We’re not a city short of an epic view, a sky-high feed or open-air drink. And these bars are stepping the elevated game up a massive notch with espresso martinis on tap, indoor cloud trees, apple cider slushies, sunsets for days and palm springs vibes.
Here are all of the best rooftop bars in Sydney.
Panorama Lounge Bar
If basking in sunsets while being served big views of Sydney Harbour from the top down is hot on your to-do list this summer, you’ll want to make sure you head to the InterContinental’s rooftop bar. Dubbed the Panorama Lounge Bar, this summer pop-up is hidden at the very top of the InterContinental Sydney’s rooftop (that’s about 31 levels above the city).
The floating bar will give you 270-degree views of the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens. While you’re lapping up those views, you’ll also get to sip on a sling of artisan cocktails on the fancy al fresco wraparound balcony. Just note, you can only score a seat if you reserve a spot, so head here for reservations.
Slims Rooftop is a serious rooftop oasis contender in Sydney—for many reasons. This beauty is the cherry on top of Hyde Park House and overlooks Sydney’s Hyde Park with uninterrupted views of the city CBD and westerly sun (which means it’s the perfect place to clock-off on a Friday afternoon.
The menu up here is modern Asian fusion “izakaya” so you’re in for a whole lot of share plates alongside a slew of glorious summer cocktails. You can dig into dishes like vegetable tacos (pumped with green chilli and nori), crispy pork belly boa buns, spiced fried chicken and pork gyoza served up with a soy vinegar sauce for absolute salty goodness.
The cocktails here are pretty major and there is a lot to choose from, with all your staple espresso martinis, Aperol spritz, margaritas, and Bloody Marys in the mix. But the real stand out is the Million Dollar Mermaid—a refreshing splash of Ketel One Vodka, lychee liqueur, Blue Curacao, lychee juice, and lime.
Menu-wise, Imperial UP has all the goods. We’re talking all your fave Italian dishes like pizza, pasta delivered with a flamboyant twist, and a selection of vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free dishes for those peeps with special dietary requirements. There’s also an extensive alcohol menu that offers an array of jugs and delish cocktails that’ll remind you of the good times and have you dancing well into the night.
East Village Hotel
The rooftop terrace at East Village changes with the seasons—dishing out bright, summery cocktails during the warmer months and a light, fresh menu to match the unbeatable views. Don't worry if you get too hot up there, East Village has installed cooling mist jets and big umbrellas for shade. Come winter, East Village transforms the terrace into a winter wonderland garden complete with a canopy of fairy lights, luxury lambswool throws and even a fireplace to keep you cosy.
One of the best additions to Westfield Pitt Street’s dining scene last year was Babylon. This 800-seat rooftop bar and restaurant has been transformed into an ancient dining metropolis. Boasting a huge liquor menu with over 250 whiskeys, 400 Aussie spirits and 300 bottles of wine, you’re going to need a moment to take your pick. Food-wise, Babylon’s head chef Rob Taylor is slinging out meze, gozleme and pide that will have you salivating while reading the menu. Chicken wings with harissa marinade, Turkish tabbouleh, and mint yoghurt is a favourite among the crowd.
This greenhouse-style rooftop restaurant and bar sits smack-dab in the middle of North Sydney providing patrons with drop-dead stunning views. Green Moustache is filled with lush palms, ceiling plants, wicker chairs and tiled tabletops. Head over for dinner and order up a plate of fresh blue-swimmer crab pasta with chilli, lemon, and parmesan.
Get ready to rejoice because the folks from Salt Meats Cheese have opened up a rooftop bar and donned it Bar Ombré. Located on the top of The Gateway in Circular Quay, expect charcuterie boards with house-stretched cheeses and plates of fried calamari and grilled eggplant. But most importantly, grab yourself an Aperol Spritz in carafe form for a wild night ahead.
This open-air terrace is forging all the blush-pink vibes, cacti and a bangin’ cocktail menu to boot. Interior-wise, you’re in for a solid treat with the make-up of this newbie all down to design guru Matt Woods (Bloodwood, Devon). You should also know these kids rock an apple cider slushie (yes hello, new summer drink, is that you?) packed with all the cracked ice and a special housemade syrup to give it another punch. So yeah, doubt we need to convince you any more to hit this one up.
The Rooftop At Manly Greenhouse
Make your way up to The Rooftop at Manly Greenhouse, which preaches everything to do with hanging plants, panoramic views, and an indoor cloud tree. Here you'll find bespoke cocktails and a bar menu with a selection of cured meats including LP's mortadella and Blackmore Wagyu beef bresaola and a heap of toasted sandwiches.
Old Mate's Place
Half the fun of this newbie is actually finding it (cue a couple of flights of stairs and an unmarked door). Old Mate's Place bears shelves upon shelves of old-school books and lush plants and is brought to you by the same crew that gave us Kittyhawk and Lobo Plantation, so yeah, the drinks menu is actually off tap. You’ll be in for some pretty stellar views of the city plus a rotating menu offering up one hell of a Philly cheesesteak.
Designed to resemble a stack of bowls, Barangaroo House is one of a few seriously striking buildings perched by the harbour at Barangaroo. Its top floor is Smoke—a sophisticated rooftop terrace that peers over to Sydney's west, making it one of the best places to catch a sunset in Sydney. As the name suggests, food and drink are smoke-inspired. Cocktails get adventurous with liquids, ice, and ingredients like rosemary and cinnamon all getting the smoke treatment—but you can still order a classic Negroni, or vino from the 400-strong wine list. Executive Chef Tom Hayne's crab sambo, wagyu slider, and fried smoked brisket doughnuts are both the stuff of legend.
Meet Mrs Jones. She’s nestled on top of one of the city’s oldest pubs. She’s not the most obvious find so you’ll want to take the first doorway on the right in Sydney’s historic Kendall Lane and follow the stairs all the way to her entrance. The carefully curated list of cocktails is very much reflective of the venue, a mixture of traditional and contemporary. The team here offers all the classics, like negroni’s, sidecars and martini’s as well as apple and cinnamon sours (featuring Fireball whisky, yes please), oh-so-Aussie espresso martinis, and a gin, basil and passionfruit concoction called the "Chelsea smile".
The Local Tap House
If you haven’t been to The Local Tap House yet, we bet anything you’ve driven past it 50 times. So either go back and remember why you loved it, or get yourself up there quick smart. The rooftop area is small but mighty, and as the name would suggest, the beer selection is top-notch. When it’s a little cool, you can warm up with a Sunday roast on the roof, or keep it chill with a bottle of sparkling or a paddle of beers when the sun is out.
Keg & Brew
This heritage-listed hotel now features four levels spanning a ground floor, restaurant, function room floor and—the pièce de résistance—an open plan rooftop bar. The open-air rooftop offers sweeping views of the city and is complete with a bar, pizza oven, and one of Australia’s largest TV screens so you can round up the crew and watch all the big games.
Sweethearts Rooftop is still killing it in every way. A world above the bustle of the inner city Potts Point, this chilled out joint has delicious cocktails, craft beers, and a tempting Mexican menu. Be sure to tuck into the torta, it’s a real slice (or slab) of Mexico City.
Love a beer garden? Us too. Here's a list of our favourite beer gardens in Sydney.
Image credit: Slims Rooftop, InterContinental Sydney, Slims Rooftop, Imperial UP, East Village Hotel, Babylon, Green Moustache, Bar Ombre, The Rooftop, The Rooftop At Manly Greenhouse, Old Mate’s Place, Smoke, Mrs Jones, The Local Taphouse, Keg & Brew, Sweethearts Rooftop