Food & Drink

8 Sydney Bars To Cosy Up To This Winter

Crackling fireplaces, vintage Chesterfields & underground; just a few of the reasons to check out these cosy bars next time you decide it’s too cold to go out.

Kittyhawk

Image: thekittyhawk.com.au

Make like the streets of Paris on Liberation Day in 1944 in this French military inspired CBD bar and raise a glass to liberté, egalité and fraternité! Transporting you to the day the American and French troops reclaimed the city during World War Two, Kittyhawk serves up Parisian street food with a twist, rum n’ rye old fashioneds and exuberant end-of-war party vibes. For something tall, slim and good looking order a Polynesian Pearl Diver from the grand 12-metre long bar and settle into a cushy leather booth overlooking the city. Vive la France!

16 Phillip Lane, Sydney
Mon – Wed: 3pm – 12am
Thursday: 12pm – 12am
Friday: 12pm – 2am
Saturday: 4pm – 2am
Sunday: closed

Assembly Bar

Image: assemblybar.com.au

Assembly is the bar version of that kid in high school who always won all the awards. So when it gets chilly outside, warm up your insides with one of their impressive award-winning cocktails. To help make your decision a little easier, they’ve even created a fancy schmancy flavour map to show you the final flavour profile of each drink. For something that edges the line between sweet and sour: the South Beach Slide. For something stronger, that still holds a little sweetness: Secrets of a Geisha. For just plain strong: the Zombie. Enjoy said drinks cosied up on a vintage Chesterfield, and seriously guys, is there anything more winter-y than a grand Chesterfield by the fire?

488 Kent St, Sydney
Monday: 12pm – 11pm
Tues – Fri: 12pm – 12am
Saturday: 5pm – 12am
Sunday: 5pm – 10pm

The Light Brigade Hotel

This Paddington institution is your typical pub at first glance. Look a little closer though and you’ll find The Light Brigade Hotel has a lot more to offer than just sport, beer and ugly carpet. Follow the stone staircase out the back to Subida, a Pintxos & Tapas Bar on level 1 or head up to Brigade Lounge on level 2 for an intimate 1920’s Art Deco experience. Now call us crazy but we think the perfect winter evening is actually had 83 metres above sea level, on the Brigade Rooftop. Why you ask? The fireplace. There’s just something about feeling the crisp air on your cheeks as you sip gatsby-style cocktails and enjoy wood-fired pizzas in front of a roaring fire.

2A Oxford St, Woollahra
Mon – Thurs: 10am–12am
Fri – Sat: 10am–1am
Sunday: 10am–10pm

The Lobo Plantation

Image: thelobo.com.au

The Lobo Plantation is for international rums and kitsch-y cocktails, and Sydney is for The Lobo Plantation. Escape your 9-5 and head underground to the dimly-lit underground drinking den for a Cuban-themed vacay in your mouth. You pretty much can’t go wrong with any one of the cocktails on their extensive list, but if you’re struggling ask for their flagship creation the Old Grogram: Lobo’s Spiced Rum, fresh lemon, sugar and Lobo’s Famous Stout Vermouth. Oh, and the perfect antidote for a cold winter night – flames! 

1/209 Clarence St, Sydney
Mon – Sat: 4pm – 1am
Sunday: closed

Palmer & Co.

What better place to stay warm on a cold winter night than to head underground? If you manage to find Palmer & Co’s nondescript entrance hidden down Abercrombie Lane, be sure to make your way down the flight of stairs to this 1920’s prohibition-style bar. Serving up hearty winter warmers (did someone say grilled cheese?) and free-flowing drinks not available anywhere else, Palmer & Co. is our bar of choice this Winter. For the perfect winter cocktail, ask for an Old Mill: Jim Beam Rye, Mr. Black Coffee AMaro, Bols Genever, Honey, Bitters and Star Anise.

Abercrombie Lane, Sydney
Mon Wed: 5pm 3am
Thurs – Fri: 5pm – 3am
Saturday: 4pm – 3am
Sunday: 5pm – 3am 

Baxter’s Inn

Buried in a basement and hard-to-find seems to be the theme for Winter bars, and Baxter’s Inn is no exception. But with an extensive whisky collection only fully accessed via rolling library ladders, this Sydney institution is worth searching for. The Inn gives off major old-fashioned study vibes making it the perfect winter haunt and with its ‘no bookings, functions or doorlist – everyone is welcome’ policy you’re guaranteed a good time without the pomp and fuss of so many CBD venues.

152-156 Clarence St, Sydney
Mon – Sat: 4pm – 1am
Sunday: closed

Big Poppa’s

Image: smudgeeats.com

This small bar centres around three things: cocktails, cheese and (you guessed it) hip-hop. TBH we can’t think of a better way to warm your spirits on a cold winter night than good beats, an entire menu of cheese-platters that’s available until 3am, and actual spirits! Bypass the restaurant upstairs and settle into a lush leather booth in the dimly-lit downstairs bar. Your hardest decision will be whether to order the Rye’d or Die – rye, applejack, grape, orgeat, orange bitters – or our personal favourite, Tequila Me Softly – tequila, house sweet vermouth, pineapple, lemon, tiki bitters.

96 Oxford St, Darlinghurst
Mon – Sun: 5pm – 3am

Grandma’s

Your own grandma may not live in Sydney, but there’s one in an innocuous basement in the CBD waiting to give you a warm hug this winter. Just like going over to grandma’s, expect to kick back and enjoy personalised hand delivered treats in the form of jaffles and tiki-style cocktails at this kitsch-y candle-lit den. Self-described as a “retrosexual haven of cosmopolitan kitsch and faded granny glamour”, Grandma’s isn’t your regular granny, she’s a cool granny!

275 Clarence St, Sydney
Mon – Thurs: 3pm – 12am
Friday: 3pm – 1am
Saturday: 5pm – 1am
Sunday: closed

Featured Image: Bodhi Liggett

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