If you want just drinks (wine, beer) and small plates (pizza, tapas, nibbles), there are 3 places I like in Sydney:
(1) Glass Bar at the Hilton Hotel (downtown Sydney)
The Glass Bar is part of the Glass Brasserie, a stunning restaurant in the Hilton Hotel located in Sydney’s CBD. Airy and filled with natural light, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows, with an impressive view of the Queen Victoria Building across the street, the Glass Bar is the perfect place to meet for drinks and small snacks.
If you decide you are hungry after all, the Glass Brasserie is ideal. Unlike many bars and brasseries in the city, you can actually carry on a conversation and hear one another. The wine list is long and varied, so if you feel like a French or Italian red, there are enough choices for you. The scene is very downtown, after-work, and it’s one of the few places in Sydney where you’d feel strange to be wearing flip flops.
Glass Brasserie and Glass Bar
Hilton Hotel (Level 2)
488 George St.
+61 2 9265 6068
(2) Gazebo Wine Garden (Elizabeth Bay)
Gazebo has a completely different vibe from the Glass Bar. It’s a relaxed neighborhood hangout where flip flops are almost mandatory. The inside-outside seating arrangement demands that you hang around in the early evenings slowly sipping a bottle of fine Australian and New Zealand wine.
Gazebo has pizzas, salads, shared plates such as stuffed roasted mushrooms and crispy calamari. But if you are hungry for a main course, you can order steak and fries, mussels, fish, burgers, tarts and more. Gazebo is close to Kings Cross station.
Gazebo Wine Garden
2 Elizabeth Bay Road
+61 2 9357 5333
(3) Hugo’s Bar Pizza
The main reason I would go back to Hugo’s is the pizza: delicious thin-crust creations topped with fresh ingredients. For a place that is best known for its bar scene, the pizzas are very good indeed.
We went to the Potts Point location which is close to the Kings Cross station and other restaurants and bars in the Potts Point / Kings Cross area. The vibe is neighborhood chic, but it’s still relaxed and fun. They have happy hour with half-price drinks and pizza on Sunday before 6:00 p.m.
Hugo’s Bar Pizza
33 Bayswater Rd
+61 2 9332 1227
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