Head to the rooftops for some fine views of Adelaide, along with some of the world's best wines, local produce, craft beers and cocktails with which to toast your luck.
By Marc Llewellyn
From the city centre to the suburbs, Adelaide has bars that will have you singing from the rooftops. Some are elegant and sophisticated, while others have a more casual feel. Either way, the emphasis is on the great outdoors and food and drink with a South Australian slant.
Located on the top level of Crippen Place in the heart of Adelaide’s West End, Rocket Rooftop serves up everything you could ask for in a rooftop bar - picturesque views, tropical vibes, and of course, a drink menu to last you well into the evening. The open-air venue plays host not only to nights out on the town, but also to live music acts, dance parties and a rooftop cinema on Sundays. Head up to Rocket Rooftop for a night spent surrounded by good views and an even better atmosphere.
Perched eight floors up on top of a historic building, the restaurant at 2KW flows out into a stylish rooftop bar that looks across the River Torrens and beyond to the Adelaide Hills. You can clearly see Government House, the home of the Parliament of South Australia since 1840. Also close is the Adelaide Oval, the city’s main sporting stadium. Local and small production wines feature heavily, including some made exclusively for the venue and served directly from the barrel. Wash down your oysters with the signature cocktail, The 2KW. It’s made from gin, peach and pear juice.
The Hennessy Rooftop Bar was unveiled in December 2015 and immediately became the height of popularity in Adelaide's city centre. It's a discerning place with an elegant interior decorated with lounges and leather armchairs, Tudor-style roof panelling and chandeliers. An outside deck offers views that stretch down Adelaide's main pedestrianised shopping street, Rundle Mall, and across the city centre. Drinks include cocktails, top wines, and premium champagnes and spirits. The bar is on the 13th floor of the five-star boutique Mayfair Hotel, which is close to many of the city's main attractions, including Adelaide Central Market, the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, and the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Sandwiched between a coffee shop and an office block, Gallery has a rooftop bar on the third level that oozes cool. Expect modern art on the walls, wooden bench tables and designer metal chairs. This part of Waymouth Street has a high density of office workers, and the view is dominated by towering office blocks. The wine list is huge, and includes many examples from the great South Australian wine regions, including the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, and Clare Valley. The food menu is loaded with tapas, from seared scallops to crocodile wontons.
This rooftop bar atop the Kent Town Hotel is surrounded by office blocks and industrial warehouses, and has views across a large chunk of urban Adelaide. Rooftop on Rundle features a two-level casual outdoor space, a wood oven that churns out pizzas, and even a dunk tank if you want to cool off. There are 30 craft beers on tap, and on Thursday evenings, salsa and African dance lessons are followed by a Latin dance party. Expect live music and a DJ on Saturdays, and local musicians on Sundays. Don't take the stairs; ride the slide down to the Jungle – a Brazilian barbecue meat restaurant on the ground floor. The bar is only open on Thursday and Friday evenings, and from noon on weekends.
On the fringe of the city centre, The Unley is all about open and free flowing contemporary indoor spaces and a funky rooftop strung with fairy lights and potted plants. Trees and houses make up the view from both the covered and outdoor rooftop spaces. Popular here are tapas-style dishes such as salt and pepper prawns. Fancy a burger? Try the Unley Coorong Beef Burger. It’s sourced from cattle raised among the lagoons and salt marshes that form part of the Coorong region of South Australia. There are plenty of local wines and beers to choose from too. Or, share a cocktail jug of pear sangria.