Drinks News

Four Australian venues honoured in the World’s 50 Best Bars Awards

It’s the best showing for Australia since 2015.

By Callum McDermott
At number 22, Sydney's Maybe Sammy is the best bar in Australasia in this year's ranking.
The prestigious World's 50 Best Bars awards ceremony was held earlier this week, and Australia had its best showing in more than five years.
In a repeat of 2020 three Sydney bars made the cut, however this year they were joined by a new Melbourne entrant. (Luke Whearty and Aki Nishikura's Byrdi, in Melbourne's CBD cracked the longlist at number 56.)
For the second year running Australia's highest-ranked venue was cocktail bar Maybe Sammy, which placed at 22. This was slightly down on last year's placing, but a testament to the staying power and consistency of a bar that's managed to rank for three consecutive years since opening.
"Making the list … is such an honour and a great achievement that we could never have imagined when we started," said co-founder Stefano Catino.
"We are so proud and happy to have achieved everything we have but we will keep pushing to be the best version of ourselves," Catino said. "We really hope the world can come to Australia soon and witness the amazing bar community we have here."
Cantina Ok!, Sydney Photo: Supplied
Another Sydney CBD winner was Cantina Ok! – the standing-room only mezcal bar from the Tio's Cerveceria team – placing just behind Maybe Sammy at number 23. It's a jump of five spots from its début appearance on the list last year.
The final Sydney bar to make the list is Matt Whiley's Re. The pioneering cocktail spot is aiming to be the world's first zero-waste bar. That ethos is present everywhere; from the menu which uses food waste and by-products (such as Murray Cod fat from Paddington restaurant Saint Peter), to the furniture – the "leather" banquette upholstery is made from pineapple leaf fibre. Re also took out the Ketel One sustainable bar award.
Re, Sydney Photo: supplied
Over in Melbourne, Above Board, a low-key Collingwood bar with a cult following, placed at number 44. The hard-to-find Smith Street 12-seater has been an industry favourite since it opened, thanks to its tight cocktail list and striking, counter-seat-only design.
Lockdowns and their cascading effects – capacity limits, staff shortages, travel restrictions – have been damaging for all hospitality venues. But cocktail bars, with their reliance on highly skilled staff, typically small premises and low customer volume, have experienced a particularly difficult set of circumstances during the last two years. Australia has had numerous high-profile bar closures during COVID, especially in CBDs. But this year's showing is a sign the industry is finding its feet again, and its best days are hopefully still to come.

The World's 50 Best Bars: the full list

  1. Connaught Bar, London, UK
  2. Tayēr + Elementary, London, UK
  3. Paradiso, Barcelona, Spain
  4. The Clumsies, Athens, Greece
  5. Florería Atlántico, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  6. Licorería Limantour, Mexico City, Mexico
  7. Coa, Hong Kong
  8. El Copitas, St Petersburg, Russia
  9. Jigger & Pony, Singapore
  10. Katana Kitten, New York, USA
  11. Two Schmucks, Barcelona, Spain
  12. Hanky Panky, Mexico City, Mexico
  13. Insider Bar, Moscow, Russia
  14. Baba au Rum, Athens, Greece
  15. Manhattan, Singapore
  16. Atlas, Singapore
  17. Zuma, Dubai, UAE
  18. The SG Club, Tokyo, Japan
  19. Drink Kong, Rome, Italy
  20. 1930, Milan, Italy
  21. Presidente, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  22. Maybe Sammy, Sydney, Australia
  23. Cantina Ok!, Sydney Australia
  24. Salmon Guru, Madrid, Spain
  25. Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City, Mexico
  26. No Sleep Club, Singapore
  27. Camparino in Galleria, Milan, Italy
  28. Café La Trova, Miami, USA
  29. Little Red Door, Paris, France
  30. Dante, New York, US
  31. Kwānt, London, UK
  32. Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo, Japan
  33. Tres Monos, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  34. Attaboy, New York, USA
  35. Lucy's Flower Shop, Stockholm, Sweden
  36. MO Bar, Singapore
  37. Sips, Barcelona, Spain
  38. Baltra Bar, Mexico City, Mexico
  39. Sober Company, Shanghai, China
  40. Tjoget, Stockholm, Sweden
  41. Epic, Shanghai, China
  42. Charles H, Seoul, South Korea
  43. Tippling Club, Singapore
  44. Above Board, Melbourne, Australia
  45. Galaxy Bar, Dubai, UAE
  46. Re, Sydney, Australia
  47. Sidecar, New Delhi, India
  48. Union Trading Company, Shanghai, China
  49. Darkside, Hong Kong
  50. Quinary, Hong Kong
Maybe Sammy, Sydney Photo: supplied
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  • undefined: Callum McDermott