The 5 Best Hidden Bars in Adelaide
While laneway culture may seem synonymous with Australia’s eastern states, Adelaide’s hidden-bar game gets stronger by the day. As each new small bar license gets the tick of approval, a fresh watering-hole-in-the-wall pops up in the city’s square mile. Here’s a list of the sneakier bars hidden throughout the Festival City.
#1 Lindes Lane
Offering coffee by day and cocktails at night, Lindes Lane is one of the freshest faces in Adelaide’s hidden bar scene. Nestled down a side-street off Rundle Mall – the city’s premier shopping strip – this urban oasis showcases brews and tunes from Monday to Saturday.
With live local music, market fresh produce and specialty tea and coffee, plus an extensive wine and cocktail list, Lindes Lane will captivate your senses from sun-up to last bus. Rumour has it there’s a surprise basement space in the works too, for all your incepted bar-in-a-bar needs.
#2 Thrift Shop
Borne of the desire to support small, local business and avoid waste wherever possible, Thrift Shop sprung up on Waymouth Place in 2014. Recycled and up-cycled finds give the alleyway space a relaxed, rag-tag character, right down to the vintage glassware at the bar and vinyl records on the stereo.
Home to an all-Australian spirit list, Thrift Shop also boasts a revolving door of breweries and wineries in residence. Look out for their regular tasting events, where you’ll get the distinctly South Australian cellar door experience right in the middle of the city.
#3 The Loft Wine Bar
Ascend the staircase and fling open the double doors to reveal sleek, lavish The Loft. Sample from the extensive wine list at the marble bar, and enjoy your beverage of choice by the fireplace. The classic Cosmopolitan with a raspberry and cinnamon twist comes highly recommended. The Loft is a well-kept secret in Adelaide, but with their tempting autumn menu hitting the floor, don’t bank on it staying that way for long.
#4 Ancient World
Lodged in the city’s west end, Ancient World is a kaleidoscopic artist-run venue and bar. The dive bar opened doors in 2014 to give the city’s small-bar scene a bit more grit.
If sonic experiments paired with local spirits and plenty of sweat sound like your speed, head down the alley ten metres east of Aussie Pizza House on the north side of Hindley Street. Turn left at the end and enter through the Ancient World gates. Building access is round the back.
#5 Maybe Mae
Behind a non-descript wooden door in the basement of Bread & Bone awaits Maybe Mae. The art deco-inspired speakeasy is fabulously furnished in fern greens, glass, brass and wood, creating an aesthetic cocktail as intoxicating as the Notorious F.I.G.s on offer.
Maybe Mae is arguably the peak of Adelaide’s hidden bar game, and well worth the hunt down Peel Street’s faux subway tunnel. When standing on the Bread and Bone stair landing, the threshold to Maybe Mae can be seen directly below. It is not – I repeat: it is not – via the entrance marked “M”.
Word on the street is that there are another 20-odd small bar licenses in the works, so keep your eyes peeled for more nifty nooks and cosy crannies opening doors around Adelaide.
(Lead image: Maybe Mae)