While the small bar movement might be all about fitting in a waterhole with ten seats or under into the dingiest CBD lane, there’s a whole host of local bars that are serving up top notch drops and inventive food pairings, without having to share your drink with the vermin that scuttle through the city at night. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite places to drop in for a casual weeknight glass of wine or a weekend afternoon in the sun.
Settle in to the couches at the front of this Marrickville Road bar and ask the bartender for a recommendation. This place is all about unusual natural wines made from grapes you may not have heard of before, but that doesn’t mean they’re not as tasty as any other bottle of vino. In addition, Where’s Nick offers a range of local and imported beers as well as a menu of boards and snacks and pizzas under $20.
236 Marrickville Road, Marrickville, 0406 991 384
Mon, Wed, Thu 5pm–10pm
Fri to Sun 4pm–12am
Bonnie’s Wine & Food
Set within Maurice Terzini’s (of Bondi Icebergs and The Dolphin) Bondi Beach Public Bar, Bonnie’s Wine & Food continues the focus on approachable Italian but in a more relaxed setting than the glitz and glam of BBPB. There’s some seriously good salty and savoury snacks to get you thirsty and the wines here will certainly sort you out. Featuring just six producers, selected by sommelier James Hird, the focus is on diversity of origin, not of grape or varietal. With a thoughtful yet raucous décor, Bonnie’s is a good time waiting to happen.
150 Curlewis St
Mon – Sat, 11.30am – 1am
Sun, 11.30am – 12am
A wine bar serious about wine has snagged this spot in Double Bay. With a sommelier from Rockpool and a chef from Guillaume, this place is not messing around. Whether you are here for the most premium of European drops or fancy trying a frizzy natural concoction, Bibo has you covered. Food is also a draw card with salt cod fritters, peri peri eggplant or Jurassic quail with Jerusalem artichokes demonstrating the talent in the kitchen.
7 Bay St
Tues – Thurs, 5.30pm - 12am
Fri – Sat, 12pm – 12am
Taking the laidback approach of Leichhardt to wine bars is Golden Gully. Here the small, vegetarian share plates are perfect for nibbling on as you make your way through the approachable wine list, five each of red and white by the glass and all bottles under $100, easy! Along with a selection of local gins and some delightful scotches, there’s more than meets the eye at Golden Gully.
153 Norton St, Leichhardt
Wed – Fri, 4pm – 12am
Sat, 12pm – 12am
Sun, 4pm – 11pm
Little Red Robin
Straddling the divide between neighbourhood bar and local bistro is Little Red Robin in Lane Cove. A glamorous fit out belies a focus on classic dishes and Mediterranean wines that go beyond the Contiki Tour itinerary. With bottles from Turkey, Goergia and Hungary alongside Italian, French and Spanish varieties it is worth taking another look at this local favourite.
Tues, 4pm – 12am
Wed – Sat, 12pm – 12am
4/85 Longueville Rd, Entry Via Birdwood Ln