Aperitivo is a pre-meal alcoholic beverage enjoyed in the early evening before dinner, equivalent to after work drinks. The word itself derives from Latin aperire, meaning “to open”, the idea being to stimulate appetite. The tradition has gained popularity in Australia, and for good reason – who doesn’t enjoy drinking decadent cocktails at 5pm?
Here is our guide to bars across the CBD which offer a unique European experience.
Italian cafe and aperitivo bar La Moka is one of Peel Street’s small yet chic bars.
You can enjoy their alcoholic offerings in their brick-and-mortar bar, or alternatively, their @ Home range allows aperitivo lovers to continue the tradition at home. For $69, one can order an Aperol Spritz pack which caters for eight.
You can find them at 16 Peel St, Adelaide.
Next door to La Moka, is the new-ish kid on the block.
Paloma offers aperitivo with a in-house twist, such as the Paloma, a tequila and gin cocktail sweetened with grapefruit soda.
Paloma also offers its pantry filled with Italian antipasto goods: preserves, cheeses, and prosciutto for starters. The menu is described as “a bit more than just antipasto.”
You can find them at 20 Peel Street, Adelaide
In its design and menu, Oggi exudes classic Italian vibes.
Open until 12am Monday-Sunday, this is the perfect place for after works drinks with a Mediterranean twist. Stay for dinner as well, since Oggi offers an assortment of Italian dishes such as pasta made fresh daily, and paired with a complementing wine.
You can find them at 76 Pirie St, Adelaide.
Dedicated to introducing to local Adelaideans cucina povera (“poor food”), Est Ovest not only provides hearty homemade meals, but also takes part in the aperitivo tradition. Enjoy a Campari Spritz with any of the starters/street food available with friends for an appetising afternoon.
You can find them at Shop 1/111 Angas St, Adelaide.
Our focus in this guide has been on Italy, but the French do aperitif in style as well.
Matinal is the bistro’s breakfast and lunch menu. La Buvette is Matinal’s alter ego, which makes an appearance when the sun goes down. La Buvette offers speciality French bites, aperitifs, and local wines alongside its dinner menu.
You can find them at 27 Gresham Street, Adelaide.
Friday evenings really do raise the spirits, and Ambra Spirits know it. Open from 5pm every Friday, you can enjoy a speciality cocktail to welcome the weekend.
Crafted with Italy in mind, Ambra Spirits showcase what they have to offer in creative concoctions such as Blood Orange Spritz, Limoncello Spritz, and even Almond Spritz. For the adventurous, they even offer cocktails such as the Pink Flamingo and Jaffa Martinis amongst more traditional options. Pair these with a rustic house-made toastie or pizza for a perfect Friday evening off work.
43 Phillips Street, Thebarton
Have we missed a good one? Email us at [email protected]