Whether its underground or tucked away in an alley – discover Sydney’s most well-kept secrets with this list of the best hidden bars!

Sydney’s nightlife is the stuff of social dreams. A city that is beautiful, vibrant and culturally eclectic, there is certainly no shortage of places to whet your whistle with a fancy cocktail or signature spirit. If you’re dying to try somewhere off the beaten track that will have you coming back again and again, give one of these sneaky little watering holes a go.

Promising to be an unforgettable experience, sit back and sip your way through our list of the best hidden bars in Sydney of 2023!

<strong>The Barber Shop</strong>
Photographed by Boomtown Pictures. Image via Destination NSW.

The Barber Shop

The Barber Shop on York Street is a step back in time to say the least. With their parlour-styled venue alongside their steaming functional bar, The Barber Shop is a hidden treasure tucked within Sydney’s bustling streets. Both ladies and gents are welcome for a traditional barber service or simply just a drink over at the bar. Also found in Barangaroo, The Barber Shop has an overwhelming liquor menu to read through – so more than one visit will have to do!

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89 York St, Sydney, NSW 2000

<strong>The Baxter Inn</strong>
Photographed by Daniel Boud. Image via Destination NSW.

The Baxter Inn

Tucked away in a quiet alleyway off Clarence Street is one of the best hidden bars in Sydney, The Baxter Inn. Led by Swillhouse (Restaurant Hubert), with a strict no bookings policy, The Baxter Inn is the perfect location for a last minute get together with good friends. With old school decor, fantastic wall art and buzzing jazzy tunes, this secret bar in Sydney will make you feel like you’ve gone back to the prohibition era thanks to its remarkable sense of nostalgia. A must visit in 2023!

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152/156 Clarence St, Sydney, NSW 2000
<strong>Cantina OK!</strong>
Photographed by Jem Cresswell. Image via Destination NSW.

Cantina OK!

At the end a narrow laneway mostly used for delivery trucks is one of the most exciting and unique hidden bars in Sydney you need to discover. Located inside a tiny garage, Cantina Ok! is a micro mezcal mecca specialising in rare Mexican spirits. With room for only about 20 people inside, there is a warm and inviting energy as you sip on vibrant cocktails not found elsewhere in Sydney. Be sure to get in early to try some of the best margaritas and cocktails in Sydney.

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Council Pl, Sydney, NSW 2000
<strong>Door Knock</strong>
Photographed by Ash Edmonds. Image via Unsplash.

Door Knock

Just getting to Door Knock is half of the fun. Once you find the right door on Pitt Street, head down the flight of stairs and along a concrete corridor. Follow the signs until you reach a hefty entrance featuring a cute pineapple acting as a door knocker. Knock twice and wait, then soon you will enter the classy realm of Sydney’s best underground bars, better known as Door Knock. May we recommend My Ex Paloma, a bittersweet cocktail consisting of hopped mezcal, smoked grapefruit, apple cider vinegar, agave, sea salt and a jello worm. You’ll be knocking regularly to get into one of the best cocktail bars in Sydney.

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70 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW 2000
<strong>Eau De Vie</strong>
Photographed by Daniel Boud. Image via Destination NSW.

Eau De Vie

Gin and jazz go hand in hand with one another. And, thanks to this secret bar in Sydney, Eau De Vie, your visit will be just as glamorous as what you’d expect it to be. This intimate, dimly lit speakeasy focuses on creating extraordinary cocktails thanks to their exception service from all staff. With something for everyone, Eau De Vie even has a designated Whisky Room that houses a large collection of the special spirit – you can even purchase whisky and store it in their Bottle Lockers. Reopening their doors late May 2023, Eau De Vie will always remain as one of the best spots to drink gin in Sydney.

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285 George St, Sydney, NSW 2000
<strong>Employees Only</strong>
Image supplied.

Employees Only

Despite the name, customers are welcome at Employees Only. Employees Only is one of the latest flagship bars from the original establishment in New York, one of the world’s best cocktail bars. Its roaring 20s art deco interior mixes well with an upper-class hipster vibe; think Great Gatsby if set in Surry Hills. Classy cocktails like the Amelia – shaken blend of vodka, elderflower liqueur and puréed blackberries – are a delicacy sure to make any weekend.

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9a Barrack St, Sydney, NSW 2000
<strong>The Lobo</strong>
Photgraphed by Timur Romanov. Image via Unsplash.

The Lobo

The Lobo has a handpicked collection of over 250 locally and internationally sourced rums, ranging from the Caribbean to Central America and South America. With some of the oldest rums in their collection dating back to the 1930s, The Lobo is proud to demonstrate the evolution of rum over the past 80-90 years and boast some of the rarest and oldest variations of the world’s most beloved rum brands – in cocktail form of course! If you’re looking for one of Sydney’s best hidden bars that knows a thing or two when it comes to rum, The Lobo should be at the top of your list.

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209 Clarence St, Sydney, NSW 2000
<strong>Moya's Juniper Lounge</strong>
Image via @moyasgin Instagram.

Moya's Juniper Lounge

Moya’s Juniper Lounge is an old-world cocktail bar that specialises in gin. You’ll find some of the quirkiest cocktail concoctions here, matched with an atmosphere that captures the old era gone by ― back when gin really was used for medicinal purposes. Bring some joy into your life with a Charlie Chaplin that’s made with Bitter Truth Sloe Gin, apricot brandy and lime juice. One of the best gin bars in Sydney that you must visit in 2023!

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101 Regent St, Redfern, NSW 2016
<strong>Palmer and Co</strong>
Image via Destination NSW.

Palmer and Co

There are a handful of hidden secrets in Sydney; they exist in sheltered laneways, dark corners, and through dimly-lit doorways. Palmer and Co, however, is stashed behind a metal doorway somewhere along the skinny Abercrombie Lane. Inspired by the speakeasy bars of the Prohibition-era, Palmer and Co will have you transported to the frisky 20s with its deep leather booths and exposed brickwork. Their selection of ‘Lost and Forgotten’ cocktails are a true delight, giving you a hearty cocktail not found anywhere else in Sydney. The booze will be running wild when you head on down to Palmer and Co.

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Abercrombie Ln, Sydney, NSW 2000
Photographed by Kobby Mendez. Image via Unsplash.


PS40 is an experimentally fun bar on Skittle Lane, serving up the classics as well as a few courageous and seasonal cocktails for your tasting pleasure. Their concoctions include favourites such as the rum-filled Jean Claude Pandan, or the banana bread infused Breakfast Negroni, delightful surprises sure to make any night just right. Their seasonal cocktail menu also means while you can never be too sure what you’ll find, it’s guaranteed there’ll always be a quirky cocktail right at your fingertips.

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40 King St Enter, Skittle Lane, Sydney, NSW 2000

Shake up your weekend plans with a visit to one of the Top 10 Cocktail Bars in Sydney of 2023. Or, for stunning views, check out these 10 Best Panoramic Rooftop Bars in Sydney.

Feature image: Employees Only, Sydney. Photographed by Mark Namnoun. Image via Destination NSW.
This article was first published on October 20 2017. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on October 26 2023.