Adelaide: Food and Drink Hotspots

When the weather is on point, there’s nothing better than an evening spent wandering the streets and discovering bars, restaurants, and cheap eats throughout the Adelaide

feature (adelaide) | Read in About 6 minutes
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Hey Jupiter
Published 24 Feb 2018

In the East End, Vardon Avenue is the place to be with a wide choice of establishments ready and willing to wet your whistle, no matter your poison of choice.

New Orleans-themed NOLA (28 Vardon Ave, @nolaadelaide) offer a range of craft beers and whiskies alongside Creole and Cajun-inspired food. The William Bligh (33 Vardon Ave, @thewilliambligh) is a speciality rum bar named after the early 1800s governor who tried to stop the rum trade in New South Wales.

Mother Vine (22-26 Vardon Ave, @mothervinewinebar) serves up an extensive range of wines alongside their Mediterranean-inspired plate menu, while the Tasting Room at fine wine merchants East End Cellars (25 Vardon Ave, @eastendcellars) offers the chance to sample from their extensive cellar alongside tasting flights matched with meat and cheese.

Parisian-style brasserie Hey Jupiter (11 Ebenezer Pl, @heyjupiterbrasserie) serves up French classics for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the week,  while Burger Theory (8/10 Union St, @burgertheory) offer American classics for a ‘sustainable Australian future’ including burgers made of a blend of beef and kangaroo meat served in a potato bun. Within a block you’ll find EST Pizzeria (30 East Ter, @estpizzeria), home to gourmet pizzas and boutique beers.

If you’re feeling fancy, Rundle Street is home to Australia’s Restaurant of the Year 2017 – Orana (1/285 Rundle St, @rest_orana_). If modern Australian cuisine isn’t your thing, Taj Tandoor (290 Rundle St, @taj.tandoor) offers authentic Indian with amazing customer service. If you’re after a cocktail, BRKLYN (260-262 Rundle St, @brklyn_adl) will fix you up with classic and modern ‘tails to die for, and a late night barber shop to keep you looking sharp. The Exeter (246 Rundle St) and The Austral (205 Rundle St, @theaustral) hotels are absolute institutions – grab a jug of local beer and a seat out the front if you can!

Things are just as lively over in the West End. Be spoilt for choice on Peel Street with Alfred’s (14 Peel St, @alfreds_bar) offering up ‘your home away from home’ with indoor and outdoor seating for evening drinks. Over the road, Maybe Mae (15 Peel St, @maybemaebasement) isn’t the easiest spot to find, but if you happen upon the concealed entrance and venture down the stairs you will find a 1950s-style cocktail bar with a regularly changing menu.  

The intimate surrounds of Clever Little Tailor (19 Peel St, @cleverlittletailor) offer up quality liquor and bar snacks while a menu of 100+ cocktails can be found in Therapy (2 Peel St, @bottletherapy) alongside exposed brickwork and discounts for industry staff. For food, Bread & Bone (15 Peel St, @breadandbone) specialise in meat cooked on their wood grill, while Peel St Restaurant (9 Peel St, @peelst) offer contemporary Australian cuisine in an industrial style setting.

Leigh Street has its own atmosphere with Casablabla (12 Leigh St, @casablabla) bringing the ‘multicultural tapas’ vibes, Udaberri (11-13 Leigh St, @udaberri_adl) covering gin and tonics with vigour, and Pink Moon Saloon (21 Leigh St, @pinkmoonsaloon) offering nibbles, beers and cocktails in an internationally recognised architect’s dream. The West Oak Hotel (208 Hindley St, @westoakhotel) oozes charm and is one of Adelaide’s oldest continually licensed venues.

For a rooftop experience, head to 2KW (2 King William St, @2kwbar) or Hennessy Rooftop Bar (45 King William St, @mayfairhoteladelaide). For an afternoon in a beer garden, check out Roxie’s (188 Grenfell St, @heartofroxies) or The Ed Castle (233 Currie St, @edcastlehotel). If you’re up well past the sunset, Midnight Spaghetti (196 Grenfell St, @midnightspaghetti_) has your late-night carb craving covered, slinging angel hairs into the wee hours from Wednesday to Sunday.

Chinatown in the Central Market district is easily accessible by the free tram, or is an easy walk. Noodles, dumplings, yum cha and dessert can be found on every corner. For noodles, try Ryo’s Noodles (80 Gouger St, @ryos_noodles) in Japanese style, and check out Dumpling King (85 Grote St, also 1/108 King William St, @dumplingkingcafe) for cheap and cheerful serves of their namesake. Star of Siam (67 Gouger St, @starofsiam) is the place to go for Thai fare, and BBQ City (84 Gouger St) will get you in and out the door in record time for a Chinese feast.

Melbourne Street in North Adelaide is home to The Lion Hotel (161 Melbourne St, @thelionhotelsa) with award winning decor, pub fare, a stunning restaurant and ever-changing beer taps on offer. Further down is Spot & Co (129 Melbourne St, @spotandco_adelaide) for all your cocktail needs, and multicultural eating galore with Tiger Lilly (116 Melbourne St) Thai, Zapata’s Restaurant (42 Melbourne St) for Mexican, Monsoon (133-135 Melbourne St) with Indian, and Himalayan Kitchen (73 Melbourne St) bringing Nepalese and Tibetan.

Need a mid-arvo pick-me-up? Get some caffeine into you from one of Adelaide’s small coffee spots. Larry & Ladd (Shop 36, Regent Arcade, @larryandladd) is great if you’re in Rundle Mall, or Signature (23 Charles St) if you’re heading toward North Terrace. Exchange Coffee (12-18 Vardon Ave, @ExchangeADL) has you sorted on Vardon Avenue, and Penny University (1 Union St, @pennyuniversitysa) will have your coffee and your lunch covered.

When you’ve seen your shows for the night but you’re not ready to call it quits, hit up Rocket Bar and Rooftop (142 Hindley St, @rocketrooftop) or Fat Controller (136 North Ter, @fatcontrollerclub) for one hell of a dance floor rave. If you have friends in high places, the Fringe Club (Rymill Park) is a fantastic place to rub shoulders with performers and producers alike.

For a day away from the city, head to The Lane Vineyard (5 Ravenswood Ln, @thelanevineyard) outside of Hahndorf for a picturesque experience. The Hahndorf Inn (35 Main St, @hahndorfinn) serves a genuine taste of Bavaria. If you’re not sure what to try, there’s food and beer tasting plates available!

Glenelg is one of the most easily accessible beaches thanks to the tram from King William Street. Check out Bracegirdle’s (31 Jetty Rd, @bracegirdles) for local chocolates, then head to The Moseley (11 Moseley Square, @moseleybk) or The Grand Bar (Stamford Grand Hotel, 2 Jetty Road, @thegrandbar) for a beachside drink.