Drink Like a Local: The Best Bars and Pubs in Sydney

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You’ve made it to Sydney and are looking for one of the best places to head out for a night on the town. Where are the best bars and pubs? Where are all the other like-minded backpackers at? Where can I find a beer for under $5? We’ve pulled together a list of places, from the most popular backpacker haunts to the highest-rated bars and pubs online. And it’s all here.

Backpackers Unite: The Scary Canary

Scary Canary targets backpackers who are interested in cheap drinks and a great party. Sound familiar? Things tend to get a little wild during the night, and the festivities are often themed: think ‘wet Wednesdays’ and the like. Things start off fairly calmly and conventionally, but as the night wears on, expect the party to get considerably messier. If this is what you’re searching for, look no further.

Cheap Drinks: Bar Century

Don’t care much for ambience? Not too fussed on the clientele? Do you just want the cheapest possible serve of liquor in the city? For this, look no further than Bar Century in the middle of the CBD. The venue is located upstairs from Hungry Jacks, and serves beers and spirits for as little as $3 each. It’s where all the locals go to kick off their night on a bargain-basement budget, but it’s not really somewhere you’ll want to linger – there are classier joints nearby.

Hipster-Kitsch Decor: Grandma’s

TimeOut calls it a cross between “a tiki bar and a ‘60s-style loungeroom”. This little bar oozes character and kitschy charm, and has drinks you won’t find anywhere else (try combining tequila, beer, watermelon/lime juice and barbecue bitters in a giant mug). It’s a small space so try to get there early, but when you do, you can get buzzed on the atmosphere alone – think wallpaper, knitting needles, rocking chairs and vintage clothes – before even ordering a drink.

Timeout Recommends: Bulletin Place

On the wall behind the bar there are two sheets of butcher’s paper on which the drinks menus are scrawled. It’s always changing depending on what’s fresh. The place is small and the vibe screams “we don’t give a damn”, but there are very talented bartenders behind that bar and they’ll be able to serve you the best cocktail you’ve ever had.

Urban Spooners Love: The Baxter Inn

Coming out with the top score in the Sydney Pub & Bar Food Restaurants list, the Baxter Inn is difficult to find but worth the journey to get there. It has a vague speakeasy vibe, tucked away in a basement with no windows and the staff decked out in 1920’s-inspired outfits. It’s primarily a whiskey bar, but there’s sure to be a drink for everyone with an impressive menu of cocktails and  a well-stocked bar. They also serve up free pretzels.