The Sydney is full of fantastic bars including several top notch wine bars.
Here is a short list of my favourite five wine bars in Sydney with some of my recommendations for what to order and why it’s on my favourites list.
Fix St. James – 111 Elizabeth St. Sydney
Fix St. James is a fantastic wine bistro in the heart of Sydney that offers a wide selection of wines and an excellent menu of main dishes and a bar menu if you’re just popping in for a glass (or two, or three, seriously, you won’t be able to stop at one) and need something to snack on. The wine bar itself is very modern and attracts not just locals sitting down for a “business lunch” but also tourists from just about everywhere due to the excellent reviews on travel site such as Tripadvisor. If you are looking for a place to wine, dine and have a fantastic time with your friends without spending too much then Fix St. James it is. If you’re overwhelmed by the selection of wines or unfamiliar with Australian wines, just ask your server for a recommendation. You can’t go wrong.
Try: Skirt Steak and Whole Snapper if available and one side of the Triple Cooked Lamb Roasties. For starters the Beef Tartare is really good as are the Prawns.
Main: $36 to $70
Open: Monday to Wednesday 12 PM – 9 PM, Thursday 12 PM – 9:30 PM, Friday 12 PM – 10PM, Closed Saturday and Sunday.
Fix St James has an excellent Happy Hour, Monday – Friday 4 PM – 6 PM.
Bar Tapavino – 6 Bulletin Pl Sydney
Bar Tapavino is a Spanish wine bar that serves, not just, wine but yummy tapas in Sydney. It is a wine bar where you will find a huge variety of wines for a fair price. Food-wise, they have quite a selection from chorizo sliders to Spanish cheeses for entrees. Wines may be served in a tall glass, from a bottle or a carafe. If you are a Spanish Sherry lover then Bar Tapavino will be your new favourite spot in Sydney.
Try: Roasted Cauliflower, Braised Chorizo and Lamb Shoulder.
Main: $36 to $70
Open: Monday to Friday 12 PM – 11:30 PM, Saturday 5 PM – 11:30 PM, Closed Sunday.
One last word on Bar Tapavino, though they do offer group bookings it’s not really an easy place for large groups. I would recommend keeping it small. And if you are thinking of going before heading to the Opera House for an event, get there early or you might be cutting it close.
Wine Library – 18 Oxford St Paddington/Woollahra
The Wine Library is a wine bar located at the Woollahra end of Oxford Street. An enchanting interior décor will greet you with a large wall of their exquisite wine bottles at the back of the bar. The place looks cozy and warm with a hip yet relaxing appeal. Their menu is extensive and delicious, I have yet to order something that I wouldn’t recommend. They have a large 500 bottle selection of fine Italian and French wines for you to try. Many by the glass if you have a hard time committing to a whole bottle.
Try: Start with the Sweet Potato Crisps, Pork and Veal Meatballs, Braised Lamb Shoulder
Mains: $15 to $20
Open: Monday to Thursday 4 PM till late, Friday to Sunday 12 noon till late
Love, Tilly Devine – 91 Crown Lane Darlinghurst
Tucked away in an alleyway in Darlinghurst is Love, Tilly Devine. You might feel like you’re in the wrong place, walking past dumpsters, but you’re not so don’t get discouraged, as it is well worth the discovery. Love, Tilly Devine is named after one of Sydney’s infamous historic characters back when the streets of Sydney were ruled by Razor Gangs. It’s rumoured that her ghost still haunts parts of Surry Hills. I’m not going to go into detail here, instead I’ll leave that up to you to ask your server for more details.
Love, Tilly Devine has a huge 300-bottle wine directory with labels that are from every corner of the globe, not just Australia. Their menu is simple with a selection of delicious prosciuttos, salads, cheeses and nuts, all good things that good well with a good drop. This is a small wine bar, only seats 40 but, if you’re lucky enough to find yourself a seat, it will become one of your favourite spots.
Try: Duck Liver Pate, Baked Butternut Pumpkin, Ricotta, Pine Nuts, Brown Butter
Mains: $5 to $24
Open: Monday to Saturday 5 PM – 12 AM, Sundays 5 PM – 10 PM
Bambini Trust Café Restaurant – 185 Elizabeth Street, Sydney
It took me ages before I tried Bambini and now I’m not sure why. It might have been because it always seemed packed, but there is a good reason for that. One, the location is perfect for a work lunch or a drink with friends after work. And secondly, the tables outside are usually full making it easy to walk past, assuming that they are to capacity, the mistake I made over and over as there are more tables inside. Bambini Trust is the winner of the Australian Gourmet Traveller award for “Bar of the Year” and, as such, it is very popular with Australians traveling to Sydney for work or holiday.
A word of warning, Bambini is more on the expensive side so be prepared. I don’t go for dinner but usually on a Wednesday night to meet up with friends before heading to the NSW Gallery which is open late that night and has special events.
Try: Ok, so I’m a creature of habit when ordering food at Bambini as I always get the Steak and Frites if there for dinner. If going for a glass or two I usually go for the pate and calamri but my husband’s standard is the sliders.
Mains: $30 up, for dinner with wine the tab can easily reach $150 for a couple.
Open: Monday to Friday 3 PM till late, Saturday 5:30 PM till late, closed Sunday