12 of the best wine bars in Sydney for your next date night or catch-up
From Potts Point to Newtown, these are our favourite spots for impressive wine and delicious food.
By Dani Maher
WHAT MAKES the perfect wine bar? Is it the perfect balance of interior vibes — cosy, a little classy, but not too pretentious? Or maybe it’s the delightfully succinct menu that doesn’t leave you fraught with a serious case of decision paralysis — one that calls upon international influences with a distinctly local flavour. Naturally, a large part of the criteria includes a wine list that’s either adventurously expansive or expertly curated — that part goes almost without saying.
Whatever makes up your own personal criteria, there are surely a few things we can agree are necessary: Good wine, delicious morsels, and friendly service. So with that in mind, below, we round up a handful of our favourite wine bars in and around Sydney.
Best wine bars in Sydney 2023
Love, Tilly Devine91 Crown Ln, Darlinghurst
Nestled in an otherwise dingy Darlinghurst alley, you’ll find one of the neighbourhood’s best wine bars. Love, Tilly Devine is named after the notorious 1920s crime boss, but enter its cosy space and you’ll find nothing but delicious food and drinks and warm service. Their menu showcases “small farmers, growers and makers who pride themselves on care for the land and quality produce”, which results in simple yet special meals — like a beautifully fresh pesto Genovese linguine, or zesty fried artichoke hearts. The minimalist menu is accompanied by a list of local and international wines available by the glass or bottle, with everything from South Australian shiraz to Southern Highlands orange wines — something to delight everyone.
Test your luck by strolling in, or book ahead to secure a seat. Find out more here.
Bar Lucia5 Kellett St, Potts Point
Potts Point is brimming with beautiful venues, and Bar Lucia is the latest gem. The new wine and tapas bar brings a touch of Madrid to Sydney with its beautifully designed interiors and flavourful Spanish dishes. It’s equally suitable for your next friendly catchup or date night, with its cosy, romantic tables, bar seating and wine-shop-meets-bodega-meets-courtyard aesthetic. I speak from experience when I say it’s a place you can all too easily spend far too many hours at, enjoying the hospitality and comfort of the space. For food, expect small dishes that allow you to piece together a snack or a banquet, catering to vegetarians, pescatarians, carnivores and everyone in between — think cheesy, oozing croquettes; sea scallops on the half shell dripping with saffron butter; paper-thin slices of Jamon Iberico Bellota Puro; and anchovies with salsa Spinader, to name a few heroes. For drinks, choose from artful cocktails; wines by the glass (almost exclusively from female winemakers); or a list of over 50 wines by the bottle.
Make a reservation and find out more information here.
Continental Deli Bar Bistro210 Australia St, Newtown
Perhaps you’ve seen Continental Deli on your Instagram, witnessing friends enjoy their signature “Mar-tinny” or “Can-hattan” cocktails-from-a-can — or perhaps you’re a newbie. Either way, if you haven’t made a visit to their Newtown home (or their smaller CBD location) yet, you’re missing out. If you’re serious about tinned fish, cold cuts, cheese and wine, there’s no better location. It’s casual yet cool enough to make it to your Instagram, and offers bookings or walk-ins — need we say more?
Find out more here.
Bar Copains67 Albion St, Surry Hills
“Copains” is French for friends, and so Bar Copains is the perfect spot for a catch-up with your nearest and dearest. Their wine list is extensive — the cellar contains picks from the owners’ own wine collections, alongside drops from small producers and Australian staples — but they offer classic cocktails too (I’ve heard their martini is among the best in the city). And their food is impeccable, ranging from rich burgers and pastas to delicate tarts and freshly-baked focaccia. Follow their Instagram if you’re particularly serious about wine, so you can stay on top of their newest additions and offerings.
Head to their website to book or to find out more.
Dear Sainte Éloise5/29 Orwell St, Potts Point
Back in Potts Point, discover Dear Sainte Éloise, the sister venue of Love, Tilly Devine and a self-described “place for wine and things to eat”. Its name reflects the simple pleasures of exactly that — wine and food — and is inspired by a George Orwell novel, in which the protagonist pleads, “Dear Sainte Éloise, if you exist, please send me some money. I don’t ask for much — just enough to buy some bread and a bottle of wine”. It’s a cosy, charming location, and its wine list celebrates bottles from across Australia and the wider world, complete with full descriptions of each varietal (a thoughtful inclusion for those who are amateurs rather than experts). Food is a delight, too, with menus changing with the seasons to celebrate fresh produce and new flavours, so you can return and find new delights to enjoy.
Make a booking or find out more information here.
Beau52 Reservoir St, Surry Hills
A hop, skip and a jump away from its parent venue, the acclaimed NOMAD, Beau is an intimate restaurant split across two chic spaces. It falls somewhere between “restaurant” and “wine bar”, offering beautiful produce served in delicious dishes alongside classic bar snacks, as well as a strong line up of local and global wines with experimental and independent drops available on-tap.
Discover more information and book your visit here.
Bar Louise135 Enmore Rd, Enmore
Behind one of Enmore Road’s most iconic façades you’ll find Bar Louise, a cool tapas spot from the minds behind Porteno, Humble Bakery and Bastardo. Everything is oh-so-photogenic, from the set-up to the dishes served on dainty antique-style plates. Sit downstairs at the bar or high tables, or settle in upstairs in the cosy but still bustling dining room. Choose your own adventure with the mix-and-match tapas dishes, with veggie, seafood and meat options galore; or if you’re there for a drink, choose from classy cocktails (the coffee negroni is a delight) or plenty of wines, from an extensive suite of sherries and vermouths (Spanish specialties) to local and international classics spanning over 10 pages.
Book your visit or find out more here.
La Salut305 Cleveland St, Redfern
There’s something about Spanish cuisine that just pairs so well with a wine bar — and at La Salut, the flavour and rhythm of the Catalonia region is infused in the heart of Redfern. Expect snacks and share plates showcasing the peak of Australian produce cooked a la plancha (grilling with high temperatures and low smoking for a fun, vibrant experience). Exploring the breadth of Spanish wine with over 200 bottles, spotlighting newcomers and classics, the wine list is extensive, and features classic Spanish vermouths too.
Walk-ins are welcomed, but bookings are encouraged if you want to secure your seat, so do that here.
Poly74-76 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills
Located in the oh-so-trendy Paramount House Hotel, Poly is a walk-in wine bar by the same team that brings you the beloved Ester. Their wine list is extensive, described as “an assemblage of passionate winemakers producing remarkable wines and driven by organic and biodynamic principles”. The food menu is constantly changing, but regardless of what’s on offer, know you’ll be in for a treat — just scroll through their Instagram feed and your mouth is guaranteed to water within seconds.
Find out more and make a booking here.
Coogee Wine Room222 Coogee Bay Road, Coogee
Many of Sydney’s best wine bars are nestled into little corners of the inner city, but Coogee Wine Room is a reminder that if you cast your net a little wider, there’s still beautiful spaces to find. A local space that aims to marry the charm of European wine bars with the casual friendliness of a beach-side venue, Coogee Wine Room offers a 500-bottle wine selection encompassing all major wine regions of the world, along with a succinct Mediterranean menu. It’s more spacious than your average wine bar too, spread across two levels with a variety of nooks and crannies to tuck yourself away in for the evening.
Make a booking or read more at their website.
Vini Divini60 Carrington St, Sydney
At Vini Divini, in the heart of the CBD, there is a wine wall over 1000 bottles strong, and a central bar that encourages people to come together to eat, drink and be merry. There’s also indoor and outdoor tables for you to sit and while away the hours catching up with friends or schmoozing on a date, enjoying the wines from over ten major regions. For food, expect Mediterranean: Antipasti including grilled artichokes and tinned fish; charcuterie and cheese boards; two pasta dishes if you’re after something heftier; and a few dessert choices, if you please.
Find out more information and make bookings here.
Lokal104 Fitzroy St, Surry Hills
Lokal is one of the newest wine bars in Sydney, and it offers down-to-earth, pocket-sized fun. It’s walk-in only, but make it inside and you’ll be treated to a food menu of bar snacks, cheese and charcuterie, and small plates; as well as a wine list heavy on the natural and orange varieties. Cocktails are minimalist — though the Salt and Vinegar Martini, created with salt harvested from Bondi Beach, sounds well worth a sip — and vibes are relaxed in the 20-person space, which is equal parts cosy and airy.
Keep up to date with their new menu and wine list additions on their Instagram here.