Adelaide, a city packed with small-town charm and a comfortableness that somehow reminds you of your grandma, the one that always offers you chocolate cookies before handing you a sneaky $20 when your parents aren’t looking. This quiet place has managed to be the complete opposite of Australia’s other cities with their modern skyscrapers and ugly corporate buildings, but don’t let Adelaide fool you, it can still get down and party with the best of them. Just wait, we’ll prove it.
Commonly referred to as the festival state, this city is no stranger to partying hard but you need to know the best places to go in order to maximise the fun and make unforgettable memories or alternatively, ones that you won’t remember in the morning. But we’ll leave that up to you.
So come with us and explore what this great city has to offer with our pick of the CBD’s best bars. We promise you won’t regret it… much.
299 Rundle St, Adelaide CBD
If you’re looking for the perfect place to host your Saturday night out then look no further than the iconic Stag Hotel. A spot that’s been serving Adelaideans for years, this place has it all from a killer view over Rymil Park and the Botanic Gardens to an extensive range of craft beers and wonderful wines.
You are also spoilt for choice when it comes to where you want to set up for the night with the Main bar encouraging a relaxed mood and atmosphere, ideal for a loud catch up with friends. Or, if you’re feeling something more intimate, the Champagne bar has you covered with its plush velvet sofas surrounded by more bottles of Moet and Chandon than you could possibly even contemplate drinking. But don’t challenge us.
15 Peel St, Adelaide CBD
Maybe you’re looking for a bit of a challenge and relish the thought of spending your Saturday night trying to find the best hidden bar in Adelaide? Maybe you can’t wait to delight your tastebuds with the sweetness of a great glass of wine or the bitterness of a cold beer after a loooooong working week? Maybe you’re getting sick of us starting sentences with maybe?
Well, maybe we’ve found the bar for you. Okay, we get it, we’ll stop.
Hidden in the tunnel between Peel and Leigh Streets and down the stairs next to Bread & Bone, you’ll find Maybe Mae where you’ll be transported straight back into the 1950’s. This popular drinking spot will have you fighting for a booth as well as the bartender’s attention, but we promise it’ll be worth it when that Gin touches your lips. Be careful though, spend a few hours here and you’ll forget what decade you’re actually in.
9 Anster St, Adelaide CBD
Driven by their commitment to provide you with the very best in food, cocktails and wine, Proof Bar won’t hesitate to become your new favourite spot for after work drinks or casual Saturday nights spent with friends after you’re made to feel like family with their focus on the ‘guest experience’. That’s your experience. They’re talking about you.
Finding its home in a two-levelled space that provides both an intimate haven and a laidback, relaxed summer getaway (did we hear someone say rooftop?), Proof Bar serves up classic cocktails alongside the innovative, as well as quality spirits and wine ensuring there is a little something for everyone.
Thrift Shop Bar
12 Waymouth Pl, Adelaide CBD
Hey, wanna go thriftshopping?
No, we’re not talking about the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis song or an actual thrift shop where you’re used to spending all your money on
unnecessary stuff to the point where you’ve banned yourself from going anywhere near it. Trust us and loosen those purse strings a bit and spend some money at the other thrift shop. AKA, the one and only Thrift Shop Bar.
Clearly unique, the Thrift Shop Bar gets its decor from recycled op-shop products and plays only vintage vinyl records so it’s perfect for a chat with friends while you unwind under the mismatched pendant lights. Grab one of their boutique spirits (if that working week hit you pretty hard) or a craft beer and get ready to let loose.
Electra House Hotel
131 King William St, Adelaide CBD
Don’t panic but we may have just found the best bar in Adelaide (slight exaggeration? We’ll let you decide), with the Electric House Hotel providing two levels for you to drink the night away in. On the ground floor sits the Chamber Bar, featuring high-bench and booth seating as well as 30ft high ceilings with classic 1900s plaster work that, after a few of their signature espresso martini’s, will have you telling anyone who’ll listen they’re as good as the murals on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel even though, a) you’ve never been and b) they’re not.
If that’s not for you, the open-air Garden Bar is surrounded by raw brickwork and hanging plant life with under-cover decking acting the superhero when it comes to the winter months, ensuring you can still have fun even when it’s cold. In fact, we don’t even know why we’re not there right now. Excuse us while we try to figure it out.
The Bibliotheca Bar & Book Exchange
1/27 Gresham St, Adelaide CBD
Yes, you did read that correctly. Books. At. A. Bar.
The Bibliotheca Bar & Book exchange offers an experience like no other, providing you with the opportunity of drinking while you read. Genius. Gone are the days where you had to curl up at home with a glass of wine and a good read, now this spot encourages you to do just that outside the comfort of your own home and in the comfort of this warmly lit, inviting space.
With their extensive range of spirits, carefully selected wines and beers, as well as a classic yet creative cocktail list, be impressed by more than just the words of Hemingway and Fitzgerald and fall in love with this charming spot that will have you coming back every day of the week.
By Kate Gazzard
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