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An Ambitious Bar Crawl to Discover Australia’s Newest Venues

The air is heavy with anticipation this year as a variety of new venues open their doors around the country. We’re seeing an emphasis on experimentation and style, as bars and restaurants continue to deliver creativity and push the boundaries.

Since we’re busy planning trips and making our bookings, we thought we’d share our intel. Join us on this extremely ambitious bar crawl across the earth’s smallest continent, as we explore some of the most exciting new and recent bar and restaurant openings in Australia.

Image Credit: The Waratah

New South Wales

There’s a lot happening in our home state this year.

The Waratah, Darlinghurst has fast become one of our favourite new venues for dinner, followed by late-night live music at the Caterpillar Club.

We’re also enjoying lush cocktails at Penelope’s, an opulent new restaurant in Circular Quay and at Now and Then, a new cocktail bar in the heart of the CBD.

The new multi-venue hotel W Hotel, in Darling Harbour is serving up drinks with a spectacular harbour view, and we’re enjoying the unexpected dishes at King Clarence, a contemporary Asian restaurant on the corner of - you guessed it - King St and Clarence St in the CBD.

Further afield, we’re enjoying late-night music on Enmore Rd at The Trocadero Room in Newtown, and meeting friends for woodfired pizza and exceptional cocktails at Ullo Pizza and Wine in Dee Why.


Our friends in Victoria are spoiled for choice, too.

The Gertrude Hotel, Fitzroy has just been reincarnated with a whole new fitout, elevated drinks and Italian-styled food offering.

We’re donning our best threads for outings to Reine & La Rue, a prestigious restaurant, wine and cocktail bar in the original Melbourne Treasury Building and to Purple Pit, an uber-stylish cocktail bar from two of Melbourne’s most well-known hospitality alumni Joe Jones (Romeo Lane) and Maurice Terzini (Sydney’s Icebergs)).

Things are looking slightly less formal for long afternoons at the Albion Hotel, Collingwood, with 1970s pub vibes and elevated food and drinks in trendy Smith St.

There are a few neighbourhood wine bars worth visiting this year, including Brico in Carlton North, and Commis, the new Collingwood neighbourhood wine & food space from alumni of Carlton’s renowned Gerald’s Bar.

And over in Northcote an impressive team of hospitality superstars have joined forces with Goodwater, with a focus on American whiskey.


The Sunshine State never disappoints.

Find good beers, great cocktails, and many bourbons at Alice Bar in Brisbane’s CBD, and in West End, you need to pop into Flying Colours, the sweetest venue we’ve seen for a while, with natural-leaning wines and seasonal cocktails in a leafy courtyard, a cozy warehouse dining room, and sidebar where Brisbane's best DJs are setting the vibe.

Western Australia

Out west, they’re serving up dreamy views and impeccable drinks lists.

As soon as we land in Perth, we’re enjoying our post-flight recovery at Bertie, a super cute neighbourhood wine bar and bistro in Bassendean with exceptional cocktails from veteran Perth bartender James Connolly.

Then we’re southbound to drink in coastal ease at Busselton Pavillion, Busselton, the newest spot in the southwest with great beers on tap, an epic wine list and eats from one of WA’s best operators.

Before we fly home, we’re planning one last stop at Indigo Oscar in Cottesloe - in their words, “Latin eats, flowing fizz and sunny tunes all day”. All that plus a backdrop of the sparkling Indian Ocean. How rude.

South Australia

We. Love. ADL.

We’re venturing no further than Adelaide’s CBD this time round, and you can walk between all three of our recommendations. Nailed it.

We’d start at Trap, an intimate 20-seater minimalist venue, with a fantastic cocktail list, and then we’d meander around the corner to Ralph Louis Frederick, to sample a drop from their amazing list of whiskies from across the world and historical Archie Rose releases. In a move that is fancy-as-hell, this bar is membership-only, and you need to enquire with the venue for access.

Finish the night at everyone’s favourite late-nighter, Sugar, which is back, baby, and led by the team who brought you Memphis Slims, Cry Baby and Shotgun Willies.