Barangaroo House, Sydney, New South Wales © Barangaroo House
Sydney's best rooftop bars
The definitive guide to the top rooftop bars around Sydney.
By Amy Bryant
Drink and dine high above the city skyline at one of Sydney’s many sleek rooftop bars. Feel the breeze and take in the views as you relax in style. With a drink in one hand and a fork in the other, you can expect nothing less than the finest experience of sipping creative cocktails, tasting delicious dishes and enjoying friendly Aussie service at high altitude.
Where: 96 Cumberland St, The Rocks
A Sydney institution, The Glenmore is one of the oldest rooftop establishments, dating back pre-Harbour Bridge days. In the heart of The Rocks, the charming iconic pub has some of the best views over the city, Circular Quay, the harbour and Opera House, making it a perfect destination for long lunches and sunset dining. Enjoy luxury views with reasonably priced food and beverages, with an extensive food menu and cocktails, champagne and beer pouring all day.
Where: Level 2/35 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo
On top of Barangaroo House, celebrity chef Mat Moran and the Solotel Group’s impressive dining establishment, is the harbourside rooftop bar Smoke. Fitted with luxury interiors and fine textures, you’ll relax in comfort and style with beautiful harbour sunset views. On the menu is more than fifty cocktails combining classics and signatures, a 400-bin wine menu and inventive food dishes like a spiced mushroom toasties (toasted sandwich).
Where: Level 4/400 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo
A short walk from Barangaroo House, you’ll find another rooftop venue. Untied channels tropical vibes decked out with vibrant colours and greenery. From the menu you can sample a range of fresh, raw and BBQ dishes like crab steam buns, scallop toast and Jerk chicken burgers. Untied is perfect for big groups, catering for up to 260 people across a large indoor and outdoor area.
Where: 47-49 William St, Darlinghurst
The historic Hotel William, a four-storey hotel on the busy William Street, is home to the fun and funky bar Slim's Rooftop. The space is a feast of Slim Aaron's inspired retro decor, with frilly pink umbrellas and girly cocktails to match. The space offers views across Hyde Park, izakaya-style eats and Asian-inspired drinks.
Blu Bar on 36, Shangri-La Hotel
Where: 176 Cumberland St, Sydney
The highest altitude you can drink at in Sydney is the sophisticated Blu Bar on 36. As the name suggests, you’ll find this New York-inspired swanky bar high above the city, on the 36th level of the Shangri La Hotel in The Rocks. Enjoy fine wine and cocktails in pure urban luxury, with sweeping views over the city, Darling Harbour, the Opera house and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Where: 69-73 Pitt St, Sydney
Found on the third floor of the Republic Hotel, the bar is accessed from Tank Stream Way and up a hefty flight of stairs. The climb is worth it though, as you arrive at Taylor's, an open-air space against a backdrop of a plush vertical garden that feels like a sanctuary from the bustle below. The good news? There's a retractable roof to protect against any changes in the weather.
Where: 35 Bettington St, Millers Point
Situated on top of historic Hotel Palisade is the sophisticated and trendy rooftop bar and plush cocktail lounge, Henry Deane. With large floor-to-ceiling windows and comfy dining areas, you can relax and unwind with cocktails and fine food with incredible views over the harbour and neighbouring industrial buildings and architecture. Sample shared food plates like mussels, prawns, scallop and lamb cutlets, and browse the extensive wine, spirits and cocktail lists.
Where: 237 Glenmore Rd, Paddington
A local’s favourite, you’ll find the heritage Royal Hotel on the corner of Paddington’s Five Ways precinct. Boasting the best rooftop in Paddington, the boutique space is a divine sanctuary on level four, with incredible views over the chic inner-east neighbourhood and city and even the Harbour Bridge peeping out between the high rises. It’s the perfect destination to wind down an afternoon of browsing the stores along Paddington’s much-loved William Street, with a cocktail in hand as you take in the glorious setting sun.
Where: 169 Dolphin St, Coogee
The Coogee Pavilion is one of the best coastal rooftop bars in Sydney. Dining on the large, lush green patio, you’ll take in a breathtaking 270-degree view over the famous Coogee Beach while being served delicious food, cocktails and ice-cold beers. The Eastern Mediterranean inspired menu spans classics like baby squid, kingfish ceviche and a range of kebabs, while the drinks that are pouring are signature cocktails, sangria jugs, bubbles and beer.