As Australia’s wine capital, South Australia is also home to some of the country’s most notable bars. While we love a good cellar door, you can’t plan a visit to South Australia without experiencing our boutique capital. From chic rooftop bars to cozy cocktail lounges tucked away in the middle of backstreets, Adelaide shakes up the classic and creative drops, pouring house wine and freshly brewed craft beer for your enjoyment.
Ready for your night out in Adelaide? Organize your own pub crawl across the city with our top 9 bars that should be at the top of your list.
1. Pink Moon Lounge
Inside Adelaide’s most popular backstreet, Leigh Street, this Japanese architectural style bar is best described as an ‘inner city oasis’. Serving seasonal cocktails, high-end boxes, a curated wine list — including vintage wines and spirits — this little bar is bursting with flavor. Taking the idea of a ‘small bar’ literally (less than 4 meters wide), the distinct facade of the Pink Moon Saloons mountain hut is as welcoming as a warm ski lodge after a long cold day. Despite its size, it’s the perfect stop for an intimate evening for two, or a large group for a party.
2. Party animal
If you’re looking for a rooftop bar with amazing city views, find yourself the best sunset seats in the house at Merrymaker. Located next to Adelaide’s bustling Central Markets, Merrymaker is Adelaide’s tallest rooftop bar. Located on the rooftop of the unique boutique hotel, Hotel Indigo, Merrymaker showcases 25 different gins, creative cocktails and some of SA’s finest wine and craft bars. For those visiting Adelaide, book your stay at Hotel Indigo and enjoy one of Adelaide’s best views just a short lift away.
3. A long story short
Calling all cocktail lovers. Opened in late 2021, Long Story Short is the brick-and-mortar bar for Storytellers Distilling enthusiasts. Although it’s the new kid on the block, it’s not to be missed. Located in Adelaide’s North West, this bar features a four-metre-long concrete counter and an Instagram-worthy wall of craft spirits.
4. Maybe Mae
Tucked away, hidden in the Peel Street Tunnel – Maybe Mae feels like she’s been there forever. It does the basement bar so well — from its wood-paneled doorway to its alluring green leather booths and art deco-inspired wood and mirrored decor — that once you’re set up, it’s hard to leave. Maybe Mae is a world-class speakeasy with a distinctly Adelaide vibe: sophisticated yet down-to-earth.
5. Hains & Co.
Anchored in Adelaide on Gilbert Place, Hains & Co is a nautically themed bar specializing in gin, rum and cigars. Cocktails include the essentials you’d expect from a gin and rum bar, including a Dark n Stormy, Citrusy breakfast martini, and house mulled cider. You can also find a range of draft beers which change frequently and come in sizes such as dull, cistern and tall ship. A menu of entrees is also available with the cult favorite since day one, the house-made sausage rolls with shiraz and black pepper chutney. You can also buy and sample cigars from Cuba, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic to enjoy on the foredeck. So what will it be marine?
6. Leigh Street Wine Cellar
A former dry cleaner turned wine bar, Leigh Street Wine Room is inspired by the intimate and lively wine bars of Paris, Rome and New York. Whatever the occasion, this hole-in-the-wall wine sanctuary lives up to their philosophy of “good food, good wine, good times.” The bar features an iconic vaulted ceiling and terrazzo tiled floor with their biggest highlight being their “wine wall” – some 400 bottles of minimal intervention drops waiting to be drunk.
7. Paloma Bar
South European atmosphere in Adelaide? Look no further than Paloma Bar and Pantry, a bar inspired by the Mediterranean and the southern coast of Spain. Serving cold beverages with house preserves featured in crowd favorites Aperol Spritz, and of course the Paloma. The wine list naturally focuses on Southern European varieties from local and international producers so you can pretend you’re in Europe while enjoying a glass of albariño or nebbiolo.
8. Clever little tailor
With its elegant handmade wooden facade and leather-covered mezzanine cabins, there is something cheerful and welcoming about Clever Little Tailor. With front windows that open to the street and a handful of tables and chairs, it’s the perfect place to soak up the outdoors. Chalkboards indicate wine specialties, and the regular drink list has a good selection of boutique beers, top-notch whiskeys, and other spirits.
Nola offers a New Orleans way of life with bright neon signs and jazz beats with booths and wooden stools lining the bar. With a focus on beer and whiskey, you can expect that and then some with their extensive drink list. New Orleans-inspired cocktails and a giant blackboard displaying a rotating selection of draft beers, close your eyes and be transported from southern Australia to the southern United States. For those feeling a little scruffy on a Sunday morning, they also serve cocktails and a dog-haired brunch to help you out.
For a little more Adelaide…
Adelaide is bursting with culture, flavor and entertainment. To experience more of the flavors of Adelaide, why not start your evening with a delicious meal at one of our top 10 restaurants. For those planning a trip to Adelaide, we’ve got your Three Day Adelaide Itinerary to get you started.
/Courtesy of SA Tourism. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors.