Sydney's Best Small Bars


Sydney CBD
Ramblin' Rascal Tavern
199 Elizabeth St, Sydney

Rambling Rascal, Tavern | Sydney CBD

It's great to see a small that's not trying so hard to be one. Ramblin Rascal has a comfortable vibe, without overdoing it, while maintaining an intimate feel. The rich red carpeting works perfectly with the walnut finishings, which has the extra benefit of cutting down the background noise. Expect the bar staff to spend a moment having a chat to you while you wait, or even as your sitting at the bar. If the bar is not your scene, plenty of booths are there for the taking and even the imposing central pillars have a private feel where you can easily sit with your friends.

For drinks the list is kept simple without sacrificing quality. Beers are typically $8-9 with a 'shit tinnie' for $6 (this selection varies on a regular basis but it's likely to be along the lines of VB, Tooheys or Fosters). By the glass there are around a dozen wines to ponder covering red, white, rose and sparkling ($9-12). The succinct cocktails on offer are moderately priced for a city venue ($17-19) but don't be afraid to go off-menu as the bar staff have plenty of expertise between them. The two standout cocktails are the Tombstone (Booker's bourbon, sugar and bitters, $19) and the sweet Snap, Crackle and Pop (a mix of Amaretto, Havana, maple syrup $18). It's billed as a dessert cocktail, and that is good advice to follow. On the subject of food, there isn't any: except for the additive spicy corn kernels that are handed out for free. Ramblin Rascal has no signage and is on the basement floor, so the entrance is not obvious. There is often a bouncer out front, but look for the small powder blue Elizabeth St doorway right next to the convenience store on the corner of Park street.

In brief: Ramblin' Rascal Tavern
Best things: Welcoming feel with a vibe that is fun, but not over the top.
Don't miss: The Snap Crackle and Pop cocktail, free spicy corn kernels
Ideal for: Small groups, catch-ups with friends, after work drinks, dates
Date tip: The booths are your best options but keep a lookout for the speakers overhead. They can make it a little difficult hearing. Also see the gripe below.
Gripe: The constantly slamming door of the entrance is annoying if you are seated anywhere near it.
Rating: 8/10

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Last updated: August 2017
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