The South Australian capital’s small bar scene is all-around pretty amazing, but I’m particularly fond of Adelaide wine bars. Considering how many incredible South Australian wine regions there are, it’s no surprise that the city boasts a fabulous selection of places to enjoy a delicious red.
It wasn’t that long ago (or am I just showing my age?) that small bars were just getting started in Adelaide. Then a selection of quirky setups moved in, mostly focussed on spirits like tequila, gin and rum. I’d go for the vibes but not necessarily the drinks; my heart firmly belongs to a bold Shiraz.
It would be a few more years until wine bars became the venue du jour, but today there are plenty of amazing haunts for a vino. It certainly doesn’t hurt that a word-class wine in Adelaide does far less damage to your wallet than a well-prepared cocktail.
As well as these amazing wine bars in Adelaide, you can also get some quality reds at most bars throughout the city. However, if you want the bartender to share in your obsession with finding that perfect bottle, you’ll want to check out these 10 amazing Adelaide wine bars.
The best Adelaide wine bars
If you’re a wine lover looking to do some imbibing in Adelaide, you certainly won’t be disappointed.
Wine bars in Adelaide’s east
If you’re looking for wine bars around Rundle Street and Hutt Street, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered.
East End Cellars
Go for: the amazing selection – you never know what you’ll find.
Located just off Rundle Street on the ever-popular laneway Ebenezer Place, East End Cellars is heaven for wine-lovers.
By day, it’s a wine shop – by night, it’s mecca for all the wine-loving Adelaideans (both temporary and permanent).
They have a list of wines available by the glass – which is all good, but really, who goes to a wine bar and has only one drink? (People with more self control than me, I suspect).
The real fun is in choosing a bottle from the wine shop. There’s an amazing, ever-changing variety that covers all regions and price points. I particularly love East End Cellars because whether you go in with $25 or $250 you’ll be able to find a decent vino.
The staff here are also wine-mad, so happy to help you out in finding a good bottle. In my opinion, though, half the fun is trying something different and then sitting outside to enjoy it.
Whittling away a night drinking wine here is a great choice, but there are also some fab other bars nearby. NOLA is a particularly favourite, although as you’d expect, their wine list is nowhere near as good.
Address: 23 Vardon Avenue, Adelaide
Go for: sophisticated hangs and an excellent, curated wine list
Not far from East End Cellars is Mother Vine, one of the premier wine bars in Adelaide.
The prices reflect the fact that this one’s a little more upmarket, typically catering to an older crowd. You’ll be hard pressed to find a bottle that will give you change from $50.
That said, there’s no doubt that everyone’s welcome here and you’ll find a wide array of drinkers most evenings.
The wine list is extensive but it’s a little more curated than East End Cellars. This means your chances of picking a fizzer are much lower here.
They also do some great small plates, including a fab cheese platter. Plus, they keep the music low to encourage conversation. So if you’re looking for a relaxed night out with wine, cheese and chats (uh, yes please), this is a great choice.
Address: 22-26 Vardon Avenue, Adelaide | Opening hours: 7 days, 3pm – late, opening at 12noon on Fridays and Saturdays.
Go for: delicious tapas and attentive service
This one’s a bit hidden away but it’s well worth the walk. Located on Hutt Street, this Mediterranean-inspired wine and tapas bar is a local favourite.
It has ultra-cool decor which is kind of eclectic yet absolutely fabulous. Sitting out the front is great when the sun is shining, or head inside to the enclosed beer garden if clouds appear (this is Adelaide, it doesn’t rain.)
There’s a curated wine list with a great selection to suit all budgets. In my experience, the staff at Bar Torino are a real standout – super friendly and attentive, and at the ready to share their wine knowledge.
Bar Torino also does fabulous tapas that’s perfect for sharing. It’s on the pricey side, but the servings are large. The beef tartare is a particular delight.
It’s that bit removed from the city so has a more tucked-away atmosphere. It’s the kind of place to settle in for a l-o-o-o-ng night, and just enjoy the good vibes.
Address: 158 Hutt St, Adelaide | Opening hours: Tuesday to Thursday, 3pm to late, and Friday to Sunday, 12 noon to late.
Go for: the best of Adelaide’s wine bar scene, wrapped up in one fabulous venue
Century-old brick meets hot pink neon. House reds poured with the same love as vintage Burgundy – Hellbound is the place for wine lovers who break the rules.
I knew I was going to love this bar when I read a profile of it in InDaily’s CityMag:
“[We want to] have some fun with wine, because at the end of the day, it’s a fancy way to get pissed, you know? Wine’s a million things to a million people, but I think it’s important to not be pretentious with it and have a lot of fun with it.” (That’s winemaker/owner Louis Schofield).
Uh…. sound like someone else you know? (If you’re new here, the answer is me, FYI).
No doubt, Hellbound embodies so much of what I love about Adelaide, and especially our small bar and wine scene. There are so many people who aren’t afraid to push the envelope and to welcome people from all walks of life to enjoy a good vino.
Located in a basement with exposed brick and a fabulous pressed tin ceiling, this is a tucked-away gem that deserves all the praise it gets. Whether you go for that $8 Tempranillo (no judgment here – it’s pretty good), or splurge on something a little more special, you’re sure to have an amazing time at this Adelaide wine bar.
Address: Basement/201 Rundle St, Adelaide | Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 4pm to midnight (1am Friday & Saturday)
Wine bars in Adelaide’s west
Historically considered the grittier side of the city, there are some truly fabulous wine bars in Adelaide’s west.
The King’s Head/Sturt Street Cellars
Go for: amazing wine in a British-style cozy pub
If there’s one thing that South Australia’s booze scene lacks, it’s enough great British-style pubs. Luckily, we’ve got the Kings Head, a charming old pub (by Aussie standards – actually it was the first in Adelaide), with fireplace and all.
In fact, I think we’ve outplayed the Brits at their own game, because our British pub is attached to one fabulous wine shop. ‘Straya!
Sturt Street Cellars is a small, eclectic but curated wine merchant. They promote both “old school” and “new school” wines with equal vigour. This means it’s an amazing place to go to discover new grapes and techniques. Does it always work? No. Is it always interesting? Absolutely!
You’re welcome to purchase a bottle, pay the corkage fee and enjoy it in the accompanying pub. They also do classic pub fare, and it wouldn’t be a British-style pub without beer on tap too. (For those heathens that don’t like wine).
Fair warning – if you go on a Friday, you’ll be dodging the city’s lawyers left, right and centre. Just down the road from the Supreme Court, it’s the place suits celebrate and commiserate.
Hey – love ’em or hate ’em, you’ve got to admit lawyers know how to pick a good wine bar!
Address: 357 King William St, Adelaide SA | Opening hours: 7 days, 11am to midnight.
Go for: Amazing food and Parisian vibes in the heart of debaucherous Hindley Street
Most of Adelaide’s wine bars are relative newcomers – but not the Apothecary 1878. For almost two decades, they’ve been supplying Adelaide with some absolutely delicious vino. Yep, they lived through the chardonnay crazy and lived to tell the tale.
Their ongoing success may surprise some. See, they are located in Adelaide’s most debaucherous heartland – Hindley Street. Its neighbours include strip clubs and teenagers with questionable fake IDs, yet somehow it thrives.
In fact, I’d argue it’s a big part of its charm.
The whole place is certainly not lacking in that department, with beautiful old wooden furniture and a dusty cellar filled with excellent wine. Their wine menu is quite the novel, with a range of incredible drops.
You’re welcome just to go for the vino (and what great vino it is), but they also do amazing food. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
I’ve also got a soft spot for the Apothecary as many years ago they hosted a charity event for us for free, so it’s a guilt-free tipple!
Address: 118 Hindley Street, Adelaide | Opening hours: 7 days, bar from 5pm (6pm on Sundays) and restaurant from 6pm.
Go for: the gorgeous rustic decor, unusual vino and amazing service
This is another Adelaide wine bar that’s a bit off-the-beaten path, but oh so worth the trip. It’s a Spanish-style hole-in-the-wall tapas and wine bar, with an ever-changing selection.
While some bars take the approach of “more is more”, Cantina Sociale keeps things a little more simple.
Their wine list is typically short but fabulously curated, offering you the chance to discover something new. They typically have around 8 varieties in barrels behind the bar.
I really love their approach of emphasising lesser-known producers – this is the place to go if you’re trying to get out of a wine rut. (Sometimes you just need to put down the Pepperjack.)
I’m also obsessed with the rustic decor of this place, with its eclectic wall hangings and wooden furniture. They also do fab food, including amazing platters.
Plus, the staff are some of the friendliest in Adelaide and just seem to love wine and their little slice of heaven on Sturt Street.
Address: 108 Sturt Street, Adelaide | Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 4pm to 10pm (11pm on Thursdays, midnight on Fridays & Saturdays)
Five O’Clock Somewhere
Go for: infectious enthusiasm about wine
My favourite thing about Australia’s wine industry is the lack of pretence (usually) about the whole thing. If you like it, it’s a good wine. It’s that simple.
Somewhere, a wine critic just fainted into their Bordeaux.
Anyway, Five O’Clock Somewhere certainly embodies this ethos. Their wine is excellent, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the enthusiasm it’s presented with that really gets me.
They just want people to enjoy wine and to learn about it. And you certainly will when you visit this fabulous little wine bar.
As well as the unbridled enthusiasm for vino, Five O’Clock Somewhere is also unique as most everything is sourced from their property in the McLaren Vale. Yeah, I mean everything – from the wine to the design of the labels and even some of the furniture.
It’s a unique, super cool ethos that makes this bar something quite unique in Adelaide. At nights it gets quite busy, but it’s also fab to visit by day when you can taste what’s on offer and hear a bit more about those behind the project.
Address: 101 Gilbert Street, Adelaide | Opening hours: 7 days from 3pm (1pm on Saturday and Sunday) to 8pm
Urban Wine Room
Go for: a laidback weekend drink from an up-and-coming label
One of the newest offerings to the wine bar scene in Adelaide, the Urban Wine Room is a fairly unique offering.
Not only does it only open on Fridays and Saturdays (it holds events at other times), but it’s also the cellar door for Noble Road Wines.
While the cellar door might be new, the winery is not – the first family vineyard was planted back in the 1920s, although the current imprint dates from 2007.
The wine room is ultra-sleek with beautiful wooden furniture and windows that open out onto Wright Street. They also do platters, and gin, for those who don’t like wine (strange).
It’s a bit of a new venture that’s still finding its feet, but the wine is excellent and the service is friendly and attentive. I suspect it will soon find itself cemented on the list of popular wine bars in Adelaide, but for now it’s quite the hidden gem.
Address: 33 – 37 Wright Street, Adelaide | Opening hours: Friday and Saturday, 4pm to 11pm
La Buvette Drinkery
Go for: the je ne sais quoi of this French-inspired wine bar
There’s really no denying that the French to food and wine really well. Really, really well. So it’s no surprise that a little slice of French chic has arrived in Adelaide.
While it’s not the first restaurant or wine bar in Adelaide to draw inspiration from France, La Buvette Drinkery is arguably the most authentic.
If you want somewhere to eat your body weight in fromage, sample escargot and wash it all down with an excellent French wine, this is the place to go.
The decor is stylish, the service is friendly and the food and wine is absolutely fantastic.
Then there’s the near-endless selection of French events, from film nights to cabaret. If you want the true Parisian experience but are stuck in the land down under, this is the place to go.
Address: 27 Gresham Street, Adelaide | Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 4.30pm (4pm on Fridays) to late.
Map of Adelaide wine bars
Visiting multiple wine bars in Adelaide
As you can see from the above map, many of the wine bars in Adelaide are close together. This means its easy to turn it into a fancy pub crawl and hit up a few of the bars at the same time.
If you’re looking to experience the wine bars in Adelaide’s stylish east end, I’d recommend visiting Hellbound, Mother Vine and East End Cellars.
If you’re still looking for more vino after that, La Buvette Drinkery and then Apothecary 1878 are within an easy walk.
On the other hand, if you’d prefer to hit up Adelaide’s grittier West End, then start with the Kings Head, Urban Wine Room (Fri/Sat only), Cantina Sociale and Five O’Clock Somewhere. Bar Torino is a bit of a hike, but do-able.
Where to stay in Adelaide
After a fun night crawling through Adelaide’s wine bars, you’ll need somewhere to rest your head! I recommend staying in the Adelaide CBD where you won’t need to walk far.
- Adelaide Central YHA (Budget) – my pick of Adelaide hostels is the Adelaide Central YHA. It’s clean, friendly and well located in the centre of Adelaide. Breakfast is even included in the price!
- Majestic Minima Hotel (Mid-range) – technically this is just out of Adelaide in North Adelaide, but there’s a free bus or you can walk. This charming hotel has a gorgeous mural on the outside and is cosy but comfy on the inside.
- Hotel Richmond (Upper mid-range) – in terms of location, you can’t get much more central than Hotel Richmond. Located in Rundle Mall, it’s an easy walk to all of the city’s attractions and has a great balcony.
- Mayfair Hotel Adelaide (Luxury) – got a little more room to move in your budget? I had the pleasure of touring the Mayfair Hotel when it opened and it really is spectacular. Plus, it’s super central location is really convenient.