The bar culture in Sydney’s Central Business District has exploded with new and exciting establishments opening up in all shapes and sizes, from the sleek and posh to the cosy and quirky. Drinks aren’t the only things on the menu though; many bars are taking it upon themselves to provide the people of the city with some of the best food around town. Here we take a look at some of the stand out bars in the city.
Bar, Cafe, Pizzeria, Restaurant, Italian, Beer, $$$
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Courtesy of Frankie’s
This blink-and-you-miss-it saloon is a welcome change to the stock standard corporate bars around the CBD. The basement retreat is a much loved haunt among festive Sydneysiders because of its extensive beer list, including Rouge’s chocolate donut and banana beer, margaritas served by the jug, and a menu offering pizza by the slice until 2am. You can choose from classics like margarita or Hawaiian, and gourmet choices like fig and gorganzola or salmon with goat’s cheese. All slices cost only $5, making it easy and cheap to gradually eat your way through the menu.
Before the Morrison existed, the historic corner it now occupies was home to the old Brooklyn Hotel. Paying homage to its history, the Morrison looks and feels like a New York-style oyster bar and has brought new life and energy into to the northern end of the CBD. The exposed brick walls lit with nude light bulbs create a relaxed, sophisticated setting to enjoy some of Sydney’s finest rock oysters. Other must-try menu items include the crisp lettuce tacos filled with spanner crab and the southern fried chicken ‘lollipops’ with chilli dipping sauce. Book a table in advance or arrive early as it is one of the busiest bars in town.
This basement bar has a surprisingly sunny disposition thanks to the Caribbean inspired décor and fruity rum cocktails on offer. Keeping in theme, the menu is full of south-of-the border creations like moreish banana chips (possibly the only place in Sydney you can find these) – homemade and the perfect combination of sweet and salty – pulled pork tamales, and the incredibly delicious Cuban pastelitos – crisp, deep-fried pastries filled with sweet braised beef and raisins and served with a guava sauce.
Rockpool Bar and Grill is home to Australia’s arguably most loved celebrity chef, Neil Perry. But he isn’t the only famous star that resides in this stunning heritage venue: the Wagyu burger is almost a celebrity in itself, as it continuously comes in at first place in Sydney’s best burger awards. Rockpool Bar and Grill is well known for its world renowned fine dining, but the bar menu offers many delicious and reasonably priced items like fresh oysters, ceviche, and beef jerky.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Contemporary, European, $$$
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This small but cosy European-inspired bar makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a Parisian bistro, and is an ideal place to escape from the hustle bustle of the CBD. The menu is full of popular tapas items and dishes made to share. For cheese lovers, you can’t go past the gorgonzola fondue or the wheel of soft Brillat-Savarin cheese baked whole and served with all the trimmings, such as gourmet cured meats including wagyu bresaola, San Daniele prosciutto and leg ham off the bone.