When that sun starts shining, there’s no hotter property than a waterfront drinking spot. And here in this fine harbour city of ours, we’re lucky enough to have a bunch of them within strolling distance of the CBD – perfect for sunset sips after work. Save yourself the effort of a beach trek – instead, get your waterfront fix with our pick of Sydney’s best harbourside bars.
Cargo Bar
CBD
Cargo Bar Harbourside Bars
Fresh from a revamp and sporting a sassy new look, Cargo Bar has reaffirmed its status as one of Sydney’s hottest harbourside destinations. By day it’s your go-to for easy eats and knock-off cocktails, while by night it rocks an 80’s party vibe, with DJ’s spinning tunes until the wee hours. Don’t miss happy hour, offering $20 cocktail jugs from 4-6pm weekdays.
Beer Deluxe Harbourside Bars
If sipping boutique brews by the water is your idea of heaven, you’ll find plenty to love about this harbourside craft beer bar. Beer Deluxe’s Sydney outpost is a breezy modern haunt, rocking a mix of indoor and al fresco spaces and some truly ripper water views. Along with a magnificent beer list, you’ll find loads of weekly specials, including $1 oysters on Sundays and a daily 4-7pm happy hour.
Bungalow 8 Harbourside Bars
Bungalow 8’s newest incarnation involves chic tropical stylings and a side of old-world Beverley Hills glamour, to complement that idyllic harbourside location. It’s a lush oasis that trips easily from after-work drinks to after-dark antics, offering vibrant modern Australian eats, chic cocktail jugs and an expertly curated wine list. Roll in for happy hour libations (4-6pm), then let DJ tunes and dance floor sessions carry you deep into the night.
Hacienda Sydney Harbourside Bars
Located in the Pullman Quay Grand, Hacienda sure is one very spiffy hotel bars. The harbourside venue combines incredible water views with stunning interiors, the space brimming with pastel tones, lush foliage and Art Deco furnishings. It’s the ideal spot for decadent rum cocktails, matched with elegant Cuban-inspired nibbles from the kitchen.
Opera Bar
CBD
Opera Bar Harbourside Bars
Perhaps Sydney’s most famous harbourside bar, Opera puts you front and centre of all the action. An outdoor seat here boasts incredible views and some top-notch people-watching, which you can enjoy alongside freshly shucked oysters, elegant plates and quality wines sourced from around the world. There’s live music most days, and a vibrant crop of signature cocktails to quench your thirst.
Cohibar
CBD
Cohibar Harbourside Bars
This harbourside haunt rocks a lounge bar, a terrace and a tucked-away loft space, with excellent water views throughout. Funky tunes and a laidback crowd have marked it as a popular escape from that CBD hustle and bustle – ideal for after-work cocktails, weekend DJ’s and dancing, and everything in between. Food runs to globally-inspired drinking snacks and rum-based tipples are the stars of the cocktail list.
Helm Bar
CBD
Helm Bar Harbourside Bars
Helm Bar’s harbourside position makes it a winner when the weather’s great, the bar’s sunny lower deck primed for those balmy afternoon sips. Camp out here for a casual seafood feed and beers, or escape to the upper level for even better views. There’s a range of value-packed specials offered throughout the week, including $6 drinks from 5-7pm each weekday.
Pontoon Bar Harbourside Bars
If you’re looking to soak up some afternoon rays, with a Mojito or refreshing beer in hand, the harbourside terrace at Pontoon Bar should certainly be on your radar. It’s a casual drinking spot by day and a high-energy nightclub after dark, with lasers, lightshows and resident DJ’s throwing down a late-night party atmosphere. You’ll find food and drink specials aplenty, including $6 craft beers every Monday.
Cruise Bar Harbourside Bars
Perched right on the water’s edge, directly opposite the Opera House, Cruise Bar makes for an impressive drinking spot. This harbourside haunt has bags of style, rocking an elegant cocktail lounge and a rooftop, which you can nab for your next function. The food menu draws inspiration from across the globe, the wine list gives a big nod to Aussie producers and the cocktail jugs are not to be missed.
Toros Tapas & Bar Harbourside Bars
When a festive tapas feast is on the cards, this harbourside bar is well worth a look in. Here, you can enjoy sweeping views of the city skyline, while chowing down on authentic, Spanish-style fare and sharing carafes of fruity Sangria. There’s a great $45 prix-fixe menu available Monday through Thursday, while a nifty weekday happy hour offers $5 house wines, beers and Sangria, from 3-5pm.