Summer vibes: Sydney’s best rooftop bars
As summer rolls in we Sydneysiders gravitate outdoors to soak up some rays, revel in the warmth and catch up with friends. The only thing better, is being able to do all of that with a happy hour cocktail jug loitering nearby. We’ve narrowed down our favourite Sydney rooftop bars so you can live out your summer fantasies in style.
This Newtown institution is revered not only for its excellent hospitality, cocktails, nibbles and all-round good vibes. The tidy little rooftop deck will have you staking out your place early for weekend libations. With a handsome offering of craft beers and wine you’ll be kept well hydrated, and be sure to peruse the cocktail and bites menus for a well-rounded visit.
153A King Street, Newtown
Having undergone a complete refurb, East Village has been transformed from a notorious pub in Darlinghurst into a Wine Pub. Yes, you heard us, a pub that specialises in wine – talk about paradise. While the menu had us at hello, it’s the Rooftop Terrace that we are loving. With stunning city skyline views, the Rooftop Terrace offers patrons seasonal cocktails and light bites.
234 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst
On Level 3 of The Light Brigade in Woollahra, you’ll find yourself an open rooftop refuge from which you can bask in a spectacular across Sydney’s city skyline. With woodfired pizzas, share plates and pub classics, you can soak up the atmosphere with an alfresco meal, or keep things simple with a glass of prosecco or a summertime favourite…Frosé.
2A Oxford Street, Woollahra
This rooftop bar is nestled among the gleaming buildings of Barangaroo, offering a new oasis for you to settle in to come Friday afternoon. Taking a cue from the vibrancy of Australian Tropicana, you’ll be treated to a smart smattering of cocktails – we’re looking at you ‘Flamin Galah’ as you tuck in to share plates, including barramundi tacos or the pork croquettes.
Level 4, Exchange Place, 400 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo
Surreptitiously situated on the top floor of a nondescript York Street building, The Rook’s rooftop location makes it an instant hideaway from the bustle of the city below. With a strong focus on inventive cocktails and craft beers you’ll always be tempted to try something new. The menu offers snacks, burgers, and whole lobsters to those looking for sustenance before the evening’s shenanigans are through.
Level 7, 56-58 York Street, Sydney
Get the best of both worlds at this Double Bay pub, boasting both the innate glam of rooftop real estate and the laidback charm of a former hotel, you’ll likely find yourself here every second weekend. Live DJ sessions will keep the crowds coming throughout the weekend, while the Sunday afternoon vibe is distinctly more ~chill~ and ideally suited to ordering a cheese plate and bottle of rosé to wind down at the end of the weekend.
28 Bay Street, Double Bay
Websters Bar has had a brand spanking new refurbishment. This 1950s backyard bar now adorns the rooftop level. Astro turf and pink flamingos meet under umbrellas, strung lights and long wooden tables. Watch the hustle and bustle of King Street as you sip on a cocktail or tuck into delicious share plates and pizzas, which are available at the bar on the floor below.
323 King Street, Newtown
This New York inspired bar sitting atop the Art Deco heritage hotel has quickly become a favourite as a go-to champagne and cocktail destination among the city’s well-heeled. In addition to their partnership with Veuve Clicquot Champagne (hello cocktails), the bar’s relaxed summery atmosphere only underlines its sophisticated vibe. Do you need any more encouragement to lounge in poolside cabanas as you wile away the hours?
Primus Hotel Sydney, Level 7, 339 Pitt Street, Sydney
Holding prime position within the Bristol Arms Hotel in Sydney’s CBD, this rooftop has both indoor and outdoor areas ideally suited to post-work drinks. Head up to the airy space for a wind down cider and handful of share plates including dips with pita or lamb skewers. With an outlook over King Street Wharf in one direction and the city skyline to the other, the backdrop could not be better.
81 Sussex Street, Sydney
Located on fourth and fifth floors of Hotel Palisade, Henry Deane takes in sweeping views of Sydney Harbour. The plush interiors and equally appealing cocktails make for perfect Instagram fodder. Sip on a ‘Sun-Kissed Spritz’ by the bar as you wait for a table to munch on the crispy brussel sprouts, king salmon or delectable bowl of mussels with tomato, white wine, garlic and chilli.
35 Bettington Street, Millers Point
The Local Taphouse
With a slightly inconspicuous exterior the Local Taphouse is a beer lover’s heaven. With over 20 beers on tap in addition to a wide range of bottled brews, this is the place to bring your mates for a Sunday arvo beverage. The intimate rooftop features long wooden tables, umbrellas and hanging lights. Enjoy the grazing plates and try out some of their beer-paired food options.
122 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst
A beloved local haunt, ‘the pav’ features a wraparound balcony with sensational water views. Overflowing with lush greenery, Merivale spared no cost as greenhouse structures, tropical sketches and striped awnings feature throughout. Buzzing on weekends and throughout summer, visitors can expect a full bar and a Mediterranean inspired menu offering everything from charred squid to salted pork neck with tzatziki and chilli.
169 Dolphin Street, Coogee
The Bridgeview Hotel
Relaxed and family friendly, the Bridgeview Hotel is a North Shore staple. Make your way to their astro-turfed rooftop and enjoy a cold drink from the intimate bar. Their classic pub menu is deliciously simple and very family friendly so the whole brood can enjoy a feed while the sports fans can watch a game on the big TVs in the main bar below.
580 Willoughby Road, Willoughby
This Rocks oldie now appeals to a wider demographic with their spruced-up rooftop bar adding a fresh element to the traditional pub interiors on the ground floor. With some of the best harbour views around and a retractable roof The Glenmore is popular all year round. Their gourmet pub grub will satisfy all cravings and the kids menu, though limited, provides some smaller options.
96 Cumberland Street, The Rocks
Zephyr Bar Sydney
Bringing specialty cocktails and an unparalleled panorama view together, the Park Hyatt’s Zephyr Bar is a must when you’re looking for indulgence. The elegant space is perfectly placed to soak up Sydney’s spectacular summertime sunsets. When you add a Freshly Pressed Pink Grapefruit Martini or glass of Perrier-Jouet, we’ve little doubt you’ll find an excuse to return time and time again.
Hyatt Regency Sydney, Level 12, 161 Sussex Street, Sydney
Originally published in Sitchu.