Sydney's Best Small Bars


Sydney CBD
Baxter Inn
Basement Level, 152-156 Clarence Street, Sydney

Baxter Inn, Sydney

Imagine a speakeasy where the whiskey is present in abundance and variety, while moustached bartenders poor any drink you want in any style you request. That's Baxter Inn - an intriguing, well-hidden basement bar in the centre of Sydney.

With hundreds of whiskies stacking the walls behind the bar, you'd be forgiven for thinking that's all they do. But there are plenty of cocktails and other selections to try. Scotch on ice will come with a large chunk, keeping the drink chilled but not watery. Cocktails will appear in a flurry of movements and a cordial smile. Don't expect a food menu - the only fare available are the free pretzels. But that's okay, it's a small bar where people come to drink and socialise.

Clearly by design, Baxter Inn is one of the trickiest bars in Sydney to find, even with the address in hand. Head to the left of the cyclist shop and down the darkened alley (it's not sign-posted). At the end, head right. In the corner you will see what looks like a concrete staircase for a car park. There will probably be someone on the door or a few smokers milling around if you get lost (or a massive line on Friday and Saturday nights). Go down a few flights and you've made it. Donít be surprised if you stop at some point to check that you are going the right way.

In brief: Baxter Inn
Best things: Unique destination with great mystique.
Don't miss: Trying one of the 300 whiskeys
Ideal for: Small groups, catch-ups with friends, after work drinks
Date tip: Sit at the ends of the bar or grab a table (look out for the speakers above you as they can make conversation a bit harder)
Gripe: Tendency for the music to get a little too loud.
Rating: 9/10

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Last updated: August 2017
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