Drinks News

Sydney’s Maybe Sammy cracks The World’s 50 Best Bars list

And it’s the only Australian venue to make the top-50 rankings.

By Yvonne C Lam
Maybe Sammy
Cue the queues. Sydney cocktail bar Maybe Sammy has been crowned the best bar in Australasia at last night's The World's Best Bars award ceremony in London.
The bar, located in The Rocks, clinched a number 43 ranking, and is the only Australian bar to crack the top 50 list.
It's a coup for the Sydney bar which opened only nine months ago by co-owners Stefano Catino, Vince Lombardo and Andrea Gualdi (Catino and Lombardo also co-own the Maybe Frank pizzerias in Surry Hills and Randwick). It's the first time Maybe Sammy has appeared on the international rankings, with the list citation ticking off the bar's "inventive and delicious cocktail list", "luxe surrounds" and "attention to detail". The venue was also named one of Australia's best bars in the Gourmet Traveller 2020 Restaurant Guide.
The aftermath of winning such an award sets high expectations for the waiting public, says Lombardo. But he says it's gratifying the team is recognised for their hard work on an international scale. "Our bartenders, especially, are crucial. They treat their place like their own," he says.
Catino and bartender Martin Hudak were in London to collect their award at last night's ceremony, with Lombardo following the webcast from home. "I watched them live with my seven-week-old son on my chest," he says. "He watches all of Juventus F.C.'s games with me, and they remain undefeated. And then we won best bar in Australia. He's my good luck charm."

Notably 2019 marks Australia's return to the top-50 rankings, having not made the cut in 2018.
You'll find more venues flying the Australian flag on the extended list of bars ranked 51-100: Sydney's Bulletin Place jumped to 66th position after last year's 75th ranking, while Baxter Inn was nudged down a peg from 78th to 79th. Melbourne's Black Pearl, ranked 22 in 2017, came in at number 80, while Sydney bar and soda factory PS40 makes its list début at number 95.
The top-50 rankings were dominated by entries from London, which notched up 10 appearances including American Bar which crept up the list from 5th to 2nd position. This was closely followed by New York with six bars on the list including Dante Bar which took out the number one spot this year, leap-frogging from its previous 9th ranking.
It's a timely release of the bar rankings as Sydney approaches its October long weekend. For thirsty drinkers unable to get their foot in the door at Maybe Sammy, take heed: Employees Only in New York (26) and Scout in London (28) both have outposts in Sydney.
  1. Dante, New York City, USA
  2. Connaught Bar, London, United Kingdom
  3. Floreria Atlantico, Buenos Aires
  4. The Nomad, New York City, USA
  5. American Bar, London, United Kingdom
  6. The Clumsies, Athens, Greece
  7. Attaboy, New York City, USA
  8. Atlas, Singapore
  9. The Old Man, Hong Kong
  10. Licorería Limantour, Mexico City, Mexico
  11. Manhattan, Singapore
  12. Native, Singapore
  13. Carnaval, Lima, Peru,
  14. Katana Kitten, New York City, USA
  15. Guilhotina Bar, São Paulo, Brazil
  16. Three Sheets, London, United Kingdom
  17. Himkok, Oslo, Norway
  18. High Five, Tokyo, Japan
  19. Salmon Guru, Madrid, Spain
  20. Paradiso, Barcelona, Spain
  21. Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei, Taiwan
  22. The Dead Rabbit, New York City, USA
  23. Coupette, London, United Kingdom
  24. The SG Club, Tokyo, Japan
  25. Dr. Stravinsky, Barcelona, Spain
  26. Employees Only, New York City, USA
  27. El Copitas, Saint Petersburg, Russia
  28. Scout, London, United Kingdom
  29. Jigger & Pony, Singapore
  30. Operation Dagger, Singapore
  31. Baba Au Rum, Athens, Greece
  32. La Factoria, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  33. Presidente, Buenos Aires
  34. Schumann's, Munich, Germany
  35. Speak Low, Shanghai, China
  36. Little Red Door, Paris, France
  37. Tjoget, Stockholm, Sweden
  38. The Old Man, Singapore
  39. Lyaness, London, United Kingdom
  40. Happiness Forgets, London, United Kingdom
  41. Swift, London, United Kingdom
  42. Trick Dog, San Francisco, USA
  43. Maybe Sammy, Sydney, Australia
  44. 1930, Milan, Spain
  45. Sober Company, Shanghai, China
  46. Electric Bing Sutt, Beirut
  47. Kwant, London, United Kingdom
  48. Artesian, London, United Kingdom
  49. Coa, Hong Kong
  50. Jerry Thomas Speakeasy, Rome, Italy