Food Drink

Guide to Adelaide’s underground bars

If you’re looking to escape the elements, impress a first date, or just want to find a fun little underground bar, this is the guide for you.

Guide last updated February 2024.
Image: Bank Street Social

When the elements are simply too much to bear, and you are in need of a cosy nook, or to impress the naysayers that claim Adelaide doesn’t have any cool spots, our underground bars spring to mind (of course), so like any good adventurer, we’re sharing our findings to help your quest.

Memphis Slim’s House of Blues

Memphis Slim’s House of Blues, the bluesy basement haven on Gilbert Place, is a super popular spot for a drink in Adelaide’s Gilbert Place. The popular bar launched in 2021 and in 2022 took out the Best Live Music Venue in the Australian Bar Awards, and was also crowned Best Bar in South Australia.

This trendy cocktail den, like the name suggests, is Adelaide’s home of blues with the venue boasting a long list of live music acts. One of the venue’s most popular evenings Thursdays, when the bar is transported to the underground Chicago scene by Dusty Lee’s Blues Jam (he of Wanderers fame). But if Thursday night isn’t for you, no need to worry. There’s also foot-stomping live music on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Where: 22 Gilbert Place, Adelaide

Deli cellar

Hidden beneath the floorboards at the rear of Delicatessen Kitchen & Bar lies a hidden gem: Adelaide’s possibly smallest boutique bar. With a capacity for just 35 patrons, this intimate space offers the perfect excuse to slip away from the office a tad early to secure a coveted spot at the bar or booth.

Alternatively, consider reserving this cozy enclave for a range of events, from intimate dinners to lively celebrations like birthdays, bachelor or bachelorette parties, and corporate gatherings.

With a special emphasis on cocktails, gin, wine, and whiskey, you’ll likely find yourself tempted to indulge in a few of the chef’s delectable bar plates to accompany your drinks.

Where: 12 Waymouth Street Adelaide

Hidden Pour

Boasting a menu of delicious beverages, the cocktails on offer at Hidden Pour look to be a colourful treat to the eyes demonstrating epic displays of craft with cocktail smoke bubbles as seen on Instagram.

Hidden pour has already been given high praise by patrons who have stumbled upon it accidentally during their evenings out, with Google reviews describing the Hindley Street spot as an “elegant bar” that is host to “interesting and flavourful cocktails that you’ve never heard of”.

Where: 111 Hindley St, Adelaide


trap. is one of Adelaide’s West End’s newest hidden gems, offering an underground cocktail bar experience. It’s for cocktails enthusiasts who enjoy an intimate service from expert bartenders. Since its recent opening last year, trap. has already gained attention from bartenders in the area, attracting interest from the hospitality scene.

While trap. takes pride in its friendly ambiance, its dedication to crafting exceptional drinks takes centre stage. Each cocktail showcases the team’s favourite flavours, resulting in innovative and tantalising combinations.

Where: Cold Chisel Lane, Adelaide

Hellbound Wine Bar

Hellbound Wine is a place to remove yourself from the bustle of Rundle Street. Filled with great wine, do and share their passion for classic and contemporary styles, along with snacks, either before a show, post dinner or for a leisurely drink.

Where: Basement/201 Rundle St, Adelaide

Velvet Underground

Velvet Underground is set to be Adelaide’s newest basement bar, situated beneath the newly renovated Ambassdors Hotel – which is know the King William Hotel. Set to debut mid-March, it will feature DJs, jazz, and various local bands. It’s set to be a welcome addition to the live music scene.

Where: 107 King William Street, Adelaide

Cherry Nightclub/Bar

Adelaide’s newest Cherry nightclub is set to bring the house party vibe to Hindley Street. 

So, what is it that makes Cherry different from your average Hindley Street hang-out? Cherry is the ultimate fun house with all the party music you know and love, from commercial to R&B music, Cherry has some of the best house tunes on the street. 

Where: 85 Hindley Street, Adelaide

Ancient World

There’s a small hidden bar on Hindley Street, you’ve just got to find it! Tucked around a corner near a sausage shop and an adult store is Ancient World, an ever-evolving artist-run multifunctional space supported by Renew Adelaide.

Initially just open for the 2014 Adelaide Fringe Festival, Ancient World now hosts live bands every Friday and Saturday night and serves a range of SA brews to weekend patrons. It’s Adelaide’s only true underground club.

Where: 116a Hindley St, Adelaide


Formerly known as Apothecary 1878, the European-inspired restaurant and bar has had a fitting makeover this year. With the name change comes a refreshing new look, as the 1920s Parisian-inspired design of the wine bar and restaurant takes a transatlantic upgrade with a contemporary twist on a New York brasserie.

Grab a drink from their immense menu and trod downstairs for an intimate wining and dining experience that transports you to another time, to another era.

Where: 118 Hindley St, Adelaide

Bank Street Social

Probably Adelaide’ most epic underground bar, when you walk down the stairs into Bank Street Social, its like heading into a hidden New York Bar. The exposed-brick walls and curved booths, offer amazing reprieve from the heat plus it’s great for the local craft beer and DJs. You’ll find it at 48 Hindley St, Adelaide.

Where: 48 Hindley St, Adelaide

Fumo Blu

One of Rundle Street’s most popular, funky cocktail bars and one of the oldest underground bar in Adelaide, celebrating 18 years in 2019. Their blue lit bar is open for food and drink seven days a week until 3am, with dj’s three nights a week from 12am – 3am.

Where: 270 Rundle St, Adelaide

Maybe Mae

Heading downstairs into the interior of this underground cocktail bar is like stepping back into Chicago in the 30’s. If you’ve ever been to Chicago, you’d know it gets damn cold there. So get amongst it and warm up with this fabulous art deco inspired drinking spot.

Where: 15 Peel St, Adelaide

Therapy Cocktail Bar

This hidden gem is found in the basement of no. 2 Peel Street. With a menu of over 100 cocktails, Therapy suits anyone and everyone. The bar has an old fashioned feel with comfortable lounge chair – it is the perfect spot for your cocktail of choice from Tuesday to Sunday.

Where: 2 Peel St, Adelaide

The Lion Hotel Tunnels

Arguably the Lion’s most unique event space, the Tunnels are an original part of the Lion Brewery. Literally made from two underground tunnels that are intersected by a private bar, the Tunnels are the perfect spot for a party, engagement or function with a little ‘something else’. Unfortunately it’s not an every day bar, but hey, it’s iconic so we thought we’d throw it in.

Where: 161 Melbourne St, North Adelaide

Know about an underground bar not on this list? Chuck us an email at [email protected].

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