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Sydney's Maybe Sammy and Melbourne's Caretaker's Cottage Have Made 2023's World's 50 Best Bars List

Making the list for the fifth year in a row, Maybe Sammy is now ranked 15th in the world.
By Sarah Ward
October 18, 2023
By Sarah Ward
October 18, 2023

After only one Australian bar earned a spot in The World's 50 Best Bars extended 51–100 longlist for 2023, two Aussie watering holes have now made the ranking's actual top 50. In the latest chapter in the Sydney–Melbourne rivalry, both cities are represented, including a perennial favourite in the Harbour City and a fast-rising spot in the Victorian capital.

The regular placeholder? The nation's highest-ranking spot to get sipping in 2023 is Sydney's Maybe Sammy, which sits on the list for the fifth year in a row. The innovative bar in The Rocks has improved its ranking from 2022, too, moving up to 15th place from 29th. It came in 22nd in 2021 after placing 11th in 2020 and 43rd in 2019.

In Melbourne, Caretaker's Cottage is the other Aussie venue in the top 50, coming in at 23rd. The Little Lonsdale Street only entered the longlist in 2022, when it placed 60th, so enjoys a significant rise up the rankings in its second year.

Maybe Sammy

Maybe Sammy

For those yet to get acquainted with Maybe Sammy in The Rocks, its luxurious styling nods to old-school Vegas glamour, all blush pink velvet banquettes and lush indoor greenery, while the list of theatrical signature drinks pays homage to the classics. The World's 50 Best Bars has praised it for being "the Sydney cocktail bar where great stories begin", all "thanks to the emphasis on guest experience" — and calls out its latest beverage menu, which it calls the venue's "best selection of drinks yet".

Maybe Sammy's 15th placing also makes it not only the best bar in Australia, but also the list's official best bar in Australasia.

Caretaker's Cottage

Hailing from bartenders and owners Rob Libecans, Ryan Nordics and Matt Stirling, Caretaker's Cottage earned some love for being "a subtle temple to great drinks". The World's Best 50 Bars called out "the lighting, the sound, the natural timber adorning much of the room" while noting that "everything conveys warmth and understated elegance". And as for the sips, "Melbourne's best Guinness" and "what is probably Australia's coldest Martini" scored a specific mention.

Maybe Sammy and Caretaker's Cottage's top-50 placings give Australia three spots in the ranking's best 100, with the Victorian capital's Byrdi sitting at 61st. And Maybe Sammy doesn't just notch up five years on the list, but five times being named the best bar on the continent.


Announced in Singapore on Tuesday, October 17, the 2023 list named Sips in Barcelona as the top spot for a tipple worldwide, as part of a best 50 that spans watering holes from 28 cities. It takes over from 2022's Paradiso, which makes it two years in a row that the most applauded bar has been found in Barcelona.

Sitting between Sips in first place and Maybe Sammy in 15th: New York's Double Chicken Please in second, Mexico City's Handshake Speakeasy in third, Paradiso dropping to fourth, London's Connaught Bar sitting fifth after winning in 2020 and 2021, Little Red Door in Paris at sixth, and Mexico City's Licorería Limantour in seventh spot — as well as Tayēr + Elementary in London at eighth, Cartagena's Alquímico in ninth position, Himkok in Oslo sitting tenth, Tres Monos in Buenos Aires placing 11th, Athens' Line coming in 12th, BKK Social Club in Bangkok at 13th and Jigger & Pony in Singapore at 14th.

Wondering who's making the calls? The annual World's 50 Best Bars awards are voted on by bar industry experts from around the world, including bartenders, consultants, drinks writers and cocktail specialists.

Maybe Sammy

Caretaker's Cottage

Maybe Sammy, Trent van der Jagt

For the full list of the World's 50 Best Bars for 2023 (and past years' lists), head to the ranking's website.

Top image: Maybe Sammy, Oficina.

Published on October 18, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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