Bars & Pubs

19 Of The Best Rooftop Bars In Sydney Right Now

By Jessica Best
8th Nov 2021

The sunny Palm Springs inspired rooftop bar Marrickville Springs

We’re not a city short of an epic view, a sky-high feed, or an 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 right now. 

Marrickville Springs At Philter Brewery And Taproom

Marrickville

While most rooftop haunts seem to centre around the CBD where the buildings are a little taller and the views a bit more glam, as of October 2021, the Inner West has scored a brand new rooftop spot (and it's on top of a warehouse brewery, naturally).

Following the opening of their taproom in 2020, Philter Brewing has opened Marrickville Springs—a sunny rooftop bar that channels 80s-era Palm Springs resort vibes. Here, you can sip frozen cocktails crafted by the team at Jacoby's (one of our favourite cocktail bars), as well as Philter's top-notch ales and lagers. To eat, the 80s theme runs strong with prawn cocktails and fancy Aussie cheese platters. As well as potted palm trees and a cute mural by local artist Mielo, there's also a retractable roof so Marrickville Springs can be weatherproof all year round. 

Lady Banks Rooftop Bar

Bankstown

Decked out in neutral tones, old-fashioned finishes and suspended plants, this rooftop bar is Sydney’s largest and it takes up some serious skyline, 10 floors high to be exact, right in the heart of Bankstown. Inspired by the likes of the Lady Banks rose, every knick-knack and crevice oozes romance not to mention there are cascading flowers, festoon lights, plush lounges, a freestanding fireplace and views of the Blue Mountains.

There are mezze boards pumped with hummus and baba ghanoush (with freshly-baked flatbread), roast chicken with za-atar and gravy and charred octopus with fennel and pickled grapes. To share, the 1.3kg Pinnacle Tomahawk steak is a no-brainer. Serving up to four, this Lady Banks signature gets cooked over coal and served alongside chermoula (Moroccan-style spice mix). Elsewhere on the menu, you’ll also find fresh seafood, pizzas and a dessert line-up not to be missed.

The cocktail menu is where you’re going to want to spend most of your time though, with mega share concoctions made to share with four to seven people. There’s a creation called ‘The Usual Suspects’ which has you and your mate’s names written all over it. It’s made with vodka, watermelon and basil, and is served in a three-litre crystal dispenser, naturally.

rooftop bar

Pool Club At The Ivy

CBD

If a rooftop pool party is what you're searching for—Pool Club at the ivy precinct is for you. Smack bang in the middle of the city, Pool Club is brought to you by the  Merivale crew, who have a rep for creating some of Sydney's best hospitality experiences. When it comes to good times in the sun, these guys know what they're doing. The Pool Club underwent a bit of a refresh in 2020 and now features more cabanas and a Santorini aesthetic with chic striped loungers. On the weekends, you can expect to find drag brunch in the morning and, come sunset, DJs spinning house and disco beats for you to dance the night away.

To drink, our pick of the signature cocktails is the Frank Ocean-inspired "swim good", which is a concoction of Absolut Elyx, Americano Bianco, fruit salad wine cordial, grapefruit, and soda. Naturally, there's a dedicated spritz menu too, because what else do you drink in Santorini? If you're hungry, there's Mediterranean-style antipasti and pizza, and yes, the cabanas come complete with table service. Or, hit up Ucello, the stunning Italian-inspired restaurant that overlooks the pool. 

Henry Deane

The Rocks

It's pretty hard to miss Hotel Palisade in The Rocks. The grand heritage-listed pub peers over Barangaroo Reserve, Millers Point, and Sydney Harbour and is an absolute gem if you want to soak up uninterrupted city skyline views. Henry Deane is the pub's rooftop cocktail lounge. Spread across two floors, it's tricky to score a spot on the pint-sized sun-drenched balcony—but when you do, there are few nicer spots in Sydney to be. Signature cocktails include the Agave Love, with Olmeca Altos tequila and Vida mezcal, and the Go Slow Man, with Appleton signature rum, JM Agricole, curacao, orgeat, lime, and honey. Spiked kombucha is also on the menu, as well as a neat edit of local and international vino. To eat, head chef Cian Mulholland has a short but sweet menu of delicious bar snacks designed to be shared. 

Taylor's Rooftop

CBD

The top floor of the Republique Hotel is Taylor's Rooftop—a casual city rooftop bar with a vertical garden and great vibes on a Saturday night. Taylor's retractable roof means the party is on even when it's raining, but for the most part, you'll find this rooftop spot is an open-air bar and dancefloor charged up with house beats spun by local and international DJs. If you're after something sweet, you need to try the salted caramel Espresso Martini or the ultra-fresh spicy Margarita, but we won't judge if you opt for the frozen marg instead. To eat, it's a pub food vibe with chicken schnitzel, beef brisket nachos, chiko spring rolls, and sweet potato chips fueling your big night on the DF. 

Nick & Nora’s

Parramatta

Champagne, cocktails, and canapes. Nothing quite beats the glamorous and decadent post-prohibition atmosphere you’ll find at Nick & Nora’s. Located in V By Crown and on the 26th floor, this rooftop bar in Sydney has been inspired by the fictional murder-solving duo (unsurprisingly) known as Nick and Nora Charles from the 1930s detective story The Thin Man. Your feasting escapade here will be filled with all sorts of fancy—oysters, gin-infused olives, tequila-compressed watermelon, imported cheese, and cured meats are just the start. Most dishes are share-plates here (in which case, the crispy prawns with sweet lime aioli are a must) and there’s a dedicated menu towards all things charcuterie related. We suggest hitting the "Baller Board" made with the chef’s selection of gourmet meats and cheeses, served with a selection of pickles and jams.

As for the cocktail menu, it reads like a novel with various cocktails taking inspiration from stock characters like The Femme Fatal and The Snitch. If champagne is your jam, and it damn well should be, there’s a bubbles bible with more than 50 different drops to choose from. Finally, if you want to channel your best Tony Montana, there’s also a cigar menu filled with Cuban cigars.

Elm Rooftop Bar

Darlinghurst

A fresh cocktail line-up and an entirely new smokehouse menu—that’s what is making us run and not walk to Elm Rooftop Bar. You’ll find this leafy haven perched on top of the craft beer institution known as The Taphouse. Whether you’re catching up with mates, winding down after the workweek, or closing out the week with a stellar Sunday session, Elm packs a whole lot of punch. Decorated with festoon lights and leafy palms, this rooftop never fails to disappoint on all fronts. In the realm of delicious drinks, the Black Jack Fizz is a huge win for anyone with a whisky palate. For something sweeter, get around the passionfruit Pornstar Martini. You’ll also be able to try juiced mixers for $10 (including fresh apple or pear).

Dog-friendly trivia is a also a thing here, and while we wish it was purely trivia about dogs, it really means you can bring your pooch, knock back a beer, and get your best Einstein on. Now, if you’ve been reading to find out what exactly is going down with Elm’s new smokehouse menu, the time has come. Having been re-jigged by head chef Axel Chilton, the rooftop smoker here will be privy to pulled pork croquettes using slow-braised pork and "mamma’s" famous BBQ sauce. There are also vegan and veggie options including apple-smoked brie and vegan watermelon "tuna: tacos which feature compressed watermelon in soy and sesame oil.

smoked pork on plate

Slims Rooftop

Darlinghurst

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 mix of Ketel One Vodka, lychee liqueur, Blue Curacao, lychee juice, and lime.

rooftop seating and old school brolly's on sydney rooftop bar

Imperial UP

Erskineville

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.

rooftop dining at imperial UP in erskineville

East Village Hotel

Darlinghurst

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. 

rooftop dining at the east village sydney

Babylon

CBD

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.

rooftop setting at babylong restaurant in sydney with hanging vines and open ceiling

Green Moustache

NORTH SYDNEY

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.

Bar Ombré

CIRCULAR QUAY

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.

The Rooftop

Pyrmont

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.

rooftop dining with vines and umbrellas at the rooftop at quarryman's hotel in sydney

The Rooftop At Manly Greenhouse

MANLY

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

CBD

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.

Smoke

Barangaroo

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. 

two wagyu burgers on table

Keg & Brew

SURRY HILLS

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

Potts Point

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. 

rooftop setting with exposed beams and fairy lights on pub rooftop

For more great bars in Sydney—head over here

Image credit: Philter, Philter, Lady Banks Rooftop Bar, Destination NSW, Destination NSW, Elm's Rooftop, Slims Rooftop, Imperial UP, East Village Hotel, Babylon, Green Moustache, Bar Ombre, The Rooftop, The Rooftop At Manly Greenhouse, Old Mate’s Place, Smoke, Keg & Brew, Sweethearts Rooftop

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#drinkresponsibly #dontforgetyourlocal

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