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Six Sydney Bars with Epic Views to Take Advantage of This Summer

Soak in the sights, and the afternoon sun, while you sip a cocktail or two.
By Marissa Ciampi
November 20, 2019
By Marissa Ciampi
November 20, 2019


in partnership with

Soak in the sights, and the afternoon sun, while you sip a cocktail or two.

Summer in Sydney is hard to beat. With its enviable beaches, regularly sunny days and laidback vibes, there are few places that could tempt us away from our city during these warm months. And Sydney's best venues really come alive in the summertime, too — especially those with outdoor spaces and killer views.

Though, with so much choice, it can be hard to narrow it down to the perfect spot for a weekday sundowner or Sunday session with your crew. That's why we've teamed up with top-notch tequila brand Patrón to bring you our pick of spots to head. These six watering holes serve up stunning Sydney vistas in spades — and damn fine cocktails to boot. Grab your mates and get stuck into a few of these this weekend.

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    With its brand new makeover, Bathers Pavilion is a must-visit this season. The heritage-listed beachside spot now sports a fancy fit-out by award-winning design studio Luchetti Krelle (Manly Greenhouse, Verandah, Banksii) — and the newly installed floor-to-ceiling windows make every seat in the house an ocean view.

    The venue spans several spaces, including the bistro, the bar, the kiosk, the fine dining restaurant and, our favourite, the terrace. Here, you can indulge in refreshing drinks while snacking on a prawn cocktail, Spanish anchovy on focaccia and chicken liver pâté with fig compote. And did we mention the panoramic views of the ocean looking out across Balmoral Beach?

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    Once you’ve had enough of the Coogee sand and surf for the day, there’s no better post-beach hang than up at the Coogee Pavilion Rooftop. Its conservatory-style fit-out is chockers with greenery, sketches of exotic birds and indoor greenhouse structures — as well as four indoor and outdoor bars and unrivalled views across the shoreline.

    This local oasis comes complete with Mediterranean-influenced food, like harissa-spiced lamb flatbread, burnt honey haloumi and baby squid with crispy capers and aioli. Or bring a group and enjoy the reasonably priced (and extensive) share menu for $44–54 per person, along with a few cocktails while you’re at it.

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    The Museum of Contemporary Art has once again opened its ground floor pop-up bar for summer. And this year, it’s tequila-fuelled — thanks to Patrón. You’ll find this airy, garden-inspired bar on the lawn in front of the museum. It boasts unrestricted views across Circular Quay and the harbour. Here, you can sip negronis, highballs and old-fashioneds, all with a tequila twist. Of course, summertime staples like margaritas, palomas and Patrón, lime and soda are available, too. There are also plenty of Mexican eats and live entertainment to pair with your drinks — the latter includes DJ sets, performances, art installations and even VR experiences.

    This pop-up bar is part of a bigger Patrón takeover of the Circular Quay precinct with activations also happening at Bar Patrón, Quay Bar and The Argyle. So you can turn a visit here into the beginning of a tequila-centric harbourside bar crawl.

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    With its sweeping Sydney views and good time vibes, Opera Bar remains a firm favourite among tourists and locals alike. And now that the warm weather has returned, the harbourside venue really becomes the place to be.

    Whatever you drink of choice is, you really can’t go wrong here. Just make sure to add some of the bar bites curated by highly lauded chef Matt Moran to your order — you can snack on seafood platters, crispy chicken with jalapeño mayo and salt and pepper calamari, plus cheese and charcuterie aplenty. And those views really are unbeatable, especially at sunset.

    Image: Nikki To.

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    For a different angle on Sydney’s classic waterside view, it has to be Barangaroo House — and, more specifically, its top-level rooftop bar. Smoke’s expansive timber deck offers both harbour and city skyline views and is exactly where you need to be for celebratory sundowners with your team after a rough day (or week) in the office.

    For that drink, there’s an impressive by-the-glass wine list, alongside a selection of seasonally appropriate cocktails — we’re eyeing up the Hacienda Spritz, which features Patrón Blanco tequila, aloe vera, agave, tonic and mint. For bar food, double wagyu cheese sliders and miso-glazed eggplant skewers sit alongside the usual oysters and charcuterie.

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    Bondi mainstay The Bucket List is a local favourite any time of year, but it really comes alive during summer. Here, the beach vibes are going strong — as you’d expect considering the proximity to the beach. You’re nearly standing on the sand when seated at the outdoor terrace, so perch on one of the couches and watch the crowds and surfers do their thing.

    Meanwhile, you can split a cocktail jug and tuck into seaside-themed snacks sashimi bowls. There are also heaps of events on here, including weekend DJ sessions. Plus, between November 6–December 6, the bar is amping up the tropical vibes by hosting a Patrón pop-up with Tommy’s margaritas, watermelon tequila spritzes and fish tacos.

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The Patrón Pop-up will run from Thursday, October 31 through February 16 (excluding public holidays and New Year’s Eve). It is open every Wednesday through Sunday from 4–10pm. Visit Patron’s website for more details. 

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