Sydney will never be Melbourne let alone New York City in the back alley bar stakes, but we still have a few fab spots worth checking out.
Bambini Trust, Elizabeth Street – This is Paris meets Sydney meets New York. I have always had a soft spot for this sophisticated place. From the gorgeous chandeliers, to French style chairs, energetic aproned staff to divine wine list, this place is one of the most elegant bars in Sydney. Favoured by the media and legal sets both by day and night, everyone here is well dressed and well heeled. You never know who you might see. There is an Italian restaurant across the hall from the bar, which is also one of the best in the city, and a fine place for a hot date.
Since I left You, 338 Kent Street – I am in love with the name of this bar. It’s cute and clever, the combination a girl is always looking for but doesn’t often find. It is art deco in style, a bit hard to find and attracts a very mixed crowd which I also like. The cobblestone courtyard (one of few in the city) works well in summer, although watch your heels don’t scrape like mine did, (Don’t wear your Monolos here). On cool nights the slick interiors will warm you up.
The Baxter Inn, 152-156 Clarence St – This place was named amongst the world’s top 50 bars last year. Most of of my Sydney mates rave about this whisky bar. I like it a lot but am not a spirit drinker, so 800 choices of whisky does nothing for me. It is down a daggy back alley, then down some old stairs right underground, and a bit dark and sexy. There’s wine available, and everyone gets a bit flirty as it feels sneaky just drinking there.
Sticky Bar 182 Campbell Street – This New York style hole in the wall has no signage at all and even has a password at the door, which guests are given at the restaurant at the front after dinner. Maybe because I usually go with girls, we always seem to get past that password and talk our way in, and the place is always fabulous. Some nights paella is served, often there is a live band, and there is a great area at the back you can hire for a private party. Awesome banker/grunge crowd, drinks and staff. Very chilled. Often you can get your groove on here.
Shady Pines Saloon – 256 Crown Street This is an all time favourite with many Eastern suburbs glamours, as well as students, and as a result there’s usually a hefty que up the alley way on warm nights. Underground, it is packed with American country & western style memorabilia, from antler’s heads to tins, and naked pictures of women on the walls. There are free peanuts for snacks. Quirky, and fun with awesome cocktails and drinks. Great music too. You feel young here.
Palmer & Co – Under The Establishment – A favourite with the cashed up finance set most nights of the week after work, this 1920’s style bar is fabulously glamorous. Often there’s a que, but you will get in quickly as the venue is large. Another underground spot, champagne is served in old fashioned flutes, which girls love on any Friday night. Another Hemmes success story. Super Fun every night of the week.
The Barber Shop – 89 York Street, Sydney – They actually cut hair here by day, true story. By night, it turns into a trendy dimly lit bar and the feel of this place is very casual European, and inviting. A great selection of both foreign and local wines by the glass, which I like and lots of boutique bottled beers which boys like.
10 William, 10 William St, Paddington – They come from far and wide to cram into this tiny hot spot in Sydney’s East. There is a bar where you can have plate of food and a few wines solo, and not feel like everyone thinks you are there to pick-up. People are friendly and chat, and staff are attentive, Italian and hot. Wines are a mix of local and foreign, but the food and the friendly clientele is what keeps me coming back, as the serves are small but divine and change regularly.