There are a number of key ingredients for the perfect bar to impress a date. Dim, intimate lighting serves well, generally coupled with an extensive cocktail or wine list. These are the bars the Guru recommends to make sure your date night ends happily ever after.
The Bucket List (Bondi)
Situated right on the foreshore of Bondi beach, this easy breezy bar brings out the best things in a half village/half beach party vibe. With bright beers and ciders on tap, a perfect seasonal cocktail list, and views out onto the sunsetting horizon, this is the perfect bar for creating an easy-going and fun-loving atmosphere. We recommend hitting The Bucket List up for a Sunday session like no other.
Sporting many leather-bound books and dark, rich wooden table settings, this Manly beach bar is an old-world hole-in-the-wall gem. You'll find all the classic cocktails for dating newbies, alongside pork belly pancakes for days. It's low-key, and very casual; the perfect warm escape from the dreary city-side weather.
Eau De Vie (Darlinghurst)
Sitting deep in a back room behind The Kirketon Hotel, Eau De Vie has its focus solely on serving up gorgeous bespoke cocktails. The vibe is dimly-lit, with rich wooden aesthetics and high table seating. It's a far-sight more casual than the bustling bar out front, but it provides a comfortable atmosphere which is perfect for thinly veiled conversation on the date of all dates. The bar menu is succinct and the cocktails are free-flowing. The bartenders are meticulous with their cocktails, so this is perfect if you find yourself with a healthy serving of time on your hands.
Love, Tilly Devine (Darlinghurst)
Named after the infamous crime figure, this bar offers a warm atmosphere that would have compared starkly against Tilly herself. You'll find this small neighbourly establishment behind a thick brick wall, transporting you and your date back into a time of lust and prohibition. The focus is on wine, with an impressive list of reds and whites, which, when coupled with one of their impressive share-plates, provides an intimate setting for long conversations about nothing in particular.
Jangling Jack's (Potts Point)
Keeping their online presence to a minimum, Jangling Jack's replicates this anonymity with a vibe that is as much old-time classy as it is approachable. The wine list is short, but carefully selected for the casual customer. The cocktail list is an extensive re-imagination on the classics. The bar itself is apt for the couple who love conversations on all things music, art and film. One of the lesser-known bars in Sydney, Jangling Jack's is by no means lacking in the good times department.
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With flash flooding and gale-force winds predicted for Sydney this week, it doesn't exactly scream rooftop cocktails. However, there is no need to don the winter woolies every night; your best bet is to head underground. Luckily, Sydney has plenty of bars to warm up and get toasty in!
The Lobo Plantation (CBD)
Through heavy wooden doors you'll find the bar which brings out all the best things in rum. With a cocktail list heavily centred around favourites from Cuba and the Dominican Republic, you'll feel more like you're sitting in an underground haven amidst the Caribbean than in doomy gloomy Sydney. We highly recommend the 'Mr Magoo'!
Shady Pines Saloon (Darlinghurst)
Tucked away in a Darlinghurst back alley, inside you'll find yourself in a different world. Dark wooden tables and chairs are bundled amongst the busy bar of taxidermied deer and gorgeously intricate wood carvings. Shady pines is sumptuously dark, with a heavy emphasis on whiskey and bourbon. Request any cocktail, and the boys behind the bar will rattle off any number of old-time specialties. We like to go for the classic whiskey sour to bring us out of the winter dumps.
Baxter Inn (CBD)
From the same boys which bring you Shady Pines, Baxter Inn is an inner-city gem full of lively characters and top-notch drinks. You'll find your way in through an alleyway off Clarence Street, but inside the dark linear interiors coupled with a healthy proximity to all things prohibited take you far far away. There is no menu as such, simply an incredibly large board behind the bar listing an impressive and extensive list of whiskeys from all around the world. The vibe is intimate and tight, but once you sit down with a fresh whiskey apple in hand, you won't want to leave until the sun comes up.
Palmer & Co. (CBD)
This modern day speakeasy with a vibe akin to the prohibition-styled era prides itself on a highly bespoke list of cocktails and spirits. A classic go-to as the city watering hole, Palmer & Co. brings warm tones with exposed brick, period light fittings, tiled floor and original vaulted ceilings held up by thick wooden poles recreate the look of the era. Every day, the designated bartender creates a drink specifically for that bar. These tend to be more fruit-based and accessible drinks and can include anything from punchbowl cocktails to flamed drinks.
Bulletin Place (Circular Quay)
This small bar almost feels like you've walked into the most intimate lounge room ever created. It's dark wooden floors, scattered with pot plants a-plenty make you almost forget that its in the heart of the city. Bulletin Place fills up quickly, mainly due to its ever-changing cocktail list based on the fresh produce of the day. It's simple, easy and oh so lovely.
The Riverview Hotel (Balmain)
This multiple award-winning pub boasts an aesthetic rich in heritage and vintage-styled furniture. Escape the winter chills by sinking into one of the large leather lounges surrounding the overly grand marble fireplace. Bringing out the best in Balmain, The Riverview Hotel has an impressive selection of craft beers and seasonal pub favourites.
Find out other places to warm you this winter, download NightGuru free on the AppStore: https://appsto.re/au/Z27p7.i
Mondays can be a little... glum. For most its back to the working week, waiting for the sweet release of the weekend again. Luckily we are here to help it go a bit smoother. Giving you the most Friday-like Monday you've ever had. Here's the Guru's picks for what to do on a Monday night:
$10 Pizza and Wine Night @ Li'l Darlin (Darlinghurst)
Li'l Darlin is needed on most nights, with warm inventive cocktails and wooden boards topped with gourmet goodies. But every Monday night, they turn the heat up just a little to bring the perfect combination of pizza and wine straight to your post-weekend soul. Only $10!
Happiest Hour @ The Bristol Arms (CBD)
Make Mondays a tad happier for everyone involved. From 5.30-7.30pm each week, you can enjoy $5 schooners, $6 house wines, $12 beer jugs and $12 cocktails, either while kicking back in the vibrant public bar or enjoying the gorgeous views from the rooftop!
Burgers @ The Balmain Hotel (Balmain)
The situation on a Monday night at The Balmain is juicy burgers and icy cold drinks. In this upbeat space with a gorgeous beer garden, after-work drinks become that much happier with $12 burgers all night!
Gin Cocktails @ Kingston Public (Newtown)
Redefining happy hour in the best way. This cosy little Newtown bar brings all the best things in whiskey, gin and tequila. If you've had a rough week already, might be time to lock down a few gin specials at our friends over at Kingston Public. Every Monday you're looking at 20% of all back back Gin and $12 Gin Cocktails all night. How good!
$15 Pizza and Trivia @ The London (Paddington)
If you're already into the weekly work mix and consider yourself a pretty smart gal, check out The London on a Monday night. They've got red-hot trivia questions and hilarious banter flying around all night. If trivia isn't your game, sit back and watch with one of their incredibly delectable pizzas for just $15! We would recommend the Prawn & Chorizo pizza, or the Peking Duck pizza. Yum!
Happy Hour @ The Two Wolves Community Cantina (Chippendale)
Serving up delicious soul food and very impressive cocktails, this community-oriented bar within the heart of Chippendale brings the goods every day of the week. Supporting the Cardona Project, everything that you eat and drink in this hidden gem will be put towards supporting those in need within the community. Beat the weekly blues before they hit with $5 beer and wine, and $10 cocktails Monday to Friday 5pm-7pm. Now that's a happy hour you can feel good about!
For more events and deals for every night of the week, download NightGuru free on the AppStore: https://appsto.re/au/Z27p7.i
A briskly spun roti here, spicy-as-hell noodles there. Mamak is always packed and on fire for all your Malaysian desires (until 2 a.m on Friday and Saturday nights).
The new frontier of pulled-pork, Mr Crackles prides itself on offering the best Pork Belly, Chicken Katsu and Sticky BBQ rolls in Sydney. Our favourite is the Crispy Pork Nacho Fries! *drools uncontrollably*. (open until 4:30 a.m on Friday and Saturday nights).
A staple in every Sydney-sider’s late-night indulgence, you’ll find everything from live lobsters to endless fried dumplings at this Chinese powerhouse. They’re open until 4 a.m. everyday, so wherever you are, Golden Century is there for you.
Tacos. Quesadillas. Beer. What more do you need? Open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Whether you’ve got a penchant for crispy soft-shell crab, five spice flamed duck or the ever-faithful pad-see-ew, Chat Thai in the only place in town for the most authentic late-night Thai fix. Also, if you love yourself, get the Bangkok Wings. Open until 2 a.m. everyday.
PALMER & CO
If you find yourself kicking it down towards Circular Quay, check-in to Palmer and Co for some outrageous Wagyu pastrami, Kranski hotdogs, and the famous soft German pretzel w/ warm ale & cheese fondue. Open until 3 a.m. everyday (but watch yourself with the lockout!)
Famous for their special fried-chicken and spicy soups, NaruOne is the wholesome Korean soul food you need at the end of a night out. Its large, its loud, its wonderful. Open until 3 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday
The underground haven of the city, Frankie’s is open until 3 a.m. everyday. Grab a tasty slice of their New-York style pizza, a frosty cold beer from the tap, and lounge the night away with their rocking live music (solid banter is free).
Warm yourself up with a bottle of soju or one of their kimchi based soups. Madan is the best late-night choice for freshly barbecued spiced meats. Best option for sharing! Open until 1 a.m. everyday.
HARRY'S CAFE DE WHEELS
Woolloomooloo & Ultimo
For over 70 years, Harry’s has maintained its rank as the best in authentic hotdogs, pies and fries. Everything you know you want (and need) at 2 a.m. Open until 3 a.m. most days (4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays).