The Best Cocktail Bars in Adelaide

Updated 4 days ago

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We’re lucky in Adelaide. Some of the city’s best cocktail bars are packed into the postcode 5000, and are within short walking distance from each other. That’s partly thanks to legislation introduced back in 2013, which made it easier (and cheaper) for small venues to get liquor licenses. In the following years, a clutch of drinking dens opened, such as Proof and Maybe Mae. And a decade on, relative newcomers like Smokelovers and 99 Gang Social continue to cement Adelaide’s reputation for characterful cocktail bars. Be it a well-made Negroni, or a complex, multi-layered sipper, this city has a wealth of places at which to partake. Hit these stellar spots, curated by Broadsheet’s expert food and drink editors.

  • A contender for Australia's most well-hidden cocktail bar. But trust us, this one is worth seeking out. But once you find this subterranean 1950s inspired cocktail lounge and take a seat in one of the comfy leather booths, you won't want to leave.

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  • Months of development go into the house creations at this elite 15-seat cocktail bar under Cold Chisel Lane. And they're tasty enough to trap you here for a few hours at least.

  • No standing, no rowdy groups and no Dirty Martinis. This intimate, 12-seat cocktail bar isn’t for everyone. But if you’re game for a hospitality experience unlike anything else in Adelaide, Bar Peripheral is the one for you.

  • A faux-alpine hut from the team at Clever Little Tailor.

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  • One of the city's original small bars.

  • A cosy classic with a drink to satisfy every mood.

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  • This tiny, timber-panelled bar next to the Exeter Hotel is a destination for cocktails, lo-fi local wines and simple food such as olives, cheese and tinned seafood.

  • After one of Leigh Street’s longstanding tenants closed its doors, it was reborn as this Mediterranean cocktail bar paying tribute to its former life. Visit for local craft beers, European wines and a simple food menu of cured meats and cheese.

  • At this neon-lit cocktail joint, the drinks are as smooth as the blues icons lining the walls.

  • New location, new energy.

  • Relax with cigars and nautical-themed drinks.

  • Head upstairs for a taste of New York.

  • For whisky lovers.

  • Sip a high-end spirit while you read a novel.

  • Park up at the sleek terrazzo benches at this approachable bar for charcoal-cooked share plates and an exciting range of wines. From the top shelf down, there’s a drop for every taste and budget.

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  • A Spanish-style small bar specialising in the finer things.

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  • American-style burgers, beef rendang hoagies and tropical cocktails are the signatures at Gang Gang’s disco-ready burger bar. After the dinner trade, a floating DJ booth provides danceable tunes till late.

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  • Ascend the stairs from Hindley Street to a slice of island paradise, with pan-Asian and California-inspired bar snacks, playful cocktails, a disco ball and DJs spinning house and funk tunes.

  • Stop by this slick bar, by the team behind Lune, for crab soldiers, buttermilk-fried quail and a grilled cheese sandwich with mushroom and Vegemite. Plus, an approachable wine list favouring local producers.

  • Fu translates to “good fortune” in Mandarin, and at this cosy spot you’ll find the recipe for just that: cocktails with pickle juice, a killer wine list, delectable dishes with an Asian flair and creative snacks for your pet.