Bars & Pubs

7 Bars To Check Out This December

By Lucy Cook
2nd Dec 2014

Sydney is full of amazing bars with different vibes, themes, specialties and crowds and with new bars always opening, it’s hard to know where to go and what you’re in for. Here at The Urban List, we feel your pain and we’ve got your back. Here are some of the bars we’re checking out this month.

The Smoking Panda | CBD

Centrally located in Park Street, The Smoking Panda is the coolest new Sydney bar to hang out in the CBD. Fusing LA hip with the charm of a retro Chinese eatery, the theme runs through both food and drink menus. The culinary options are a playful take on meals at the suburban Chinese take-away of your childhood, such as san choy bau made from braised short rib and steamed XO soft shell crab sliders as well as a selection of dim sum. The drinks list is massive with a well-stocked collection of spirits, wines, beers and ciders, but it’s the full cocktail menu that has us wanting to order one of everything! The cocktails are divided into categories like dessert cocktails, house specials, tropical, American classics & twists and batched. A special shout out to Dunkin Doughnut martini with dark rum, bourbon, fresh vanilla beans, vanilla liqueur, butterscotch liqueur and doughnut syrup, garnished with a mini donut. Run, don’t walk, people!

Hinky Dinks | Darlinghurst

Hinky Dinks always has a fun, buzzing vibe that oozes energy. After you’ve loaded up with their classic American food, it’s time to load up with some cocktails and with an emphasis on approachable wines and fun drinks, you’re in the right place. This Darlinghurst small bar embodies the enthusiastic spirit of 1950s cocktail culture where a cocktail was a fashion accessory and happy hour was a mood, not a time. The cocktail list is split in two, The Cocktail Hour: Part One and The Cocktail Hour: Part Two. The Betty Draper will have you feeling very suave with Tanqueray gin mixed with in-house cucumber and ginger sorbet, fresh lime and ginger beer, while for those looking for something more bitter, you’ll be pleased with the Sophomore Slump which has Bulleit Rye, sweet vermouth, amaro, citrus bitters and orange peel served on the rocks. Whatever you choose, you can hardly avoid the party spirit of Hinky Dinks. 

Stitch Bar | CBD

Located in York Street, Stitch Bar is central and cool enough to be the best bar in Sydney to go after work and have a gossip about the office. The burgers, hotdogs and tacos on offer will fill you up and keep you going for the evening. But if you’ve just finished work and are after a drink to take the edge off, luckily Stitch Bar has you covered. The cocktail list seems endless, offering everything from tequila to gin to bourbon as well as a long ‘Hard Liquor’ list for the more troublesome days, and a champagne and wine list for the good days worth celebrating. Whatever day you may have had, Stitch Bar is the perfect place to come and enjoy yourself.

The Powder Keg | Potts Point

If gin is your weakness, then you need to get yourself down to The Powder Keg. Right now. Go on, get out of here! Located in the heart of Potts Point, this small bar is blending gin-based cocktails with 17th century Dutch and English fare for the ultimate gin-fuelled experience. Inspired by the history of jenever, gin and the cocktail, The Powder Keg boasts Sydney’s largest gin collection, with over 120 types sourced from around the world. They pay homage to the humble G&T with a signature blend on tap, three choices of ice and five different tonics to choose from. For those still reading and haven’t made a mad dash for Potts Point, let us tell you the food on offer is worthy of a trip itself. Once again taking inspiration from 17th century taverns and gin palaces, you can line your stomach with oysters with gin and tonic sorbet and quail scotch egg with smoked potatoes. With all that on offer, you know where you’ll be finding us this weekend!

Red Lily | Surry Hills

Whether you’re feeling adventurous and looking for something new and punchy, or just want to relax back with a classic cocktail, Red Lily is a fun bar that will take you to the streets of Saigon as soon as you walk through the door. For the more adventurous folk, there is Bloody Lily with a house mix of roasted capsicum and tomato, chilli sambal, basil and spices shaken with lime and a chilli salt rim. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, they’ve got something for you too with a small but delicious selection of dessert cocktails like The Buzzed Banana which will certainly have you buzzing after Mr Black Coffee Liqueur is shaken with banana liqueur, coconut cream and a dash of pineapple juice. An Asian influenced bar menu is sure to keep your hunger at bay with a selection of tasty morsels perfect for sharing.

Stillery Gin Bar | Double Bay

The InterContinental Double Bay is the fanciest place we know of, and it’s now a whole lot more sophisticated with Stillery, Sydney’s first concept gin bar making the hotel its home. Stillery focusses on a growing collection of high-end local craft, imported, vintage and rare gin. The impressive seven-metre long pale marble and blue leather-clad bar hosts the ‘make your own martini’ selection which will make you feel like the most sophisticated socialite in all of Sydney. Lucky you!

Goro’s | Surry Hills

Sydney is about to be injected with a little bit of wacky and wonderful in Surry Hills. The story is that Goro’s is a Japanese dude who grew up leading a wayward life on the streets of Tokyo before eventually finding himself on a famous Japanese game show and, after an unexpected win, found himself on an all expenses paid trip to Sydney where he fell in love with Surry Hills and decided to open his own bar that reminds him of home. Booze and good food are the priorities at Goro’s and we are 100% on board with that! For once, the food isn’t designed to be shared, serving Japanese street food like yakitori, karaage and gyoza all delivered in small, ready to eat servings. With Surry Hills falling outside the lockout zone, Goro’s is the perfect place to unwind, eat great food, drink great beer and sake, and just have fun. Aaaaaall night long…
Image credit: The Smoking Panda

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