A guide to Western Sydney’s nightlife
Find your favourite kind of night out in Western Sydney, whether you like dancing into the night, a relaxed courtyard for a chat with friends, cocktails and a fancy meal, or late-night snacks.
If you want to dance
For a classic party dance floor head to The Albion Hotel in Parramatta on a Friday or Saturday night. It’s on those nights the historic and usually relaxed pub becomes a raucous nightclub until the early morning. R&B is the usual vibe but check their socials for what DJs are on. Gregory Hills’ El Patron has similar R&B beats but instead of a pub menu and beer before you dance, the upmarket half-restaurant-half-club serves cocktails, oysters, fancy tacos and, if you can afford it, caviar. If you want to avoid sweaty crowds, create your own dance floor at one of the VIP Karaoke Bar rooms in Liverpool or Canley Heights, the latter comes with the added bonus of having its own bar and restaurant.
If you want a fancy night out
The title of fanciest bar in the west is hard fought. Parramatta’s candidate is 1930s themed, 26th-floor bar
Penrith’s competitor for the title is Theo’s Rooftop Bar, a Mediterranean-inspired rooftop bar with similarly stunning views but also an infinity pool and a menu of fresh pastas. If you’re less into extravagance and more into small-batch wines and cutting-edge cooking, check out AG Bar a velvet and marble laden small bar hidden in a Penrith alley.
If you want to chill and chat with a drink
Sometimes you don’t want to dance, eat in a loud restaurant or fuss around with organising a booking, you just want a good chat in a nice place with good drinks. Western Sydney has plenty of options. Breweries are a great walk-in, no frills, casual option. Riverside Brewing Company serves brews made with all-natural, all-Australian ingredients in a mini Parramatta warehouse, while Rusty Penny pours their wide range of brews alongside American barbecue in a huge Penrith hall.
If your priorities are more scenery than drink-based, swap the brewery for a leafy courtyard at the Royal Cricketers Arms. Founded in 1880 and sitting on the edge of a nature reserve in Blacktown, the pub makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a quaint country town.
If you want to chill and chat with a tea and a snack
Thanks to Western Sydney’s incredible diversity, non-drinkers are catered to by a vast array of late-night cafes. In Korea cafes close late and it’s the same in Strathfield, Sydney’s Koreatown. Check out LAB for coffee, tea and Instagram-friendly cakes in a modern space until 11pm. Sydney’s southwest also has a rich and caffeine-fuelled late-night culture. Diem Hen Cafe and Cafe Nho in Canley Heights are the old-school examples, serving up traditional Viet iced coffees (beware the huge caffeine hit) and fresh juices into the night. For a contemporary take, settle into the velvet sofas and modern-Asian menu of V Lounge or get your evening coffee with a side of Balkan grilled meats and live music at A Little Somethin’ Co in Liverpool – check their Instagram for their Thursday-night line-up.
If you want to be entertained
Western Sydney has countless options for live entertainment. Those interested in the local art community, look at what’s on at Casula Powerhouse. You’ll find everything from live comedy and music to gallery exhibitions and art workshops. For a do-it-all-in-one kind of experience, check out one of Western Sydney’s mega venues like Mounties in Mount Pritchard or Rooty Hill’s West HQ, home of the epic Sydney Coliseum Theatre. They’re in-between a function centre and an entertainment precinct, so you can design your own night by choosing between multiple dining options, stages featuring both local and international acts, DJs on the weekend and fun extras like bowling (West HQ), poker and trivia (both at Mounties).
For a more bespoke and low-key experience, take a friend or date to Blacktown’s Skyline Drive In, an old-school drive-in cinema with an American diner attached. To get into live sport, check out our guide to which local sport teams to follow.
If you want a late-night feast or mid-party snack pit stop
Western Sydney is one of the most diverse places on earth. What that means for you is bustling street food spots, late-night eat streets, food trucks with burgers worth queuing for and old school institutions with feasts fit for a celebration. The two main late-night food hubs are Lakemba and Strathfield. Lakemba is a multicultural suburb where you can get mandi (a huge Yemeni platter of slow cooked meat over rice), biryani, Afghan grilled meats and freshly made flatbreads on Haldon Street until 1am. Just down the road from the main drag, you can experience genuine Filipino street food at Smoky Cravings – get a handful of charcoal grilled skewers, take a seat in the open air and chase it all with a halo halo (a coconut and shaved ice dessert topped with all kinds of goodies).
Strathfield is Sydney’s Korean hub, walk up the main road to find Korean barbecue, street food shops and fried chicken joints open until midnight. For a street food experience, head to Tapari Momo in Clyde (just near Parramatta), a street stall selling Nepalese dumplings in a repurposed carpark. Your late-night food truck option is Chubby Buns, a cult burger brand with late night spots dotted around the west.