9 Sydney Venues Where You Can Dance All Your Work-Life Stress Away

Big Poppas Sydney nightclub

If you haven’t read one of my many articles on the topic, I gave up drinking. It’s now been a little over a year since I’ve had a drink, and I’m feeling as clear-headed and energetic as you’d expect I’d be.

But with all that newfound energy, not to mention a time limit on how long I can sit at a bar sipping my non-alcoholic drink or sparkling water, recently, I’ve been keen to go to more places in Sydney that offer dancing.

If you too are sober and want to stay entertained on a night out, or you do drink, but love to let loose to your favourite songs, ahead, I’ve done both of us the favour of researching all the best spots in Sydney to go dancing. Read on to see the best spots in Sydney to dance all your work-life stresses away.

Big Poppa’s, Darlinghurst  

Big Poppa’s on Oxford Street is a restaurant with seating upstairs, as well as downstairs, but after 10pm, the basement turns into a bar with a usually packed dance floor. The playlist is usually hip-hop from the 90s and ‘00s. It’s open until 3am every night of the week, with daily happy hour 5-6pm.

The Beresford Hotel, Surry Hills

The Beresford on Bourke Street comprises two indoor bars and a courtyard bar on its ground floor and, on the upper level, Beresford Upstairs. Though the venue was designed for live music with a large stage and tiered booths for watching the entertainment, when there’s no artist or band playing, it becomes a dance floor. Note that the party doesn’t last for too long here – The Beresford closes at 1am on weekends.

The Imperial Hotel, Erskineville

The Imperial Hotel is an institution in Sydney’s inner-west, with a strong LGBTQIA+ identity. The downstairs basement plays host to queer parties with drag queens on the mic, while the front bar plays disco most nights. Every year, the venue puts on special events for Mardi Gras. 

The Golden Sheaf Hotel, Double Bay

Mostly referred to simply as ‘The Sheaf’, The Golden Sheaf Hotel is easily one of the best-known venues for dancing in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. It has multiple areas, including an indoor bar with pool tables, a garden bar and several upstairs bar. It’s in the garden bar where you’ll find on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays DJs or live bands soundtracking a heaving dance floor.

El Primo Sanchez, Paddington

By day and early evening, El Primo Sanchez is a Mexican joint, but after-hours, a DJ takes up a booth and people fill its disco ball-lit dining room with dancing. For a more exclusive experience, ask if there’s space in the 10-seater speakeasy at the back, La Prima. There, you’ll find people around a large wooden table, sipping drinks provided by a dedicated bartender.

Soda Factory, Darlinghurst

Open ‘til 4am on Fridays and Saturdays, Soda Factory is part American diner, part cocktail bar and part live music venue. Over 20 musicians take the stage here each week, with past performers including Lil Eazy E, Bloc Party and Touch Sensitive. Arrive early on weekend nights, otherwise risk standing in an hours-long line.

Coogee Pavilion, Coogee

Once called The Beach Palace Hotel, the two-floor waterfront building was bought by Merivale in 2014 and reopped as Coogee Pavilion. Downstairs is a bar, pizza restaurant and games area, while the upstairs floor is a bar, opening onto a sea-facing terrace. DJs and live music play every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Because the venue is a residential area, it shuts at midnight on weekends.

Goros, Surry Hills

Goros is an underground Japanese bar and restaurant open ‘til 3am on weekends. It’s best known among locals as a late-night dining spot and for free karaoke, which can be done in the privacy of individual rooms. The venue has DJs and drinks specials on weekends, as well as special events for Mardi Gras and full moons.

Paddo Inn, Paddington

Operating since 1814, Paddo Inn is a neighbourhood pub and restaurant. On Fridays and Saturdays as part of its Paddo After Dark experience, it welcomes DJs with music that attracts a packed dance floor. The venue shuts at 1am.

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