Well, well, well, look at you go! If you’re reading this article, and you’re looking for the best date ideas in Sydney going round, chances are you’ve done the swiping, super-liking and landed that oh, so wanted, match…
Or maybe you’ve kicked it old school, and braved the ultimate in nerve racking questions and asked out that coffee shop crush?! Look, whatever the process, person and/or place, we’re both impressed and proud of you – great job pal!
BUT, now tricky part – where to go?! Well, look no further, as we’ve got you covered with three of our favourite hidden bars in Sydney, perfect for a first (or 31st for that matter) date. Okay – leggo!
1. The Barber Shop @ Sydney CBD
This one is certainly one of our favourites, because, well, it’s exactly what it says on the tin. Yep, this hidden bar is only found once walking through a genuine and working parlour style barbershop – wild right?! As you walk into the barbershop on York St in Sydney’s CBD, you’ll walk straight past the counter, past those getting their hair cut and walk to the back of the shop, where you’ll see a giant wooden back wall. Slide that wall to the right, and viola, a charming and nostalgic cocktail bar with the atmosphere of a bygone era. The Barber Shop houses an impressive collection of more than 700 gins from all corners of the globe and has been voted best gin bar four years in a row, so you know it’s a winner.
This is one of the date ideas in Sydney that’s sure to woo the luckily lady or gent accompanying you on this old-timey date!
PRO TIP: This one is booking’s only and is super popular, so make sure you get in early to book yourself a prime spot!
The where: 89 York Street, Sydney CBD, 2000
More info: https://thisisthebarbershop.com/
2. The Baxter’s Inn @ Sydney CBD
Another Sydney CBD hidden bar favourite is none other than The Baxter’s Inn. This one will take you back to 1920, in the peak of the Prohibition era. Entering this hidden bar after heading down a laneway off Clarence St in Sydney’s CBD, you’ll really have to look for this one, as it’s ridiculously easy to miss. Tip – look for a bouncer lingering in the corner (on your right) once you’ve headed down the cobblestone laneway. Once your ID is checked, you’ll head down an incredibly sketchy looking set of stairs to the basement level. From here, you’ll open a door which will truly make you question if you’ve gone the wrong way, but stick with it! Once the ominous door is opened, you’ll instantaneously be transported to a prohibition style speak easy bar, with staff outfits and music to match. This bar boasts so many spirits the bartender’s wiz around on wheeled ladders to access the hundreds of drinks on offer – it’s a sight seen to be believed!
PRO TIP: This one doesn’t do bookings, so you’re going to want to do this one early to avoid disappointment!
The where: 152-156 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000
More info: https://thebaxterinn.com/
3. The Soda Factory @ Surry Hills
Man, oh, man – this venue has to take the cake in terms of best disguise. Seriously, take it from someone who thought it had closed down and tried to leave, before finally realising the elaborate disguise of this hidden bar favourite.
Hidden behind the guise of ‘Bobby’s Boss Dogs’, a phoney fifties’ coke machine creates a secret entrance to a space you’d never expect – The Soda Factory – Surry Hills’ late-night sweet spot.
Stripped back plaster, intricate murals and neon signs adorn the walls while live bands and guest DJs perform on a dedicated stage.
This American Diner style bar offers delicious burgers, mouth-watering gourmet hot-dogs, fried chicken and is famed for their signature mac n’ cheese. Pair these with their flavour-focused yet playful cocktail list; with nostalgic numbers like ice-cream spiders, bubble-gum infused martinis or other clever twists on the classics.
This is a date spot that is sure to both surprise and delight!
PRO TIP: There’s no one to greet you upon entry at this one. You’ll enter ‘Bobby’s Boss Dogs’, an abandoned mini-diner, to which you’ll need to pull the vending machine forward to open the door and enter the bar.
The where: 16 Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills NSW 2010
More info: https://www.sodafactory.com.au/