From laid back beer gardens to swanky bars and thumping clubs, you will find something for all tastes and budgets in Adelaide. The three main areas of the city where the pubs and bars are clustered are Rundle Street, Hindley Street and Light Square.
The Exeter Hotel is a good choice on Rundle Street if you are looking for a laid back beer garden that serves scrumptious meals too. It is open every day from 8am to 2am and the building is a charmingly restored classic Aussie pub style.
There are four different sections in this Adelaide local favourite – the front bar, the saloon bar, the beer garden and the dining room. It is a low key and fun place for an afternoon beverage as you watch the world go by.
The Dog and Duck – If you really like your beer, I mean really, really like your beer, then the Dog and Duck Hotel is for you. There are 24 beers on tap here in what can only be described as a beer connoisseur’s paradise. The pub attracts a young crowd who amp up the action on the dance floor come the weekends. Each night there are happy hours and drink specials, which makes trying to work through the on tap brews that much more tempting. The Dog and Duck is located on Hindley Street
Distill – With a modern and vaguely Japanese feel to the décor, Distill is a popular place for after work drinks in a laid back, yet sophisticated setting. Located on Rundle Street, you can enjoy a quiet cocktail or two here after a busy day sightseeing in the centre or shopping. It is worth visiting the bar to sample some of the creative blends the bar staff has created using many organic and exotic ingredients. Who knew that cocktails could be done with a healthy twist?
Sugar: Got a sugar craving? Head to Sugar Nightclub on Rundle Street to satiate it. Although the dance floor can be a little cramped at times, the club has a great vibe to it and DJs who really know how to get the crowd shaking their money makers. This is one of the city’s most popular clubs much loved for its ability to provide a sweet night out.
Universal Wine Bar: Fancy a drop of Shiraz while chilling out listening to someone tickling the ivory and thumping the double bass? Then the Universal Wine Bar on Rundle Street could be just the thing. This is a much loved bar where patrons come for the live jazz, the relaxed ambiance or a choice of more than 300 wines. Luckily you do not have to be intimidated by the extent of the wine menu, since the bar staff is helpful when it comes to making a choice.
The Stag Hotel: Apart from the free flowing beers, the Stag Hotel is most famous for its awesome steaks. If you are in a carnivorous kind of mood, then this is the place to go to tear into a sirloin or Kobe steak. After you have filled your tum and recharged your red blood cell count, the pub transforms into a lively venue where you can dance the night away.
The Austral Hotel: This busy little pub on Rundle Street is an icon in Adelaide and you can’t say you are a true Adelaide local unless you have passed an afternoon sucking down some beers looking out over the city from the upstairs veranda. As well as having a good range of beers on tap, they also serve up decent pub grub. The Bunka is a beer garden venue that is attached to the Austral that often features live acts.
The Apothecary 1878 – For a cosy drink with old world charm, head to The Apothecary 1878 on Hindley Street. Antique sofas, crystal chandeliers and marble floors give this bar a character quite distinct from most other bars throughout the city. The Apothecary takes their wines seriously and would have to have one of the most replete wine menus in the city.
Cushdy – Pull back the velvet curtains and you will find a decadent wine and cocktail bar awaiting you on Hindley Street. The lush plush décor in rich chocolate tones sets the scene for a great night ahead. If there is one thing that this bar is famous, it is cocktails. The staff is always putting their heads together and coming up with delicious new concoctions and variations on much loved themes. You can even learn how to make them yourself by attending one of their cocktail courses.
Rocket Bar: The Rocket Bar located on Hindley Street is a favourite with dance music fans and those who don’t stop till they get enough with opening hours until the roosters crow at 5am. In addition to the regular DJ sets each night, there are regular visiting DJs and dance acts in any given month. Modern beats + retro décor+ cool crowd = fun night out.
Boho Bar and Lounge – You may feel a little like you have stepped into Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when you enter this bar…but in a good way. The circus like décor that includes velvet drapes, carnivalesque adornments and the odd acrobat or two make this a fun and unique drinking experience. The bar is located in Parkside on Unley Street. The fun is not limited to the sights and sounds of the place; there is a wide range or local and imported beers and an impressive cocktail menu too.