Struggling artists unite. Here are five places with up-there vibes and down-there prices; the list that helps you stay social and on top of the rent.

Ramblin’ Rascal


Nobody has to know you’re not drinking their $6 ‘shit tinnie’ ironically. It’s a cool spot to get Mary’s burgers in the CBD and have after-work drinks in a place that doesn’t feel like an after-work bar. They have Marrickville’s own Batch Brewing Co. beers but also advertise $6 tinnies. Best of all, the bartender won’t raise an eyebrow as he hands you a Melbourne Bitter. Score.

WHERE: 199 Elizabeth St, Sydney BEST TIME TO GO: There’s a small after-work rush but it’s usually good anytime.

Arcadia Liquors


Arcadia presents you the opportunity to fondle their fern-encrusted green wall in the back courtyard, or admire Sydney’s finest collection of op shop art, while sipping on an under-$10 glass of wine (interesting choices too, from as far afield as Spain or Argentina). Plus there’s always on-tap beer specials (German usually).

WHERE: 7 Cope St, Redfern BEST TIME TO GO: Except for after Carriageworks events when you can barely find room to breathe, it’s good anytime.



There’s a cool cocktail list with refreshing prices (all lower two digits) and the narrow interior (an aptly-named bar if there ever was one) invites you to get close and merry to all your compadres. The Pisco cocktails are yum, and try and get there before they stop serving their winter mulled wine!

WHERE: 153A King St, Newtown BEST TIME TO GO: Go early to make sure you secure the street-facing bench right on King St. It’s people-watching at night, and it’s just a matter of time before Mike Baird shuts it down for #healthandsafety.

The Rabbit Hole


Great happy hour specials (4-6) such as fiver wines and Peronis don’t detract from the coolness of this space. It’s sort of Prohibition meets fancy hotel lounge. Also, if you have the urge to splurge, there’s a Kraken rum cocktail with squid ink. A much chicer way to consume calamari.

WHERE: Basement, 82 Elizabeth St, Sydney BEST TIME TO GO: Happy hour.

Club 77


If these walls could talk, they would probably be moaning softly. Sydney’s original den of sin has reopened recently with an Eastern European vibe, but fear not; it’s still as dingy, dark and dangerous as always. Bonus, you can get longnecks and giant tins of Paulaner, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Sapporo and take them to the dance floor as is.

WHERE: 77 William St, Darlinghurst BEST TIME TO GO: Every Sunday night they host queer-tinged party Pavlova Bar, with Sydney underground approved DJs playing house-y disco, or disco-y techno, and anything in between.