the city: 4/10

  • The Angry Pirate
    A venue that is more like a friendly pirate than an angry one: 7/10

  • Zigi's Art Wine Cheese Bar
    The kind of place you want to like with its friendly staff, art space plus the cheese and wine options. But it's let down by poor execution: 5/10

    Sydney now has a flourishing small bar scene, and here's how to find the best ones. Each review will show you the best Sydney small bars for dates, drinks with friends, after-work catch-ups or even a quiet spot to read a book. Finding a particular small bar can add to its mystique and unlike the large beer barns that once dominated the drinking landscape, each of Sydney's small bars has a distinct personality of its own. You can settle at one of the bars for the night or happily stroll for a few minutes between your favourites. If you'd like to see a review of your favourite or latest on the small bar scene, drop us an email via the contact page.