When you find yourself in the Southern Australian city of Adelaide, it can, of course, be very useful to familiarize yourself with some of the best local bars. And that’s exactly what we intend to do here. While not a comprehensive list by any means, below we have highlighted some of the best beer and cocktail hotspots in the city, and provided a brief description illustrating why each of these bars is so popular.
Haines and Company
A dive bar by all standards, Haines and Company is a very unique and satisfying destination. This South Australian hotspot features a 1,250 kg anchor and a bar fashioned out of reclaimed wood from the nearby Largs Bay jetty. Located on Gilbert Place and owned by award winning operator Marcus Matteram, Haines and Company specializes primarily in gin and rum—both dark and light rum—and the many concoctions these two well-loved alcohols afford the talented bar staff.
The Thrift Shop
Visitors to the fun city of Adelaide have dozens of choices when it comes to lively bars—places in which to take a much-needed break from their busy sightseeing schedule. However, those who prefer the darkened and rustic atmosphere of a classic dive bar simply must discover for themselves the great service and drinks of the Thrift Shop.
At first glance, the Thrift Shop may seem a bit dark and off-the-beaten-path, but give it a minute and we promise you will soon discover this bar’s strong allure. Born of the desire to support small, local business and avoid waste wherever possible, the Thrift Shop sprung up on Waymouth Place in 2014. Recycled and up-cycled finds give this alleyway space a relaxed, rag-tag character, right down to the vintage glassware at the bar and vinyl records on the stereo. Home to an all-Australian spirit list, the Thrift Shop also boasts a revolving door of Breweries and Wineries in Residence, and holds regular tasting events, where you’ll get the distinctly South Australian cellar door experience right in the middle of the city.
The fun at the Thrift Shop begins with the casually, yet neatly-dressed bartenders who are always eager to meet a new face in the classic and welcoming South Australian manner and style. Whether you prefer beer, wine or a cold cocktail to quench your thirst, it’s nearly impossible to stump the bar’s highly-trained staff, and each and every round is served up with a smile, a touch of pleasant conversation and, perhaps best of all, a low price tag in comparison to some of the city’s more upscale cocktail lounges.
The crowd at the Thrift Shop is a mix of dice-rolling regulars, blue and white collar workers and tourists from around the globe, all drinking in a clean, cool environment where rest and relaxation is a given. During the week, guests take turns pumping out tunes on the juke box, while the weekend nights feature DJs and Live Bands. This is definitely a bar you will want to visit again and again during your stay in the city.
Clever Little Tailor
As the tale goes, the Clever Little Tailor is most likely the pub that kick-started Adelaide’s laneway bar scene, also known as the Peel Street Renaissance. Attracting a wide range of clientele, from hipsters to white collar workers to the occasional food and wine critic, the bar is well-loved in the area for its diversity and great drinks. The Clever Little Tailor serves up a number of craft beer specials, an extensive wine list and an even greater variety of hearty spirits, all in a relaxed, fun-filled atmosphere that feels like home. Fun Fact: recently, a bartender at the Clever Little Tailor convinced a wine distributor to allow him to schlep a bottle of their most expensive champagne on a climb up Mount Kilimanjaro, for what he announced was the highest wine tasting event in history.
Partygoers looking for a needle in a haystack—a true hidden jewel—should definitely make their way to Maybe Mae…that is if they can find it. Nestled away between Peel and Leigh Streets, the dual pillars of Adelaide’s laneway café and bar scene, Maybe Mae can best be described as a subterranean speakeasy-type bar with period art deco that transports guests to an earlier time. The hard-to-find—and impossible-to leave—bar boasts some great selections of beer and wine (some of it on tap) and a range of classic and fruity cocktails that are simply delicious.
Whether you’re looking for a casual dining experience with wine and cocktails or more of a lounge style adventure with music and dancing, you will find just what you’re looking for at Adelaide’s Warradale Bar.
By day, the Warradale closely resembles your typical bar and grill. Most guests sit at or closely around the horseshoe shaped bar, the majority sipping pint-sized brews from one of the 20+ taps pouring domestic, imported and a full range of craft brews, both local and international—Pale Ales, Pilsners, dark stouts and everything in between. Sports from around the globe are playing on the bar’s ten televisions, and the occasional cheer after a big play will often break the silence of muffled voices and people enjoying the bar’s tasty grub. Hamburgers, dogs, chicken wings and a whole menu of cold and hot sandwiches are just some of the delicious treats that help sate the appetites of hungry customers—food that is paired with ice-cold beer, wine and the occasional cocktail.
The nights at the Warradale are definitely more crowded and lively than the daytime crowd, and alcohol replaces food as the most popular guest order. Most weeknights feature some type of theme, including Taco Tuesdays, Karaoke nights and ladies’ night; and the weekend nights, which often feature “standing room only” crowds, DJs spinning electric tunes, and Live Rock Bands persuade guests to hit the dance floor to enjoy a mix of fast songs and slow ballads.
One of the more popular bars in the touristy section of Adelaide, the Warradale delivers all the food and fun required for an intimate lunch with friends or a raucous night out on the town.
image credit: Pixabay