Darlinghurst is a suburb just southeast of Sydney’s CBD. Originally known as being Sydney’s red-light district, it has since been regenerated and become one of the prime residential areas in the city. Darlinghurst is also known as Sydney’s gay district, with many venues for the LGBT community. Read on to discover the best places to drink in this inner-city suburb.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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Cocktails at Eau-de-Vie | Image courtesy of Eau-de-Vie
Eau-de-Vie is the term used in French speaking countries to refer to spirits; here in Darlinghurst, it is the name of a cocktail bar that is renowned as being one of the finest in the world. This cocktail bar is made up of two rooms, the main bar and the Whiskey Room. The main bar is home to over 500 different spirits, and is where the cocktail magic comes to life, whereas the Whiskey Room is a hidden section at the back of the bar, where you can enjoy all of the venues excellent whiskies.
Uniform wooden stools line the bar, behind which a plethora of different bottles of spirits show the endless possibilities of incredible cocktails. Shady Pines Saloon and its decor are a perfect example of something rustic, with classic drinks served in a bar that is decorated with 20th century artwork of landscapes and wildlife as well as taxidermy animals. You’ll feel like you’ve fallen into a North American rural bar when you climb the stairs into this little bar, but the choice of drinks represents a modern version of this aesthetic, with a huge range of whiskeys, bourbons and ryes to choose from.
Wooden furniture and wooden fixtures are complemented by fresh flowers on the bar and sparkling clean glassware hanging from the ceiling at Love, Tilly Devine. This humble little bar is the perfect place to come with a special someone or a good friend for a few drinks. This bar specialises in wine, with over 300 wines from all around the world and its best wine regions from France to Chile and of course back home in Australia. Don’t forget to check out the bar menu for some of the great bar snacks on offer.
Beer lovers throughout the Sydney region are invited to make their way down to this hipster paradise in Darlinghurst. New and unique beers are always on the menu at The Local Taphouse, where you are invited to try one of the many artisan beers on tap or if none of those tickle your fancy, you have at your disposal a huge choice of craft beers by the bottle. Don’t forget, if it’s a nice day you should definitely make your way up to the rooftop garden bar and soak up the gorgeous Australian sun while enjoying one of the great beers on offer.
Known for its eclectic street art, Pocket Bar, on the south western edge of Darlinghurst, is a pioneering space of hipster culture, providing a range of different bar snacks and street food that is inspired by many different cuisines from around the world as well as a huge choice of modern cocktails, which use their range of top-class spirits and liqueurs. The decor at this cool bar is a sophisticated twist on that bohemian style that is at the forefront of the hipster movement.
Almond Bar offers authentic Syrian flavours in a way that is common in Middle Eastern culture, and that is by sharing. Almond Bar invites you to try a range of their mezza and tabkha dishes, which are traditional Middle Eastern sharing plates, or maybe try one of the set menus, which provide a balanced combination of dishes, which is great for groups. Their drinks menu includes a selection of wines from Europe, Morocco, Lebanon, South America as well as local Australian and New Zealand wines, or perhaps try one of their signature cocktails that utilise the classic Syrian flavours.
Darlinghurst’s prime example of how different styles and fashions come back into the mainstream as quickly as they go out, Lo-Fi is a retro 70s-80s bar, where the clientèle is young and appreciative of the decor and style of yesteryear. From vinyl sofas to vinyl records, this is the perfect place to come for a relaxed night, listen to the live music and drink one of their many classic cocktails. If you’re looking for a good drink, and somewhere to experience nostalgia from almost fifty years ago, this is the place to go.
Named after the historic Stonewall Riots in the 1969 that signified the violent start of the gay liberation movement, (after an underground New York City bar was raided by police officers hoping to arrest the patrons for engaging in homosexual acts), Stonewall Hotel is located in a heritage listed building in Darlinghurst, and remains, after opening just before the turn of the century, one of Australia’s main venues for the LGBTI community. Stonewall Hotel’s three bars are open every day of the week, where you can find some of Sydney’s best DJs as well as drag performers and dancers who get the night going.
Bar, Diner, Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, BBQ, Cocktails, American, $$$
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Just a couple of streets off from the iconic Oxford Street is this classic 1950s American-style BBQ and burger bar. Surly’s is the ideal place if you’re looking for crinkle-cut chips and classic BBQ ribs, but you can’t go past their incredible gourmet burgers, nor can you miss out on their great selection of house cocktails. The glow from the neon lights, checked red, pink and white nylon table cloths and arcade video games round out this bar and restaurant to make it the real American diner experience.