Is anything in this world more appropriately named than "happy hour"? It’s that glorious time of the day when bars, pubs, and restaurants invite us in to drink and eat at ridiculously cheap mate’s rates prices. It’s that hour or two when every sip and every bite tastes a little bit better because it doesn’t hit your wallet quite as hard. Put simply, it’s an excellent time for all.
And let’s be honest, we could all use a happy hour after the past few months—both for a good drink and for some savings. At the moment, every dollar counts. So, to all the wonderful venues putting on cheap drinks to make a Tuesday arvo or a Sunday night a little happier, we say thank you.
The only problem remains how to find the best happy hours sneakily hiding around Sydney. Well, fret no longer, because we’ve rounded up the very best time-bound discount food and drink offerings (i.e. happy hours) from every corner of this great city.
From cocktails to burgers, and from craft beers to delicious wines, this is our list of best happy hours in Sydney.
This quaint King Street bar has long been known by Newtown locals as one of the best happy hour spots in the Inner West—with good reason. Pop in between 5 and 7pm and you can cop $7 pints of craft beers. Yep, not schooners, pints! And because Corridor is a Newtown institution, that usually means a full line-up of cheap Young Henry’s pints.
If you’re looking for a good cocktail and a friendly hang, Marrickville is the place to go. But if you want a bloody deal, then head to Titus Jones Tuesday through Sunday, and you won’t be disappointed. Alongside their tacos (which we might add are just $15 for three), this hole-in-the-wall bar is shaking up $12 margaritas served in a frozen coupette for happy hour. You can also grab a $6 schooner of Red Stripe to cool off after a long day.
Botany View Hotel
If you don’t already know about the legit collection of hospo venues at the south end of King Street, we recommend you get over there as soon as possible. And it so happens that if you stumble into the Botany View Hotel on any day between 7 and 9pm, you’ll be treated to $5 house beer and wine, and $5 house vodka, gin, rum, and bourbon. Bonus points for this happy hour being every day of the week, and more bonus points for that prime time offering. And if you’re there on a Monday, you can let loose and get involved in some karaoke, or, on Thursdays, you can sit and enjoy some live jazz.
Vic On The Park
The Vic has always been and will always be an absolute local’s favourite. Luckily, since being purchased by Merivale, it’s kept a lot of the same charm and delicious food. One thing we’re glad still exists is their happy hour. Between 5 and 7pm, Monday to Friday, they're slinging stupidly cheap $6 pints of house beers, wines, and spirits. And if you’re in for a boozy lunch, you can also grab $15 jugs between 12 – 3pm.
The Marlborough Hotel
Here’s one just for the hospo legends out there who work during the usual late arvo and early evening happy hour times. Newtown’s Marly bar is offering "hospo hour" to thank all those coming off a tough shift, covered in beer and sweat and hoping not to break the bank. From Friday to Tuesday between 11pm – 1am, show your RSA card to staff and score yourself a $6 house schooner, wine or cider. And because it’s kind of the unofficial hospo after-work drink, you can have a $6 whiskey between 11 – 12am.
The Botanical & Huxley’s
If you’re passing through Caringbah, one of the best eating and drinking spots has to be Highfield and its mini precinct of venues, including The Botanical and Huxley’s. At Huxley’s, you’ll find a mix of live sports, delicious craft beers and American BBQ, where you can also enjoy $10 cocktails between 7 – 9pm Fridays and Saturdays. Yep, it’s a weekend-only happy hour. As for The Botanical, that’s also where you’ll find $10 standard cocktails, as well as $12 cocktails from the fancier range, 7 – 9pm Thursday to Saturday and 3 – 6pm on Sundays. Since you’re there, make sure you pop your head into Ugly Pizza for some seriously good slices (you can also find the same weekend cocktail happy hour there).
If you live South of Sydney, then you already know that The Prince is one of the area’s best venues. Tucked away on the side of the Princes Highway, the beautiful and gigantic pub is home to 25 different beers on tap, with plenty of craft brews, a huge list of wines and cocktails, a crazy big and eclectic bistro menu, and one of the best outdoor areas in all of Sydney. But if you need a few more reasons to visit, they also do a bunch of great happy hours. Go to the sports bar every day between 4 and 6pm for $5 schooners or to the main bar every day between 3 and 5pm for "Crafternoons" and $6 schooners or $7.50 pints of craft beer. Finally, there are also $10 cocktails every day between 6 – 8pm. Surely, enough said.
There’s a good chance you already know Butter is slinging some of the best fried chicken in Sydney. But you might not know there’s a delicious reason to get in there between 3 and 6pm, Monday to Friday. Pop in during "Butter Hour" and cop some of their crispy and golden wings for just $2 or their "Bopeys" mini sandwiches for only $6. And if you choose the hot AF spice level, there are $5 Young Henry’s tinnies to help you cool down.
Shady Pines Saloon
Even without a happy hour, this underground Surry Hills bar is one of the best places to add to your inner-city date night. But as it happens, the candlelit, peanut-peddling, backstreet hidden cocktail bar wants to spread the cheap love to start your night the right way. Between 4 and 6pm, Shady Pines serves $4.50 house spirits, house lager tinnies, and house wines (even for this list, that’s an outrageously cheap drink). Plus, you can score $10 margaritas and negronis.
In case you missed it, Forrester’s in Surry Hills was recently given a $1.5 million renovation and is now one of our favourite spots for a cocktail and a great feed. Despite its facelift, the new owners still want the local favourite to be a spot for a cheap drink after work, which is why they’re doing a bunch of happy hour beers and wines starting from $5. We also feel we should tell you that they’ve brought back the $10 Monday steaks. Believe us, that’s worth your time and a blue note.
The Lansdowne Hotel And Mary's On Top
Although it’s no longer considered a student bar, The Lansdowne still knows how to put on a bunch of super cheap and delicious offerings. Dubbed “The Happiest F*ckin Hour", the good folks from Mary’s group are handing out $5 lagers and Jack Daniels and $8 natural wines between 4 and 6pm every goddamn day of the week. And if you head upstairs to Mary’s On Top on Friday and Saturday nights, there are $10 pizzas and $5 lagers between 6 and 9pm.
It's no secret that Sydney loves a margarita—but your lime and tequila habit can get a little costly when a cocktail sets you back $20. Don't stress though, because one of our favourite spots to sip a marg (or three) has a happy hour guaranteed to keep you smiling. Drop into Tio's mid-week for their Welcome Back Wednesdays special. You'll be treated to $10 margs and $10 pizzas. Otherwise, Tio's daily happy hour runs from 5 - 6pm and, just casually, involves $5 beers, shots, and cocktail specials. Yep, $5 cocktails. Not kidding.
Two-time winner of Australasia's Best Bar in the World's 50 Best Bars awards (2019 and 2020), Maybe Sammy is absolutely pouring some of Sydney's best cocktails—but you can sample them on the cheap during their slick daily happy hour. From 4.30 - 5.30pm, drop in for Maybe Sammy's mini martini hour, where you can sip your way through a list of half pour cocktails for just $5.50 each.
Dumpling Bar Restaurant On Kent
Oh yes, dumpling bars are getting in on the happy hour action too. This Kent Street restaurant is not only dishing out a massive menu of dumplings, stir fry and noodles, but they’re also serving up $5 beers and spirits and $6 wines Monday through Friday. But here’s the best one—they’re also handing out $8 cocktails. Bonus points because this sweet little deal runs between 4 and 8pm, which is a bloody long time in the world of happy hours.
How good is a happy hour that doesn’t obey the rules? Who says happy hours must start before the sun is down? Our friends at Tilly May’s, the delightful bar above Trinity Bar, believe the best time to enjoy a discounted drink is after dinner. Head upstairs between 9 and 11pm, Wednesday to Sunday, and you’ll not only find a retractable ceiling giving a rooftop bar vibe but $12 cocktails and $6 schooners of selected beers. We’d also be remiss in not telling you to head in for a Sunday sesh to nurse your hangover with a $10 bloody mary.
Randwick Golf Club
Sometimes, Sydney’s finest happy hours can be found in the most unlikely places—so say hello to the underrated yet ever-great Randwick Golf Club. Tucked away in Malabar and just off the beautiful Buchan Point, this club not only sports stellar views at sunset, but a low-key and amazing happy hour that reels in a crowd from all over. From Monday through to Thursday, 4 - 6pm, you’ll find house wines and tap beer flying out from behind the bar for a very nice $4 a pop.
Bondi’s low-key Speakeasy Bar doesn’t muck around with a big menu, only offering carefully selected dishes that we guarantee will blow you away. While you might typically head in for the casual street-dining vibe or the impressive wine list, pop in between 5 and 6pm, Monday to Thursday, or 3 and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, and you’ll also be treated to $6 wines and beers and $12 cocktails. You can also try their signature meatball dish with a glass of shiraz for $22 every Monday.
This Oxford Street eatery is one of the city’s best spots to share a slow-roasted whole chicken with a bunch of mates. And, if you're saving your pennies, you'll be pleased to know The Paddington is also making sure to keep your attention with a killer happy hour. From 6 – 8pm, Tuesday through Thursday, you can pop in for $7 house spirits, pints of draught beer, or house wine. But on Friday and Saturday, that’s when the real magic happens. If you’re staying in to eat from the late-night menu, you can also order $10 classic cocktails between 10pm and midnight.
Right across the street from one of the world’s most iconic beaches, comes a pretty iconic happy hour. Dust the sand off your feet and head into Hotel Bondi Monday to Thursday between 6 – 9pm for a bunch of discounted drinks that’ll go down a treat after a long day in the sun. They’re pouring $5 and $6 schooners, and a bunch of $5 and $6 wines. But we reckon the best thing to cure that sunburn is a $12 Aperol spritz or espresso martini.
This Manly beachside Japanese bar doesn’t just plate up some of the most intriguing and prettiest food alongside an awesome rock n roll vibe. If you make your way to Daniel San between 6 and 8pm, Monday through Friday, you’re in for $6 house spirits, wine, and of course, Kirin beer. Since we’re here, we might as well tell you they also do all-you-can-eat wings on Wednesdays, two-for-one meals on Thursdays, and $12 cocktails between 6 – 8pm on Fridays.
If you’ve already taken the stairs up to SoCal, then you know the Neutral Bay joint has an extremely inviting and relaxing California beach vibe. The only thing that could possibly make that better is chilling out after work with a $12 frozen cocktail slushie, or $5 house white or rosé, French sparkling, or Mexican Lager. That wasn’t meant to be hypothetical, that’s precisely what you’ll get Monday to Friday between 4.30 – 6.30pm.
Let’s be honest, if you’re up north and you’re looking for a place to chill with a cheap drink in the sun, you might as well choose something with some outdoor dining and a beach view. Well, tick and tick for Corretto—a sunny spot across the road from Dee Why beach with stacks of vibes. Pop in after a swim during the week from 3 and 6pm for $10 cocktails and $8 pints of house beer.
High Street Social
If you’ve visited this Penrith local favourite dining and drinking spot, then you know that High Street Social loves nothing more than shaking up colourful and decorated cocktails to help you forget your troubles. To make them go down even easier, you can order some of their Insta-ready creations for just $10 every day of the week between 3 and 6pm. That’s alongside $5 wines, $7 craft schooners, and $12 pizzas.
Alex & Co
Nestled alongside the Parramatta River, this open-plan bar and restaurant has kind of become the spot in the Western CBD. Aside from a slate of delicious eats to choose from, it’s also offering one of the best happy hours around town for that much-needed early knock-off drink. Pop in Monday to Saturday between 3 and 5pm, or Sunday between 2 and 5pm for $5 wines and schooners, $10 cocktails or $20 cocktail jugs. And because you shouldn’t down a cocktail jug on an empty stomach, they’re throwing in some $10 woodfire pizzas as well.
If anyone in Sydney knows how to put on a proper happy hour, seemingly throwing caution to the wind, it’s our favourite Italian friends at Fratelli Fresh. Try and contain your excitement as we run through one of the happiest hours around. Head into one of their venues around Sydney between 4 and 6pm for $7.50 pints of craft beer and a huge variety of wines for $6. Don’t ask us how, but they’re also offering $8 Aperol Spritz, Espresso Martinis and Negronis. Finally, to really put you in an Italian coma, you can order $5 antipasti dishes including calamari, bruschetta, zucchini flowers, and arancini. Check out the list of venues here.
Feasting on the cheap? Check out this list of Sydney's best eats under $10.
Image credit: Tilly May's, Butter, Shady Pines, Forrester's, Tio's, Maybe Sammy, Tilly May's, SoCal