The differences between a restaurant, bar, pub and nightclub are often blurred in Sydney, and one establishment may be a combination of all these under one roof. Sydney’s bland, pub-dominated wilderness has disappeared in the inner city and you’ll find a fashionable bar on almost every corner, offering everything from poetry readings and art classes to groovy Sun-afternoon jazz or DJ sessions. Surry Hills and Darlinghurst are the places to go for “pop-up” bars, as well as a variety of drinking holes for all tastes. Circular Quay and King Street Wharf are more touristy, yet have harbour views that even locals still savour now and again. Not to be outdone, the traditional hotels are getting in renowned chefs and putting on food far beyond the old pub grub. Sydney has many Art Deco pubs, a style notably seen in the tilework; we’ve included some of the best below. Opening hours vary considerably: traditional pubs and beer gardens will be open 11am–11pm or later, while more fashionable cocktail bars may not open until the evening but won’t close until 2am (perhaps 4am or later at weekends).

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