By Lana Guineay
The warm weather is here and there’s no better time to explore new bars and cellar doors that have popped up across the city and suburbs.
From under-the-radar gems, to a sneak peek of venues opening soon, here are 11 picks where you can undertake very important research to decide on your summer signature drink.
1. Bailey Room
23 Vardon Ave, Adelaide
The newest addition to the East End Cellars on Vardon Avenue, boasting a function area, tasting room and outside dining, the Bailey Room is a prime spot for punters and those after a central event space.
Vibe: Think wine cellar. The space features reclaimed timber from the old Tatachilla winery in McLaren Vale, a wall of wine box ends, and spectacular glass-fronted room featuring wall-to-wall Burgundies and premium wines.
Food: Charcuterie, cheese, fresh-baked artisan breads. AKA wine’s best friends.
Signature drink: Wine, naturally. Why not sample a full-bodied Barossa red.
2. Midnight Spaghetti
196 Grenfell St, Adelaide (Upstairs at The Cranker)
Grab your fork and get ready to twirl…just follow the neon spaghetti upstairs at the Crown & Anchor Hotel, and enter an old-school pasta bar that specialises in late night food and drinks.
Vibe: Rock ‘n’ roll pasta trattoria. Dark wood panelling, alfresco balcony, period features and black and white photos on the walls.
Food: Traditional Italian bolognese, carbonara, pesto: all the faves are here plus a few more.
Signature drink: Imagine you’re in Italy and order an apertivo – it’s hard to go past Midnight Spaghetti’s well-made negroni.
3. Holey Moley
Level 1/162 – 170 Pulteney St, Adelaide, SA, 5000
Put on your golf pants and get ready for possibly the craziest round of mini golf you’ve ever played, at one of the newest (and most unique) additions to the Adelaide bar scene.
Vibe: Mini golf. But inside. And with alcohol.
Food: A slice of wood-fired Italian pizza will help your slice.
Signature drink: The Long Island Iced Tee (golf puns are actively encouraged).
4. Prohibition Liquor’s ‘distillery door’
22 Gilbert St, Adelaide
It’s not open yet – watch this space- but the talented team behind much-loved Prohibition Liquor are set to open Adelaide’s first “distillery door” (a cellar door, but for gin) on Gilbert Street mid-December.
Vibe: Founder Adam Carpenter says to expect an “industrial” feel, with concrete floors and rustic décor.
Food: Simple and delicious – tapas, high end toasties, local cheese.
Signature drink: Expect all manner of craft gin and gin based cocktails. Our hot tip: try the limited-edition Christmas Gin and feel extra festive.
Basement, 2 Peel St
Tom Smith and Kyle Young – two of the co-owners of La Rambla Tapas Bar– launched Therapy Cocktail bar last year, and it has been gaining a following ever since thanks to its delicious cocktail list and warm, inviting atmosphere.
Vibe: flattering lighting, table service, glinting array of bottles.
Food: Small but delicious range of gourmet toasties.
Signature drink: with 100+ offerings on their cocktail menu, we refuse to decide. From classics to out-there concoctions and mixers made in-house, talk to the friendly and knowledgable bar staff to make your selection.
6. Mrs Q
128 Gouger Street
Dinner and drinks with a Bangkok feel: Miss Q is set amongst the fabulousness that is Gouger St, taking over a grand former ballroom to serve up a sumptuous mod-Asian menu.
Vibe: Art deco meets Asian.
Food: Peking duck pancakes, ginger and shallot Barramundi, crispy skin chicken, sticky rice… if you’re drooling right now, it’s only natural.
Signature drink: Try a Miss China Doll – the lychee martini is one if the Miss Q’s signatures.
7. The William Bligh
33 Vardon Ave
Calling all rum-lovers! Named after the British naval captain, this addition to Adelaide’s small bar scene is bursting with more than 30 rums (as well as a selection of cocktails, craft beers, spirits and wines).
Vibe: Maritime maps, timber panelling and red gum, imagine you’re in the bottom of a boat and you’re almost there.
Food: From morning coffee and brekky in the AM, to toasted sandwiches and platters in the PM.
Signature drink: You came for the rum. With a selection from Australia, the South Pacific, France, Cuba, Jamaica and Puerto Rico, take a trip to whatever port calls.
8. The Whiskey Den
9 Manton St, Hindmarsh
Head to Hindmarsh for the latest addition to the Joiners, and get ready to taste some of the world’s finest whiskey in a 150-year old cellar.
Vibe: Clandestine, and historic, this is the perfect spot for a secret club meeting. With a minimum 4 people and maximum 12, it’s an intimate and unique way to spend some time with a selected few.
Food: Cheese and salami tasting can be arranged – for more substantial fare, head aboveground to the Joiners for modern pub dining.
Signature drink: Order a single-malt whiskey and slip into a relaxed state of mind.
9. Jekyll & Hyde
11-29 Union St
Who will win out: Jekyll or Hyde? This unique venue offers healthy food by the bowl in the daytime, and turns into a full dessert buffet and cocktail bar, serving what they call “ridiculous” desserts after the sun goes down.
Vibe: From a triceratops to part of n actual Kombi on the wall, the décor is as delightfully confusing as the menu.
Food: Get your health kicks on during the day with Buddha bowls, DIY salads and breakfast options. After dark, it’s time for Nutella bowls, fondue and a vino.
Signature drink: Ask the staff about the latest wine selections.
10. Happy Sally
121 Pirie St Adelaide
Grab your dancing shoes and head to the Happy Sally basement for the American pop-culture vibes, with a jukebox, DJs playing retro pop hits, and a creative selection of cocktails.
Vibe: Vintage Americana.
Food: U.S. diner style mac and cheese, buffalo wings, crispy chicken waffles.
Drink: It’s hard to go past a Pulp Friction… raspberry, vodka, egg white, syrup and lemon juice.
Hindmarsh Ergo Apartments on Sturt St
Adelaide artist (and Brand SA T-Shirt designer) Emma Hack has opened the doors to her CBD art and wine bar, which mixes a gallery with a drinking spot. The cellar door approach offers wine tastings from guest wineries from across the state, Thursday to Sunday.
Vibe: Art, meet wine. We think you’ll get along.
Food: SA wines are paired with local produce, from the likes of Kris Lloyd’s Woodside cheese, Sugar Man, Locapops, Dan Wright’s Swell Beer, Bickfords & 23rd Street, RICCA, and Wildfire Organics.
Drink: Each month will showcase a different SA winemaker – to kick things off, it’s all about McLaren Vale’s Oliver’s Taranga.
Love a local list? Click your way to culinary happiness with 7 Eateries for SA Produce.