A Guide To Adelaide’s Underground Bars

If you’re looking to escape the heat, or just want to find a cool little underground bar, this is the guide for you.


With Summer finally here it’s time for us to seek out the coolest places to hide away from the weather, and find refreshing food and wine to get us through the day. Underground bars sprung to mind (or course), so like any good adventurer, we’re sharing our findings to help you get through this week (and through any air-conditioning-free, power outages we may also encounter!).

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.

Apothecary 1878

While the cellar at this gorgeous, plush restaurant and bar can be used for dining on the weekends, if there’s space, you can also use the cellar as a quiet place for a wine or three. The whole venue is gorgeous, with a strong European feel. Velvet accents, mood lighting, chandeliers, and vintage furniture, give this place an opulent air, which makes you never want to leave.

Bank Street Social

Probably Adelaide’s most epic underground bar, when you walk down the stairs into Bank Street Social, it’s 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 for local craft beer and DJs. You’ll find it at 48 Hindley St, Adelaide.
Happy Sally is located down below Pirie & Co. The underground bar pays homage to the vintage US underground club scene. On Fridays it’s all about the live music and Saturdays the Jukebox gets a serious work out with swingin’ tunes from the 50s & 60s right through to present day jams. They’ve got a list of quirky cocktails such as Pulp Friction, Twist & Shout and Flower Power! And serve up a small menu of American faves like cheeseburgers and crispy chicken waffles. Pretty much, it ticks a lot of boxes!
Hellbound Wine Bar is a place to remove yourself from the bustle of Rundle Street. Filled with great wine, go and share their passion for classic and contemporary styles, along with snacks, either before a show, post dinner or for a leisurely drink.
Hidden away downstairs at Lindes Lane, behind the ornamental fireplace, is a secret door. Behind the door is the fabulous little Barlow Bar – vintage, dark, moody and ready for fun. While it’s mainly open only for private functions, you’ll also find it operating as a bar on Friday and Saturday from 6pm till late.

Mallozzi is an Italian bar with wine, snacks – and our favourite bit, its own dedicated salumi bar. Chef Jock Zonfrillo just launched the new bar, after already injecting plenty of life into Adelaide’s East End, from his award-winning Restaurant Orana – which was recently named best restaurant in Australia – to the more casual Bistro Blackwood. You’ll find it at 279 Rundle Street, Adelaide.

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

This spacious underground venue, downstairs on Grenfell Street, offers a great restaurant space, as well as lounge bar area. Sumptuous food and fabulous cocktails make this the perfect location for lunch, dinner, drinks and events. Tip: Try their amazing lunch special if it’s still happening. It’s amazing value for money.
Red October is a relatively new restaurant at Gilbert Place with a sweet, hidden basement bar; Suzie Wong underneath which features its own individual menu. Whilst Red October pays tribute to the owner’s Russian heritage, Suzie Wong serves up Asian eats and boasts the biggest collection of whiskey (over 300 bottles and growing) in SA! Open Wed – Sat 7pm – late.
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 and with comfortable lounge chairs – it is the perfect spot for your cocktail of choice from Tuesday to Sunday.
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.


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