Great bars and restaurants are everywhere in Adelaide, but it isn’t always obvious which ones do both jobs well. To help, we’ve curated 10 of our city’s best spots for drinks with dinner.
Bread & Bone
This walk-in-only burger spot has a secret in its basement. Head toward the bathrooms and push the wall panel to reveal the dimly lit speakeasy, Maybe Mae. It has two contrasting cocktail lists: one light and spritzed; the other full and robust. Offerings such as the Bulleit Rye whiskey-based Carthusian in Claremont and their tangy take on the Gin Fizz are reason enough to seek it out.
At Africola, bold items, such as a whole cow’s head (for two), beg for a drink pairing that can match them. Fortunately, the cocktail list is up to the challenge, and includes a mezcal, honey and citrus number infused with damiana (claimed to be a natural aphrodisiac), called the “Supa Hepi Time”.
Dine a la carte on smoked eye fillet carpaccio; braised alpaca roulade; or baked ricotta. Or, choose the tasting menu and let the chef decide for you. Whichever direction you go at Apothecary 1878, knowledgeable bar staff can match it with a customised Martini. The Espresso Martini is one of its Apothecary 1878’s specialties, but don’t bother asking what’s in it – that secret is closely kept.
Press Food & Wine
On the menu at Press Food & Wine you’ll find plates of lamb brains, a whole roast suckling pig and a prized cocktail list with surprising twists on the classics. Much like the sweetbreads and tongue listed between burger and grilled fish, the cocktail menu is adventurous but approachable. Pair your offal with a Wagarita (Wasabi Margarita) or a Black Manhattan made with bourbon and orange bitters.
Sharing is encouraged at this modern Thai eatery, and the drink options complement South East Asian flavours. Share jugs of Lychee Mojito or Pimm’s, or if you’d prefer to have your own, look for classics such as a Pina Colada, and newer options such as the Frappuccino.
Pink Moon Saloon
A subtle scent of wood smoke greets guests at the entrance to this Alpine hut-themed bar. Order from its ever-changing cocktail list, and watch some of the best bartenders in town craft your drink. Have your daily chops (wood-fired, smoked meat with pickles, preserves and bread) with a carefully stirred Tanqueray gin-based Negroni, or a vigorously shaken Sour.
Mexican Society of China Town
The menu here is playful, and the dishes and drinks are full of bold flavours. The Mexican Laundry; Silk Pinata and Blood Moon cocktail options feature ingredients such as melon, lime, plum, pineapple, tequila and rice wine.
The newest venture by Orana’s Jock Zonfrillo, Blackwood was created to make Australian native ingredients more accessible. A gin-based cocktail filled with riberries (native Australian berries) and native currants seems the most fitting accompaniment to a menu peppered with dishes such as kangaroo tail and spelt, or smoked pumpkin with Warrigal greens and macadamia.
As its name suggests, this bar has a quintessentially New Orleans feel, serving southern comfort food such as baskets of fried chicken and jambalaya. The cocktail list features similarly southern favourites, making it perhaps the best place in town to begin your appreciation of timeless classics such as the Bulleit Bourbon-based Mint Julep or the Whiskey Sour.
Botanic Gardens Restaurant
Simple, fresh and local ingredients are the star here. Located in the heart of the Botanic Gardens, the restaurant’s focus on seasonality is reflected in its constantly changing cocktail list. Classics such as the French Martini and Bellini are offered alongside a Lemon Verbena Mojito and a Sour Cherry Visinata. Timeless and consistent, it’s an elegant go-to spot.
This article is presented in partnership with World Class.