Bulletin Place (Level 1, 10-14 Bulletin Pl, Sydney) might be small but it punches above its weight with market-fresh cocktail mixers and a fresh-daily drinks menu. At its cheekier sibling, Dead Ringer (413 Bourke Street, Surry Hills) housebottled yuzu breezers and local beers lubricate the impressive eats. One of the city's finest whisky collections can be found at The Baxter Inn (Basement, 152-156 Clarence St, Sydney), but if bourbon, peanuts and taxidermy are more your style, hit Shady Pines Saloon (4/256 Crown St, Darlinghurst).
For pizze, dancing and general debauchery till the early morn', make Frankie's Pizza (50-58 Hunter St, Sydney) your go-to. Earl's Juke Joint (407 King St, Newtown) serves up Brooklyn-style vibes in the west, while nearby at The Gretz (125 Enmore Rd, Enmore) snack on seafood-leaning treats next to local craft beers and wine.
Mezcal, tequila and salt-rimmed tinnies are the orders of the day at Tio's Cerveceria (4-14 Foster St, Surry Hills); at The Lobo Plantation (Basement, 209 Clarence St, Sydney) it's all about the rum, while its new sister bar, Kittyhawk (16 Philip La, Sydney), does great things with rye. Moya's Juniper Lounge (101 Regent St, Redfern) is gin-focused and intimate.
It has some good-looking neighbours, too - The Bearded Tit (183 Regent St, Redfern, 02 8283 4082), an especially LGBTI friendly venue rich in mulled wine, live music and art, Arcadia Liquors (7 Cope St, Redfern, 02 8068 4470) for date-night ambience, and the disco-loving back-room GDR (180 Redfern St, Redfern). Art Deco charm and movie-themed cocktails make Golden Age Cinema & Bar ripe for a follow-up visit (80 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills, 02 9211 1556) or, for something more serious, there's the glamour of the old-school Eau de Vie (229 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst, 0422 263 226).
Sydney's best burgers give ballast to a natural-leaning wine list and Slayer played loud at Mary's (6 Mary St, Newtown); you can also order their cheeseburgers with a round of shots at the CBD's Ramblin' Rascal Tavern (Basement, 60 Park St, Sydney; entry via Elizabeth St). For cocktails of rare balance, This Must be the Place (239 Oxford St, Darlinghurst, 02 9331 8063), headed by world-class bartenders, is a no-brainer. House-made tonics and sodas are the focus at PS40 (2/40 King St, Sydney), and for views, Icebergs comes in first place. A nightcap? Bar Normandy, within the theatrical Hubert, can't be beat.