We're drinking well right now. This month some great openings have arrived. While there's always room for a drink at one of Adelaide's best bars, it's always fun to try somewhere new, too.

This is our edit of Adelaide's best new bars from the past 12 months, updated monthly. Some could become your new favourite; others may just be good for one memorable night. All are worth a try.

Here's a tip: come hungry. A lot of these bars have killer menus that deserve to be explored.

Related Pages
Best New Restaurants in Adelaide
Best New Cafes in Adelaide

Leigh Street Wine Room

This new wine bar (with food that’s too good to ignore) is actually in an old city drycleaner. The only hint at the space’s past is the cheeky “dry cleaners” sign out the front. Inside, things are long and cavernous, like a luxe-lit cellar. Hundreds of bottles watch over the terrazzo bar, the main stage for the food and drink you’ll be served. Co-owner Nathan Sasi has cheffed both here and in Sydney and Melbourne and draws on that experience for an impressive and enjoyable menu. There’s chicken-liver parfait with vermouth jelly, and crumbed, fried cubes of pigs head with pickles. A whipped cod’s roe dip with crackers and a knockout rigatoni with tripe and sweetbreads round things out.

9 Leigh Street, Adelaide

Paloma

Paloma is a beautifully bright two-storey cocktail bar from the Palmer Hospitality Group (which also owns 2KW). Named after the cocktail (a tequila-based drink popular throughout Mexico) Paloma, naturally, focuses on agave-based-spirits. Some are fresh and herbaceous; others, such as aged tequilas, are chocolate-forward and dessert-like. The cocktail list has a strong amaro focus and uses house-made preserves and cordials. Bar manager Luke Fleming (ex-2KW) plans to ramp up the fortifieds list, which will align well with the Spanish-accented menu. Snack on Sicilian olives, goat’s cheese with roasted apples and honey, and hot-smoked ocean trout with wholegrain-mustard mayo.

20 Peel Street, Adelaide

Sparkke at the Whitmore

In an industry dominated by men, a brewpub headed by women is a distinction worth noting. It’s why Sparkke officially opened its CBD brewpub, restaurant and rooftop bar on this year’s International Women’s Day. The brewery moved into the 180-year-old former Whitmore Hotel on Morphett Street in March. The fit-out has softened but sits comfortably with the pub’s early history. An original Georgian frontage is preserved behind floor-to-ceiling glass. In the restaurant, painstakingly preserved brickwork runs into blush-pink archways. Up on the rooftop there are city views on one side and the perfect vantage point into the treetops of Whitmore Square on the other.

317 Morphett Street, Adelaide

Stem

This is a sprawling wine bar and restaurant distinct from the other offerings on the western end of Hindley Street. It’s in a warehouse space filled with lush greenery, moody exposed brick and brushed concrete. The food here leans Mediterranean, with a focus on woodfired pizzas, share plates and some larger dishes (such as “lasagne-style” gnocchi, and roast pumpkin with pepitas and pistachios). The climate-controlled wine cellar has capacity for more than 1200 bottles. Right now there are around 400, but new bottles are coming in all the time.

188 Hindley Street, Adelaide
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1000 Island

When Josh Dolman, Ashley Wilson and Robert Denisoff opened Sunny’s Pizza in 2016, they intended for it to be a bar. “Unfortunately, it became a really amazing restaurant.” Dolman says. It’s the kind of problem operators dream about. So when the tenancy next door became available, the trio saw an opportunity to realise that original vision. The result is 1000 Island, a dimly lit and at times rowdy "Tiki but not Tiki” bar. The aesthetic is anti-design: a jumble of Aztec shapes, atomic age design, vintage film posters and abstract art. The drinks list is unashamedly indulgent and stacked with fun cocktails such as Pina Coladas, Mai Tais and Zombies.

15 Solomon Street, Adelaide

The Guardsman

This all-day dining hall at the old Adelaide Railway Station is a triple threat. The Guardsman faces out to the station concourse; it’s a thoroughfare which stays busy all day. So it made sense for The Guardsman to be a cafe, bar and restaurant that opens early and closes late. It pulls off all three. Whether you’re a commuter looking for a coffee and a small bite, or you’re from farther afield and want to sit down to a steak and a Martini, you’ll be well catered for here.

125 North Terrace, Adelaide
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Wing It

The team behind Wing It was missing “the kind of classic sports bars you find on every corner” in the US. Their new venue fills that void with an Americana theme and a tried-and-tested formula: hot wings, cold beer and live sports “every damn day”. Catch screenings of NBA, Major League Baseball, AFL, cricket, NRL and more, or there’s a pool table and darts if spectating doesn’t cut it. You might come for the sports and beers, but you’ll stay for the chicken wings. They come by the kilo – or half – slathered in your sauce of choice (try buffalo, tonkatsu or Thai nam jim).

89 King William Street, Adelaide

Ferg's

When Little Bang Brewing Company moved out of its home on Union Street in Stepney (into a much bigger one 500 metres down the road), two winemaking cousins moved in. Behind the roller door you’ll now find wine barrels, not beer tanks, courtesy of former Proof bartender Jordan Hein of emerging label Moorak Wines, and seasoned winemaker Bevan Ferguson of Massey Wines. Like Little Bang before it, food trucks regularly pull up in the front car park. But in their absence you can snack on bread-accompanied salumi and cheese plates.

8a Union Street, Stepney