No Plain Lanes: The Coolest Laneway Venues Hidden Across Sydney

Countless laneways have sprung up across every Australian city in the last few years. Sydney is no exception, of course, so let’s take a look at the best hidden bars and restaurants it has to offer.

Image credit: Grasshopper Facebook
Image credit: Grasshopper Facebook

Grasshopper

Sydney

An elusive little joint down Temperance Lane, the award-winning Grasshopper mixes Asian tapas with an impeccable selection of drinks. It’s fun, lively and dripping with atmosphere, with a great crowd and quirky décor slapped across the walls. If you’re not sure what to order, try the Cocktail #127. It’s a blend of vodka, lime and coconut, and it comes in a teddy bear jar you get to keep!

“There are no fancy glasses, fancy names or drinks served with pomp and ceremony. Just pure mixologists at work combining some of the most amazing flavours all served in just a jam jar. Pure and simple. If you want to eat I can highly recommend the steak. Just a divine combination of flavours with a pepper encrusted exterior.” – Jarrod M

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Image credit: Sappho Books Cafe and Wine Facebook
Image credit: Sappho Books Cafe and Wine Facebook

Sappho Books, Café & Wine Bar

Glebe

It takes an unprecedented level of cool to house a bookshop, an indie record store, a hip coffee place and a suave bar all under the same roof. Such high concentrations of cool would be lethal in lesser hands, but Sappho Books can juggle it all with a bright and friendly smile. Browse around to your heart’s content, and head for the back-lane courtyard for some awesome Mexican corn fritters.

“Absolutely delightful cafe, wine and tapas bar tucked away behind the book store and featuring plenty of outdoor seating in a garden style setting. Often has live music placing which suits to atmosphere perfectly.” – livvie

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Image credit: Love Tilly Devine Facebook
Image credit: Love Tilly Devine Facebook

Love, Tilly Devine

Darlinghurst

This place is almost as legendary as its notorious namesake. The wine list is immense, stretching on forever and including bottles from all across the world. The food’s very good too, consisting mainly of Italian nibbles like gnocchi with prosciutto. It’s a great spot, and you’ll soon see why the regulars are so loyal.

“This place is the bee’s knees. For me, it ticks all the wine bar boxes – it’s cosy, has knowledgeable and friendly staff, and delicious, share-able food. A huge bonus is that it’s not too loud, so you can have a proper conversation with friends.” – scallywaggle

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Image credit: Since I Left You Facebook
Image credit: Since I Left You Facebook

Since I Left You

Sydney

Most laneway bars tend to be pretty small and cosy, but Since I Left You is not most laneway bars. It’s a sprawling, art deco haven of approachable elegance, and it takes up practically all of its Kent Street alley. If you’re a Simpsons fan, don’t pass up the chance to order the “Single Plum, Floating In Perfume, Served In A Man’s Hat”. That’s Glenmorangie Original, Ume, Ginger, and Peychauds.

“Nice little bar next to Nando’s on Kent street. It’s basically a bar in a alley. Great atmosphere for relaxed drinks with mates and work colleagues. The cocktails are great! The guacamole is tasty with the Chips!” – shootez

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Image credit: Papa Gedes Facebook
Image credit: Papa Gedes Facebook

Papa Gede’s

Sydney

This isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned Papa Gede’s, and it certainly won’t be the last. From the dark voodoo theme to the top-notch Tiki concoctions, this place is pretty much just the best. We just mentioned a Simpsons cocktail, so it’s only fair to recommend the Futurama-inspired “Barbados Slim” you can get here. It’s made from Jamaican rum, coconut, pineapple, plum bitters and Campari.

“Tiki cocktails, traditionally served absinth and voodoo. What more could you ask for? This bar’s theme is on point. Great music, atmosphere and friendly bartenders who are always keen to give suggestions on interesting concoctions for your drinking pleasure.” – SpaghettiCat

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