10 of Sydney's best 'happy hour' bars for every day of the week

99 on York in Sydney’s CBD. Photo: Peter Terlato

Everyone loves a happy hour.

But these days the term doesn’t necessarily mean a drinks special that only lasts for 60 minutes. Nor is it limited to house spirits and domestic beers. The definition has changed and so have the types of establishments that try to entice customers in at the end of a working day.

Sydney has an endless number of popular nightspots to lure weary workers and travellers. But if you don’t know where to go for a cheap drink it can be one of the most expensive cities to enjoy a night out on the town or even just throw back a few post-work drinks.

So we put together a list of some of Sydney’s best happy hour bars for you to check out.

Strawberry Hills Hotel — 453 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills

This Sydney mainstay has a wicked open-air rooftop and boasts $4 schooners (all taps), house wines and spirits. This special is available 4-6pm Monday to Friday.

The Royal George — 320 George St, Sydney

Located on the ground floor of the Ivy, this elegant, discreetly lit nightspot is a winner with all crowds. Traditional brick paving and timber is matched with contemporary touches throughout. And the beers are insanely cheap, with $5 pints — that’s right, pints — and $5 glasses of wine. Happy hour runs from 5-7pm Monday to Friday.

The Rabbit Hole — 82 Elizabeth St, Sydney

You’ll feel like Alice in Wonderland when you head down The Rabbit Hole. From 4:30pm to 6pm the bar serves $5 vale ales and lagers, $5 Peronis and $5 wines. This funky basement bar also serves up some of the city’s best cuisine and we wouldn’t judge you if you forked out a few extra dollars for the Kraken’s Prey cocktail, coated with squid ink instead of salt, as it’s truly addictive.

Parsons Bar, Potts Point.

Parsons Bar — 3 Kellett St, Potts Point

These guys are only open Thursday-Sunday but it’s worth heading in for $7 pints of Rocks Brewing Co. beers, $5 first pour wines and $12 cocktails. And with names like The Pornstar, Takin’ It Off Real Sloe and The Gentleman’s Breakfast you’ll hardly be disappointed. If you’re after a winter warmer they’ve also got specials like freshly made hot mulled wine and cider.

Martin Place Bar — 51 Martin Place, Sydney

This awesome little bar in the heart of the CBD is a favourite among office workers. Most weekdays there are some cracking drinks specials but it’s hard to go past $5 bottles of Heineken, Stella and Corona and $5 glasses of sparkling, sauvignon blanc and cabernet from 5-8pm. They’ve also got DJ’s spinning tracks from 5pm.

The Morrison — 225 George St, Sydney

This stylish venue treats patrons with $5 house beers, wines and spirits every day of the week from 5-7pm. They also offer $10 cocktails and $10 burgers in the Parlour Bar all day, every day. There’s a charming open-air terrace out back and a fantastic little Oyster Bar with $1 oysters every Wednesday 6-7pm.

99 on York — 95-99 York Street, Sydney

Between 5-7pm Monday-Wednesday members can get $3 schooners and $3 house wines. If you’re worried that this special only applies to members, fear not. You can sign up for a 12-month membership for just $10 when you arrive and use begin using it immediately. You’ll get your outlay back in no time with $5.50 imported beers (all day, every day) and cocktails from $9.

Shakespeare Hotel — 200 Devonshire St, Surry Hills

With a range of $10 food specials Monday-Thursday, The Shakey is one of the few pubs in Sydney that maintains an authentic old world charm. You can enjoy $4 house beers, wines and spirits from 4-6pm every day of the work week.

Jackson’s On George — 176 George Street, Sydney

This Circular Quay stalwart — famous as a venue of last resort for CBD revellers before the city’s 1.30am lockout laws were introduced — has been relaunched, complete with a specialised Irish whiskey bar and rooftop cider bar, but it’s the happy hour deals that will keep you coming back. You can get $5 Coronas and $5 house beers, wines and spirits for a whopping four hours from 4-8pm.

El Loco at Slip Inn — 111 Sussex St, Sydney

Downstairs and out the back! This Merivale hotel is lively and has plenty of character. The colourful and often crowded courtyard is perfect for a flurry of Friday night drinks. Coronas and Cerveza Pacíficos, house spirits and house wines are all $5 between 5-7pm. ¡No manches!

El Loco at Slip Inn.

BONUS: Charlie Chans — 631-635 George St, Sydney

Charlie may not be here but his crew are and they’re keen to show you a good time. Head down to this small, modern bar near Chinatown for $4 schooners (selected beers only) from 12-6pm (seven days) and then $5 James Squires, house wines, house spirits and sparkling from 6pm-9pm Monday through Friday. They also do $5 house spirits between 7pm-9pm on weekends.

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