Well it looks like Sydney has swapped that tiara for a funky fedora when no one was looking. There is quite a small bar scene happening in this town now and it’s really edgy. I am so in love with some of these venues and let me tell you, I was a card carrying Melbourne bar scene member for a lot of years and I (loudly) prattled on about how Sydney just couldn’t pull it off. Well, I was wrong. And I’m so glad about that. So here is my top 5 secret squirrel bar list.
By the way these are in no particular order AND it was really hard to choose only 5 so please, don’t get all antsy if your favourite isn’t here just add it to the comments below.
Eau de Vie
Darlinghurst itself has a really edgy feel to it so it is the perfect spot for a smokin’ hot little bar. Eau de Vie is a dark little jazz den aiming for that speakeasy vibe of a time gone by. And let me tell you, they nail it. The place is intimate and exactly the sort of place you are looking for if you are planning on selling state secrets or the like. The cocktails are magnificent and include only top shelf products. It is well worth shuffling into this elegant den. Oh and it’s not signposted. You just need to be in the know. I heard something about behind the Kirketon Hotel…but you didn’t hear it from me.
Every bar has its place and this is certainly it for pizza, pinball machines and a truly awesome beer selection. Its basement location gives it that real dingy feel, like you should hang on to your purse if you are going to go in there, but it’s all part of the show (it is a city though so hang on to your purse anyways). Bars down this end of the city tend to be more of the shiny swanky establishments so this little retro number is a welcome change. And apparently everyone agrees with me as it can be tricky to get a table if you don’t get in early.
This is actually run by the same mob that bring you Frankie’s Bar but is a totally different style. Clearly these folks know what they are doing when it comes to bars. They find a niche and make it happen. Here the niche is whiskey. There are over 300 available and the awesome bar staff are pretty well versed on the selection believe it or not. This is another basement bar and there is often a line up to get in. The decor is American Saloon style so I do find it has a masculine vibe (make sense with all that whiskey) but nevertheless I like it A LOT. All that testosterone in one space is actually quite enthralling. Oh and I like whiskey.
This little Darlinghurst treasure is run by two best mates that just know how to create something different. It looks exactly like a 1950s diner in here – all black and white check floors and red topped stools at the counter. It is a truly delightful venue with amazing (and reasonably priced) bar food that is a little different to the usual fare. They also sell some of the most incredible cocktails in Sydney. Service is impeccable. I’d almost say it is the best in Sydney. Don’t be surprised if you get stuck here.
Mojo Record Bar
Is it just me or do you see that name and think High Fidelity? Well you wouldn’t be too far wrong. This venue sells records out front and drinks out back and it oozes cool. This venue has great cocktails and fantastic tunes in a dark moody basement room. Staff are tops too. Think backstage at a gig. That’s what it feels like.
*Kris is a born and bred Sydneysider who loves exploring new and exciting destinations in her own city. If you’ve never been to the Emerald city, Kris recommends checking out HotelClub.com for great savings on Sydney hotels and booking early to grab a bargain on flights.