Adelaide’s East End bars are buzzing. Take your pick, place your order and toast to South Australia’s unique blend of craft beer, spirits and wine.
Steeped in history and drenched in class, Adelaide’s East End bars are some of the finest you’ll find in South Australia. Spend the night sipping New Orleans-inspired cocktails, chilling in neon-lit lofts or wining and dining alfresco. From South Australia's trendiest corner of town, here are our top 10 bars in Adelaide's East End.
1. NOLA Craft Beer & Whiskey
A festival of New Orleans soul food and Louisiana-style cocktails awaits at NOLA: the East End’s most vibrant watering hole. Take your pick from 16 craft beers on tap, over 200 Aussie and American whiskeys and virtually every spirit under the sun, just off Adelaide's bustling Rundle Street.
NOLA regularly flips their rotating menu, featuring Creole and Cajun classics as well as a wide range of jazzed-up modern interpretations. No matter what lands on your plate, you can be assured it’s made with the freshest seasonal, local ingredients.
Where to find it: NOLA can be found at 28 Vardon Avenue, Adelaide.
2. Mr Goodbar
As the sun sets over Adelaide, neon lights beckon from Mr Goodbar’s chalet-style eaves. Climb the stairs tucked away behind the doors of 12 Union Street and succumb to a lowkey haze of specialty gin, cocktails and smooth tunes.
For all his sultry ways, Mr Goodbar is a classy fellow, located in the loft of Adelaide’s historic East End Produce Market building over bustling Ebenezer Place. Whether you’re up for an evening of sensible sipping, or battening down for a big one, Mr GoodBar’s call is hard to ignore.
Where to find it: Mr. Goodbar can be found at 12 Union Street, Adelaide.
Photo credit: Mr Goodbar, Adelaide
Only a few vowels away from the real thing, BRKLYN is Rundle Street’s answer to – you guessed it – Brooklyn New York. Designed by the all-star team behind NOLA, Pink Moon Saloon and Gondola Gondola, BRKLYN offers Adelaide barhoppers a generous bite of the Big Apple’s bar scene.
BRKLYN plates-up seriously good food and woos guests with its awesome drinks list, but comes with an unexpected trick up its sleeve. Introducing ‘Crooked’ – a unisex haircutting studio, smack bang in the middle of the club. Drawing inspiration from New York barber shops, patrons can get a new do for the night, then hit the town and show it off.
Where to find it: BRKLYN can be found at 260-262 Rundle Street, Adelaide.
BRKLYN's Crooked barber. Photo credit: BRKLYN, Adelaide
4. Mother Vine
Mother Vine splashes Adelaide’s Ebenezer Place with a sophisticated, chic vibe and lashings of quality South Australian wine. If you’d rather take your taste buds overseas, French, Spanish and Italian varieties are available by the glass and bottle as well.
Starting out as a small bar in the old East End Cellars building, Mother Vine has grown to incorporate a beautifully curated menu serving a range of locally-sourced tapas, cheeses and full-sized meals. Décor is tasteful and modern with exposed brick walls, dark finishings and an open-plan tasting and dining area.
Where to find it: Mother Vine can be found at 22-26 Vardon Avenue, Adelaide.
Photo credit: Mother Vine, Adelaide
Rundle Street’s Iberia delivers elegant, authentic Spanish and Portuguese flavours with razor-sharp, minimalistic décor and an alluring stone-walled basement bar. A culinary jack-of-all-trades, Iberia is a three-tiered affair consisting of a basement bar and two dining floors above.
The food menu is built around seasonality and locally grown produce and focusses on deliciously fresh seafood. A large portion of Iberia’s ingredients come from their own specially planted garden in the Adelaide Hills.
Where to find it: Iberia can be found at 279 Rundle Street, Adelaide.
Photo credit: Iberia, Adelaide
6. Botanic Bar
North Terrace’s Botanic Bar offers drinkers and diners a lush hangout with decadent wood furnishings and characterful oil paintings, serving creative cocktails and bar snacks late into the night.
A trusty favourite of Adelaidean bar hoppers, Botanic Bar (attached to one of Adelaide’s must-taste restaurants, Golden Boy) caters for everyone, from cocktail connoisseurs to the cheap and cheerful work knock-off crowd.
Where to find it: Botanic Bar can be found in the heart of Adelaide, on the corner of North Terrace & East Terrace, Adelaide.
Photo credit: Botanic Bar, Adelaide
7. East End Cellars & The Tasting Room
East End Cellars is one of Australia’s premium wine merchants, specialising in handmade, artisanal drops you’ve more than likely never tasted before. With so much wine in one delicious location, you’ll need to control your salivation. Scour their selection and enjoy a glass or two alfresco, accompanied by a mouth-watering cheeseboard or antipasto platter.
Where to find it: East End Cellars & The Tasting Room can be found at 25 Vardon Avenue, Adelaide.
East End Cellars & The Tasting Room, Adelaide
8. The Howling Owl
After saying goodbye to its Pirie Street home, the Howling Owl has re-emerged from hibernation and roosted at 10 Vaughan Place, Adelaide. Bigger and – dare we say – better than ever, the new Howling Owl is still charmingly hotchpotch, but now spills out over two floors with even more room to bust a (terrible) dance move and enjoy a South Australian gin or five.
Gin just happens to be the Howling Owl’s speciality. With close to 100 varieties from nine countries, you’re welcome to taste your way around the globe, one sip at a time.
Where to find it: The Howling Owl Can be found at 10 Vaughan Place, Adelaide.
The Howling Owl, Adelaide. Photo credit: Sia Duff
9. Burger Theory
Giving fast food hall-of-famers In-N-Out Burger and Shake Shack a run for their money, Burger Theory is making itself known as the name on (and smeared around) Australian burger lovers' lips. Starting in 2011 as Adelaide’s first roaming food truck, the Union Street store flipped its first patties in 2013 and is now a South Aussie fast food (and drink) icon. Burger Theory beef and chicken is free-range, locally sourced and treated with love, while their falafel burger is raved about far and wide.
With a range of alcoholic bevvies on offer, Burger Theory is the perfect place to start the night with a quality bite and chilled-out pint.
Where to find it: Burger Theory can be found at 8-10 Union Street, Adelaide.
Photo credit: Burger Theory, Union Street Adelaide
10. Belgian Beer Cafe 'Oostende'
Adelaide’s Belgian Beer Café, or Oostende for the bilingual, is a homage to hearty Belgian brews. Step inside and you’ll find yourself in a classic, unmistakably Euro bar scene, fitted-out with gorgeous antique wood furniture and warm lighting.
Belgian Beer Café is open for lunch and dinner, with a menu as decadent as its décor. To say the drinks list is extensive would be an understatement. Take to the sprawling beer garden with a Westmalle Dubbel or Gulden Draak 9000. The more adventurous can wrap their lips around a triple-fermented Delirium Tremens (Trembling Madness in English).
Where to find it: Belgian Beer Café can be found at Ebenezer Place, Adelaide.
Belgian Beer Cafe, Adelaide
Still thirsty? Adelaide’s bar scene spills out into Peel Street, Leigh Street and way beyond. Check out Adelaide's best laneway and rooftop bars.