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FOOD & DRINK

These Four Australian Venues Have Been Named in the World's 50 Best Bars for 2021

Sydney's Maybe Sammy came in at number 22, with Cantina OK! and Re also earning a spot — plus Melbourne's Above Board.
By Sarah Ward
December 08, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
December 08, 2021
  shares

Australia's hospitality industry scene has done it tough over the past year — again — but it still boasts some of the best bars on the planet. Don't just take our word for it; according to this year's just-revealed World's 50 Best Bars list, we're home to four of the top 50 watering holes worldwide.

Our highest-ranking spot to get sipping in 2021: Sydney's Maybe Sammy. It's the third year in a row that the innovative bar in The Rocks has made the list, taking 22nd place. That's a drop from 2020, when it came in at number 11, but higher than in 2019, when it sat at 43rd.

Coming hot on its heels is another World's 50 Best Bars list veteran, Cantina OK!, which moved up from number 28 last year to number 23 in 2021. Next, Melbourne's Above Board earned a spot at number 44, while Sydney newcomer Re jumps in at number 46. So, whether you're a Sydneysider, Melburnian or a future visitor to either city, you now have an excuse to hit up a globally acclaimed venue.

Cantina OK!, Kimberley Lo

For those yet to be acquainted with Maybe Sammy, 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. At Cantina OK!, you'll find a pint-sized mezcal bar in an old garage down a service laneway — complete with bright pink and purple walls, Mexican vibes and laneway seating.

Collingwood's minimalist Above Board skews super-intimate, boasting only 16 seats and with no standing permitted — while Re, which is located in Sydney's ever-growing South Eveleigh precinct, hails from hospitality stars Matt Whiley (Scout) and Maurice Terzini (Icebergs Dining Room & BarCiccia Bella). The latter also has a zero-waste focus, and nabbed The World's Best 50 Bars 2021's Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award as well.

Above Board

While Sydney was better represented in the top 50 than Melbourne, the Victorian capital was the only Australian city to feature in the 51–100 list, which was announced late last week. Cocktail haven Byrdi scored a place on the extended rundown for the second year in a row.

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.

And if you're wondering what topped the list worldwide, that'd be London's Connaught Bar, which emerged victorious for the second year in a row — so there's somewhere to add to any future UK itineraries.

For the full World's 50 Best Bars 2021 rundown, head to the list's website — and you can check out the 51–100 list online as well.

Top image: Maybe Sammy.

Published on December 08, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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