As Australia’s wine capital, South Australia is also home to some of the country’s most outstanding bars. While we love a good cellar door, you can’t plan a visit to South Australia without discovering our boutique capital. From swanky rooftop bars to cosy cocktail lounges tucked away amid laneways, Adelaide is shaking up classic and creative drops, pouring home grown vino and freshly brewed craft beer for you to enjoy.
Ready for your night out in Adelaide? Curate your own bar crawl through the city with our top 9 bars that should be top of your list.
1. Pink Moon Saloon
Inside Adelaide’s most popular laneway Leigh Street, this Japanese architectural style bar is best described as an ‘inner-city oasis’. Serving seasonal cocktails, high end tins, a curated wine list – including vintage wines and spirits – this small bar packs a punch for flavours. Taking the idea of a ‘small bar’ literally (it’s less than 4 meters wide) Pink Moon Saloons distinct mountain hut façade is as inviting as a warm ski-lodge after a long cold day. Despite its size, it’s the perfect stop for an intimate night for two, or a large group for a celebration.
If you’re searching for a rooftop bar complete with sweeping city views, find yourself the best sunset seats in the house at Merrymaker. Located next to the bustling Adelaide Central Markets, Merrymaker is Adelaide’s highest rooftop bar. Situated on the rooftop to the unique boutique hotel, Hotel Indigo, Merrymaker showcases 25 different gins, creative cocktails and some of SA’s best wine and craft bars. For those visiting Adelaide, book your stay at Hotel Indigo and have one of Adelaide’s best views a quick elevator ride away.
3. Long Story Short
Calling all cocktails lovers. Opening in the back end of 2021, Long Story Short is the bricks and mortar bar for lovers of Storytellers Distilling. While it is the new kid on the block, it’s definitely not to be missed. Located in the inner north-west of Adelaide, this bar features a four-meter-long concrete countertop and an Instagram worthy wall of handcrafted spirits
4. Maybe Mae
Tucked away, hidden in the tunnel off Peel street – Maybe Mae feels like it has been here forever. It does the basement bar thing so right – from its wood-panelled door, to its seductive green leather booths and an art deco inspired timber and mirrored décor – that once ensconced, is hard to leave. Maybe Mae is a world-class speakeasy with a decidedly Adelaidean vibe: sophisticated but down-to-earth.
5. Hains & Co
Anchored in Adelaide on Gilbert Place, Hains & Co is a nautical themed bar specialising in gin, rum and cigars. Cocktails include the essentials you’d expect from a gin and rum bar including a Dark n Stormy, a Citrusy breakfast martini and house-mulled cider. You can also find a range of tap beers that frequently change and comes in sizes such as dingy, tanker and tall ship. A food menu is also available with the cult favourite since day one being the house made sausage rolls with shiraz and black pepper chutney. You can also purchase and enjoy cigars from Cuba, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic to enjoy on the front deck. So, what shall it be sailor?
6. Leigh Street Wine Room
A former dry cleaner turned wine bar, Leigh Street Wine Room takes inspiration from the intimate and lively wine bars of Paris, Rome and New York. No matter the occasion, this hole-in-the-wall wine sanctuary delivers on their philosophy of ‘good food, good wine, good times’. The bar features an iconic sweeping arched ceiling and terrazzo tiled floor with their biggest draw card being their ‘wall of wine’ – some 400-odd bottles of minimal-intervention drops waiting to be drunk.
7. Paloma Bar
Southern European vibes in Adelaide? Look no further than Paloma Bar and Pantry – a bar inspired by the Mediterranean and the southern coast of Spain. Serving up fresh drinks with house-made preserves featured in crowd favourites Aperol Spritz, and of course the Paloma. The wine list naturally hones in on Southern European varieties from local and international producers so you can pretend you’re in Europe while enjoying a glass of a albariño or nebbiolo.
8. Clever Little Tailor
With its stylish handmade timber façade and leather-clad mezzanine booths, there’s something cheery and welcoming about Clever Little Tailor. With its front windows that swing open into the street and a smattering of tables and chairs, it’s the perfect spot for alfresco imbibing. Chalkboards tell of wine specials and the regular drinks list offers a good selection of boutique beers, some top-notch whiskies and other spirits.
Nola offers a New Orleans way of living with bright neon signs and jazz beats with booths and wooden stools lining the bar area. With a focus on beer and whisky, you can expect that and then some with their extensive drinks list. New Orleans-inspired cocktails and a giant blackboard displaying a selection of rotating draught beers, close your eyes and be transported from Southern Australia to Southern USA. For those feeling a little seedy on a Sunday morning, they also serve hair-of-the-dog cocktails and brunch to get you through.
For a little more of Adelaide…
Adelaide is bursting with culture, flavours and entertainment. To discover more flavours of Adelaide, why not start your night with a delicious meal at one of our top 10 restaurants. For those planning a trip to Adelaide, we’ve got your three-day itinerary to Adelaide to get you started.