Sofia Cocktail Lounge is the chicest place in Surry Hills

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We’re sure you’ve heard of Sofia on Cleveland after it made waves on the culinary scene at launch, but did you know the restaurant team have now opened a cocktail lounge too? Sofia Cocktail Lounge is located within Sofia on Cleveland, above Bar Cleveland, and this space is without a doubt the chicest in Surry Hills. From the decor, roaring fireplace, decadent cocktails and access to the enviable Sofia food menu, we’re almost loathe to give away the details of our new favourite hotspot.

Open until late (in fact there’s no official closing time, as long as you’re drinking, they’ll stay open), Sofia’s feels better than home. With lush velvet couches, thick curtains, comfortable armchairs, plush carpets and the toasty fireplace, these exposed brick walls transport you to another era. Not an era specifically vintage, for the decor is far too sophisticated for that, but one where drinking in a bar didn’t involve precariously balancing on a stool while you shout to be heard. This is a place to have deep conversations and sample and snack your way through the menu over a number of hours.

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Plenty is unmissable here, but the cocktails are definitely one of the special things. Besides the classics, Sofia’s has a collection selected with care and inspiration. The Noah’s Arc for example is modelled after dessert favourite Turkish Delight, and is a fragrant, rosy tipple. While on the hard hitting end, the Saz Jazz is a play on a Sazerac, but with the addition of ricotta washed Shiraz gin and Cre?me de Fraise Des Bois. They’ve also let slip they’ll soon be adding a signature cocktail featuring their namesake’s own extra virgin olive oil, pressed in Mani in the Peloponnese, from Koroneiki olives grown in the family’s own chemical-free olive grove. The exclusive olive oil is a highlight of Sofia’s restaurant menu and can even be bought to take home.

Speaking of, what’s a drink without a snack we ask? We recommend grabbing something from the a la carte menu to nibble on, and you can’t go past the sourdough loaf, served warm, with Sofia extra virgin olive oil. The marinated olives are also delicious and offer a nice palate challenge to the fresh cocktails.

It’s worth mentioning that even if you’re not a fan of cocktails, there is still a stand-out wine list, beers, and non-alcoholic beverages available in this sanctuary.

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Bookings aren’t essential, but always recommended to ensure you get seated exactly where you want (which is the lounge in our firm opinion!).