10 of Sydney’s Hidden Bars

Sydney Bars.png

Sydney in the 90’s

We used to go bar hopping, otherwise affectionately known by Aussies as going on a ‘pub crawl’ where we would go from pub to pub to pub to …well you get the idea

There were more pubs than we could get to in a night (someone told me over 300) .  We would usually start at “the Metro” Cnr George & Bridge Streets and go to the upstairs bar, I spent every Friday night for 3 1/2 years in there, the T-Bone Steak & Chips was “the regular” and bourbon & coke (used to cost us $3.50) followed by Heinekin and Black Russians….yep, this gal could drink……thankfully the internet wasn’t that popular then, and people still liked talking to each other. Cell phones weren’t equipped with cameras & those who sported them were usually banker nerds (no offense!) If only those walls could speak, well, let’s just say there’d be some tales to tell…thankfully for me, my secrets are safe.  It has since been renovated into a hotel with a rooftop bar, wow

Sydney Insider:

One of Sydney’s best kept secrets wasn’t the tales told at the Metro.  It is the fact that there were secret bars only known and frequented by ‘the locals’…. lots of them underground in conspicuous locations….the ‘747 Bar’ in Wynyard was decked out like the inside of a 747 plane, it was pretty cool. Then there was ‘Jungle Bar’ which was part of, or very close to the Menzie’s Hotel (I wonder now if it might have been inspired by Elvis Jungle Room, who will ever know).  Probably my favorite, was the ever popular ‘Test Tube Factory’ where the waitstaff were all dressed in lab coats and brought you shots of liquor in test tubes, it was very ‘hip’….. sadly, I do believe most of these bars have now closed down. It’s a shame, you would have liked them

There has in recent years been an influx of “hidden” “secret” bars that only a few know about, some so secret, they remain unmarked and only locals know how to even get inside

Problem is, there’s this thing called the Internet, where everyone IS finding out about them, so any that are any good, won’t be secret for long, and you aren’t going to remain secret hitting the “top 50 bars in the world” list every year

I have corralled 10 Underground, hidden bars & pubs for you, (don’t hold me responsible if you have a great time or get lost down some dark alley)… I’m just the messenger, sharing some good time fun

These aren’t ‘kid friendly places’ and are intended for adults of drinking age (18 in Sydney) and older

The ones I am listing here are all within a close radius of each other and all located in the CBD.  There are others in Darlinghurst & Surry Hills, but for now, these are in walking, crawling or hailing a cab (taxi) distance of each other

10 Hidden/Underground Bars In Sydney:

(In no particular order)

1. The Baxter Inn – Basement 152-156 Clarence Street, Sydney

The not so secret whiskey bar is located in an unmarked alleyway on Clarence Street, nestled among some rubbish bins,  there’s apparently a mysterious door that leads you into The Baxter Inn

It is renowned for its unrivaled whiskey selection (& has a secret whiskey room at the back).  It has been named yearly on the world’s 50 best bars list, and is on several ‘top 10’ lists for Sydney

2. Grandma’s – Basement 275 Clarence Street, Sydney

It has been described by many as ‘a 60s kitsch basement’

2011/12 Nominated for Best New Bar in Australia, Bartender Australia Magazine and
The Australian Liquor Industry Awards

2011/12 Nominated Best Small Business, Sydney City Business Awards

3. Bulletin Place – Level 1, 10-14 Bulletin Place, Sydney

Look for the brown doors to the left of Cabrito

The bar is about 1 minute from Circular Quay

Bulletin Place was opened in 2012 by three bartenders

4. Palmer & Co – Abercrombie Lane, Sydney

Tucked down an alley and hidden underground, Palmer & Co. is a time warp back to the 1920s  the era of prohibition with its bootleggers & sly-groggers

5. Stitch – 61 York street, Sydney

Pop through the faux-dressmaker’s shopfront adorned with singer sewing machines and yarn, and head down the stairs to Stitch, the Bar

6. Papa Gedes – Laneway at the rear of 348 Kent St

This cool Tiki Bar is Named after the voodoo spirit of lust and laughter

7. The Swinging Cat – 44 King Street, Sydney (Cnr Clarence & King St)

The New Oreans inspired bar is located underneath a Subway Sandwich shop with the entrance being shared with Subway and bears almost no signage

8. Gilt Lounge – 49 Market Street, Sydney

Inside QT Sydney, the hotel that joins the old Gowings department store and the former State Theater

9. Lobo Plantation – Basement Lot 1, 209 Clarence St, Sydney

Carribean Inspired Cocktails & Menu

10. Mojo Record Bar – Basement Level, 73 York St, Sydney

Music themed bar with records & music memorabillia all over the place


Other “Watering Holes” that aren’t so secret:

Jackson’s on George – 176 George Street, The Rocks,Sydney

Phillip’s Foote – 101 George Street- The Rocks, Sydney (Beer Garden Patio out back )


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10 Sydney Lighthouses

28 of the Best Places to Photograph Sydney

10 Fun Facts: Sydney Harbour Bridge

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