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The Bardar Guide to Sydney’s Best Pubs

About this Guide to Sydney’s Pubs

While no guide to Sydney’s pubs could cover all of the phenomenal venues around town, we’ve nonetheless put together a short list of the Bardar favourites to get you started.

In this guide, we’ve tried to include the best pubs of all styles from different areas – from live music hotspots to raucous Irish pubs to laid-back watering holes. But don’t just take it from us – the depth of Sydney’s pub scene is best experienced rather than read about.

The Guide

1. The Clock

The Clock is a Surry Hills staple offering great views, a diverse drink selection, and a relaxed atmosphere.

Perched on Crown Street in Surry Hills, The Clock is a beloved institution that perfectly captures the essence of a great pub. With its sprawling balconies overlooking the bustling Crown Street, it’s a best-in-class spot for getting into some serious people-watching over a cold drink or ten. Additionally, the Clock has a very pleasant beer courtyard and develops a lively vibe on the weekend when DJs spin on both levels of this fantastic venue.

2. The Vic on the Park

The Vic on the Park is an Inner West stalwart that’s always pumping and possesses perhaps the finest beer garden in Sydney.

The inevitable final destination of any inner-west pub crawl worth its salt is the Vic. The Vic’s main drawcard is its expansive beer garden, featuring a basketball court and grandstand seating. The Vic’s beer garden is among the most raucous in town, often buzzing late into the evening – as befitting a venue with a 3 am license. The Vic also hosts live music regularly, and projects live sport onto a massive screen in the beer garden

3. Coogee Pavilion

Coogee Pav combines beachside charm with a versatile venue offering stunning views and a vibrant atmosphere.

Affectionately known as the Coogee Pav, this beachside pub offers stunning views of Coogee Beach. It’s a multi-level venue with something for everyone: a rooftop bar, a ground-floor restaurant, and even a games area. The rooftop is especially energetic on the weekends, with live DJs keeping it pumping all night. Coogee Pav is also one of Sydney’s most popular Sunday arvo destinations, especially in summer.

4. Beach Road Hotel

Beach Road Hotel captures Bondi’s laid-back spirit with its spacious beer garden, live music, and great food.

Located in Bondi, the Beach Road Hotel is the quintessential Sydney pub; boasting a relaxed vibe, spacious beer garden, regular live music, busy dance floors and a menu featuring everything from pub classics to fresh seafood. It’s a favourite among locals and visitors alike.

5. Forrester’s

At Forrester’s you will find a combination of historic charm with a modern twist, offering a refined pub experience in Surry Hills.

Forrester’s in Surry Hills is a pub that effortlessly blends the old with the new. Its historic façade houses a modern interior where you can enjoy a wide range of beers, wines, and cocktails. The food menu is a step above typical pub fare, featuring a mix of comfort food and more refined dishes.

6. Burdekin

The Burdekin is one of the most versatile pubs in town, offering everything from a sophisticated rooftop bar to proper rave and live music spaces.

Situated on Sydney’s ex-party thoroughfare, Oxford St, the Burdekin is known for its vibrant nightlife and eclectic crowd. This multi-level pub features different atmospheres on each floor, including a rooftop bar, standard pub space and live music/club rooms. The Burdekin hosts a diverse array of events from emo nights to house and techno parties. It’s a great spot for those looking to start their night with a casual drink and see where the evening takes them.

7. PJ O’Brien’s

PJ O’Brien’s is the crown jewel of Sydney’s Irish pub scene.

Step into PJ O’Brien’s, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a traditional Irish pub. Located in the heart of the CBD, this pub is known for its warm, welcoming atmosphere and hearty Irish fare. With a great selection of beers and whiskeys, PJ O’Brien’s is the place to go for a taste of Ireland in Sydney. PJ’s truly comes alive Thursday through Saturday, when live music transforms this pub into one of the most boisterous spots in town.

8. Courty (The Courthouse Hotel)

The Courty offers a laid-back vibe and an unbelievably pleasant beer garden, making a stong case for one of the most relaxed spots in Sydney.

Affectionately known as the Courty, this Newtown institution is beloved for its chill energy and expansive beer garden. It’s the perfect place to unwind with friends over a few drinks and some pub grub – the Nachos are a Bardar team favourite. The Courty is also known for its dog-friendly policy, making it a hit with pet owners.

9. Darlo Bar

Darlo Bar is a colourful Darlinghurst pub with eclectic décor and a cozy rooftop terrace.

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You will find Darlo Bar is an inner-city classic with an eccentric aesthetic and casual atmosphere making it a favourite among locals looking for a place to unwind. The rooftop terrace is a particularly top spot to enjoy a beverage or two while taking in the views of the city.

10. The Dolphin

The Dolphin blends a modern aesthetic with great food and well-made cocktails, offering a sophisticated pub experience in Surry Hills.

The recently renovated Dolphin in Surry Hills prides itself on its contemporary design and innovative menu. With multiple spaces, including a wine room and a dining area, The Dolphin offers a sophisticated yet relaxed setting. The food and drink options are all top-notch, making it a must-visit. We recommend snagging a seat in the balcony space and indulging in one of the Dolphin’s excellent espresso martinis.

11. The White Cockatoo Hotel

Another laid-back inner west staple, the White Cockatoo is a great spot to settle in for a night of tasty drinks and great chats with your pals.

Known for its friendly vibe, extensive craft beer selection and tasty tucker, The White Cockatoo Hotel in Petersham is an absolute gem. With spacious and comfortable seating both inside and in their lovely beer garden it’s a versatile spot that can be happily enjoyed year-round.

12. The Chippo

The Chippo is a haven for live music enthusiasts, offering a vibrant downstairs band room and a cozy upstairs pub.

If you want a pub with a strong focus on live music you’ll love the Chippo. The downstairs band room has seen many up-and-coming artists perform, and hosts both live bands and DJs. Upstairs, you’ll find a more traditional pub setting, perfect for a relaxing drink and a chat.

Sydney Pub Crawl Guides

The Crown St Crawl

The Crown St Crawl takes you on a journey through the many pumping pubs that line Surry Hills’ main drag.

Plan: Trinity → The Clock → Forrester’s → The Dolphin → The Beresford

The King St Crawl

The Newtown/Enmore strip of King St is one of Sydney’s densest pub hotspots and a solid selection for a relaxed evening with your pals.

Plan: The Newtown Hotel → Coopers → The Courty → The Vic

The Oxford St Crawl

Oxford St starts off pretty chill but gets livelier as you get closer to the city. There are many great afters spots like Carousel or Universal available at the end of this crawl.

Plan: Paddo Inn → Unicorn → Kinselas → Burdekin → ?

Outro

When it comes to Sydney’s pubs, there are a staggering variety of venues to sample and enjoy. We’ve provided a selection of our favourites, but there are so many other great spots around town! We highly recommend that you get out there and start exploring for yourself.

For a more comprehensive guide to Sydney’s pubs, check out the Bardar app, now on iOS. Get real-time data on how busy every pub in Sydney is, along with info about events, live music and what’s on.

Thanks for reading our guide to Sydney’s best pubs.