Here are some of the best day drinking spots in Sydney for when you’re looking for a nice place to sip a tipple with some pals on a sunny afternoon. Stop and smell the roses. Or Rosé. Or rose craft beer at these bars in Sydney.
Henry Deane is the newly-revamped crown of the historic Hotel Palisade. Order a drink and catch an eyeful of their 270-degree views: one of Sydney’s best vantage points of The Rocks, the CBD, Barangaroo, and the Harbour. Though nighttime views are lovely here, daytime is when you can truly appreciate the scope of this massive view. Split into two levels of 1920s luxe elegance (and so, so much marble), any potential snootiness is undercut by chill times with a tiki mug of Greg’s Grog in hand or one of their signature cocktails.
The Old Clare Rooftop Pool and Bar
Less Old Clare and boutique-y Clare, complete with rooftop pool, Old Clare has had a facelift and now wants to spend the afternoon soaking up some rays with you. Serving up classics like Aperol with orange and soda, the new Old Clare has a rotating bar menu to keep this fresh. Come mid-January, you can expect some delicious nibbles to be available alongside Clare’s delicious drinks, like pork scratchings with apple and rye, and whipped schmaltz (rendered goose fat) with crispy chicken skin.
Because you want to be outside in the summer of Sydney, you’ve just gotta get a load of Coogee Pavilion’s 270-degree rooftop beach views. With retractable walls, bring an elastic to bun that beach hair high on your head and out of your drink as you enjoy the sea breeze. With three separate bars, there is a drink and a dish for everyone. With an array of love seats, couches, stools, and benches to chill in, Coogee Pavilion is well-suited for bonding sunshiney happy times.
For something a little closer to the ground, give The Greens a go, home to a gorgeous view of the harbour and the bridge, surrounded by ovals and little rolling hobbit hills. Whether you’re sunbaking in the beer garden, lounging in the tremendous booths indoors, out on the greens themselves, or visiting the birdhouse, The Greens come alive in the sunny hours. Jugs of Pimm’s or spiked black tea are a good group drink, but a huge range of individual cocktails and brews like Young Henrys and Little Creatures are also on hand.
The Clock Hotel
The Clock Hotel in Surry is a cornerstone of the Sydney booze scene, but they have recently added a whisky bar and gin bar to this recently reno’d local landmark. The Whisky Room has the saloon swinging doors and leather booths that make any night out fun, but the courtyard and balcony are probably the best spot for a balmy afternoon. The courtyard is full of hanging ferns and romantic mood lighting (for those D&Ms with your pals), and the wraparound balcony is a great place to people-watch/puppy-watch and sip on a cocktail or glass of wine from the predominantly Australian upstairs bar menu.
One of the best pubs in Sydney, The Tilbury has a sunny little deck with long tables for sharing with mates, and hanging egg pod chairs to bring out the child within. With big umbrellas, classic cocktails, and an extensive wine list, make the most of their table space by enjoying their $50 two-course business lunch special (Tuesday-Thursday), Friday lunch classics, or Sunday Roast. This is the perfect spot to while away the afternoon with friends.
Home to the young and hip, SoCal is a little bit of Venice Beach or Cancun in Neutral Bay, complete with pink (plastic) flamingos. With a gorgeous rooftop to chill out on while downing three large tacos for $20, the share menu pairs super well with the deadly cocktail menu on offer. The signature drink is the salted caramel espresso martini of Ketel One vodka, Galliano Ristretto, salted caramel, a double shot of espresso (for some pep in your step), topped with honeycomb, which will definitely get you into the party mood. American and Mexican beers are on the menu too, a perfect accompaniment to sitting back and taking cover under the half-covered courtyard if the sun is a little over-enthused.
Public House Petersham
Public House Petersham has also seen a bit of a touch-up recently, and its outdoor beer garden is really shining through this summer. Chockers with herbs, ferns, street-art murals, and a whole load of new furniture, there’s more space for chilling and making the most of the longer days with a cocktail jug in one hand, and a craft brew jug in the other for your beloved bum chums. The Carlton Summer Storm is worth a taste because at $5.50 a schooner between 4 and 6pm, it’s a beer that gives back, with 20c from each sold going to the Addison Road Community Centre.
Across the road from South Steyne, Manly Wine is always going to be a gorgeous way to spend an afternoon. With uninterrupted views of one of Sydney’s loveliest beaches, Manly Wine peaks in the summer. Primarily a wine bar, it’s got none of the snootiness and all of the plastic flamingos, melted waxy candles, flowers, and ferns that you can poke a carafe at. With 100+ wine bottles on a simple menu with none of the jargon of the wine aficionado, you can sample a ‘sticky’ or ‘treasure from our cellar’ kinda wine by the glass and nab a beer or cocktail, if are nein for the wine.
The InterContinental Double Bay Rooftop Bar
On the top floor of the revamped InterContinental Double Bay is their opulently opulent rooftop pool and bar. With an infinity pool, stunning views of the glittering bay, billowing shady cabanas, striped day beds, white stone walls, and sandy tiles, it really is a space that worships natural light and fancy drinks. With customisable cocktails on offer, it’s nice to be pampered while you sip away on a sunny afternoon (as long as your wallet agrees).
Aperol Spritz Summer Sessions
Summer and Aperol Spritz go together like fish and chips, and to celebrate this beautiful union, you can get your Aperol Spritz on all summer long at some of Sydney's best bars. Think outdoor drinks, $10 Aperol Spritzes, good food, good tunes and more fun than you can poke an Aperol swizzle stick at. For details of the Aperol Spritz Summer Sessions happening about town, head here, you beautiful thing you.
You know what also goes perfectly with day drinking? Beer gardens. And we've got some of Sydney's best.
Image credit: Manly Wine