Also known as a 'pedal pub' or a 'beer bike', The HandleBar is a big 16-seater bike/wagon on tyres. You may have seen them rolling around the streets of Adelaide packed with revellers enjoying a drink and a party on the move. Which is fitting, considering the original bike was designed and built in The Netherlands as a parade float to celebrate two great Dutch loves - beer and biking! In Australia at least, this 'bar on a bike' tour is exclusive to the streets of the Adelaide CBD.
The HandleBar began trundling out their two-hour city pub tours in 2016 and introduced brunch tours in 2019. The tours are for anyone who enjoys a different perspective on city life along with a bit of food and wine on a quirky kind of tour.
Brunch is fast becoming the hip new replacement for fancy dinners. Brunch is definitely more affordable and who doesn't love breakfast at midday anyway? As I grow wiser, the concept of cocktails before lunch becomes a better idea all the time and mixing things up with a fun tour and a bit of physical exertion is always good for the soul.
We arrived early for a 10 am start to a warm welcome from our driver, Thomas. We chatted easily as we waited for the rest of the group to arrive. Once the briefing was done, the drinks poured and introductions were made, we headed out through the gates and onto the streets. Though we set off in the rain, this wasn't an issue as the bar has an awning and they've got poncho's on-board. I wouldn't worry about the rain much. It hardly ever rains in Adelaide.
The plant based kitchen is highly regarded for its focus on local produce. We opted for the Farmers Market breakfast plate and a serve of French toast. The toast is quite the sensory experience with wattle seed ice cream, poached pear, honeycomb, pistachio and fresh berries served on a thick and decadent piece of French toast. The Farmers Market breakfast plate is filled with fresh grilled field mushrooms, tomato and kale, eggs any-way and delicious beans with some tasty Hahndorf bacon. Special mention goes to the coffee at Arbour Kitchen, it's from local specialty roaster Bean Revolution.
There's plenty of time to enjoy the meal and relax a bit before mounting the bike to head to Victoria Square for photos. The tour then cruises back along Franklin Street to the bike shed, waving and smiling and singing songs all the way.
It's a great way to see the city and experience some fine food, wine and local craft beers. If you're not from Adelaide you'll enjoy the camaraderie and trying some of our finest produce. If you live in Adelaide, you'll enjoy the new perspective on our hometown. You can hook up your own smart device to play your own music if you wish or make as many requests as you like of the driver to play your favourite tune.
As you roll around town, sitting high up on your bar stool with pedals you'll see the joy in passers-by as your 16-seat pedal-powered bar cruises by belting out party tunes to brighten up the day. You'll get plenty of waves, smiles and even friendly beeps from the drivers and pedestrians around you.
You'll need to pedal, so be prepared for a bit of exercise. That said, the Adelaide CBD is basically level, so there are no hills to climb and the bike has a few seats without pedals if you need to take a break. At the time of writing, the brunch tour is $30 a seat. You can select a drinks package for $6 - $10 per person and add on the brunch at Arbour Kitchen for $20 - $23 each.
Once you've booked your tour, you'll be kept updated by email and SMS with easy to follow instructions for pre-ordering your meals and drinks packages.
You'll find The HandleBar bike shed on Gray Street in the west end of the city. There's plenty of 2 – 3 hour parking on Franklin Street and surrounding streets. From here, the tours range across the inner south-west of the Adelaide CBD, visiting parks, pubs and cafes - depending on the tour.
All up The HandleBar brunch tour is great fun and excellent value for money. It's a unique take on Adelaide that you should try. Book here.