Finalists for Bar of the Year 2018

Big Poppa's, Sydney

Big Poppa's, Sydney

Whether it's a late-night spot playing hip-hop at full volume, a throwback to the glamour of yesteryear or a bar-restaurant that slips the collar of definition, these three Bar of the Year finalists have all nailed one essential detail: good times.

BIG POPPA'S, SYDNEY

In a move that gently thumbed nose at Sydney's new-found reputation for being the city that ever sleeps, Big Poppa's snagged a licence with a grandfather clause that allows it to trade much later than its comrades. But even if the party were being put to bed before the witching hour, it'd still be one of the most exciting bars to have opened in Sydney in many a year. Co-owner Lewis Jaffrey and manager Bobby Carey both clocked plenty of time in the Shady Pines/Baxter Inn axis of awesome, and though its music and flavour are its own Poppa's is true to those bars' good-time spirit. Throw in expert bartenders, an extensive cheese list and a rollicking hip-hop playlist that resounds across both levels of the two-tiered venue, and you've got a very attractive proposition on your hands.

In short: Big drinks, big tunes, big cheese selection.

BAR ROCHFORD, CANBERRA

Bar Rochford's Gun Club.

Is Rochford a bar with a particularly healthy snack offering or just a really boozy restaurant where people sometimes choose to get up and boogie while the DJ works the wheels of steel? And is that a roaring fire in that grate? In the glass, things trip from local chardonnay from the likes of Nick Spencer and Capital Brewing froth to a winning line-up of Chinons, Vouvrays and Beaujolais, plus of course a kick-arse line-up of cocktails. On the plate you can play it casual with hand-cut chips, house pickles and sourdough from local heroes Three Mills, or ramp it up with snapper, black-eyed peas and chorizo oil.

In short: Fire in the disco.

SEYMOUR'S COCKTAILS & OYSTERS, BRISBANE

Inside Seymour's Cocktails and Oysters.

It's hard to go past Lefty's Old Time Music Hall, our Bar of the Year in 2014. But if your destination happens to be Seymour's - Lefty's less flamboyant (but certainly not sober) neighbour - stay the course, pull back the crimson curtain and dive right in. This compact, New Orleans-accented sibling sits alongside Lefty's and shares owners - Jason Scott, Jamie Webb and Simon Shearer. Expect laser-sharp cocktails from the best bartenders in town, cosy booth seating (or classic bentwood stools at a brass-topped bar), plus smart, simple snacks ranging from freshly shucked oysters to duck pithiviers.

In short: Hidden delights in plain sight.


GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Sydney's best cafes

Good coffee is becoming more rule than exception in Sydney's...

Sydney's best Thai restaurants

Sydney prides itself on its Thai food, and for good reason.

Sydney's best wine bars

The city's new-wave wine bars wow with the grape, and in man...

Sydney's best cheap eats

Looking for a list of Sydney's best cheap eats? Here are som...

Brisbane's best cheap eats

Looking for Brisbane's best cheap eats? Here are some of our...

Brisbane's best cafes

Brisbane is embracing the cult of espresso like never before...

Brisbane's best steaks

Our picks of Brisbane's best places to grab a steak.

Brisbane's best bars

Brisbane has punched above its weight in the bar world for a...

Melbourne's best cafes

Our favourite cafe's in Melbourne, as seen in our 2014 Gourm...

Melbourne's best cheap eats

The best places in Melbourne to catch a bargain meal.

Sydney's best bars

Looking for Sydney's best bars? Here are our picks.

Finalists for Maitre D' of the Year 2018

The maitre d' is your first introduction to a restaurant - t...

Finalists for New Restaurant of the Year 2018

Three hot-to-trot new restaurants - and all of them in Sydne...

The 2014 Top 100

Our list of the Top 100 restaurants in the country from the ...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×