Where to enjoy a drink when travelling around Australia? Well, we have the list for you!
Australia is full of incredible watering holes that are loved by locals and flocked to by tourists.
But where to begin in your exploration of them can be the hardest task… closely followed by choosing a unique cocktail off their menus.
So, where are the top bars in the country? Here’s your full list:
A bar that takes its inspiration from the roaring Fifties, the signature drinks in this pastel paradise are named after famous haunts on the Vegas strip.
The barman know their stuff and the creative director was an award-winning bartender of her time.
The food rivals the drinks to make this spot an extremely popular venue for Sydney-siders and visitors.
This smallness of this tiny whole in the wall is part of its charm.
Don’t believe us? Well the 20-seater micro-bar grabbed the attention of TIME OUT, which selected Catina OK as the 2020 Best New Bar.
The bar is squeezed into what used to be a garage squeezed into one of the city’s laneways and specialises in rare Mexican spirits, which the owners explored while on a trip to Mexico to make sure the liquor they would serve was the best the country had to offer.
Ranked among the best bars in the world, Bulletin Place is owned and run by people who have worked in London, New York and France.
The space has a very industrial aesthetic and the drinks are based on whatever fresh produce of the day is procured from local markets.
Just a minute walk from Circular Quay, this spot is a popular pre or post-dinner spot that could easily turn into the highlight of the entire evening.
This bar has been an institution for almost two decades, but has lost none of its vigour and class.
Another internationally-acclaimed venue, Black Pearl as the name suggests is a rare find even in the high standards of Melbourne.
It’s very sophisticated but also features upcycled furniture to bring in a sense of comfort and homeliness.
A minimalist’s dream, Above Board hones down to the most important thing about a bar – great drinks.
There are only a couple dozen drinks on the menu, honed to perfection.
The founder, Hayden Lambert, is a former Time Out Bartender of the Year and knows his stuff, so give this place a whirl and be astounded by its artisanal offering.
The name of this bar comes from an old English word for a kind of bird.
On its website the bar proudly provides this definition: “a mammal that has evolved and continues to be shaped by the nature of its surroundings”.
Byrdie prides itself on using natural produce and planning cocktails months in advance to them appearing on the menu.
It’s owned and run by a couple made famous by a bar of theirs in Singapore – Operation Dagg.
The bar’s food and drink is purposeful and experimental, with plenty of deconstructed offerings and unique tastes.
Question… do you like gin?
W Churchill is unabashedly high quality and located downstairs at Brookfield Place.
This fancy bar draws its inspiration from the era of, you guessed it, Winston Churchill, who was the UK Prime Minister in the 40s and was famous for loving a sip of gin.
There are more than 100 gins on the menu, a 10-tap bar that is filled with classics and craft beers – plus an ever changing food menu that is worth the visit on it’s own.
Another recent addition to the Perth bar scene, Besk is a large 210-seater off Railway Parade.
This warehouse-style venue is particularly well known for its selection of craft beers, also available at the adjoining bottle shop.
But there’s also plenty of wine and other favourites to choose from, with a classy but simple share menu to keep the stomach full as the booze flows.
Once home to what was called the Western Australian Club, Foxtrot Unicorn sits in an old 19th century building on St George’s Terrace. But pay attention or you just might miss it.
The bar embraces the old-timey feel and Westralia memorabilia, with comfy couches spread across the space.
But the drinks are a bit more modern, with plenty of twists on classic cocktails to explore
And with an exceptional cheese menu and hearty bar bites to boot, it’s perfect place to spend an afternoon… night… or, whole weekend?
One of Canberra’s most famous venues, Bar Rochford is an exclusive upstairs venue in the city’s iconic Melbourne Building.
It landed Gourmet Traveller’s Bar of the Year Award in 2018 and lost none of its momentum since then.
Take a seat in the bottle-green booths by the windows overlooking the Canberra streets below.
Every city needs a speakeasy, but this one really does feel like it’s from a different time.
And the jazz often being played on Molly’s stage late at night only adds to its 60s feel.
Finding this sneaky bar can be difficult, with no signage to point you in the right direction. Instead you’ll find yourself walking through an unmarked door and up stairs hoping you’re on the right track.
Your reward for finding Molly is a next-level cocktail, with the barmen happy to help with any indecision on which of the hundreds you feel like.
Easily one of the most famous venues in Brisbane, the Gresham is a beautifully old heritage bar situated in a building that’s been there since 1885.
There are more than 200 whiskies from across the world and dozens of other old-timey drinks to choose from.
Start perusing the menu and travel back in time a century at a half at this Brisbane staple.
One of the city’s best rooftop bars, Maya feels like it floats among the skyscrapers of Brisbane.
With booths of lounge chairs and sheer curtains, and plenty of greenery this venue feels like it’s plucked from a different country.
And indeed that’s the idea. The food and drink is Mexican-themed, but don’t expect a street-food vibe. Class and sophistication oozes from every dish and glass.
Zip up the elevator to the 11th floor and indulge in the chill tunes and delicious offerings high above the city buzz below.
Clever Little Tailor
This quaint bar has a nautical vibe, and it’s little wonder – it was co-designed by a retired boat builder.
Clever Little Tailor is locally referred to as CLT, and has a very homey and chill vibe.
Always serving good beers on tap, some Adelaide wine and whatever cocktail you desire, this is a local and tourist fave.
2K.W. Bar and Restaurant
Located on a rooftop off William Street in Adelaide, this venue prides itself on bringing the best of South Australia to your plate and into your glass.
The food is meditation and designed to share and the drink selection is very wide to say the least.
But of course the venue prides itself on offering the best of what Adelaide has become famous for: wine. Really really good wine.
What’s better than fried chicken? Fried chicken with 10/10 cocktails of course.
That’s the recipe to success of Rude Boy in Hobart and damn does it work.
And to keep with the Caribbean theme that inspires many of its chicken dishes, the bar has more than 100 rums on offer.
So get drinking, Sparrow.
Bar Wa Izakaya
Hopping from the Caribbean to Japan, Bar Wa Izakaya funnels a whole heap of Tokyo inspiration into one fantastic venue.
This casual bar includes authentic Japanese cuisine alongside all the booze you’d expect from Sake to Sapporo.
Whether you’re after a bowl of ramen and a beer for lunch or a night out on the town, this place has it all.
And it’s no wonder, the owner has been to Japan with his Japanese-born wife about 15 times now, so he’s got an idea of how to bring the best of Tokyo to the streets of Hobart.
Fancy drinking a cocktail 17 metres underground? Why not, right?
It should be no surprise that this experimental venue is located underneath MONA – the world-famous Museum of Old and New Art.
Hugged by enormous slabs of stone that tower from floor to stretching ceiling, this place claims to serve the best cocktails in all of Tasmania.
You be the judge.
Charlie’s of Darwin
Like gin? Then you will fall head over heels in love with Charlie’s.
This bar is dedicated to having a locally produced gin that uses almost uniquely Northern Territory ingredients.
They’ve even released their own in-house gin, complete with a croc on the label.
But it hasn’t just caught the eye of locals, UK paper The Telegraph named it among its top 20 bars in the world
Just as Darwin is proudly weird and down-to-hearth, so too is Lola’s.
Located right on the marina, you can’t miss this loud and wacky venue with huge bobble eyes suspended from the roof and whirling paints adorning the walls.
Dubbed a “circus-themed gastropub” this casual venue offers not just good grub and beers but also a ride on a carousel, because why not?
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