The Grace Emily Hotel is everything you’d want from a pub: incredibly laid back, grungy and welcoming. As one of the historic pubs of the city’s West End, it was established just three years after South Australia was settled in 1839, and known then as the Launceston. Today, the pub’s reputation hinges on its commitment to live music, a staple most nights of the week that landed the Grace an induction into the South Australian Music Hall of Fame in 2017.
They call it the City of Churches, but a different kind of temple is nearly as ubiquitous in the leafy boulevards of Adelaide town. Grand, 19th-century pubs are everywhere you look, with open-air balconies, impressive facades and fascinating period details. It’s an architectural feature many other capital cities lack, and something that makes Adelaide an especially joyous city for anyone who loves to raise a pint glass.
The cornerstone of Adelaide’s nightlife, top pubs continue to nurture the city’s live music scene. They are places to go for a casual date or a big family catch-up, an intimate dinner or a lively blow-out. Some of them prioritise South Australian wines, beers and liquors; others showcase pizza, steaks or a stunning burger. Here are some of Time Out’s favourites.